For those who have lasting back pain and associated other ailments, you know how disruptive to your life it can be. You may not be ready to think of something else to find relief. Some people today turn to spinal decompression treatment — either nonsurgical or surgical. Here is what you want to know to help determine whether it may be ideal for you.
Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression
Nonsurgical decompression is a sort of motorized pulling that might help ease back pain. Spinal decompression works by smoothly stretching the backbone. That improves the force and position of the backbone. This change takes the pressure away from the spine, which is gel-like pads within the bones in your spine, by producing negative pressure in the disc.
Because of this, herniated or bulging disks may retract, taking pressure off nerves and other structures in your spine. This, in turn, helps promote the movement of oxygen, water, and nutrient-rich fluids into the disks so they can recover.
Doctors have practiced nonsurgical spinal decompression to treat:
- Neck or back about pain or sciatica, which is weakness, pain, or tingling that stretches down the leg
- Herniated or bulging discs or degenerative disc disorder
- Impaired spinal joints (knows as posterior facet syndrome)
- Wounded or unhealthy spinal nerve roots
More research is needed to establish efficacy and the safety of nonsurgical spinal decompression. To understand how useful it really is, researchers will need to compare spinal decompression along with other options to surgery. These include:
- Physical therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Steroid injections
- Limited rest
How Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression Work?
You are entirely covered throughout spinal decompression therapy. The doctor adjusts you with gear around your pelvis and your trunk. You either lie face up or face down on a computer-controlled table. A doctor works on the computer, customizing treatment to your specific requirements.
Treatment may remain 30 to 45 minutes, and you may require 20 to 28 treatments over five to seven weeks. Before or after treatment, you may have other types of therapy, such as:
- Electrical stimulation (electrical current that causes specific muscles to contract)
- Ultrasound (using sound waves to generate heat and encourage recovery )
- Heat or cold therapy
Spine Decompression Tables
Decompression tables use computerized technology to induce negative intradiscal pressure from the backbone. A decompression table has two parts that move independently of one another. During installation, a spinal decompression specialist takes a decompression plan that is the best fit for the patient’s needs. The right strategy for an individual depends on that individual’s diagnosis in addition to how they’ve responded to prior treatments.
As the decompression table stretches the backbone, negative pressure is produced inside the disks, which may lead to repositioning or the retraction of the disk material, resulting in pain relief. Additionally, the lower pressure inside the disc can lead to an influx of healing recovery nutrients to the disc, to improve further relief even when the patient is not on the table.
Among the hurdles to effective decompression with manual techniques is how the body naturally resists the stretch, called muscle guarding. With a decompression table, sensors can identify when the patient’s muscles are defending against the stretch and release the tension, assuring that the maximum decompression is performed.
Spinal Decompression Protocol
The correct decompression protocol for an individual will depend on the symptoms she or he is currently experiencing. Generally, spinal decompression patients can expect to go through a minimum of 12 sessions on the decompression table, though based on the patient’s diagnosis and response to the treatment, more sessions may be required. Additionally, follow-up treatments may be prescribed as needed to manage pain.
A patient first visit should determine whether they would be a fantastic candidate for decompression treatment. The primary analysis should include a review of the patient’s history, including any available imaging such as x-rays and/or MRI results. If the patient is the appropriate candidate, the doctor can put together a recommended decompression protocol designed for that specific patient and diagnosis.
Each spinal decompression table session is approximately half an hour in duration. In this setting, the patient is adjusted to the table with a pelvic apparatus. For lumbar decompression, the lower part of the body will proceed to stretch and relax.
The spine based on computerized algorithms developed to maximize the stretch and minimize the resistance of the body to that stretch. For cervical herniated discs decompression, the upper part of the body will move.
Who Should not Have Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression?
Inquire your doctor whether you are a fit candidate for nonsurgical spinal therapy. It’s best not to try it if you’re pregnant. Anyone with one of these conditions should also not go for nonsurgical spinal decompression:
- Advanced osteoporosis
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Metal implants at the spine
Spinal Decompression Therapy Results
As with any medical Therapy, results for spinal decompression therapy will change depending upon the patient, the physician, and the protocol used. Patients don’t tend to feel an enormous amount of relief after the first treatment.
Instead, after several spinal decompression sessions, relief ought to be apparent. Sometimes, patients may need to complete their entire treatment protocol before they feel complete relief from their symptoms.
Spinal Decompression Table Research
Research into spinal decompression treatment is ongoing, with lots of studies demonstrating benefits to patients suffering from acute or chronic pain. For instance, a study by the Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Health Sciences Center and the University of Texas revealed:
The significant and specific clinical action of decompression therapy that makes it effective. By attaching a cannula implanted into the patient’s L4-L5 disk space to a pressure transducer, intradiscal pressure measurement was performed.
Decompression was introduced, and variations in pressure recorded in a resting condition and again. At the same time, the tension was applied by the equipment.
The study’s results indicate it is possible to reduce pressure in the nucleus pulposus of lumbar disks to below -100 mm Hg when the distraction force is applied based on the protocol defined for decompression therapy.
The lowest intradiscal tension estimated through progressive traction obtained 40 mm Hg, matched to 75 mm Hg resting supine. (2) Standard decompression treatment, therefore, differs from standard traction by creating a unique clinical circumstance of prolonged negative intradiscal pressure.
Lowering the pressure in a herniated disk is the objective method to estimate whether decompression is working, as lower pressure means, by definition, less compression. When the pressure inside a lumbar disc is lower, patients will feel less low-back pain.
In an outcome study from 1998, Spinal decompression therapy was successful in 71 percent of cases, with patients reporting a drop in pain to 0 or 1 on a scale of 0 to 5.
Another low-back pain research discovered victims with chronic pain felt relief from spinal decompression therapy in as little as eight weeks. So it’s important to note that 80 percent of the patients in this study experiencing symptoms for over 6 months and had attempted at least two other interventions to ease their pain before turning into a decompression table.
Despite contradicting reports on the effectiveness of spinal decompression therapy, there’s clearly a section of the people for whom a decompression table can reduce chronic pain where no other mediations have worked.
Surgical Spinal Decompression
Surgical decompression is another option for treating certain kinds of back pain. Similarly, it is use as a last resort. Because other measures do not work, your physician may suggest surgical decompression for ruptured or bulging disks, bony growths, or other spinal issues. Surgery may help alleviate symptoms from pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, such as:
Different Kinds of Spinal Decompression Surgery
Your physician may recommend different types of spine surgeries to alleviate the pressure on your spine.
Moreover, you might require a spinal fusion to stabilize your spine. Listed below are the more common types of spine surgery:
Diskectomy: In this process, a section of the disc is eliminated to alleviate pressure on nerves.
Laminotomy or laminectomy: A surgeon extracts a small part of bone — a part of the bony arch or the whole bony arch — to expand the size of the spinal canal and reduce pressure.
Foraminectomy or Foraminotomy: A surgeon eliminates bone and other tissue to enlarge the holes for nerve roots.
Osteophyte elimination: During the operation, bony growths are removed.
Corpectomy: This process involves removing a vertebral body together with discs between the vertebrae.
Risks Associated With Spinal Decompression Surgery
As with any operation, there are risks. These are more common risks link with spinal decompression operation:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Nerve or tissue damage
Hence, another risk of operation is that it may not improve pain back much. It can be challenging to determine who will benefit from spinal decompression operation.