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Decompression Treatment 

What is decompression treatment? How does it work?

Decompression treatment is a non-surgical, non-invasion form of relief from low back, leg and neck pain which works through tractioning out the spinal disc. Through this tractioning, the vertebrae are slightly separated releasing pressure inside the disc, reducing the intradiscal pressure, until the vacuum is formed. Once this is formed, the disc, which is made of gelatinous material, is sucked back into the center of the disc, reducing the bulge. This can reduce pressure off of spinal nerves, which can reduce pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. The second accomplishment of the vacuum effect is that it pulls oxygen, nutrients and fluids into the injured discs which allows for the healing to start.

From the moment we are born, our bodies are at the mercy of gravity, a force that continuously creates pressure and stress on all of our muscles, bones, joints and ligaments. By far, the part of the body that is affected most by gravity is the spine. The combination of gravity and the muscle imbalances shove the vertebra together, pressing on the discs.


 Decompression Table

The inner core of your discs consists of jelly-like material that acts like a shock absorber system, providing flexibility and cushioning when you are sitting, standing or exercising. During your normal daily activities, gravity causes fluid to squeeze out of your discs into adjacent soft tissue. With less space between the discs, you lose some height. When you sleep, some-but not all-fluid soaks back into the discs.

During a typical day, you can lose as much as ¾” in height! And because there’s only partial recovery at night, the average person loses ½” to 2” in height by their senior years. Insufficient distance between the vertebra can result in nerve root pressure, which in turn causes pain.

To make matters worse, very often the pressure on the discs is not distributing evenly. Your discs were not designed to cope with such uneven pressure, and sooner or later it will be too much for them to withstand. The discs will bulge or herniated, causing spinal damage and likely a life with chronic pain.

Even the slightest increase in spacing can be enough to allow a herniated disc to pop back into place or relieve pressure from a compressed nerve.


Some Facts: 

    ♦ Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability for people under 45.
    ♦ Lower back pain is the second leading cause of doctors’ visits.
    ♦ Lower back pain is the third leading reason for hospital admissions.
    ♦ According to Met Life Insurance statistics, the average cost to medically treat
       low back pain, surgery-free, is $7,210 and the average cost for
       surgically treating low back pain is $13,990.

If you are one of the many suffering from low back or neck pain and feel that you have tried all options and that surgery is the only thing left, then maybe its time to think about decompression treatment.

Who are candidates for spinal decompression?

Decompression is for anyone who has any of the following:
                    ♦ Herniated discs
                    ♦ Degenerative discs
                    ♦ Sciatica
                    ♦ Facet Syndrome
                    ♦ Stenosis
                    ♦ Post-surgical

If your doctor is talking about surgery as a final option, try decompression treatment first. Decompression is not recommended for people who are severely osteoporotic, severely obese or women who are pregnant.


Clinical Studies

“Eighty-six percent of ruptured intervertebral disc (RID) patients achieved ‘good’ (50-89% improvement) to ‘excellent’ (90-100% improvement) results with decompression. Sciatica and back pain were relieved.” “Of the facet arthrosis patients, 75% obtained ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ results with decompression.”

Shealy, Norman MD; Borgmeyer, Vera RN MA. Emerging Technologies: Preliminary Findings: Decompression, Reduction, and stabilization of the lumbar spine: A cost-effective treatment for lumbosacral pain. American Journal of Pain Management. 1997; 7(2).

“Results showed that 86% of the 219 patients who completed the therapy reported immediate resolution of symptoms, while 84% remained pain-free 90 days post-treatment. Physical examination findings showed improvement in 92% of the 219 patients, and remained intact in 89% of these patients 90 days after treatment.”

Gionis, Thomas MD; Groteke, Eric DC. Surgical Alternatives: Spinal Decompression. Orthopedic Technology Review. 2003; 6 (5).

“All but two of the patients in the study improved at least 30% or more in the first three weeks.” “Utilizing the outcome measures, this form of decompression reduces symptoms and improves activities of daily living.”

Bruce Gundersen, DC; Michael Henrie, MS II, Josh Christensen, DC. A Clinical Trial on Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Using Vertebral Axial Distraction Delivered by a Computerized Traction Device. The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists Quarterly Journal of ACO, June 2004