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Spinal Decompression Therapy: Is It Right for You?

woman lying for Spinal Decompression Therapy

Back pain is a very common concern for many adults. For those who are looking for methods of relieving pain in the back and neck, nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy may offer a solution. A spinal decompression treatment works well with other therapies and treatment options, so you can benefit from multiple methods.

Back pain can be debilitating, and is caused by a wide range of conditions and factors. Herniated and bulging discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, and osteoarthritis are common causes of chronic back pain, but there are many more.

Spinal decompression therapy isn't right for everyone; a qualified professional can help determine whether you are a good candidate. However, below is a guide about the therapy for you to learn more about how and when it can help, and who is likely not to benefit from it.

What Is Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Nonsurgical spinal decompression uses traction techniques to relieve back pain. It stretches the spine gently, using a traction table or other device. This adjusts the position of the spine and the forces on it, which reduces pressures on spinal discs. The discs are what provides cushioning between spinal bones.

Spinal decompression therapy can help allow bulging and herniated discs to return to a proper position and reduce uneven pressure. Nutrients, oxygen and water can then reach discs better to enable healing.

How Is This Different From Surgical Spinal Decompression?

Nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy should not be confused with surgical spinal decompression, which is usually only used when other methods have been ineffective. In these cases, surgery may help reduce pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. Spinal decompression surgeries may include:

  • Discectomy or microdiscectomy to remove a portion of a disc to relieve pressure
  • Osteophyte removal for bony growth removal
  • Foraminotomy or foraminectomy to remove bone and tissue to allow for more room for nerve roots
  • Laminotomy or laminectomy to remove part of or all of the bony arch to enlarge the spinal canal for pressure relief.
  • Corpectomy to remove a vertebral body and the discs between the vertebrae
  • Spinal fusion to stabilize the spine, which is usually a last resort

A key goal of nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy is to prevent the need for spinal decompression surgery or other therapies and surgeries that are more invasive.

man for her nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy

Risks of Surgery

As always with surgeries, risks are involved. Although uncommon, spinal decompression surgery leads to risks of bleeding, blood clots, infection, or nerve or tissue damage. There is also the possibility of allergic reactions.

Another issue with surgery is that it may not relieve pain significantly.

What Happens During Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression Therapy?

For a traction table treatment, you will be fitted with two harnesses before lying down. A professional will operate the controls to customize the traction and decompression for your needs.

Your spine is then gently stretched, to reduce pressure on your spinal discs and nerves, to allow better positioning and give the area a chance to heal.

A treatment to reduce your spinal compression can last up to 45 minutes. A series of treatments will be needed; most patients will need to come back for about 25 treatments.

Complementary Treatments

This treatment works well with physical therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, cold or heat therapy, and chiropractic adjustments, and can be done either before or after any of these other procedures.

How Can Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression Therapy Help?

Nonsurgical spinal decompression can provide neck pain and chronic back pain relief, and help with a range of concerns, including:

  • Sciatica, which presents as leg pain, tingling, or weakness
  • Damaged spinal nerve roots
  • Herniated, bulging, or degenerated discs
  • Worn spinal joints
  • Decreased range of motion and function
  • Poor sleep due to discomfort

Fast, Effective Treatment

Spinal decompression therapy is a more effective treatment for chronic back pain than many treatments which only help with acute or occasional issues. It treats the root cause of your issues, for more long-lasting results. Many patients find they have pain relief after just one treatment, but it is important to continue the full series of treatments for better and longer-lasting results.


This therapy helps prevent disc and nerve degeneration. By stretching the spine and temporarily increasing spaces in between, discs can return to proper alignment. 

Healing and Immunity Boost

Spinal decompression therapy also increases your body's ability to circulate fluids and nutrients, for improved healing and a boosted immune system.

Who Shouldn't Have Spinal Decompression Therapy?

While spinal decompression works well for many people, it's not recommended for those who have already had back surgery. People with fractured vertebrae, metal implants in their spine, or tumors should not receive spinal decompression therapy. If you have had an aneurysm, you should not have spinal decompression therapy. It is not recommended for patients with advanced osteoporosis.

spinal fracture traumatic vertebral injury

Could You Benefit From Spinal Decompression Therapy?

If you have back pain, sciatica, or other similar concerns, this therapy could help. Consulting with a Chiropractor in Milton, like Impact Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Centre, is the best way to see if you would benefit Get relief with Spinal Decompression Therapy in Milton. Our skilled professionals offer complementary treatments, reducing pain and improving mobility.


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Impact Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Centre

6941 Derry Road West
Milton, ON L9T7H5, Canada

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Email: [email protected]

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