What Are the Potential Causes of Spinal Compression?
If you have issues with your lower back and have tried a variety of treatments, it is easy to give up and go down the surgical route. When your spine is exerting pressure on your discs, the result can be bulging discs, herniated discs, sciatica, and arm or leg pain. While lumbar decompression surgery is an option, patients are advised to consider alternative treatments such as chiropractic treatment first, because surgery is expensive and not always successful.
When Should You Consider Spinal Decompression?
You need to think about spinal decompression if you are suffering from one of the following symptoms:
- Spinal Stenosis: This occurs when a section of your spinal column becomes narrowed and pressure is placed on the nerves inside.
- Slipped Disc and Sciatica: This happens when one of your spinal discs becomes damaged and presses down on a nerve that lies beneath.
- Spinal Injuries: These include the swelling of tissue or a fracture.
- Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression: This happens when cancer from one part of the body (the lungs, for example) spreads into the spinal region and presses on the spinal cord or spinal nerves.
Chiropractic Treatment – Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression therapy is non-invasive and involves the use of a pulling force on the spine to relieve the pressure on the discs and vertebrae in the cervical or lumbar spine regions. It is an effective way to treat a variety of neck or back pain, including bulging discs, degenerated discs, herniated lumbar discs, or spinal stenosis. A chiropractor can use his or her hands in this particular treatment, though there are also special devices designed for this purpose.
The spinal decompression concept has been around for a very long time, and while critics claim there isn’t enough scientific evidence surrounding the procedure’s effectiveness, the positive stories of millions of patients seem to tell their own story. There are machines such as the DRX9000 used by chiropractors to provide patients with desired results.
Machines of this type work by gently decompressing the problem disc; patients are strapped to a decompression table, and when it moves, it applies what is known as a “distraction force” to the compressed disc. A computer is responsible for controlling the distraction force, and it is applied in brief periods. Patients are allowed time for relaxation during each period. Basically, the machine gently pulls your spine apart, elongating it and allowing a small vacuum to develop between the vertebrae, then the disc is pulled back into shape.
The above description of the procedure may seem scary, but it allows you to recover very quickly. The decompression of your spine using this method works in very small increments, but over the course of time, the disc reshapes itself, heals, and is able to receive the ideal flow of nutrients, which in turn strengthens the back further and helps prevent future injuries.
While you can walk home after every non-surgical spinal decompression session, the same cannot be said for those who opt to have surgical procedures. It can take an average of six weeks for an individual to be able to perform strenuous activity after lumbar compression surgery.