How Spinal Decompression Works:
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy (NSSD) is a relatively new non-surgical treatment for most spinal disc problems. It is the only non-surgical treatment currently available that is able to sufficiently relieve pressure on the disc, thus allowing the body to naturally heal itself. It is, by far, the least risky treatment offered.
Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy is administered using a sophisticated FDA-cleared machine that gently stretches the spine and decompresses the discs. Unlike traction devices, spinal decompression machines are able to sense your muscles’ resistance to the pulling forces and are able to reduce and then cycle the stretch so that your body does not resist the tension. Amazingly the spinal decompression machine is able to do this with little to no discomfort to the patient. This is because of the machine’s ability to comfortably remove the pressure on the discs so they are finally able to heal-much like what happens when you take pressure off of a sprained ankle. A key factor in non-surgical spinal decompression therapy is the slow, controlled stretching. This creates a vacuum which naturally draws bulging disc material back into place.
NSSD is rapidly becoming the treatment of choice (with an over 80% success rate for disc conditions).
Explanation of Disc Problems:
As you may already know, the most likely cause of your pain is nerve pressure caused by bulging or ruptured intervertebral disc tissue. The intervertebral disc is the cushion like material that sits in between the vertebrae. The discs in your back keep the bones from rubbing together and give you the necessary flexibility to safely move your back. When the discs are injured or degenerate, lingering pain and impaired movement usually occur. See the picture to the right:
As you can see in the picture, the ruptured disc material is pushing against a nerve which in most cases causes a great deal of pain. The critical thing to understand here is that disc tissue is one of the slowest healing tissues in the body and as a result, in most cases, if a disc problem goes untreated it is more likely to get worse, not better.
Due to normal everyday life, a typical disc injury or degenerated disc (arthritis) is constantly aggravated and made worse due to regular movement and the weight of the body pressing downward on the disc. As a result, the disc rarely is able to heal completely on its own. It is a lot like what happens if someone breaks their foot and continues to walk on it—it never gets a chance to heal.
Spinal decompression utilizes a specialized table on which a patient lies for gently motorized traction that stretches and repositions the spine. The table can isolate the damaged area of the spine, making it possible to precisely administer treatment that provides relief for disc herniation or bulging discs. The discs receive increased movement of water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids, which promotes healing and relieves painful symptoms.
Conditions that have been successfully treated with non-surgical spinal decompression:
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative discs
- Back or neck pain
- Failed back surgery
- Arm/leg numbness or pain