Spinal decompression

Spinal Decompression Therapy or Traction therapy involves stretching the spine, using a traction table or similar device, or manually with the goal of reducing the pressure on an injured nerve or joint and relieving back pain, neck pain and/or arm or leg pain. This procedure is called nonsurgical decompression therapy.

How does Spinal Decompression work?

Spinal decompression device or spinal traction are applied with the goals of relieving pain and promoting an optimal healing environment for bulging, degenerating, or herniated discs. Theoretically spine traction or decompression:

  • Creates a negative intradiscal pressure by pulls the herniated or bulging disc material back into the disc  or retraction or repositioning of the herniated or bulging disc
  • Creates a lower pressure in the disc that will cause an influx of healing nutrients and other substances into the disc and fosters a better healing environment.

The patient should not feel pain during or after the spine decompression although they should feel stretch in the spine. During spinal decompression therapy for the low back or neck, patients remain clothed and lie on a treatment table.

Decompression therapy typically consists of a series of 10 to 30 treatments, lasting 30 to 45 minutes each, over a four to six-week period. Sessions are conducted in the clinic.

The cost of each session typically included in the physiotherapy session. Sessions could include additional treatment modalities, such as electric stimulation, needling and cold and/or heat therapy applied before or after the procedure.

Recommendations may also include certain rest positions, and drinking up to 2 liters of water per day, rest, utilizing nutritional supplements, and/or performing safe, prescribed exercises at home to improve your strength and mobility.

Who is a candidate for spinal decompression or traction?

This treatment is often recommended as a treatment alternative for many types of lower back pain, sciatica (leg pain), or neck-arm pain caused by a herniated disc, bulging disc, or degenerated disc.

Spinal traction /decompression is not suitable for: Pregnant women, Patients with broken vertebrae, spinal fusion, artificial disc, or other implants, in their spine and failed back surgery, Osteoporosis, Spondylolisthesis, Spinal infection, tumor, Ankylosing spondylitis, blood thinner medication.

Spinal decompression exercises

Our physiotherapists prescribe and demonstrate spine decompression home exercises along with your visits to the clinic, based on your condition and recovery. Read more at our Exercise therapy page.