What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Traction therapy has been used for many years to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions. The methods to apply traction can vary significantly depending on the goals of treatment and the type of joints involved. Traction therapy is often applied for short periods of time manually by hand or more longer periods of time using mechanical or computerized equipment. Spinal decompression therapy uses traction to slightly separate spinal joints to relieve back or spinal nerve pain. In our office, one treatment option is using computerized spinal decompression therapy to treat low back or lumbar disc conditions that can cause significant back pain or leg symptoms, such as sciatica.

Spinal decompression therapy opens up the spinal joints to alleviate pressure on the discs, nerves, and vertebral joints. This can have the effect of helping to restore normal circulation to joints and discs and assist in reducing inflammation. In our office we can use spinal decompression therapy to help treat moderate to severe low back pain and leg symptoms often originating from pinched nerves from disc bulges or herniations in the lumbar spine. Please see our article regarding disc herniations from a previous post. We can also sometimes use decompression to help with spinal degenerative disc or joint disease that can cause arthritic-type low back pain.

The technology that we use at Balance Chiropractic is unique in the way traction is applied. Since it is computerized, the mechanical decompression that it can apply can change throughout the treatment session. For example, when applying traction, if a patient moves, coughs, sneezes, or if low back muscles go into spasm, the machine will ease off temporarily. The angle of pull can be altered to target treatment at certain vertebral levels, so we can be as specific as possible. Our spinal decompression will also vary the amount of pull throughout the session, fluctuating slowly between a minimum pull and a maximum pull. This encourages normal lumbar disc circulation while we apply traction. Essentially, these features allow the treatment to be more gradual and comfortable, while applying specific traction to the desired treatment area.

Every individual condition is unique. Some people can benefit from spinal decompression therapy, and some people will not. Our approach is to determine if this therapy has a good potential for benefit and that it can be applied safely and comfortably. The initial visit will include a full assessment, including understanding the individual history and conducting relevant orthopedic, neurological, and physical examinations. We will review related x-ray, CT, or MRI reports and, only if necessary, take additional x-ray films. Alternatively, if you wish to simply meet and discuss spinal decompression therapy as an option, we are happy to set up a consultation. If we decide to start treatment, we typically begin with a short trial of care to determine if it is comfortable and can help with some symptoms. A typical treatment involves applying heat first, laying relaxed on your back with knees up over a bolster while the machine applies traction, and then using ice afterwards. Home stretches and exercises are normally prescribed as well.

Please contact us at 204-254-1728 or email: info@balancewinnipeg.com. Online booking on our website is also available.

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