Not too long ago I was walking up and down the aisles of Trader Joe’s searching for the items on my wife’s grocery list, two of my little ones with me, when I was stopped by a former spinal decompression patient.  It had been almost a year since I had seen him back at the office.  I remember his case was a tough one.  He had a pretty bad bulging disc in his lower lumbar spine.  He traveled for work which makes consistent treatment difficult.  Going into treatment I felt as if he had already given up any hope of recovery and was mentally preparing for spinal surgery.  This was a lot of pressure on me, the doc, to get this fixed and fixed quick!   “Dr. Hart!”  I hear this all the time out and about.  Living in a small community I run into patients all the time.  I turned to see him holding a bag of groceries with his hand out ready to shake mine.  He thanked me for helping him.  He went on the say how good he was feeling and how glad he was that he tried spinal decompression before surgery.

Usually when I see someone who has been suffering with chronic low back pain they’ve already tried taking a number of different medications muscle relaxants and painkillers, tried physical therapy or acupuncture or had Cortizone injections or even tried spinal surgery. The reason why chronic low back pain can be so resistant to other therapies is because of the physical changes caused by the long-lasting biomechanical dysfunctions of the spine such as myofascial adhesions, degenerated disc disease, herniated and bulging discs and posterior facet hypertrophy.

The above changes for chronic low back pain are specific kinds of conditions that spinal decompression was designed to help.  Spinal decompression simply put is just the most advanced form of spinal traction used today.

So how does spinal decompression work?  Spinal decompression works on the application of force along a treatment curve to elongate the spine without causing the muscles that guard the spine to contract.  The technology required to apply spinal decompressive forces is very advanced.  The elongation of the spine at specific areas helps relieve pressure on nerves and the intravertebral disc.  The spinal location where the decrease in pressure occurs drops the pressure within the disc which facilitates the movement of fluid carrying nutrients and oxygen to the inside of the disc.   Additionally, the reduction in pressure may help draw in herniated disc material reducing the size of a disc herniation.

So can spinal decompression help you with your chronic low back pain?  It depends and starts with a review of your health history, a thorough evaluation and a conversation with the spinal decompression specialist to see whether or not spinal decompression is the right treatment for your chronic low back pain.  Spinal decompression has helped a lot of people with chronic low back pain and/or neck pain, but it is not for everyone.  Every case is unique.  Talk with your doctor to see if it is a good choice for you.

Things to ask a doctor that uses spinal decompression:

-What spinal decompression device do you use?

-What are the success rates?

-How long have you been using spinal decompression in your practice?

-Am I a good candidate for decompression?

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