Spinal Decompression Therapy: Benefits and Side Effects

Intervertebral discs or spinal discs in our body are structured in a way to prevent unwanted contact of vertebral bones, especially while doing any work or body movements.

Disc Decompression Therapy
Disc Decompression Therapy

However with increasing age, disc problems (like: disc bulging, disc compression, disc herniation, disc slip, disc degeneration, etc.) becomes common leaving a long lasting back pain problems along with few other related symptoms.

Spinal decompression therapy for neck and back pain is found much useful in providing relief.

Spinal decompression therapy can be of two types i.e. surgical and non-surgical. Depending upon the condition of a patient and other factors treatment option for them can be chosen.

Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression

Nonsurgical spinal decompression is a type of traction method which helps in reliving the back or cervical pain by stretching the spine gently and naturally.

The gentle stretch applied as a force relieves the pressure off the spinal disks by developing negative pressure in the discs. This also encourages the free movement of oxygen, water as well as other nutrient rich fluids along the discs.

As a result the problems associated with degenerated, bulged or herniated disks are healed. Decompression therapy for problems such as sciatica, inured spinal nerve roots, posterior facet syndrome, etc. are also sometimes recommended by doctors as an effective treatment method.

How It Is Done?

This decompression therapy can be done at home or at physiotherapy centers. The main device needed for the disc decompression is disc decompression table. The patient fully clothed should lie down on the decompression table comfortably.

The computer controlled decompression table help stretch the spine to relieve the compression of the disc. The pressure exerted is customized as per the patient’s requirement.

The normal duration of disc decompression therapy is about 30 minutes (twice or thrice a week). Depending on the severity of the condition the treatment may range from 5-7 weeks.

Who Should Not Get This Therapy?

Due to obvious reasons mentioned above, nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy is many times not recommended for people having tumor, fracture, osteoporosis, metal implants in spinal region.

Pregnant ladies and people suffering from obesity are also not suggested to go through spinal decompression therapy due to possible risks and side effects.

It is best to consult with your physician to discuss about your medical conditions, pain, etc; before planning to get this therapy. Based on your condition your doctor may recommend getting other conservative spinal treatment methods, if you are not a qualified member for getting spinal decompression therapy.

These conservative treatment methods may include: exercises, yoga, hot/cold compress therapy, pain medication or injections, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, etc.

Sometimes combination of few of these methods along with treatment methods such as massage, acupuncture, acupressure, etc. can work efficiently for treating the chronic back and spinal pains.

Does It Really Work?

Although doctors recommend and use decompression therapy for relieving various spinal discs problems, detailed researches are still being done by researchers to know more about its effectiveness and safety.

Studies are also being done to test whether it is effective enough for relieving the conditions as compared to other alternative methods such as physical therapy, exercises, yoga, acupuncture, massage, cervical traction, etc.

If you have tried all the conservative methods or spinal decompression therapy and are still suffering from chronic neck and back pain problems; surgical decompression therapy or minimally invasive spine surgery can prove to be helpful.

Also Read: Does Inversion Table Help In Spinal Decompression?

Surgical Spinal Decompression

Surgical decompression therapy for chronic back pain is another type of relieving method used for spinal disc problems. Doctors usually suggest this as a last resort for treating ruptured discs, when other methods fails or don’t work at all.

Spinal decompression surgery helps in relieving the symptoms that aggravates due to pressure on the spinal region and near by nerve roots. These symptoms may include pain, tingling, numbness and weakness.

Various Types

Depending on the condition and severity of the problem, your doctor may recommend one among these types of surgeries for relieving the pressure on compressed discs:

  • Diskectomy
  • Laminotomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Osteophyte removal
  • Corpectomy

You may need to talk to your doctor about which one will be the right fit for you and why.

Risks and Side Effects

Before getting a surgical decompression therapy for herniated disc, make sure that you know about the common risks that are associated and can be seen.

Some of these side effects seen are: bleeding, infection, blood clotting, allergies, nerve damage, tissue damage, etc.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery is a process which focuses on achieving 2 main goals i.e. decompression and stabilization. In this surgical procedure portion of damaged or ruptured disc (that is pressing against the nerve root to cause pain) is removed by doing a small incision.

The process is accomplished using most advanced technology and techniques which are safe and effective for treating chronic back and neck pain caused due to various spinal disorders. As the process is less complicated and advanced, it is one of the best options for patients who are seeking quick recovery after surgery.

In addition to relieving conditions such as degenerative disc disease, herniated or bulging discs it also helps in treating problems caused due to scoliosis and spinal stenosis.

