Am I a Candidate for Spinal Decompression Therapy?

More than three-quarters of adults have at least one bout of back pain in their lifetime. For one in five of them, that single bout turns into a long-lasting pain condition. That’s why chronic back pain is a leading cause of disability in the United States.

If you struggle with back pain that hasn’t improved, it’s time to learn about nonsurgical spinal decompression. 

As an experienced chiropractor, Dr. Jason Keller at iMed Regeneration Center offers this therapy to ease your pain and promote healing without the risks of surgery. Here’s what you need to know about spinal decompression.

When you might need spinal decompression

Spinal decompression relieves back pain caused by pinched spinal nerves and some disc problems. You may be a good candidate for this therapy if you have one of the following causes of pinched nerves:

Herniated disc

The discs between each vertebra absorb shock and support movement thanks to their unique structure: a gel-like center enclosed in a tough, fibrous cover. When the outer cover develops a weak or damaged spot, the gel herniates, pushing out through that area. The bulging disc then compresses the nearby nerves.

Degenerative disc disease

Over the years, spinal discs tend to lose moisture and weaken. As a result, they gradually shrink and flatten. These structural changes affect your spine and often lead to pinched nerves.

Bone spurs

Arthritis in the joints between vertebrae and degenerative disc disease place excessive stress on your spine. Bone spurs develop as your body tries to compensate for the changes, and the buildup of bone can pinch nerves if it protrudes into the spinal canal.

Thickened ligaments

The ligaments supporting your spine tend to get thicker over the years. Like a bone spur, the larger ligaments may jut into the spinal canal and compress the nerves.

Spinal stenosis

When the spinal canal narrows and pinches the nerves, you have a condition called spinal stenosis. Though spinal stenosis can occur after an injury, narrowing inside the canal is usually caused by the conditions in this list.

Symptoms of a pinched nerve

Pinched nerves are notorious for causing pain, tingling, or numbness. You can feel the pain in the affected area of your spine and in your arms or legs as the pain travels along the nerve.

Sciatica is one of the most common examples. When the sciatic nerve is pinched in your lower back, you experience excruciating pain that suddenly shoots down one leg.

How spinal decompression works

Decompression occurs as we gently stretch your spine and increase the space between vertebrae. This process effectively removes pressure from the pinched nerves and increases blood flow to the area. 

The boost in blood gives nerves and soft tissues the oxygen and nutrients they need to naturally heal. The process of decompression also causes a type of negative pressure between the vertebrae. This creates a vacuum effect that helps pull a bulging disc back into place.

So, how do we decompress your spine without surgery? We use a specialized spinal decompression table.

The top half of a spinal decompression table holds your upper body in a fixed position, while the lower half moves through carefully controlled cycles of spinal stretching and relaxation. Dr. Keller customizes your treatment by adjusting the force and angle applied to your spine. 

Though you feel the movement and stretching, decompression should never cause pain. Decompression therapy is a safe option for relieving chronic back pain.

To learn how spinal decompression can help you, call us at iMed Regeneration Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, or book an appointment online today.

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