Spinal Decompression2020-10-01T09:52:54-04:00

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

Now There’s Hope for Lasting Relief with
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

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What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression, not to be confused with linear traction, slowly lengthens and decompresses the spine, creating negative pressures with the discs. This reversal of pressure creates an intradiscal vacuum that helps to reposition bulging discs and pull extruded disc material back into place, taking pressure off pinched nerves.  Spinal experts believe that nutrients, oxygen, and fluids are drawn in to the disc to create a revitalized environment conducive to healing.

Experts surmise that Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression stimulates the body’s repair mechanism, providing the building blocks needed to mend injured and degenerated discs.*  Spinal Decompression enables the body to get to work and heal itself!

Now there truly is hope for lasting relief without drugs, injections, or surgery.

Are You A Candidate For Spinal Decompression?

Spinal decompression is used to treat neck pain, back pain, and sciatica caused by the following issues:

  • Bulging/Herniated Discs

  • Degenerative Disc Disease

  • Facet Syndrome

  • Failed Back Surgery

What Can I Expect?

At your first visit, your doctor will conduct a physical exam and might recommend an X-ray or MRI to pinpoint the specific area of damage and discomfort.  Your doctor will then determine your course of therapy and whether you are a candidate for Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression (NSSD).

The Pressure Is Off!

At the beginning of each session you will be comfortably fitted with a pelvic harness designed to achieve optimal decompression of the lumbar spine.  As a session of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression commences, you will notice a slow lengthening in your spine as your discs are gradually decompressed and relieved of pressure.

The treatment process is safe and relaxing.  While some patients with extensively injured disc have reported mild discomfort during the first few treatments sessions, their discomfort subsides upon subsequent visits.

A patient safety switch, or quick-release clasps on the upper-body harness provide an extra safety feature, allowing you to stop at any point should you feel discomfort.  Each treatment session lasts approximately 30-45 minutes.

Typical Treatment Regimen

A typical Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression treatment regimen consists of about 20-25 sessions over four to six weeks.  Some conditions require fewer visits; some require more.  Many patients report relief from their pain and other symptoms during the first few treatment sessions, and most experience dramatic pain relief after completion of their prescribed Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression program.

What Are The Benefits?

As a session of Spinal Decompression progresses, the discs are relieved of pressure, creating a vacuum of negative pressure within the disc.  Many experts believe this decompressed state aids in puling nutrients, oxygen, and moisture back into the discs.

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*Individual patient results may vary.

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How Does Spinal Decompression Work?2020-01-28T11:47:32-05:00

High intradiscal pressures cause discs to bulge out and press painfully on nerve roots. They also make for a compressed, anaerobic environment unsuitable for healing. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression (NSSD) produces negative pressure within the disc, which experts believe create a vacuum effect that draws in nutrients and fluids to promote the repair of injured discs and surrounding tissues. This vacuum has also been shown to aid in the retraction of escaped cushioning gel from herniated disc.

Why Spinal Decompression Rather Than Physical Therapy Or Another Adjustment?2020-01-28T11:51:52-05:00

When Negative Is a Positive

Much like gauging the air pressure in a car tire, scientists can use sensors to measure the various pressure put on spinal discs while lifting, standing, sitting, lying down[1], undergoing traction[2], and undergoing NSSD. Like other pressures found in the body such as blood pressure, intradiscal pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

While traction, physical therapy, and manipulation may reduce disc pressures to as low as 40mmHg, only NSSD has been shown to achieve negative pressures within the spine. It has been clinically proven that NSSD creates negative pressures as low as -160mmHg[3] within the injured disc during the treatment session!

Decompression Goes Beyond Normal Traction

With traction, weights are steadily added to the end of the traction bed, which, in turn, adds tension to a harness secured around the patient’s pelvis, lengthening the spine. The intention is to relieve pressure, but the linear force can instead produce spasming, which may lead to greater injury.

A 1997 study[4] compared a traditional mechanical linear traction device to a Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression device. The traction device yielded no positive results with herniated discs, while the NSSD device yielded “good” to “excellent” results in the vast majority of the patients treated. Like traction, NSSD also lengthens and exerts tension upon the spine, but the approach is far different, and produces vastly superior results.

  • [1] Alf Nachemson, MD, PhD, The Load on Lumbar Discs in Different Positions of the Body. Clinical Orthopaedics. 45, 107-122, 1966.
  • [2] G.B. Andersson, A.B. Schultz, Alf Nachemson, MD PhD, Intervertebral Disc Pressures During Traction, Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, Supplement 9: 88-91, 1983.
  • [3] Gustavo Ramos, MD; William Martin, MD, Effects of Vertebral Axial Decompression on Intradiscal Pressure, Journal of Neurosurgery, 81 (3), 1994. Study performed on a VAX-D Table.
  • [4] C. Norman Shealy, D, PhD; Vera Borgmeyer, RN, MA.  Decompression, Reduction, and Stabilization of the Lumbar Spine: A Cost Effective Treatment for Lumbosacral Pain. American Journal of Pain Management. Vol. 7, No. 2. April 1997.
What Would Make Me Not A Good Candidate For Spinal Decompression?2020-01-29T09:13:45-05:00

Consult your Doctor whether or not you are a good candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression.
It is not recommended to do Spinal Decompression if you are Pregnant or have any of these conditions :

  • Fracture
  • Tumor
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Advanced osteoporosis
  • Metal implants in the spine
How Long Does Spinal Decompression Therapy Take?2020-01-28T13:28:20-05:00

Each session typically lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.  These spinal decompression sessions are painless and often relaxing as some patients fall asleep during the procedure.   The benefits of spinal decompression are often noticed after the first few visits.

Spinal Decompression

Commonly Accepted Medical Insurances

Atlantic Coast Physical Medicine accepts a variety of major insurance plans. For specific insurance plan inquiries, please contact our office.

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