Decompression Vs Traction: What Is the Difference

Decompression and Traction are two general terms which are used by medical professionals, physical therapists and chiropractors while talking about spinal or cervical health.

Usually these terms sounds to have similar meaning with very little difference, for patients suffering from lower back pain or spinal disorders. And for this reason many use these two different terms interchangeably.

Although there is much confusion about these two terms, its definition and purposes; we have tried to explain the difference in short.

Traction is usually defined as a process where pulling takes into effect. It’s an act where spine, vertebral bones and discs are gently pulled to ease the pain.

Decompression on the other hand is defined as a process of relieving the pressure. It’s an act where spine, vertebral bones and discs are gently forced to relieve the pressure of the nerve roots that are causing the pain.

Although these two processes seems to be identical (yet different), the main motive of both is same – to alleviate the pain by relieving pressure in spinal region and to improve mobility.

The key difference between traction and spinal decompression therapy is the advanced usage of computer for controlling the pulling force or pressure exerted. Unlike spinal traction (which uses conventional traction system), spinal decompression therapy make use of computerized spinal decompression table for controlling the traction pull and its variations.

As spinal decompression machine provides advanced sophisticated techniques for achieving higher levels of spinal decompression, it is believed to be a better option for treating the condition faster and safer. The best benefit of using decompression therapy machine system is, the patient can feel their body relaxed for maximum period of time all through the duration of treatment process.

Besides relieving the chronic conditions, disc decompression therapy is highly useful in the emergency conditions where patient is suffering from intolerable pain.

Best Spinal Decompression Therapy Reviews And System For At Home Use

Spinal decompression system can now be used at home for getting relief from chronic back and spinal problems.

According to various studies and consumer reviews, it has been made clear that back and neck decompression therapy at home done using these devices can effectively help in enhancing your conditions better than as compared to relying  only on chiropractic manipulations.

You can check the below mentioned devices for getting the help.

1- Jade Therapy Infrared Spinal Traction Decompression Table

Jade Therapy Massage Bed Table is one of the best decompression therapy table found online which can be used at home (or office) for spinal decompression. It consist of full body roller system along with FIR Far infrared carbon fiber heating panels installed for effective healing.

The heavy duty solid built body of this decompression table can handle user up to 350 pounds. Digital Blue-Light LCD Controller is provided for adjusting programs and temperature. S Shaped Patented Drive Rail provides best healing to your back according to the contour of your spine.

The Jade Therapy Massage Bed and Decompression Table comes complete with all the important accessories and with warranty of 5 years.

In case you want to order this table online, you can check on Amazon. As the table is not shipped all over US, just make sure that they deliver to your area before placing your order.

2- Detensor Spine Traction Decompression Therapy Device

Detensor Spine Traction Decompression Therapy Device is another great non-surgical spinal decompression system which can be easily used at home for easing chronic back and cervical pain holistically.

This Spine Traction Mat by Detensor is designed brilliantly to provide gentle traction and inter-vertebral discs decompression without any side effects.

If you are suffering from bad back and neck due to spinal disorders (such as herniated discs, bulging discs, etc) you should definitely try this out.

3- Nubax Trio Portable Back Traction and Spinal Decompression Device

Nubax Trio is a yet another great back traction and spinal decompression device which effectively helps in lifting the spinal discs away from the nerve, due to which the pain is actually caused.

The Nubax Trio is a convenient to use machine which works without straining the joints with minimal effort from the user. You just need to lean forward with this device which decompresses and stretches the spine to relieve the pressure on discs and nerves.

This compact, lightweight and portable machine is a great alternate to those inversion therapy tables which provides the spinal decompression by hanging upside down. It is therefore easy to use for people of all ages.

Why not opt for this drug free non-surgical spinal decompression at home system to alleviate your bad pain.

4- The Body Archer Back Stretching Chair

The Body Archer Back Stretching Chair is a great alternate to inversion tables and exercise ball chairs which are often hard to handle and use. This ultimate back relieving device is approved and recommended by orthopedists and physical therapists not only for decompression but also for achieving healthy posture while sitting.

The best thing about this stretching chair is, you can use it as an alternate to your desk chair (at home or office) for getting healthier sitting positions while working long hours. This chair is designed perfectly so that you can comfortably sit for hours without worrying about your posture. Not to mention, it also work to promote circulation and enhanced movements.

With its superior high quality construction and linear rocking ability it provides incredible upper body and back stretches that are much relaxing.

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