Did You Know?


If your condition can be helped by one of our many therapy options, in most cases your care will begin on that same first visit to quickly begin your recovery process.


Recommendations will also be given to you for home care as well.



What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Proven Non-Surgical Treatment for Back Pain


Spinal Decompression Therapy (also known more simply as Spinal Decompression or SD), is a non-surgical therapy proven to treat back pain and sciatica caused by bulging, herniated and degenerative discs or facet syndrome. Even post-surgical patients and those suffering from stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal) have reported significant pain relief from SD treatments.


Over a series of relaxing sessions, patients experience powerful pain reduction and healing. Some patients even notice an improvement in their symptoms after the first few treatments!

Spinal Decompression, not to be confused with traction, gently lengthens and decompresses the spine, creating negative pressure within the discs. This reversal of pressure creates an intradiscal vacuum that not only takes the pressure off of pinched nerves, but helps to reposition bulging discs and pull extruded disc material back into place.



Simultaneously, spinal experts believe, nutrients, oxygen, and fluids are drawn into the disc to create a revitalized environment conducive to healing. By bringing disc pressures to negative levels, many experts surmise that SD stimulates the body's repair mechanism, providing the building blocks needed to mend injured and degenerated discs.


Is Spinal Decompression Right For Me?


You Are a Candidate for SD IF:


• You have chronic or severe low back or neck pain caused by bulging or herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, and/or facet syndrome

• You have been diagnosed with a clinically unstable neck or low back.

• You have been told to consider surgery

• You have had a failed back surgery.


You Are NOT a Candidate for SD IF:


• You are pregnant

• You have sustained a recent vertebral fracture

• You have any rare conditions such as certain spinal infections and/or cancers

• You have had a recent spinal surgery

• You have an unstable aortic aneurysm


What Can I Expect?


Getting Started

At your first visit your doctor may recommend an x-ray or MRI to pinpoint the specific areas of damage and discomfort. Using this information, your doctor will determine your course of therapy and whether you are a candidate for Spinal Decompression (SD).


The Pressure Is Off!

At the beginning of each session, you will be comfortably fitted with two harnesses, one that wraps around your pelvis and one that is secured under your ribcage. As a session of SD commences, you will notice a slow, gentle, lengthening in your spine as your discs are gradually decompressed and relieved of pressure. This process is safe and relaxing. Each treatment session lasts approximately twenty minutes.


Typical Treatment Regimen

A typical SD regimen consists of 20 sessions over a period of approximately 2 months. Research has shown that it takes this amount of treatment to completely "heal" the disc. For certain less severe conditions it may take fewer treatments and some other conditions may require more.


Many patients report relief from their pain and other symptoms during the first few treatments, and most experience dramatic pain relief after completion of their prescribed SD program. As a session progresses, the discs are relieved of pressure, or decompressed, creating a vacuum. Many experts believe this decompressed state aids in pulling nutrients, oxygen, and fluid back into the discs.





How Spinal Decompression Works.

High intradiscal pressure causes discs to bulge out and press painfully on nerve roots. They also make for a compressed anaerobic environment, unsuitable for healing. Spinal Decompression (SD) produces negative pressures within the disc, creating a vacuum effect in which doctors believe helps the disc draw in nutrients and fluids to promote the repair of injured discs and surrounding tissues. This vacuum has also been shown to aid in the retraction of escaped cushioning gel from herniated discs.


When Negative Is A Positive

Much like gauging the air pressure in a car tire, scientists have been able to use pressure sensors to measure various pressures put on spinal discs while lifting, standing, sitting, lying down, undergoing traction, and during SD therapy.


While spinal manipulation may reduce disc pressures to as low as 40mm Hg, SD has been shown to achieve actual negative pressures as low as - 160mm Hg within the injured disc during the treatment session. Sustained traction was shown to produce increased pressure of 300mg Hg, which is equal to performing lifting activities.





Traction Is NOT Decompression

With traction, weight is applied from the end of a traction bed, which in turn adds tension to a harness secured around the pelvis, lengthening the entire spine. The intention is to relieve pressure; however the linear force of this traction can produce spasming which may lead to

greater injury. Studies confirm that the benefits of traction come from simply immobilizing the spine. In fact, the Quebec Task Force ruled in 1996 that traction was not an effective treatment for chronic herniated discs; traction cannot produce negative pressures in the disc.


Like traction, SD also lengthens the spine. However, the approach is far different, producing vastly superior results. In addition to producing negative discal pressures, SD is also different from traction in that while traction exerts a pulling force along the entire length of the spine, the pulling force in SD is localized to one specific disc. This targets the treatment to the injured disc for superior healing.



Fooling the Back into Relaxing

Normally, pulls exerted on the spine trigger sensory receptors in the spine to tighten the muscles surrounding the vertebrae and discs in an effort to protect them from injury, a mechanism in the body known as the proprioceptor response. SD bypasses this response by taking the body to the threshold of this response and then relaxing before the muscle spasm. This pulling and relaxing continues throughout the course of the therapy and this "pumping" action also serves to help draw the disc material back in line with the spine, taking the pressure off of the spinal cord and nerves.