Is Spinal Decompression Therapy Right for You?

Your back experiences a lot of wear and tear over the years, whether you consider yourself an athlete or not. While there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to care for your back – investing in a high-quality mattress, exercising, and stretching – time takes a toll, and your back will pay.

Fortunately, spinal decompression can help you correct issues with your back, reducing pain and improving your mobility.

Here are some signs that spinal decompression therapy might be right for you.

Stretching; image source:

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Spinal decompression therapy has a scary name but is actually a minimally invasive process and desirable alternative to surgery for eligible candidates. During this process, the spine is stretched gently, reducing pressure on your spinal discs.

By decompressing the area, your body is able to transport restorative materials to your spine in an effective manner and improve your alignment. As the blood flow and nutrients return to the once-restricted area, healing improves.

During spinal decompression therapy, you’ll be laying on a special table, fully-clothed in a prone position. A harness will be placed around your torso, and the trained operator will send various pulses and rhythms through the table to promote the flow of fluid to your spine. While you may experience a bit of discomfort from the harness, the process is pain-free.

Who Benefits from Spinal Decompression?

Stretching in the office; image source:

If you’re a weightlifter, you may have been ready to give spinal decompression therapy a shot from the moment you saw the headline. For everyone else, here are some common issues that spinal decompression therapy treats.

  • Chronic back pain – it’s estimated that more than 60% of adults experience daily low back pain. This is unsurprising as much of our time is spent sitting in chairs and leaning over phones or computers. Spinal decompression therapy can help offset generalized pain in the back and neck.
  • Sciatica – sciatica is when you experience pain in your sciatic nerve, which extends down your back and into your hip and leg. You may experience pain or tingling in this area.
  • Bulging discs – a bulging or slipped disc is when the center of a cushion-like disc in your spine starts to protrude outward. Spinal decompression therapy creates the environment your disc needs to start healing.
  • Aging discs – commonly referred to as degenerative disc disease, as your discs age they become more susceptible to damage and deterioration. Spinal decompression therapy can help offset the effects of an aging back.

As you can see, spinal decompression therapy can be beneficial for various types of back pain and is an important step to try before resorting to back surgery.

When Spinal Decompression Therapy Isn’t the Answer

Unfortunately, spinal decompression therapy isn’t right for everyone. To determine whether or not you’re eligible for this treatment, you need to discuss your eligibility with a doctor. Some populations that are typically ineligible include:

  • Pregnant women – the pressure and manipulation to your torso can make this unsafe for a baby.
  • Someone with a fracture – depending on the location and severity of the fracture, the process can do more harm than good.
  • Advanced osteoporosis patients – due to the fragility of the bones in advanced osteoporosis patients, spinal decompression therapy can do more harm than good.
  • Someone with rods or metal implants – someone who has metal implants or rods in the spine is not a good candidate for this treatment.

How to Decompress

There are many exercises that can help you decompress your spine leading up to or between spinal decompression therapy treatments. Passive hanging is an effective exercise for both spinal decompression and to improve grip strength. Various yoga positions can also assist with spinal correction.

Talk to your physician about spinal decompression therapy and exercises to help reduce or heal the back pain from which you suffer; it could be the solution you’ve been waiting for.


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