When Conservative Treatment Don’t Work

Back Decompression Treatment – Its Benefits, Risks, and Costs

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people miss work. Chronic back pain may affect mobility and thus reduces a person’s quality of life. Having severe, nagging pain also leads to the use of unconventional pain treatments like back decompression methods.

Back decompression explained

Back decompression is also called spinal decompression therapy. It is a techniques wherein the spine is stretched using surgical or non-surgical methods to relieve back pain. Stretching the spine reduces pressure from the spinal discs and thus the pressure is removed from the nerves and treats pain.

Non-surgical spinal decompression is all about using motorized traction equipment to gently decompress the spine. There are different spinal decompression equipment available but the most common is a bed where a person is positioned inversely. Gravity pulls on the body and this retracts to relieve pressure from the nerves and other nearby structures. Decompression improves the movement of oxygen, nutrients, and water to the spinal discs and these promote healing.

Aside from back pain, non-surgical spinal decompression also helps relieve neck pain, weakness, herniated or bulging discs, worn-out spinal cords and injured nerve roots found in the spine. You may have seen back decompression machines on TV and at medical supplies stores. Don’t try these; consult your doctor first.

When it comes to surgical decompression, this is the last resort in case non-surgical methods don’t work. In this method, a surgeon surgically corrects any injury. Surgery may be the only way to reduce pressure on the spinal nerves or to treat a herniated disc. Surgical decompression can help reduce pain, numbness, weakness and tingling sensation.

There are different types of surgical spinal decompression methods and these vary depending on the area or part of the spine being treated. A laminectomy is a procedure wherein a doctor removes a small piece of bone to reduce spinal canal size and improve pressure.  Meanwhile, foraminotomy is a surgical procedure that removes bone and other spinal tissue top open nerve roots and reduces pain.

Benefits of spinal decompression

When spinal decompression treatment is done successfully, this should relieve back pain and other related conditions. Aside from pain, the procedure can deal with numbness, tingling, and discomfort. And when there is less pain, a person may be able to live his life better.

He may resume his usual activities, become more active and have more confidence to engage in new activities. He can live his life pain-free.

Risks of spinal decompression                

Just like many back pain or pain treatments, spinal decompression also has some risks. This procedure can amplify pain when done incorrectly or unsuccessfully. Most especially surgical spinal decompression, a patient may experience bleeding from the surgical site, blood clots, infection, and nerve or tissue damage.

It’s important to consult a professional regarding the ideal spinal decompression treatments available. As much as pain is subjective and is different from one person to another. Hence, a successful treatment using spinal decompression for one person may not hold true to another.

A doctor or a physical therapist can help you choose the right decompression treatment.  The cost of treatment varies with surgical treatments more expensive than non-surgical methods.