Your back is composed of individual vertebrae separated by spongy discs of cartilage. These discs are the shock absorbers of the spine. As people age, the blood supply to these discs diminishes. Once an injury occurs, the disc doesn't heal well. It can break down and begin to protrude into the spinal column, putting pressure on the spinal cord or other nerves, and causing pain. Other causes of back pain include arthritis, poor body mechanics (the way you move and lift), bone spurs and muscle spasms.
Spinal decompression helps to promote healing in the disc by increasing the flow of nutrients to the disc. It is actually a form of traction, which slightly increases the space between the vertebrae. The traction helps decrease the pressure on the disc, allowing the disc to return to its normal position. Traction can also reduce muscle spasm, which contributes to back pain. Decompression is often effective for pain from a herniated disc, degenerative disc problems, arthritis, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) and nerve root pressure.
A spinal decompression treatment begins with the patient lying, fully clothed, on a special motorized table. The table is controlled by a computer, which allows the treatment to be customized to each person's specific needs. The lower half of the table is moveable. The doctor places a harness around the patient's hips which are attached to the lower table near the feet. Depending on the type of treatment table, the patient may lie face up or face down. Once the table is activated, it gently applies and then releases traction. Most people report they feel the stretch in the spine, but spinal decompression is not usually painful. The 20-28 treatments typically last 30-45 minutes and are spaced over five to seven weeks.
Spinal decompression can treat a number of conditions. At Taylor Rehabilitation & Wellness Center we have successfully treated the following conditions with our non-surgical spinal decompression, physical rehabilitation, and class 4 laser procedures:
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