To suffer from chronic back pain is one of the singlemost common ailments in Americans today. According to WebMD, over $86 Billion is spent on back and neck pain each year with a major spike of 65% between the late 90's and 2005. Dr. Joseph Mills of West Hills Chiropractic Center of Huntington NY shares his concepts and experience-based revelations on one of America's most sought after healing arts.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
SPINAL DECOMPRESSION – THEORY
The therapy of spinal decompression involves the stretching
of the spine with the help of traction tables or like motorized devices with
the aim of relieving pain in back or leg. This procedure is also known as
non-surgical decompression therapy.
The devices used for spinal decompression works on the exact
basic principle of spinal traction that is offered by osteopaths, chiropractors
and other trained health professionals. The goal of both decompression and
traction therapy is to relieve pain and promote a healing environment for
herniated, degenerated, or bulging disks.
It is a kind of traction therapy that is applied to spine in
order to achieve several theoretical benefits such as:
Lowering the pressure in the disc to cause an
influx of healing nutrients and other essential substances in the disc.
Creating a negative intradiscal pressure in
order to promote repositioning or retraction of the bulging or herniated disk.
Conditions That Can Be Treated Using Spinal Decompression
Following are the conditions that can be treated using SD:
Bulging and Herniated disc
Discs are situated between the bones of spine also called
vertebrae and their function is to absorb shock caused to spine. Annulus
fibrosis is the outer disc of the wall and it surrounds a jelly like center
called nucleus pulpous. Year of bending, twisting, lifting coughing sneezing,
wear and tear can weaken the walls of the disc and cause a tear or bulge which
causes pressure on the surrounding nerves. In this condition, all or part of
the gelatinous center of a disc is forced from the weakened area of the pout
wall which eventually results in irritation in nerve roots and back pain.
Use of spinal decompression therapy to as a cure for this
condition helps take the pressure off the damaged discs to aid the disc bulge
to shrink back to its original position and size.
This condition refers to the pain that a person feels along
the sciatic nerve. The pain caused by this condition is generally felt in the buttocks,
from where it further radiates down the leg. A sudden pain in your hip or lower
back radiating to the back of the thigh and towards the leg might mean that you
have a herniated (protruding) disc in spinal column which is pressing the roots
of sciatic nerve. This condition is referred to as sciatica.
An important thing to know about sciatica is that it is a
symptom of a condition – of something irritating or compressing the roots of
the nerves that make up the sciatic nerve – rather than being a medical
disorder or medical diagnosis in itself. This is important to know because
often the underlying medical diagnosis needs to be treated in order to relieve
Degenerative Disc Disorder
This can also be treated with the therapy of spinal
decompression. Vertebral bodies can move closer due to loss in the height of
the disc and this condition can be aggravated by the spinal compression. This
causes the nerves to compress and can cause other types of common back pains.
Using spinal decompression can reduce the pressure in the
degenerated discs eliminating or reducing the painful symptoms.
Facet syndrome, neck pain, failure following a surgery or
relapse, and spinal stenosis can also be treated by using Spinal decompression
Methods and Techniques
Following are the methods and techniques used in spinal
This is the practice of applying gentle traction to spine by
hanging upside down and it has been around for around 2,000 years. The
principle behind this is when the body is inverted, the quantity of weight
pulling on every level of the spine is directly proportional to the force
required to gain proper alignment.
It is a massage therapy that places every joint through
manual distraction, from the finger to spine. Manual distraction means that the
pulling in done manually. While pulling a finger can be fairly easy,
distracting the spine by pulling is not. So the skill and strength of the
professional working on your back will determine the effectiveness of the
This is the most commonly used technique for spinal
decompression, and majority of the chiropractics and physical therapists have
this equipment in their offices. In this equipment there are two harnesses; one
is meant for the hips and the other for the chest. The force applied externally
can be easily controlled and the equipment can be set on intermittent and
continuous pull. Most patients start with 50% of their body weight. The legs
should be at 90 degrees from the upper body. If that does not work, then the
table that the patient is lying on can be split in to so that the hips of the
patient can move along with the pull. A typical session might last for about 10
to minutes and with each subsequent the pull is increase by approximately 10