Spinal decompression therapy is an option for persons seeking a treatment for back pain.  It may offer relief to persons experiencing sciatica, chronic back or neck pain, degenerative disk disease, herniated discs or other conditions that cause back pain.

Spinal decompression therapy is not a surgical approach. However, many people mistakenly believe that is does involve surgery. In reality, spinal decompression therapy refers to a treatment that decompresses the spine using a modernized form of traction.

What Is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

This treatment for back pain is also referred to as vertebral axial decompression. It is significantly different than the previous approaches to using traction to reduce back pain.  In the historical approach, traction involved separating the vertebrae of the spin in an effort to relieve pain caused by slipped discs, herniated discs, sciatica and other maladies.

The conventional traction is stationery, or unmoving.  In other words, the treatment provider  applies power or energy to the spine, and then after a time, removes this force. Many individuals report experiencing a reduction of back pain through this method. However, the negative aspects are the possibility of unwanted muscle spasms and other side effects.

Powered Intermittent Traction

The treatment that we refer to as spinal decompression therapy differs from the conventional traction in that the force is applied at intervals. With the traditional approach, the force is constant.

This new treatment involves applying, then removing the force multiple times.  By using this cycled approach, the practitioner avoids the unwanted side effects mentioned above.  In addition, some medical practitioners believe that the intermittent force and release permits nutrients to reach and nourish the discs.

Pressure and Negative Pressure

Spinal decompression therapy differs from traditional traction in yet another way.  Conventional traction strives to lessen pain by decreasing the pressure on the discs between the spine’s vertebrae.

Spinal decompression therapy goes a step further.  Practitioners say it not only reduces pressure, but it applies negative pressure to the discs

Suppose you have a herniated disc.  Disk herniation is a condition in which the protective cushion that fits between the spinal vertebra is moved away from its intended position. The possible result is that the spinal nerves or spinal column are pinched.  We often hear people speak of herniated disc pain or pinched nerve pain.

In this case, spinal decompression treatment would apply negative pressure to allow the fluid and other related components to return to the area. According to practitioners, this would help to reverse the original condition.

How Much Does Spinal Decompression Treatment Cost And What Are The Results?

The cost and results of spinal decompression therapy will vary, depending on various factors. This is true for other treatments for back pain as well.

The cost for a session will vary, dependomg upon where you live. In many locales, you might be facing a fee ranging from $35 to $100 a visit.  One session is rarely sufficient; plan on twenty to fifty applications before you are finished.

The results also differ from person to person. Some individuals claim that their pain is cured right from the first treatment.  Others say it takes approximately twenty applications before their back pain is reduced or removed. Still other people say they received no help at all.

The Controversy

Considerable controversy surrounds this approach to treating back pain. In the US, the FDA has approved spinal decompression machines.  Nevertheless, there is little scientific data to support the effectiveness of this therapy. Very few clinical studies have been undertaken, and those that have taken place have not shown much benefit from the treatment.

From time to time, various parties have initiated court action against providers of spinal decompression therapy, stating they have made unsupported claims. Consequently, it is unusual to find a health insurance company that will cover the cost of treatments.

On the other hand, medical practitioners such as chiropractors and certain other back specialists are becoming increasingly enthusiastic about this approach to treating back pain. It is more and more common to see a spinal decompression machine in a chiropractic office. Some individuals are experiencing so much relief from this approach that they are purchasing their own machines. This is not an inconsequential expense. Spinal decompression machines can cost several thousand dollars.

What about you?  Would you consider spinal decompression therapy to relieve your back pain?

For information about this and other types of treatment for back pain, please refer to the following page:

Treatments for Back Pain: How Do I Treat Back Pain?

Source by June Campbell