What Causes Low Back Pain?
Low back pain can be caused by a number of factors from injuries to the effects of aging. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae, which are made of bone. Between each vertebra are soft discs with a ligamentous outer layer. These discs function as shock absorbers to protect the vertebra and the spinal cord. Many of the problems that cause back pain are the result of herniation and degeneration of the intervertebral disc.
Degeneration is a process where wear and tear causes deterioration of the disc. Herniations, or bulging of the disc are protrusions from the disc that press on surrounding nerves, causing pain or numbness.
If I Undergo Spinal Decompression Therapy, How Long Does It Take to See Results?
Many patients report a reduction in pain after the first few sessions. Typically, significant improvement is obtained by the second week of treatment. Generally speaking, patients see about a 50% pain reduction within the first two weeks.
How Long Does it Take to Complete Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Patients remain on the system for 25-30 minutes. To complete care typically takes 4-6 weeks.
Do I Qualify for Spinal Decompression Therapy Treatment?
Below are the inclusion and exclusion criteria to determine if you qualify for Spinal Decompression Therapy...
- Back pain persisting for more than three weeks
- Pain due to herniated and bulging lumbar discs
- Recurrent pain from a failed back surgery that is more than six months old
- Persistent pain from degenerated discs
- Patients available for four to six weeks of treatment protocol
- Patient at least 18 years of age
- Hardware such as pedicle screws and rods
- Prior lumbar fusion less than six months old
- Metastatic cancer
- Severe osteoporosis
- Grade 3 and 4 spondylolisthesis (unstable)
- Compression fracture of lumbar spine below L-1 (recent)
- Pars defect
- Pathologic aortic aneurysm
- Pelvic or abdominal cancer
- Disc space infections
- Severe peripheral neuropathy
- Hemiplegia, paraplegia, or cognitive dysfunction
Are there any Side Effects to the Treatment?
Most patients do not experience any side effects. Though, there have been some mild cases of muscle spasm for a short period of time.
How does Spinal Decompression Therapy Separate Each Vertebra and Allow for Decompression at a Specific Level?
Decompression is achieved by using a specific combination of spinal positioning and varying the degree and intensity of force. The key to producing this decompression is the gentle pull that is created by a logarithmic curve. When distractive forces are generated on a logarithmic curve the typical proprioceptor response is avoided. Avoiding this response allows decompression to occur at the targeted area.
How Does Decompression Therapy Differ from Ordinary Spinal Traction?
Traction is helpful at treating some of the conditions resulting from herniated discs or degeneration. However, traction cannot address the source of the problem. Spinal Decompression Therapy creates a negative pressure or a vacuum inside the disc. This effect causes the disc to pull in the herniation and the increase in negative pressure also causes the flow of blood and nutrients back into the disc allowing the body's natural fibroblastic response to heal the injury and re-hydrate the disc.
Traction and inversion tables, at best, can lower the intradiscal pressure from a +90 to a +30 mmHg. Spinal Decompression is clinically proven to reduce the intradiscal pressure to between a -150 to -200 mmHg. Traction triggers the body's normal response to stretching by creating painful muscle spasms that worsen the pain in affected area.
Can Spinal Decompression be Used for Patients that Have had Spinal Surgery?
In most cases Spinal Decompression treatment is not contra-indicated for patients that have had spinal surgery. In fact many patients have found success with Spinal Decompression after a failed back surgery.
Who Is NOT a Candidate for Spinal Decompression?
Anyone who has:
- Recent spinal fractures
- Surgical fusion or metallic hardware
- Surgically repaired aneurysms
- Infection of the spine
- Moderate to severe osteoporosis
Who IS a Candidate for Spinal Decompression?
- Anyone who has been told they need surgery but wishes to avoid it
- Anyone who has been told there is nothing more available to help
- Anyone who failed to significantly respond to conservative options (medications, physical therapy, injections, chiropractic, acupuncture)
- Anyone who still has pain but wishes to obtain the type of care they want