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What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Spinal decompression therapy is FDA cleared and has a high success rate for pain associated with herniated or bulging discs...even after failed surgery.

It is a non-surgical, traction based therapy for the relief of back and leg pain or neck and arm pain.

During this procedure, by cycling through distraction and relaxation phases and by proper positioning, a spinal disc can be isolated and placed under negative pressure, causing a vacuum effect within it.

 How does this negative pressure affect an injured disc?

During spinal decompression therapy, a negative pressure is created within the disc. Because of that negative pressure, disc material that has protruded or herniated can be pulled back within the normal confines of the disc, and permit healing to occur.

 Who can benefit from Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Anyone who has back pain or neck pain caused in whole or in part by a damaged disc may be helped by spinal decompression therapy.

These conditions include:

  • Herniated, protruding or bulging discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Radiculopathy (pinched nerves)

One study documented by MRI up to 90% reduction of disc herniations in 10 of 14 cases and other studies reported that the majority of ruptured disc patients achieved "good" to "excellent" results after spinal decompression therapy. You can review the studies yourself here.

 Are there conditions where Spinal Decompression Therapy is not indicated?

Spinal decompression therapy is not recommended for pregnant women, patients who have severe osteoporosis, severe obesity or severe nerve damage.

Spinal surgery with instrumentation (screws, metal plates or “cages”) is also contraindicated. However, spinal decompression therapy after bone fusion or non-fusion surgery, can be performed.

 Do most patients receive therapy and rehabilitative exercises in addition to Spinal Decompression Therapy?

To reduce inflammation and assist the healing process, supporting structures are treated with passive therapies (ice/heat/muscle stimulation), chiropractic adjustments (as indicated) and/or active rehabilitation in order to strengthen the spinal musculature.