If you have dealt with back pain in the past, then you know how debilitating and excruciating it can be. While there are several different medical procedures that may provide temporary relief, many people are now turning to what is known as spinal decompression therapy.
Here, we will discuss spinal decompression therapy, and whether or not it is good for relieving back pain.
What is spinal decompression therapy?
Spinal decompression therapy is a form of stress therapy; it involves motorized traction that is designed to provide back pain relief. The spine is stretched in a gentle manner without any invasive procedures or powerful painkillers.
When the spine is stretched, the position and force of the patient’s spine changes. Negative pressure is applied to the disks, which, despite how it sounds, actually removes most of the pressure from the spinal disks.
The patient’s spine will be flexed using a specialized tool, such as a stress table. Spinal decompression machines are designed to alleviate pain, and their functionality is very similar to the spinal traction that is provided by licensed chiropractors.
It should also be noted that spinal decompression therapy is a painless procedure that is well tolerated by the vast majority of patients. If you have any doubts or concerns, then please speak to your chiropractor beforehand.
What are the different spinal decompression methods?
While spinal decompression therapy can be non-surgical, there are also many different types of surgical spinal decompression methods as well.
Non-surgical decompression can be used in order to treat worn spinal joints, diseased or injured spinal nerve roots, herniated or bulging discs, and sciatica, neck, or back pain. As for surgical decompression methods, below are some of the most common procedures.
A disectomy involves removing the damaged disc. In some cases, only components of the damaged disc will be extracted. The surgeon may need to perform additional procedures in order to stabilize the spine if the entire disc is removed.
A laminotomy will require that the entire lamina is removed so that the spinal canal will have more room or space to breathe. In some cases, the surgeon may only need to remove a few bone spurs instead of the entire lamina.
The lamina actually helps shape the spinal canal in the body. It can be found at the back of the vertebrae, and serves as a bony arch.
A foraminotomy will require that the surgeon remove some of the bone that is found at the edge of the foreman. The goal is for the nerves to have more space. The foreman is actually an opening in the vertebrae through which nerve roots pass.
An osteophyte removal is a fairly common surgical procedure. Osteophytes are bony growths or bony spurs in the body that sometimes need to be removed in order to provide enduring back pain relief.
A corpectomy involves the removal of the body of a vertebra, as well as the removal of the disks connected to it. In some cases, the vertebrae will need to be fused in order to provide additional spinal stability.
What are the risks associated with spinal decompression?
One of the most dangerous risks is the formation of blood clots. Cerebrospinal fluid may also leak after the operation. In some cases, there may be extensive tissue damage, and there have even been rare cases of temporary or permanent paralysis.
A dural tear may also occur, which can be quite painful. Spinal decompression risks increase exponentially if you try to take matters into your own hands. It is best to make an appointment with a back specialist in order to identify the root cause of your back pain.
Only a licensed expert with years of experience should be consulted, as they will be able to provide you with the therapy that you need in a safe and supervised setting.
What are the benefits of spinal decompression?
One of the chief benefits of spinal decompression is that it promotes or accelerates the healing of tissues in the spinal disk. It will also provide rapid pain relief that will allow patients to return to work as soon as possible.
Moreover, spinal decompression will help restore normal joint alignment, as well as normal spinal disk alignment. Spinal nerve pressure will also be alleviated via spinal decompression therapy.
If other healing procedures or modalities are used, then spinal decompression can be implemented to help boost their effectiveness.
Best of all, spinal decompression therapy is actually a painless procedure, which is why it is recommended by many healthcare specialists. Some patients may experience mild discomfort, but it is usually well tolerated.
We Got Your Back
If you suffer from acute or chronic back pain, then spinal decompression therapy can help reduce or eliminate your back pain. Many desperate people will try other methods to help relieve their back pain.
For example, they may turn to heat packs, exercises, massages, and/or epidurals in order to reduce their pain. While such products and methods may work, they will only provide temporary relief in most cases.
With spinal decompression therapy, the root cause of your back pain is identified and worked on. When a professional chiropractor performs a spinal decompression, most patients will not require surgery in order to eliminate their back pain. Surgery will only be performed as a last resort, as it carries certain risks that should be avoided whenever possible.
Interestingly, a 2016 study found that patients who had undergone spinal decompression therapy experienced reduced inflammation and less pain than patients who did not undergo the procedure.
The study also found that 86% of patients who underwent spinal decompression therapy in order to treat their herniated disks did not experience any pain even after two years had passed since their last session.