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Things You Need to Know About Spinal Decompression Therapy

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If you have been struggling with long-term back pain, it can have a massive impact on your day-to-day life. You may be searching for a way to get rid of the discomfort and restore your quality of life. Spinal decompression therapy is a possibility–it can be done with or without surgery. To make an informed decision, it is crucial to understand the details of this procedure.

Understanding Spinal Decompression

Nonsurgical spinal decompression is a way of easing back pain without surgery. It involves using a motorized machine to slowly stretch the spine and change the amount of pressure and position of the bones. This reduces the stress on the spinal disks, which are like cushions between the vertebrae, by creating negative pressure in the discs. 

This encourages the disks to move back into place, alleviating pressure on the nerves and other structures in the spine. It also helps to bring more oxygen, water, and nutrients to the disks so they can heal.

Spinal decompression therapy is a process wherein you are fitted with a harness around your trunk and pelvis area. While lying either face-up or face-down on a special computer-controlled table, the doctor adjusts the settings to tailor the treatment to your unique needs. Throughout the session, you remain fully clothed.

Precautions to Keep in Mind

Before considering nonsurgical spinal decompression, you must talk to your doctor to ensure it is a safe option. Pregnant women should not try this treatment. People suffering from any of the following conditions should also not undergo nonsurgical spinal decompression:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Advanced osteoporosis
  • Fracture
  • Spine metal implants
  • Tumor

Types of Spinal Decompression Therapy

Surgery for the back may involve various procedures designed to reduce the pain and pressure caused by certain conditions. These surgeries can help make the spine more stable and reduce the risk of injury or discomfort. Examples of these procedures include the following:

  • Diskectomy – a surgical procedure where some of the disk material between two vertebrae in the spine is removed to reduce pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord. This can help to reduce pain and improve function in the affected area.
  • Foraminotomy – a surgical procedure in which a surgeon removes bone and other tissue to make the openings for nerve roots larger. This procedure helps to reduce pain and improve nerve function.
  • Laminectomy – involves a surgeon removing a portion or all of the lamina, a bony arch, from the spine. This creates more space in the spinal canal, thereby reducing pressure and relieving any symptoms caused by the compression of nerves.
  • Osteophyte removal – a surgical procedure where bony growths or projections, called osteophytes, are removed from the body. These bony growths are typically found around the joints and can cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty in movement. During the surgery, the osteophytes are carefully removed from the surrounding tissue.

Risks to Consider 

Spinal decompression surgery carries the potential for complications, such as infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and paralysis. While rare, these risks should be considered and discussed with your doctor before undergoing the procedure. Additionally, while it is possible to experience relief from symptoms, the surgery may not consistently achieve the desired outcome.


Spinal decompression therapy is a safe and effective treatment for those experiencing neck and back pain. It is a non-invasive treatment that uses a motorized traction device to provide relief from herniated discs, sciatica, pinched nerves, degenerative disc diseases, facet syndrome, and other conditions. 

It is important to note that spinal decompression therapy is not a cure but rather a way to help manage the symptoms of your condition. If you are considering spinal decompression therapy, be sure to consult with your doctor first to ensure that it is the right treatment option for you.

Are you on the lookout for a North Fort Myers physical therapy clinic? Rely on Grace Medical & Chiropractic. Our number one goal is to help our North Fort Myers patients with lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, and various conditions through chiropractic services, physical therapy, medical treatment, and more. Call us!

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