Plenty of people experience lower back pain and want a treatment that can help. If you’re looking for a way to avoid the high cost of surgery and alleviate your back pain, you might benefit from this type of therapy.
What is Spinal Decompression?
Spinal decompression, sometimes called cervical spinal decompression, is a non-surgical alternative to spinal surgery. It’s a way to relieve the pressure off the nerves that are pinched on your spine.
The idea is to separate the discs, bones and joints in the spine in order to reduce the pressure on the nerves in your back that are causing such discomfort. After a series of sessions, you will experience less pain and be able to move much more easily.
While you’re undergoing the treatment, a health care provider might use a DRX9000 system to relieve your pain. You might benefit from these sessions if you have a bulging disc or herniated disc.
This kind of care might also be good for you if you have spinal stenosis, sciatica, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis or degenerative disc disease.
What are the Pros and Cons of Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Like many treatments, there are pros and cons to going though with therapy to alleviate your pain.
- The session allows a health provider to help you decompress the nerve roots and alleviate painful symptoms.
- There’s no need for expensive surgery. Spinal surgery can be quite pricey and take patients a while to recover.
- Many patients don’t report any negative side effects.
- There is no risk to the patient. The machines used in this therapy allow patients to be completely safe. There are emergency switches for the patient and provider to halt the therapy process if they need to.
- The recovery time is short, especially compared to undergoing surgery. There’s no need to be on bed rest and it isn’t required.
- This type of therapy may even prevent you from needing to undergo surgery. Before you consider surgery, this is a good treatment to try beforehand.
- Depending on who you visit as a health care provider, your visit can be costly. Most sessions can range from $125 to $150.
- Some patients report that it only works for the short term.
- Although it’s less expensive than spinal surgery, many treatment sessions are required of you. Your pain might feel unmanageable as you sit in a car or ride on a train to your visits.
- Although most patients don’t report negative side effects after spinal decompression therapy, there are some people who do. A small amount of people experience muscle spasms for a short period of time.
- This type of therapy may not be a complete cure for your back pain. Your pain may still be present after treatment sessions.
Who is a good candidate for Spinal Decompression?
A good candidate for this type of therapy might be someone who has been told they need surgery.
If you’ve been told there’s no other option to alleviate the pain in your back, this type of therapy could be worth your time and energy. If you haven’t had much luck with chiropractic care or physical therapy in the past, this treatment could be great for you.
If you’ve tried relieving your pain and discomfort with medications, injections or acupuncture, you might be a good candidate for this treatment. Even if some of these strategies are helping you, but you still experience pain, this could be a therapy that will help.
You may not be a good candidate for this therapy if you have metallic hardware in your body, a spinal fracture, a spine infection or severe osteoporosis. It’s not a good option for women who are pregnant.
How to do Spinal Decompression at home
There are a few ways to alleviate your back pain in the comfort of your own home. You may wish to manage your discomfort in order to minimize the number of visits to a specialist and the risk of frequent pain. This will help you go about your normal daily activities. You might even want to try out an inversion table or a nubax trio: devices that help you maintain a correctly aligned spine.
You can reduce pain quickly if you know what exercises to do. Here are a couple of stretches that can help.
1. Stretch your spine and relieve tension as you stand up.
- In this exercise, you’ll be loosening the spinal muscles. Stand up straight and raise your hands above your head. As you straighten your arms up, you’re stretching your upper back and allowing your spine to decompress.
- Tilt your pelvis slightly forward to make your spine straight. With your biceps lined up beside your ears, gradually move down while tucking in your head. Before you move downward, inhale and then exhale as you move down slowly.
- When you reach the floor, release your tension, breath normally and hang there for a few minutes.
- Stay in the downward position and raise your arms beside your head like before.
- Begin to slowly rise back to standing position by moving from your lower back.
- Once you’re standing up straight again, continue to keep your arms by your side and breathe normally.
- Repeat this sequence nine times for the best results.
2. Lay down over an elevated block.
- This exercise helps relieve disc pressure in your back. You simply lie down and place an elevated block at the base of your back.
- Place your arms above your head and lie on the floor.
- Lower your head to the floor and breathe in and out regularly.
- It’s important to relax as you perform this exercise. Do this for at least one minute.
- This works well if you have pain in your upper back.
With high success rates for those who experience discomfort, this type of therapy can greatly relieve the pain you feel on a daily basis. Take some time to try different treatments and exercises before you decide to go through with spinal surgery to alleviate your pain.