Learn About Spinal Decompression

Many Americans suffer from chronic back pain. There are different reasons for the pain that many of us feel every day. For some of us, the pain is due to bad posture, for others, it is caused by an old or recent injury. Finally, there are some people who have a genetic condition that is the underlying cause of their back pain. If you suffer from chronic back pain, no matter the cause, then you know exactly how uncomfortable and inconvenient it can be each and every day. Depending on how bad your back pain is and which of the many treatment options you have tried, you may be considering spinal decompression therapy with a Rockville Chiropractor. Before you make your decision, there are some things you must know about this unique therapy.

What is the nonsurgical treatment like?


The nonsurgical treatment uses a special traction table to help stretch out your spine or “decompress” it. Stretching out the spine takes a lot of the pressure off of a patient’s discs which lie in between the bones in our spines. In taking off this pressure, spinal decompression may help relieve the pain caused by herniated discs. The negative space that is now present around the discs allows for blood and other fluids to get to them and help them heal.

Rockville Chiropractors frequently use traction tables to help treat sciatica, bulging or herniated discs, and damage to spinal nerve roots caused by issues with the discs. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of research on the effectiveness of nonsurgical spinal decompression. Some other possible alternatives to surgery include rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.

Who should have the nonsurgical treatment?

Ultimately it is up to your doctor to decide whether or not you should have nonsurgical decompression treatment. Usually, doctors will not recommend this therapy if you are pregnant because it is best to avoid any complications. If you have certain other medical conditions, you should also stay away from this treatment. Some of these circumstances include a fracture in your spine, advanced osteoporosis, or implants in your spine.

How is the surgical treatment done?

When you go in for spinal decompression surgery, your doctor will fit you with a special harness that will wrap around your pelvis as well as your trunk. You’ll lie down on a table while your doctor operates a computer that he or she has customized for your specific treatment. One session of the treatment usually lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. Over 5-7 weeks, you will likely need to undergo 20-28 different treatment sessions.

A couple of other treatments that are often paired with surgical decompression are electrical stimulation, ultrasound therapy, and hot and cold therapy.

Are there different types of this surgery?
There are multiple types of spinal decompression surgery including discectomy, laminotomy, foraminotomy, foraminectomy, osteophyte removal, and corpectomy. Each of these comes with its own purposes, and each also comes with its risks. Make sure to get the opinion of at least two doctors before having any serious surgery.