Back and neck traction (spinal decompression) has been used to treat spinal pain for over 5000 years. Over the past 10 years, spinal decompression has been a popular treatment for sciatica lower back pain, spinal stenosis, and cervical and lumbar disc herniation. But is decompression therapy the best cervical or lumbar herniated disc treatment?
A “herniated disc” is present in about 80-85% of the population who are experiencing absolutely no back or neck pain. Consequently, symptoms may not be related to a herniated disc and if that’s the case, decompression would be both a waste of time and money.
However, if a herniated disc is the source of the problem, decompression therapy can be an effective means of reducing some of the pressure on the disc and decreasing pain. What you may not know is that as soon as you stand or sit again, the pressure on the disc will return.
Although decompression therapy is primarily used to take pressure off the disc, it can also be used to assist with stretching the back muscles and unloading the spine. In this fashion it is used as an adjunct to active rehabilitation,which has been shown to be much more effective in resolving back pain.
Here are a few facts you may want to know about spinal decompression…
- Medicare and Medicaid Services do not cover the cost of decompression therapy.
- The treatment regimen calls for 20 – 25 visits with a total out of pocket expense of around $4000.
- The quoted effectiveness of 85% is flawed. A recent study showed no difference in the pain response of back pain sufferers who received decompression therapy and those who were “told” they received decompression therapy.
- Finally, you can get all the benefits of decompression therapy by investing in an inversion traction unit.
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