Spinal decompression is a therapeutic treatment option for patients suffering from chronic back, neck and leg pain caused by herniated, bulging, or degenerating discs in the spine. This nonsurgical system gently stretches affected areas of the spine to reduce pressure on the discs and relieve symptoms such as tingling, numbness and pain. This newest type of spinal decompression, which is controlled by a computer system, replaces the older mechanical type of traction decompression used by medical professionals for many years.
During spinal decompression treatments, the patient lies on a table with a harness around the pelvis. The tightness of the harness is controlled by a computer system that stretches the vertebrae apart, alleviating pressure on the affected discs. Discs are the gelatinous pads that separate each two vertebrae of the spine, providing a cushion between them. When the discs degenerate, or bulge between the vertebrae, pressure is exerted on the nerves in the area, causing serious pain. The purpose of spinal decompression is to pull the vertebrae apart, relieving pressure on the discs and nerves.
Each spinal decompression treatment sessions lasts about 45 minutes, with most patients requiring 4 to 6 weeks of treatment in order to achieve lasting results. No anesthesia is required for this treatments most patients report the experience as being painless and even pleasant. Spinal decompression is often combined with other treatments, such as electric stimulation, ultrasound and cryotherapy, to produce the most effective results.
There are several different FDA-approved decompression systems available to perform this type of therapy, each offering patients its own set of benefits. Spinal decompression is considered a safe form of therapy, although a screening process is performed before treatment begins. Patients with fractures, metal implants in the spine, osteoporosis and those who are pregnant are not candidates for spinal compression.