Spinal decompression is an alternative therapy that is designed to relieve the pain associated with pinched nerves and shifted discs in the back. The treatment is not without its controversy with physicians on both sides proclaimed its effectiveness or ineffectiveness. Still, for those who are looking for another way to relieve the debilitating pain of back and neck pain, this type of alternative therapy can be a good option to choose instead of invasive surgery, or until surgery is absolutely necessary.
There are a few ways to determine if you’re a potential candidate for this type of treatment. While it’s not recommended that you self diagnose, you as the patient need to be proactive about your health, keep on top of what treatments are available, and what makes you a potential candidate for those types of treatments.
Generally those who seek this type of treatment have some sort of lower back pain along the lines of sciatica, bulging discs, herniated discs or degenerated discs. You, of course, won’t be able to diagnose yourself to see if you have these problems. But if you’ve been told that these are the possible causes of your back pain, then you may be a candidate for spinal decompression therapy.
The treatment process can involve using a traction device that’s controlled through an on board computer. This computer controls the angle and force of the devise and is said to reduce intradiscal pressure which can aggravate pain.
Another form of spinal decompression is what’s called inversion therapy. This involves hanging upside down in a machine specially designed for this.
Whatever method is used, general procedures usually mean that treatments are done through a series of 15 one-minute treatments where the decompression is alternated with a relaxing cycle. A single treatment session usually lasts around 30 minutes. During the decompression cycle a vacuum like effect is produced which reduces the pressure in a disc.
As mentioned earlier, the effectiveness of this treatment has been debated. But there are plenty of people who today are able to move much easier and with less pain thanks to a form of this type of alternative therapy.
As with a lot of alternative therapies, this one is not suitable for everyone. Obvious non-candidates are patients with broken vertebrae, those who have had failed back surgery, patients who’ve had a spinal fusion, pregnant women, those who have an artificial disc or other implants in their spine, and any patient who has had multiple surgeries without seeing a decrease in the pain they’re experiencing.
Individuals with certain conditions are also not good candidates. These conditions include spinal tumor, spinal stenosis, spinal infection, osteoporosis, osteopenia, spondylolisthesis, any condition compromising the integrity of the spine, patients with conditions requiring the use of blood thinner medications and ankylosing spondylitis.
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It should be noted that if you’re consider spinal decompression surgery, there is always the risk that your neck or back pain could worsen. If you don’t have any of the above restrictions or conditions, you may be a candidate for this procedure. Always talk to your doctor before starting any new therapy.