Spinal Decompression: A Non-Surgical Option for Treatment of Disc Problems
To understand the benefits of spinal decompression, it first helps
to understand a little bit about what the discs are and how they are
injured. This page talks about discs
When a disc is injured, it bulges or herniates. Some people call this a
"slipped disc." When this happens, it places pressure on the spinal
cord (called the cauda equina in the lowest part of the spine), or on
nerves as they leave the spine. This causes lower back pain and leg
pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness. Some call this sciatica, and
even though the symptoms are in the legs, the cause of the problem is
in the spine, and in particular, in the damaged disc. This is a picture of a herniating disc
as if looking at a disc from the top down. It shows how the bulging or
herniated part of the disc places pressure on the nerves and cauda
equina. It is a higher resolution picture, so it might take a moment to
provides an alternative to back surgery in many cases. It works primarily through two mechanisms:
- First of all, spinal decompression creates a negative pressure force on the damaged disc, helping to draw the bulging nucleus back into the center of the disc.
- Spinal decompression also helps to nurture the disc by drawing nutrient rich fluids back into the damaged disc, and by pumping waste back out. This is similar to the affect that a baseball player has on his glove. He oils it and works it in order to make it pliable and functional.
Through Spinal Decompression
, the bulging of the disc can be reduced, the pressure on the nerves and spinal cord is reduced, and most importantly, the disc becomes healthier by absorbing more nutrients and discharging its waste.
This can all be achieved without the use of medications and surgery!
While undergoing spinal decompression, and once the decompression is terminated, it is very important that the patient does back exercises. The exercises help by increasing flexibility and improving the strength of the muscles that support the spine.
In the past, bulging and herniated discs have been treated mostly
through back surgery. Surgery, no matter how advanced it becomes, is a
risky and potentially life threatening form of treatment. Many back
surgeries fail, and even the successful ones often only provide relief
from pain for 5-10 years. Contrary to popular belief, spinal surgery
doesn't fix the damage in the back, it only helps by removing some of
the damaged tissue, and taking pressure off of the nerve. In fact, back
surgeries cause additional problems such as deep tissue scarring,
Adjacent Joint Syndrome, and adhesions. Back surgery, in some cases, is
the only alternative. Since it is non-reversible, has a poor success
rate, and is much more risky, it should be employed only when all other
less risky treatment options are exhausted.