What is Automated Non-Surgical Decompression Therapy?
Decompression therapy slowly and gently lengthens the spine through precise computer programmed movements. As the table pulls and releases, pressure is reduced within the intervertebral discs, the nerve canals are widened and surrounding soft tissues and joints are stretched.
How is Decompression different to Traction Therapy?
Decompression depends on the ability to distract (stretch) the spine without eliciting reflex muscle reactions or spasms. The table’s computer controlled biofeedback response adjusts distractive forces at an incredible rate of 20 milliseconds (the human neurological response is 50 milliseconds). This ability to almost instantly sense and adjust tensions is a key difference that distinguishes decompression tables from conventional traction devices. Compared to older tables more gentle pulling forces can be used, meaning aggravations are extremely rare.
Why Might this Therapy be recommended?
- Your spinal examination revealed that your pain is due to compression of a disc, nerve or spinal joint. (You may have a combination of these conditions)
- Your condition has not responded to, or is unlikely to respond to other therapies, including chiropractic manipulations
- It is a safe, gentle and evidence based therapy for treating your spinal condition.
How does it help?
- Disc conditions – as bulges or herniations are drawn in, the transfer of essential nutrients and oxygen facilitates the disc to begin the healing process.
- Nerve Conditions – nerve pressure is reduced allowing blood flow and nutrients to heal swollen, inflamed or damaged nerve tissues.
- Joint Conditions – Pressure is released from stiff and inflamed joints helping to restore normal movement.
How long is each session?
This will depend on your condition. Sessions typically last for between 10 and 30 minutes.
Is Decompression painful?
Therapy is extremely gentle and comfortable. Depending on your condition, you may experience temporary sensations of aching or tingling during a session.
Will I be sore afterwards?
Due to the stretching of scar tissue (adhesions) sometimes you may get an increase of pain shortly after, however it will only be temporary. This is quite normal and in fact, expected in some cases. Ice is always recommended immediately following therapy and every 2 hours thereafter if soreness is experienced.
How fast will I improve?
- The path to recovery is not always smooth. You may notice positive changes quickly, and occasionally you may feel like you are getting worse.
- Your treatment program is carefully monitored by your chiropractor. As your pain eases the frequency of decompression is reduced. It is important to note that pain relief may be reported in a day or two, sometimes (in more painful conditions) it isn't reported for several weeks.
How much Therapy will I need?
- Some conditions require more therapy than others. Disc herniation's resulting in nerve compression often require several months of care whilst more mild conditions may take just a few weeks.
To Get the Best Results
Along with treatment, other strategies will be recommended as appropriate. They may include:
- Apply ice, heat or a combination of the two to reduce inflammation and relieve stiffness
- Avoid aggravating activities such as heavy lifting, prolonged standing and sitting
- Rest your back or neck but move around regularly to assist healing
- Back-support belt for some low back conditions
- Spinal Hygiene: Learn good posture, correct lifting, bending and twisting techniques to help control back pain.
- Sleep in a supportive bed and sit in a supportive chair
- Use a lumbar support in your car
- Exercises restore spinal movement and strength and help control spine pain.
- Nutritional Supplements to reduce inflammation and to promote healing.
- Daily walking
- Foot orthotics or heel lifts
RELIEF OF PAIN NOT CURE
Back and neck pain due to disc and/or joint injuries or degeneration is controlled rather than cured.
Whilst discs have an ability to heal after being damaged, unfortunately there are many circumstances in which full recovery is not a realistic expectation, therefore controlling your symptoms becomes central in maintaining an adequate quality of life.
There are guidelines for both physician and client to follow for regaining quality of life, with an understanding of your condition and your spine’s capabilities to allow you pain-free living despite its limitations or problems.