03 May Back Pain Relief Through Spinal Decompression
It’s hard to escape from back pain.
Back pain causes more disability than any other condition. The spine is key to our body’s movement, so it can lead to misery when it causes problems. And the risks involved in surgery to fix spinal conditions make it an unattractive solution.
Luckily, non-surgical solutions give us some success stories beyond surgery.
Read on, as we take a look at spinal decompression and how it can relieve back pain.
What is Spinal Decompression?
Spinal decompression is exactly as it sounds. It involves stretching the spine to relieve pressure.
Decompression is used to relieve spinal problems without invasive surgery or complicated physiotherapy. The only equipment used is an adjustable table and a harness.
Your doctor will control the table by computer to gently provide traction to your spine.
Patients undergoing spinal decompression don’t experience pain during the procedure. The process gently stretches out the spine.
Decompression procedures usually take less than an hour. It’s most effective when used over a period of around six weeks in around twenty sessions.
Non-surgical spinal decompression is FDA approved. It can also be paired with other kinds of therapy, like ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
How It Works
Spinal decompression works with the spine’s natural extensibility to ease pressure.
The human spine is a stack of bones known as vertebrae separated by cushions we call discs. Discs have a gel-like, rubbery consistency.
This allows the spine to move in various ways. Problems with the spine can occur when these discs are overly compressed.
One example of a disk problem is a herniated disk. This occurs when discs bulge out of their usual position. This can put pressure on the nerves in the spinal column and cause severe pain.
Decompression makes use of this natural fluidity to take the pressure off the discs by stretching out the spine. In some cases, this can reverse the negative effect of herniated discs.
The spine undergoes a significant amount of compression just from our daily lives. Our body is in a constant fight against gravity.
Bad posture, poor lifting technique, and inherited medical conditions can all make that fight more difficult.
The spine’s natural state promotes the movement of oxygen, nutrients, and water through the body. By decompressing the spine, this natural state can be recovered.
This can promote long-term healing even beyond the initial therapy.
What Can It Do?
Now we know how it works, let’s take a look at some of the conditions spinal decompression can help to alleviate. In addition to the below, decompression can also increase the quality of life for patients suffering from chronic problems.
Back and Neck Pain
There’s no one root cause of back and neck pain.
However, back pain can often be traced back to misalignment or deformation in the spine. The spine is a complex structure of bone, discs, nerves, and muscles.
Back pain often results when this structure is deformed in some way.
Decompression helps to straighten out the spine. It also counteracts the squashing of the spine caused by day-to-day activities. This, in turn, can reduce back pain.
Sciatica is a kind of pain originating from the sciatic nerve. The reach of the sciatic nerve is extensive. Sufferers of sciatica can experience back, hip and leg pain.
They may also experience numbness or weakness in the leg.
Sciatica can have multiple causes. But doctors can usually trace it back to problems in the spine, such as disk compression.
Spinal decompression may help resolve some cases of sciatica by stretching out the spine, alleviating pressure on discs.
As we’ve mentioned, herniated discs are discs which cause pain by deforming outside their original position.
Decompression ‘opens up’ the spine to allow discs to slide back into place. This reverses strain from lifestyle factors that can put pressure on discs.
If you experience muscle spasms as the result of a back problem, decompression could alleviate your symptoms. Muscle spasms can be mildly annoying or severe and life-changing. It can take a significant amount of time for an attack to disappear.
You may experience back spasms as a result of injury to muscles or tendons. Sport and heavy lifting are both major contributors to back spasm, but obesity and weak abdominal muscles are also common causes.
By decompressing the spine, the treatment helps alleviate spasms by reducing pressure on tendons and muscles. Decompression can reduce inflammation and give your spine flexibility, reducing the tightness associated with muscle spasms.
Numbness and Loss of Sensation
As we’ve mentioned, your spine is more than a stack of bones. It’s also the main highway of the human nervous system.
When back problems arise, they often affect nerves along with it. This can lead to numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation.
This particularly affects the legs and outer extremities. Patients experiencing these sensations may be stuck with constant low-level discomfort. They may even lose the ability to grip objects.
Spine decompression can relieve these symptoms by taking pressure from nerves in the spinal column.
Who Should Avoid It?
Although non-surgical decompression is low impact, it isn’t suitable for everyone.
Patients with significant replacements or additions to their spine aren’t suitable for decompression. This includes artificial discs and metal implants. Patients suffering from fractures and tumors should also seek alternative therapies.
Pregnant women and individuals suffering from advanced osteoporosis are also not advised to undergo decompression.
If you’re unsure whether non-surgical spinal decompression is right for you, speak to your doctor before you undergo treatment.
Freedom From Pain
Many patients consider spinal surgery an absolute last resort. But back pain can ruin lives.
Some people end up suffering from conditions they’re unable to resolve. Non-surgical solutions like non-surgical decompression could be your key to overcoming back pain.
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