Spinal Decompression Therapy FAQ

"What is it?"

Simply put, Spinal Decompression Therapy is an unloading of the spine due to distraction and positioning.

It is a non-invasive treatment, which means there are no injections, medications or surgical procedures involved.

"What conditions does it treat?"

Spinal Decompression Therapy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of the following conditions:

  • Protruding discs
  • Spinal root impingement
  • Bulging discs
  • Hypomobility
  • Herniated discs
  • Facet syndrome
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Posterior facet syndrome
  • Compression fractures
  • Acute facet problems
  • Joint pain
  • Radicular pain
  • Discogenic pain
  • Prolapsed discs

  • "What does it feel like?"

    Spinal Decompression Therapy uses a special medical device to deliver a gentle axial (or "lengthways") stretch to your spine. While lying down, you'll be fitted with a support belt that will apply a low, on-and-off traction cycle to your back or neck. Most patients report feeling a "gentle stretch", and often notice substantial relief from their symptoms during treatment. Each session lasts about 20 minutes, and treatment plans range from 12-20 visits.

    The Spinal Decompression itself is one part of a comprehensive treatment plan. For the best long-term results, your treatment plan will address disc health, joint function, pain relief and structural stability. Your personal plan may include elements of the following:

    "How much will it cost?"

    Spinal Decompression Therapy is a comprehensive spinal rehabilitation program, combining several proven types of treatment into one package. The majority of a customized treatment plan is usually covered by your insurance. Spinal Decompression itself is too new to be covered by insurance plans, but most patients find it surprisingly affordable. Our friendly staff will be happy to explain your insurance benefits to you in detail.

    We do accept your insurance, and we are pleased to file your claims for you at no cost.

    "Why does it work?"

    Your spine is made of 24 bones, or vertebrae, stacked on top of each other. Sandwiched between each two vertebrae is a disc, which acts a shock-absorber and allows spinal movement.

    When a disc is damaged, whether by a traumatic injury or simple wear and tear, it may start to "go flat", like a car tire. The disc may bulge outward, pressing on nerve roots or sensitive tissue in the joint. This pressure can cause pain in your neck or back, and may refer pain down your arm or leg.

    Spinal Decompression works by taking pressure off the "flattened" disc, even creating a negative pressure, or vacuum, inside the disc itself. This vacuum can work to "draw in" the bulging part of the disc, relieving pressure on the nerve root.

    The "on-and-off" cycle of traction during decompression also helps pull nutrients into the disc, giving it the fuel it needs to repair damage. A series of these treatments can dramatically reduce pain, as well as stimulate the healing process within the disc.

    "How effective is Spinal Decompression Therapy?"

    This therapy is relatively new, but research shows that Spinal Decompression Therapy can be an extremely effective treatment for disc injuries. As with any treatment, individual results can vary, but we see tremendous results in this office, time after time. Remember: your doctor will prescribe the exact course of care you need to recover. It is crucial that you follow this plan precisely in order to achieve the results you want. If you don't think you'll be able to complete the program, let your doctor know as soon as possible.