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Understanding Spinal Decompression- What It Is and How It Can Help You

What in the world is spinal decompression, and why do you offer it at Woodland?

I am so glad you asked, let's dive in!

Spinal decompression is a non-surgical, effective, and painless therapy to help spinal pain.

Your spinal discs are such an important part of your musculoskeletal system. They are located in-between each of your vertebrae, and act like shock absorbers, allowing your spine to move and flex.

Sometimes, whether from injuries, accidents, or chronic conditions, the barrier that holds your discs can become weaker, resulting in a part of your disc 'leaking out', and putting pressure on the exiting nerves.

We use a multi-factor approach to healing disc herniations. Some of these include extension based therapies, glute and core strengthening, ergonomic advice, piriformis stretching, or physiotherapy. However, one of our main therapies includes our spinal decompression table.

This is the process: We have you lay down on your back, we gently secure the upper part of your body to the stationary part of the table, and then secure your lower half to the mobile part of the table. The lower part of the table gently pulls to a predetermined weight, holds, then relaxes back. This is repeated for an allotted amount of time.

Spinal decompression is a non-invasive, effective, and painless therapy designed to treat disc herniations, disc bulges, sciatica, and more.
Spinal Decompression Table

This process is painless. You may feel some stiffness or a gentle pull, such as if you were hanging from a pull up bar. People have even been known to fall asleep!

So how does this work? By pulling the lower half of your body, we are creating tractioning forces in-between your spinal discs. This creates a 'negative' pressure environment. This negative pressure helps flood the area with more nutrients, bringing in healing factors. This negative intradiscal pressure also helps retract or change position of the bulged disc material, taking some pressure off your nerve. Our whole goal of the process is to take some pressure off your spinal nerves, reducing your painful symptoms.

We wish this could be a 1-time-fix-all treatment, but we typically recommend a few sessions to determine its effectiveness for you. You may notice immediate changes within 1-2 days, but healing is not linear, and it not uncommon for symptoms to come back prior to your next appointment. How many appointments do you need? That will be determined by multiple factors, such as levels of pain, degeneration, or age.

The most common side effect is soreness in the area. We often hear 'it feels like my back just did a workout', because, well, it did. We typically recommend an increase in walking a day or so after your appointment.

People who are good candidates for spinal decompression include:

  • Those with Sciatica symptoms - tingling, numbness, weakness down your leg

  • People with a history of disc herniations

  • If your back 'goes out' a few times a year

  • Disc degeneration

  • Chronic back pain that does not respond to chiropractic care

People who are not good candidates for spinal decompression

  • People with metal implants

  • People with spinal fractures, spinal tumors

  • Pregnant women

In conclusion, spinal decompression is a great therapy to help those with disc bulges, disc herniations, or nerve radiation symptoms. It is a non-invasive, drug free, often painless therapy. While it is not a permanent, one-stop fix, it can help create some positive changes in your spine, allowing your body to heal and your symptoms to decrease.

Does this sound like something that you could benefit from?

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