Determining if spinal decompression therapy is right for you is the first step in our team’s three-part approach to personalized pain management. Spinal decompression therapy is typically recommended for a variety of conditions, particularly for individuals experiencing chronic back pain due to certain spinal issues. There are two main areas of the spine treated with spinal decompression: the lumbar spine and the cervical spine.
When treating the lumbar spine (lower back), the focus is often on relieving pain caused by conditions like lumbar herniated discs, sciatica, or degenerative disc disease. Patients are positioned on the decompression machine and the lower part of the body is gently stretched using the decompression device. The aim of spinal decompression for lumbar spine issues is to reduce pressure on the lumbar spinal nerves, alleviate lower back pain, and improve mobility.
Treatment of the cervical spine (neck) addresses issues like cervical herniated discs, neck pain, and headaches related to spinal nerve compression. In cervical decompression, the focus is on the neck. The primary goal is to alleviate pressure on the cervical nerves, reduce neck pain and stiffness, and often address associated symptoms like arm pain or headaches.
Conditions that can benefit from spinal decompression therapy include:
- Intervertebral Joint Dysfunction: Dysfunction or abnormal movement of the intervertebral joints that can lead to pain and limited mobility.
- Lumbar Facet Syndrome: A disorder affecting the facet joints in the lumbar spine, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in the lower back.
- Spondylolisthesis: When one of the vertebrae slips out of place onto the vertebra below it, often due to a defect, fracture, or degenerative changes in the spine, it causes pain and nerve compression.
- Muscle Strain: An injury to the muscle or the tendons attached to the muscle, commonly due to overstretching or overuse.
- Whiplash Injuries: Neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and sometimes neurological symptoms typically caused by a rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like that experienced in a car accident.
- Arthritis: In the spine, it can lead to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility, commonly seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Spinal Stenosis: Numbness or weakness in the legs or arms caused by the narrowing of spaces in the spine, which creates pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
- Herniated Discs: When the soft inner material of a spinal disc protrudes through a tear in the outer layer, causing pain and nerve irritation.
- Sciatica: Pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down to the legs.
- Lumbar Radiculopathy: Nerve pain in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine due to compression or irritation of nerve roots.
For the best results, spinal decompression therapy sessions should be repeated multiple times per week or month to alleviate chronic back pain. Since it often takes years of wear and tear or trauma to compress the anatomical structures in the spine, decompression is a gradual process that takes place during a recurring series of visits. Our team of back and spine pain experts will outline a spinal decompression therapy plan to help you understand the timeline and what to expect during your treatment.