Spinal Decompression Therapy: Is It the Right Treatment for Lower Back Pain and Sciatica?

Perhaps, you dream of getting the “high-performer” recognition at work. Or you enjoy being a stay-at-home mom who loves carrying out daily house chores efficiently. In both scenarios, one thing is certain: you have so much to look forward to every single day. But the stubborn lower back pain is disrupting your life. In fact, it limits you from being unstoppable.

Does this devastating feeling make you forget everything?

If yes, the only question that pops into your mind is, “When will I ever get rid of my lower back pain?”

Before you opt for surgery, you should have ample knowledge about the non-surgical options for lower back pain and sciatica treatment. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy is one such option.

Let’s find out everything about it.

What Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy Actually Is?

Spinal decompression therapy is carried out by experienced chiropractors and specialized health professionals to help relieve chronic neck, back, and sciatica pain without involving pharmaceutical medications or invasive surgery.

By using a specific equipment, a chiropractor restores the natural health of the spine by deliberately stretching it. Since the goal is to achieve permanent results, it’s a long-term therapy.

Symptoms to Look for Before Choosing Spinal Decompression Therapy

You’re aware of your chronic pain. But what exactly is causing this pain?

If you have recurrent symptoms, they may worsen with the passage of time. Therefore, it’s important to know about these symptoms and choose spinal decompression therapy accordingly. For example, if your lower back pain travels down through the legs, buttocks, and hips, this is a symptom that you’re suffering from sciatica, for which spinal decompression therapy is the solution.

You may require the same treatment if you observe symptoms such as arm pain, pain in shoulder and upper back, neck pain, pain in the skull base, pain in lower back, muscle spasms, muscle tension, numbness and tingling, overall back weakness, and stiffness in joints.

While some patients experience one of these symptoms (for instance, pain in upper back), others may develop additional symptoms if their chronic pain remains untreated.

To ensure these symptoms don’t stay with you for the lifetime, it’s wise to ask a credible chiropractor if spinal decompression therapy is the right treatment to alleviate these symptoms.

However, if you’re going through medical conditions such as advanced osteoporosis, have a tumor, fracture, or metal implants within the spine, your doctor will recommend you a different treatment. Also, if you’re pregnant, you should NOT go for spinal decompression therapy.

People Who Can Benefit from Spinal Decompression Therapy the Most

If you belong to the following categories of people, spinal decompression therapy is for you:

  • People who have chronic lower back or neck pain that interferes with their daily activities.
  • People who have suffered from the herniated disc.
  • People who have got neck or back injury.
  • People who feel that their back pain is traveling through their leg, thus showing symptoms of sciatica.
  • People who were medically advised to undergo surgery but prefer an alternative procedure because they don’t want to opt for surgery.
  • People who have had injuries in the past, and now, those old injuries have begun to interfere with their health.
  • People who want to seek complementary medical therapies after their surgery.


How Spinal Decompression Therapy Works

This therapy is all about stretching the spine with the help of a motorized device or traction table so the pressure on the weak spinal disks can be relieved. The spinal disks are the gel-like, natural cushions that exist between the bones of your spine. The objective of spinal decompression therapy is to let the herniated or bulging disks retract. This way, the painful pressure on the spinal structures and the nerves can be relieved.

Once the pressure is successfully relieved by performing this therapy, the uninterrupted movement of oxygen, water, and other nutritional fluids resumes and returns to spinal disks in a normal fashion. This begins the healing process - thereby leading to pain relief.

Before undergoing spinal decompression therapy, your body will be fitted with a pair of straps for decompressing your spine. You’ll be advised to lie on your stomach or back, on the computerized table. The chiropractor will begin the therapy by using the mechanism that will gently pull your body via the set of straps in alignment with the computer.

As your body will slowly be pulled, the mechanism will naturally stretch or “decompress” your spinal discs. This pulling process will create a negative force that helps move herniated and bulging discs to the middle of the spinal disc (this is exactly where the discs should be).

Often times, spinal decompression therapy is supported by chiropractic adjustment for resolving alignment problems. Likewise, if you’re combating with muscle spasms, you may also need message therapy.

How Chiropractic Care Helps

By reducing the pressure from the nerve that travels through the disc, chiropractic care recovers the disc health by unlocking facet joints. By providing spinal decompression therapy, chiropractors help restore the functionality of the spinal discs.

The entire therapy typically consists of a 6-week duration. Each session lasts from fifteen to thirty minutes. However, the exact duration of each session also depends on the severity of pain which may vary from one patient to the other. This means that a session may also last an hour.

As a chiropractor begins the spinal decompression therapy, he will assess your level of toleration by starting slow. Based on the results, he will continue the therapy till you feel the lower back pain and sciatica gone.

What to Expect During the Therapy

If you’ve made a decision to consider spinal decompression therapy for alleviating lower back pain and sciatica pain, it’s wise to get some idea about it beforehand.

The following points will help you stay informed about this treatment:

  • During the treatment, you’ll be fully clothed.
  • It’s a controlled process that starts slow. This means there’s nothing to be nervous or anxious about.
  • Unlike surgical procedures, spinal decompression therapy is a painless, unnoticeable, and gentle treatment.
  • Your chiropractor will ask you for a visit multiple times per week or within several weeks.