According to Ralph E. Gay, MD, DC,
"Spinal Decompression Therapy involves stretching the spine, using a traction table or similar motorized device, with the goal of relieving back pain and/or leg pain.
This procedure is called nonsurgical decompression therapy (as opposed to surgical spinal decompression, such as laminectomy and microdiscectomy).
This article provides an overview of nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy and its role in the treatment of lower back pain and neck pain.
Theory of Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression devices use the same basic principle of spinal traction that has been offered by chiropractors, osteopaths, and other appropriately trained health professionals for many years.
Both traction and decompression therapy are applied with the goals of relieving pain and promoting an optimal healing environment for bulging, degenerating, or herniated discs.
Spinal decompression is a type of traction therapy applied to the spine in an attempt to bring about several theoretical benefits including:
- Create a negative intradiscal pressure to promote retraction or repositioning of the herniated or bulging disc material.
- Create a lower pressure in the disc that will cause an influx of healing nutrients and other substances into the disc."
Commentary by Dr. Denny: Although there is more research needed in the area of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy, the author does not mention that there are more advanced devices in this area of treatment, such as the Antalgic-Trak Technology (ATT). The ATT is able to pull the spine in a linear manner, while in the seated position, which gives the user a mechanical advantage that is not found on flat table systems.
In addition, the ability to posture position patients to better target the spinal segments can only be accomplished with the ATT. Users have also found that movement can be provided to the restricted areas with these features as well. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy should not be confused with surgical disc decompression surgery which can oftentimes require additional surgeries as other surrounding spinal discs fail over time. Please click here to learn more.
In an observational study of 100 cases, researchers Rosenthal and Russo found a high degree of pain relief and a high degree of patient satisfaction 12 months or more following treatment with the ATT. Please call (800) 792-3575 for more information on the latest models and to receive a copy of the Rosenthal & Russo paper which was presented at the 2009 Clinical Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Mangement. Dr. Bass and I presented two case studies with pre and post lumbar MRIs showing disc retraction, at the 2016 Korean International Medical Expo held in March of 2016 in Seoul, Korea. Please call (800) 792-3575 for more information on this presentation as well.