Many Americans suffer with moderate to severe back pain every day of their lives. Chronic back pain and the symptoms that often accompany it can greatly reduce the quality of life. There are a number of conditions which lead to pain in the neck and spine including:
• Spinal Stenosis
• Degenerative Disc Disease
• Herniated Discs
Spinal decompression is a method of pain management to give patients relief from chronic neck and back pain. One of the most significant reasons for its increasing popularity is that it provides an alternative to dangerous back surgery that often doesn’t work. Spinal decompression is a non-invasive therapy that involves using intermittent spinal traction, a procedure that has been cleared by the FDA and which is significantly less expensive than spinal surgery.
The process works by using motorized traction to gently stretch the spine. It changes the way the disks of the back are positioned and provides relief by alleviating the pressure that has previously been placed the gel-like structures that sit between the vertebrae of the spinal column. As many as 85% of patients who try this method of treatment find that it helps reduce the impact of herniated or bulging disks and increases the flow of nutrients to their location to aid in healing.
Incidence of Lower Back Pain
Another reason for the popularity of spinal decompression as a treatment for lower back pain is the incidence of the condition. An estimated 60% to 80% of all adults in the United States have lower back pain. Symptoms of pain and stiffness of the area send 13 million people to doctor’s offices each year for treatment. Although a significant portion of these patients will end up with either temporary or permanent disabilities, the majority of those who have back pain do not require surgery. Instead, they will rely on a variety of treatments that will reduce their pain and discomfort but which are not likely to eliminate the problem altogether.
Types of treatment available for lower back pain include:
• Drug Therapy – NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen or stronger pain relief medications including opiates. Muscle relaxants and steroids are also used in some patients.
• Corticosteroid Injections – used to reduce inflammation
• Heat and/or Cold Therapy
• Physical Therapy
• Alternative Therapies
• Chiropractic Manipulation
• Exercise – Yoga and Pilates, along with other specific exercises for improving strength and stability of the joints and strengthening the core
Spinal decompression is used in combination with other treatment methods to attain the best results for the individual patient. Most patients will undergo approximately 20 treatments over a 6 to 7 week period during which time they will also receive chiropractic treatment and exercises as part of a multi-modal approach to treatment. Combining the high percentage success rate of spinal decompression with that of other non-invasive methods of treatment results in an approach that will give the patient needed relief to enjoy a better quality of life without the risks associated with surgery or the potential for a failed procedure.