FAQ’s on Spinal Decompression Therapy
Spinal decompression therapy is a FDA approved comprehensive program developed between the physician and the therapist tailored specifically for the patient to develop a custom treatment plan. This therapy is an effective option for patients who are trying to avoid surgery for their back complication. This therapy is significantly less expensive, pain-free and has no recovery time after each session.
Spinal decompression therapy, also known as Lumbar Cervical Decompression (LCD), can be either a surgical or nonsurgical treatment to relieve pain due to neural impingement caused by a compressed or herniated disc, spinal stenosis, isthmic and degenerative spondylolisthesis and sciatica.
What can be gained when a patient uses Spinal decompression therapy?
Persons having some form of Spinal decompression therapy will usually experience reduced pain levels that can be anywhere from moderate to significant. Increased mobility and a higher quality of life that accompanies being pain free can be expected.
How is Spinal decompression therapy performed?
The nonsurgical form of spinal decompression is performed by use of a mechanical device, in its most simple form this can be an inversion table that lets the user invert partially or fully. By inverting their body gravity applies opposite forces against the spine and allows the intervertebral disc to decompress by relieving the pressure that is normally applied while in the upright position. More precise mechanical devices that are used in the physicians’ office are computer controlled and allow for a more controlled treatment.
Surgical spinal decompression procedures may include Microdiscectomy (microdecompression), which is a minimally invasive procedure where a portion of the herniated vertebrae is removed with either a surgical instrument or laser.
The surgeon performs the procedure with the aid of an operating microscope or loupe for magnification to visibly enlarge the work area, or a Laminectomy (open decompression). This is a more invasive procedure where a small portion of the arch of the vertebrae is surgically removed from the spine. The purpose of this is to alleviate pressure on pinched nerves.
The benefit of non-surgical spinal decompression is temporary and not all patients will benefit from it. The patient may experience immediate relief or it may take a few sessions before the benefit is felt. The relief may last for days or weeks, depending on how well the patient responds to the therapy and the severity of their condition. Surgical spinal decompression therapy however, has longer lasting effects; some may even experience a permanent relief from pain with surgical procedures.
What risks or side effects are there with Spinal decompression therapy?
As with any medical procedure there are risks, worsening of symptoms and infection may occur, although it is rare. Nerve damage, bleeding and blood clots could also occur. Another risk of invasive procedures is that it may prove ineffective.
What conditions are treatable with Spinal decompression therapy?
Surgical procedures for spinal decompression have proven to be effective. A successful result of the treatment depends greatly on the patient\’s willingness to follow the recommended treatment plan, how long he has been affected by the disorder, and other factors such as lifestyle, age, and activity levels. Poor posture, bad body mechanics, and repetitive stress, injury may lead to further treatment needs in the future. Successful treatment addresses the patient\’s lifestyle changes and the need for preventive medicine.