Spinal Decompression Therapy: Should I Try It?

More than 80% of Americans suffer from disabling back pain at some point during their lives, whether it’s from a car accident, sports injury, fall, or other cause, such as degenerative spinal discs. The pain is deemed chronic if it lasts three months or longer. If you have musculoskeletal pain in your neck or back, you just want it to stop.

You may have explored surgery for your neck and back pain, but surgery carries risks--infection, blood clots, heart attack, stroke, and more. You just don’t want to risk those complications. You’re looking for another resolution.

What conditions does spinal decompression treat?

A chiropractic treatment called spinal decompression may be the right answer for you if any of the following conditions describe your situation:

The joints, muscles, discs, and nerves in your back can move out of alignment from any of   these conditions. Chiropractic treatment involves correcting misalignment of the body's musculoskeletal structure, especially the spine, to relieve your pain.

Chiropractic treatment doesn’t involve surgery or prescription drugs--a plus if you’re into natural healing. Chiropractors help your body heal itself. Research supports spinal decompression. Studies show that it reduces pain in adults with herniated discs, as well as increasing the height of the discs, which correlates with decreased pain.

What happens during spinal decompression?

You’ll lie on a special table during the treatment. The lower half of the table moves during the procedure. You’ll have a harness around your hips that attaches to the lower part of the table.

Dr. Weddle controls the movement of the table as it slides up and down and provides traction that gently stretches all of your spinal vertebra from the bottom of your skull to the base of your spine. The procedure relieves pressure from pinched nerves and flattened, bulging discs; it reshapes the discs, helping to restore them to nearer their natural height. The procedure helps bring water, oxygen, and healing nutrients to your spinal cord and its discs. Spinal decompression should not be painful; you should tell Dr. Weddle right away if you feel pain.

Treatments last from 30 to 45 minutes, and you’ll need numerous treatments for approximately six weeks.

What other chiropractic therapies help reduce back and neck pain?

Along with spinal decompression, Dr. Weddle may use other various modalities to ease your pain, depending on your case. Massage, ultrasound, and electrical nerve stimulation with a TENS unit offer patients relaxation and relief.

Providers agree that exercise is an important factor in managing low back pain. Once you’ve been treated and are stabilized, Dr. Weddle prescribes specific exercises that strengthen your back and help keep the pain at bay. He may also prescribe physical therapy.

Being active helps deliver nutrients to your spinal cord. Studies indicate that strengthening your abdominal muscles helps control lower back pain. Dr. Weddle focuses on lifestyle choices. Being overweight puts excess pressure on your spinal cord and can lead to bulging or herniated discs. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do to avoid back pain.

Who should not get spinal decompression?  

Spinal decompression is contraindicated for certain individuals. If you’re pregnant, on blood thinners, have a tumor, fracture, or advanced osteoporosis, have artificial discs or metal implants in your spine, or certain other back and health conditions, you should not undergo spinal decompression. Prior to your appointment, Dr. Weddle asks you to complete a medical history questionnaire. Upon talking with you and a thorough review of your medical history, he advises you if you’re a good candidate for the procedure.  

Call or book an appointment online today if you have back or neck pain that won’t go away. DMC Healthcare can provide answers that put you back on the road to good health.

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