Back pain can be a debilitating
experience. Numbness, tingling, weakness, pain and decreased function of upper
and lower limbs can be caused by back pain and spinal injury. The pain affects
work, sleep and disturbs normal daily activities.
Spinal decompression is a new revolutionary line of technology that
is non-invasive and non-surgical, a boon to patients suffering for back and
neck pain. It is primarily used to treat disc injuries in the neck and lower
back. This procedure is quite safe as only FDA approved equipment are used in
Spinal decompression - How it works?
This is an automatic traction procedure that involves stretching the spine. Mechanical decompression works
slowly and surely stretching the spine and taking off the pressure from
compressed discs and vertebrae in the process. Computer assisted treatment
technique is performed by a physician in a computerized spinal decompression
table. Here the process can be customized according to individual requirements.
Modern versions of this therapy
use Vax-D, DRX9000 and Accu-Spina systems which are state-of-the-art
technologies. Cox Technic is again a time tested decompression method used
primarily by chiropractors.
Distraction forces are applied to
the spinal structure in a precise and graduated manner. The spinal vertebrae
are gently separated from each other creating a 'vacuum effect'. It is also known
as negative intra-discal pressure.
In the process the strength of
the spine is modified and the relocated disc is returned to its original
position. When pressure is taken off the spine, effective transference of
oxygen, nutritional fluids and water happens and the spinal injuries in turn
It is necessary to undergo the
treatment for a period of five to seven weeks with each session lasting for
half an hour to forty five minutes.
Spinal decompression - conditions treated
This procedure is used to treat back and neck pains caused by conditions such as degenerated disc, herniated
bulging disc, spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis and sciatic leg ache.
Herniated disc is perhaps the
most common spinal condition treated. Decompression takes the pressure off the
damaged discs and enables the bulge shrink back to the original size.
Degenerative disc disease is yet
another common condition treated with decompression therapy. Nerve compression
caused by the vertebral bodies moving closer together is eliminated and painful
symptoms reduced in the process.
Facet joint syndrome causes pain
due to arthritic changes in the vertebral bones. Although decompression helps
to create more space between the vertebrae reducing the pain to some extent, it
cannot promise permanent relief for this condition.
Who cannot undergo spinal decompression?
This therapy is not recommended for pregnant women and those with tumors, fractures, osteoporosis, bone cancer,
hemorrhages and other ailments and infections. Patients with metal inserts in
the spine are also not fit for spinal decompression therapy.
It is recommended to stay fit and reduce the chances
of being obese post spinal decompression therapy. Hence, expert nutritional
advice is given to enable patients maintain the potency and suppleness of the
muscles to a certain extent.
Spinal decompression - Pros and Cons
The biggest advantage of spinal decompression is
that there is no surgery here. And hence, no discomfort, no bed rest as with
surgery and it costs much less. Spinal decompression should cost anywhere
between $100 to $200 per visit and even if it takes about 20 or so visits to
achieve the goal, it should cost essentially between $2000 to $4000, way below
cost of a surgery.
For a person who has tried other treatment methods
including chiropractic and physical therapies and drugs, or a failed surgery,
spinal decompression may be the only treatment of choice.
Spinal decompression may be non-invasive and
non-surgical but it is not without risks. Adequate physical and diagnostic
examinations including X-rays, MRI and others may be needed before spinal
decompression can be performed. It is advised to consult with the primary care
doctor before embarking on any treatment options like spinal decompression.