Chiropractic care — spinal decompression therapy
If you are suffering from chronic neck or back pain, you are likely searching for a treatment option that can help alleviate your pain and get you back to your hobbies and activities.
For many people with mild spine conditions, chiropractic care is a good first option for treatment. Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive, low risk treatment option for patients suffering from a range of spine conditions. Chiropractors aim to treat the spine condition and the resulting symptoms, such as pain and numbness in the extremities and migraines.
A recent study reported that over 22 million Americans seek chiropractic treatment every year, most of them for neck and back pain resulting from spine conditions. Chiropractors have several methods of treatment, ranging from spinal manipulation to spinal decompression. The type of treatment provided will depend on the type, location and severity of your spine condition.
Spinal decompression for pain relief
One of the most effective forms of chiropractic treatment is spinal decompression. Spinal decompression aims to stretch and lengthen the spine to relieve the pressure placed on the vertebrae and discs from certain spine conditions, such as herniated discs and spinal stenosis.
Most spine conditions involve the compression of the vertebrae or discs, which cause components of the spine to move out of alignment and impact local nerves. For example, the vertebrae in the lumbar spine (lower back) are responsible for supporting most of the body’s weight. Over time, if weight gain occurs, the lumbar vertebrae are compressed under the extra weight and begin to put pressure on the discs and joints in between the vertebrae. Think of the compressing vertebrae as a clamp for the discs and joints. As the compression continues, the disc may flatten and expand, moving out of its normal parameters and impacting a local nerve root. This is called a bulging disc.
Spinal decompression aims to stretch the spine to create more space for the vertebrae and remove the pressure on the discs and joints. For mild cases of bulging discs and similar spine conditions, stretching the spine may help to move the disc back into place, thus relieving the nerve root that is causing you chronic pain.
Often, before or after a spinal decompression therapy, the chiropractor will treat you with hot/cold compresses or electrical stimulation on your back to loosen the muscles and help improve the results of the spinal decompression.
Treatment beyond chiropractic decompression
While chiropractic decompression may treat several mild spine conditions, more severe cases do not always respond well to chiropractic therapy.
If you have been seeking treatment from a chiropractor for several months with no lasting relief, you may want to consider alternative methods of treatment. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery to help patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Contact our care team to learn more about our treatment options.