If you’re struggling with chronic lower back pain, knee pain, or neck pain, spinal decompression therapy may be beneficial. The therapy, which involves the mechanical stretching of your spine, is a non-surgical way to address the source of such pain. Dr. Jason Leavitt and the experienced physicians at Ultimate Health Medical Clinic in Littleton, Colorado, offer spinal decompression therapy to patients who are looking for a safe, effective alternative to surgery. To learn more about spinal decompression therapy, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Spinal Decompression Q&A
What is spinal decompression therapy?
Spinal decompression therapy is typically done on a traction table, using the same basic principal to stretch the spine that’s been employed by chiropractors for years. The main goal of the treatment is to relieve pain while promoting an optimal healing environment for degenerating, bulging, or ruptured spinal discs. It works by steadily stretching your spinal column to release stress on the discs that sit between the vertebrae of your spine. This creates negative pressure inside the discs that allows the discs to retract, which causes an influx of fluids, nutrients, and oxygen into the disc. In this way, spinal decompression therapy promotes natural healing, and is a viable alternative to surgery for those affected by disc trauma or damage.
What conditions can spinal decompression help?
First and foremost, spinal decompression therapy is intended to restore spinal discs to a healthy, working order. To that effect, the treatment mainly helps:
- Bulging discs: A disc that has pushed outside of its designated space in the spinal canal can put pressure on nerves and cause pain. When left untreated, it may rupture.
- Herniated discs: A disc that cracks and oozes some of its soft, interior gel has herniated or ruptured. A herniated disc can affect nearby nerves and may cause burning pain from your lower back down into your legs.
- Degenerated discs: A disc that’s affected by age-related degeneration may have low fluid or a tear in its tough exterior. It can also be accompanied by bone spurs on the spine.
Because disc problems can cause a wide variety of symptoms, correcting a disc condition through spinal decompression can help relieve:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Lower back pain
- Sciatic nerve pain
- Knee pain
- Numbness and tingling in your arms and legs
What is the treatment like?
During spinal decompression therapy, you lie on a motorized table, the lower half of which can move. When treating disc problems in the lumbar spine, or lower back, a harness is placed around your hips and attached to the lower end of the table, near your feet. While the upper portion of the table remains fixed, the lower portion gently slides back and forth to provide traction as well as relaxation. Although the procedure itself isn’t painful, you’ll feel your spine as it’s being intermittently stretched and relaxed. Each session lasts for about 30-45 minutes, and most patients benefit from having a series of 15-30 treatments, scheduled over the course of 4-6 weeks.