Relax Your Spine: The Lowdown on Spinal Decompression

Have you ever heard your Chattanooga, TN chiropractor talk about a therapy called spinal decompression? For some, this specialized treatment is the key to living pain free.

Not everything a chiropractor does is hands-on. Have you ever been to a chiropractic session in Chattanooga, TN and ended with a massage ultrasound? Spinal decompression is kind of like that—it complements what a chiropractor does with his hands.

Who needs spinal decompression?

There are actually two different kinds of spinal decompression: surgical and nonsurgical. Since Chattanooga, TN chiropractors don’t operate on patients, we are going to focus on nonsurgical decompression methods, which have proven quite effective.

The patients who benefit from spinal decompression are, according to Spine Health, those with bulging or herniated discs and neck pain. It’s also useful for patients suffering from pinched nerves in the lower back. Ultimately, this kind of therapy is traction therapy, meaning it functions to pull apart the vertebrae in order to allow bulging/herniated discs a chance to squeeze back into place, and to allow an influx of nutrient-rich spinal fluid between vertebrae. This spinal fluid influx creates a healing environment that is usually not possible when vertebrae are too close together.

How It Works

Now that you know the mechanics behind spinal decompression, we bet you’re wondering what it looks like when you see your Chattanooga chiropractor. Most chiropractors will guide you over to a cushioned table, similar to the one on which they perform hands-on spinal manipulation. This table is unique in that it contains a mechanical traction device attached to a computer.

This computer tells the table how much pressure to apply and where to apply it in order to create something called disc distraction—a controlled traction force to the affected vertebrae. This force reduces pressure between discs, allowing the things we mentioned in the previous section, such as herniated discs returning to their original, pain-free positions. Wikipedia has a lot of info about spinal decompression—including an outdated, mechanical version commonly known as an inversion table. This sort of decompression may work, but it is not controlled, so may not be as effective.

How long until it works?

Any dysfunction in the spinal discs and vertebrae can cause immense pain. If you live in Chattanooga and see a chiropractor for this kind of injury, you want relief fast. Fortunately, the Back and Joint Pain Institute tells us that pain can start to reside after only a few sessions.

But how long must you continue treatment? Each session has a cycle of 15 one-minute allotments of pressure followed by a minute of rest, for a total of 30 minutes on the table. Most patients receive a 6-week course consisting of daily treatment for the first 2 weeks, three times a week for the next two weeks, and twice a week for the last two weeks although treatments to vary from patient to patient. Knowing you’ll start to be pain free during the first week is a great motivator! If you have low back or neck pain rooted in compressed vertebrae, ask your chiropractor in Chattanooga, TN if spinal decompression is right for you.

Have you ever received spinal decompression treatment?

Whether you’ve got a bulging disc, a disc completely out of place (herniated), or a pinched nerve, spinal decompression might just be the answer. The controlled pressure applied to affected vertebrae has helped a lot of people, so seeking out a chiropractor to get you started with treatments is far from a bad idea.

Have you ever undergone non-surgical spinal decompression at a chiropractor’s office? We—and our readers—want to hear all about it! Leave us a comment in the box below, and we’ll answer right away.

Categories: Spine Health


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