Nonsurgical spinal decompression is a type of motorized traction that may help relieve back pain. Spinal decompression works by gently stretching the spine. That changes the force and position of the spine. This will take pressure off the spinal disks, which are gel-like cushions between the bones in your spine.
Over time, negative pressure from this therapy may cause bulging or herniated disks to retract. That can take pressure off the nerves and other structures in your spine.
This in turn, helps promote movement of water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids into the disks so they can heal.
Chiropractors have used nonsurgical spinal decompression in an attempt to treat:
- Back or neck pain or sciatica, which is pain, weakness, or tingling that extends down the leg
- Bulging or herniated disks
- Degenerative disk disease
- Worn spinal joints (called posterior facet syndrome)
- Injured or diseased spinal nerve roots (called radiculopathy)
How Is Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression Done?
You are fully clothed during spinal decompression therapy. The attendant fits you with a harness around your pelvis and another around your trunk. You either lie face down or face up on a computer-controlled table The attendant then customizes treatment to your specific needs. Treatment may last 15 to 30 minutes and you may require 20 treatments over five weeks.
Who should not Have Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression?
Ask your chiropractor whether or not you are a good candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression. It is best not to try it if you are pregnant.
People with any of these conditions should also not have nonsurgical spinal decompression:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Advanced osteoporosis
- Metal implants in the spine
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