What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Spinal Decompression Therapy, as its name implies, is a specialized type of treatment designed to de-compress structures of the spinal column. Decompression refers to taking pressure off of or releasing compression of nerve endings, the spinal cord and other related spinal soft tissue structures. Compression of nerve roots and the spinal cord occur when there is abnormal functioning of the intervertebral disc, poor muscle control and inflammation or swelling of the soft tissue structures.
Spinal Decompression Therapy is designed to reverse the effects of this “compression” on these spinal related soft tissue structures to improve function and eliminate pain and other symptoms such as numbness, tingling and muscle weakness.
How Does it Work?
Spinal Decompression Therapy achieves the effect of decompression by utilizing a specialized treatment table manufactured by Chattanooga Corporation, one of the leading manufacturers of hospital equipment. The patient lays on the treatment table and is wrapped around the waist and under the arm with two separate harnesses. The harnesses are secured to the table and there is a rope attached to the bottom harness which is connected to a computerized motor.
The amount of poundage or pull is determined in part by the patient’s body weight. It is a very gentle procedure and the spine is essentially stretched in the axial direction to cause decompression of the nerve roots and spinal cord.
Unlike hospital traction or home-based traction units, the computer controls the amount of force and it is not a constant pull with one set weight. Rather, it is a cyclical type of pull where it will pull at a higher level of weight for 45 seconds and then release that pressure by at least 50% for 20-30 seconds and it repeats this cycle over and over again. This type of cyclical stretch has been shown to be much more effective than just a constant weight pulling at the same pressure over the time period of the decompression.
What Conditions Does it Help?
Spinal Decompression Therapy is specifically designed to help patients diagnosed with a protruding, herniated or ruptured disc of the cervical or lumbar spine. It is also helpful for people diagnosed with disc related spinal stenosis, as well as carpel tunnel syndrome of the wrists.
In some cases it can even help people who have undergone unsuccessful spinal surgery for the above mentioned conditions.
Is it Safe?
Spinal Decompression Therapy is extremely safe. When patients are properly screened and selected for use of this procedure, there have been no reported serious injuries from this type of therapy. A small percentage of patients are not considered good candidates for Spinal Decompression Therapy based on their overall condition, history and any previous surgeries, etc. That is why a thorough examination and consultation with a doctor is necessary before proceeding with this treatment.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect?
Spinal Decompression Therapy is the leading non-surgical treatment for disc herniation, disc protrusion and ruptured discs of the cervical and lumbar spine. Research using similar types of equipment have shown success rates as high as 80% of all patients treated. Although no doctor can guarantee success with any type of treatment, the overall results from this therapy have been very promising.
How Long Does it Take?
Each treatment session takes between 10 and 15 minutes on average. The treatment is very comfortable and some people even fall asleep while being treated. By creating a negative pressure in the intervertebral disc, it improves circulation to the disc which aids in the overall healing of the intervertebral disc and the surrounding soft tissues, specifically the muscles and ligaments.
Some patients begin to feel relief with just a few sessions of decompression therapy, while other more complicated and serious cases may take 10-15 sessions before they begin to see results. Each patient is an individual and has varying degrees of complications and severity and must be treated accordingly.
Along with Spinal Decompression Therapy, your doctor will recommend specific strengthening exercises for the core abdominal muscles as well as specific chiropractic adjustments to achieve the overall effect of healing the damaged structures of the spinal column and to also provide long term relief to the patient.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost for Spinal Decompression Therapy will vary depending upon the length of treatment needed for the patient as well as any additional therapies that are recommended.
We promise to only do those procedures that are absolutely necessary to achieve the intended results, and to allow full recovery of your condition. My clinic staff will review all treatment costs, as well as insurance coverage and payment options before beginning any treatment. We will do everything possible to make the care available and affordable for you as a patient. If you or someone you know is interested in Spinal Decompression Therapy, call our office to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Bentz.