Friday, November 4, 2016

Spinal Decompression Therapy: A Nonsurgical Way of Dealing with Spinal Pain

Lower back and neck pain is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in the country and worldwide in general. Approximately 632 million people suffer from lower back pain every year; as such many pain management options have been developed. Some of these methods include Medication, Surgery, and Spinal Decompression Therapy. It is the latter that has become a major focal point of discussions and has increased in popularity, with studies showing 82%-93% improvement in patients using this form of treatment.

Understanding Spinal decompression therapy

One of the most important things when choosing treatment is to understand exactly what the concerned treatment is, what it does and how it does it. Simply defined, Spinal decompression is relieving pain without any use of medication or surgery. With the help of computer technology, gentle pressure is applied on the spine to increase circulation into the discs in which the spine lies, thereby relieving the pain.

This is how it works: The patient is placed comfortably on a table and depending on the position of the pain; the patient can either be laid flat on their stomach or on their back. For neck pain patients, they are put in a half-seated position. When the patient is comfortably in position, it is necessary to strap them on to the table to avoid movements during the therapy. Once this has been done, the treating doctor will use computerized equipment to pull and apply tension, little by little onto the body. The tension is applied in very small increments to allow the body to adjust until a desirable amount of pressure is reached. This also allows for communication with the patient throughout the whole process.

When the perfect pressure has been reached, it is left in place for about 60 seconds then followed by 30 seconds of decreased pressure before the whole procedure is done again. This continues for 15-25 minutes, and then the procedure is reversed by the slow lowering of tension until none is left on the patient.

At no point in the treatment session should a patient feel any pain at all.

So what causes the pain to stop?

During treatment, the pumping action of the table allows for the spine to be slowly stretched thereby increasing the space between two spinal bones known as disc space. This causes negative pressure, which will pull the disc back inwards away from pinching on nerves. 

The pumping action also allows for better nutrient flow to the spine and discs, thereby acceleration healing of the injured parts.

Which conditions can be treated and managed using Spinal decompression therapy?

This form of treatment has proved to be efficient in treating patients with Sciatica ( radiating sharp pain down towards the legs) and Radiating neck pain ( sharp pain radiating to the shoulders and arms ) Patients with these conditions improve dramatically when treated using this therapy. The results are even better in chronic cases of low back pain and neck pain.

Other conditions that can be treated with using this method include:

- spinal stenosis

- bone spurring

- pinched nerves

- bulging discs. 

However, success rates are slightly lower in these cases than the previously mentioned conditions. Patients are evaluated first to determine if the treatment will work for them and told before commencing therapy.

How long is the treatment?

The length of treatment varies from case to case and from patient to patient. Generally, 15-30 visits are required for full treatment. These can be stretched over 2-4 months, with more therapy sessions in the beginning then prolonged as the spine becomes more stable.

Advantages of using Spinal decompression Therapy to manage spinal pain

1. It is nonsurgical; at no point will a surgeon be needed to cut into a patient.

2. Requires zero medical use.

3. No risks of addiction to pain medication.

4. Relief is almost immediate and is long term.

5. The procedure is 100% pain-free and customized for each patient.

Disadvantages of Spinal decompression Therapy

Approved by the FDA, this method of managing spine related pain currently possess close to no disadvantages. However, one caveat has been lower success rates in patients with complicated spinal disorders such as degenerative diseases and cancer-related pain.

Also, some patients are not viable candidates for this form of treatment, a consultation and evaluation is required before therapy can be prescribed.



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