Spinal Decompression

What is decompression therapy?

Decompression therapy is a non-surgical treatment for back pain relief. During decompression therapy, the team has you lie on a padded decompression table that gently pulls your hips downward towards your feet to relieve pressure on your lower back and spine.

In many cases of lower back and spine pain, the anatomical structures within your back—including your intervertebral discs, facet joints, and nerves—can become compressed. This may be due to disc herniations, muscle strains, whiplash, or prolonged sitting or standing.

Decompression therapy is used to gently remove the pressure associated with compressive conditions of the lower back. This can also improve tissue healing and hydration by increasing blood flow to the injured area.

When is decompression therapy recommended?

Decompression therapy is recommended for adults dealing with acute or chronic back pain. Conditions that can benefit from decompression therapy include:

  • Intervertebral joint dysfunction
  • Lumbar facet syndrome
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Muscle strain
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated discs
  • Sciatica
  • Lumbar radiculopathy

Decompression therapy sessions can be repeated multiple times per week or month, as needed, to see the best results. Since it often takes years of wear-and-tear or trauma to compress the anatomical structures in the spine, decompression is a gradual process over a series of visits. The team outlines a decompression therapy plan to help you understand the timeline and what to expect during your treatment.

What can I expect during decompression therapy?

If the Vanguard Spine & Sport team recommends decompression therapy for your condition, you begin your session by lying on your back on the decompression table. The team places a pillow under your knees for comfort and attaches a belt around your waist to an anchor on the table near your feet.

When the decompression table is turned on, you’ll feel a comfortable pulling or stretching sensation from your hips up into your back. The table gently tractions your hips down towards your feet for 30-60 minutes, until your therapy session is over.

Once your therapy session is finished, the team removes the belt around your waist and helps you off the table. You may feel a little off-balance at first but will likely notice an increase in your range of motion and flexibility immediately. The team may help you walk around for a few minutes until you’re comfortable walking on your own. You can return to your normal activities immediately after your visit.

To schedule a decompression session, call Vanguard Spine & Sport or book online.