Decompression

What is Spinal Decompression?

Spinal decompression is a term that describes the relief of pressure on one or many pinched nerves (neural impingement) of the spinal column. Spinal decompression can be achieved both surgically and non-surgically and is used to treat conditions that result in chronic back pain such as disc bulge, disc herniation, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and isthmic and degenerative spondylolisthesis.

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

Non-surgical spinal decompression is achieved through the use of a mechanical traction device applied through an on-board computer that controls the force and angle of disc distraction, which reduces the body’s natural propensity to resist external force and/or generate muscle spasm. This enhanced control allows non-surgical spinal decompression tables to apply a traction force to the discs of the spinal column reducing intradiscal pressure, unlike previous non-computer controlled traction tables.

The practice is promoted as safe and effective without the normal risks associated with invasive procedures such as injections, anesthesia or surgery. Spinal decompression works through a series of 15 one minute alternating decompression (using a logarithmic decompression curve) and relaxation cycles with a total treatment time of 30 minutes. During the decompression phase the pressure in the disc is reduced and a vacuum type of effect is produced on the nucleus pulposis. At the same time nutrition is diffused into the disc allowing the annulus fibrosis to heal. Very rarely is the nerve root compressed from the herniated disc and usually the back and leg pain associated with these conditions is a result of irritation to the nerve root sleeve by the inflammatory chemicals that are released as a result of inflammation in the disc.

The treatment has several varying versions, including articulating spinal decompression or range-of-motion (ROM) decompression, which enables the doctor or therapist to adjust the patient’s spinal posture during the decompression. Varying the spine’s posture enables the decompressive pulling forces to reach into spinal areas and tissues that basic linear decompression misses. The Antalgic-Trak is a brand name for an articulating decompression system.

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