Spinal decompression can be applied by various specialized devices

Current medical studies suggest that back pain will affect more than 80% of the population at some point in their life. Chronic low back pain disability is the most expensive benign condition that is medically treated in industrial countries, costing the health care system more than $65 billion a year. Back pain is also the number one cause of disability in people under the age of 45 and is the third leading cause of disability in people over 45 years of age.

With recent advances in biotechnology, spinal decompression therapy has evolved into a cost-effective, nonsurgical treatment option for degenerative spinal disc disease. This treatment modality works on the affected spinal segment by significantly reducing pressures within the disc and is an integral part of a comprehensive spinal rehabilitation program. This article looks at spinal decompression therapy and its effectiveenss.

What Is Spinal Decompression Therapy And Can It Help Me?

Spinal decompression or traction has received considerable attention recently as an effective treatment modality for sciatica, herniated disc, and low back pain. Spinal decompression is thought to work on the affected herniated disc by significantly reducing pressure within the disc by means of a traction force applied to the spine.

Spinal decompression can be applied in several ways including specialized spinal decompression devices (e.g. Vax-D, SpineMed, or DRX 9000), manually by an experienced therapist or doctor, or through the use of your own body weight as with inversion therapy.

The exact mechanism of spinal decompression is thought to have the following effects on the spine:

  • Increase the opening through which the spinal nerve exits the spine
  • Improve spinal mobility
  • Decrease disc herniation, disc bulging, and disc protrusion
  • Allow for a herniated disc to heal by improving the discs ability to attract and retain fluid
  • Improve spinal joint function
  • Alleviate bone spur pressure
  • Decrease muscle spasm
  • Restore normal spinal position
  • Decrease low back pain

To accomplish these results, proponents of spinal decompression therapy have suggested traction forces of between 25% and 50% of the subject’s bodyweight be applied in order to overcome friction and attain sufficient separation of the spinal vertebrae. In addition, some of the latest technologies claim to provide specific decompression to the exact disc level by varying the angle of the spinal decompression traction force. (Read original article)

About.com anwsers the question: What Is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Spinal Decompression Treatment is non-invasive and provides gentle decompression of the disc through the use of a decompression table. You are strapped to the table so that as it moves it applies a distraction force to the targeted area of the spine (the compressed disc). A computer controls the distraction force which is applied in between periods of relaxation. This gently pulls the spine apart elongating it and creating a small vacuum between the vertebrae which pulls the disc back into shape.

Much like a repetitive stress injury the decompression works in very minute increments. But over time that adds up and lets the disc reshape itself, heal and get the proper flow of nutrients going to fight off brittleness and future injuries. (See original article)

Spinal decompression therapy is not a panacea for the treatment of sciatica, back pain, and neck pain, but is an integral part of a comprehensive spinal rehabilitation program. In association with an active rehabilitation program, appropriate spinal bracing, and spinal education, you should notice an improvement in your sciatica, back pain, or neck pain.

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