What is spinal decompression? Specifically, non-surgical spinal decompression. It is a form of traction – which sounds scary, but really is not as bad as it seems.
Spinal decompression therapy is performed by having you lie face down or face up, depending on what the doctor thinks is best, on a special table which gently stretches and then relaxes the spine. This reduces the pressure on discs, helping herniated or bulging disks slip back into place, as well as helping improve nutrient flow to the disks. The technique is FDA approved and can be highly effective for many patients – including people who did not benefit from surgery.
Needless to say, a good chiropractor will only recommend this therapy if they think you will benefit from it. It is not recommended for pregnant women or for people with metal plates in the spine or advanced osteoporosis. The chiropractor may want to take X-rays or have them taken first, as spinal decompression can make fractures in the spine worse. That said, it works very well for qualified patients who are suffering from bulging or herniated disks. The therapy is also painless – in fact, some people fall asleep in the middle of it.
It is often made even more effective when used in conjunction with more traditional chiropractic manipulation. A good chiropractor may recommend spinal decompression therapy as part of an overall plan of care along with chiropractic manipulation, massage, heat or cold therapy, ultrasound therapy, etc.
If you have back pain, you should schedule a consultation with a Nashville chiropractor who can tell you if spinal decompression therapy will help you – or if some other technique is better. This state of the art therapy is, though, safe and effective for patients with certain forms of chronic back pain.