Spinal Decompression Therapy Benefits

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    Jan 14, 2014
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The structure of the spine is made up of vertebrae and discs one on top of the other, piled up together surrounding the spinal canal. The vertebral column protects the spinal cord in its spinal canal. The purpose of the discs is to provide a cushioning effect. Perfectly placed in between the vertebrae, the discs serve as the shock absorber of the spine, thereby preventing any potential rupture between the vertebrae.

When one falls down, or when one exerts too much pressure physically, there is every chance of the spinal discs going into a state of spasm, often observed in the form of a lower back pain or middle or upper, depending upon the area exerted higher. This pain or spasm is the mechanism of the discs to protect itself and the vertebrae from further injury. It urges the patient to rest, give time for the spine to recoup before continuing with normal routine. Depending upon the state of the injury, the spasms might be active, severe or chronic and correspondingly the rest period has to be longer.

But consider a scenario where the patient chooses to ignore the pain and continues to work, thereby exerting further pain and pressure on the spine. When the discs are no longer able to bear the pain, there maybe one or more of the following that could happen:

• A hernia, where the discs protrude outside its boundary causing nerve root compression.

• Disc bulge, same as hernia but in a much milder sense.

• Slip disc, where an entire disc gets relocated due to a sudden thud/pressure causing immense pain.

In each of the three cases, the condition is the fact that a portion of the disc protrudes and impinges the surrounding nerve. In the case of lower back, it’s the sciatica nerve which gets impinged, in the case of cervical disc bulge, it’s the nerves to the shoulders and neck that gets impinged leading to spondylitis.

Whatever be the condition, if a patient gets diagnosed with either of the above three diseases, Spinal decompression therapy is the only alternative. The therapy may involve one or more of the treatments like -

• Ayurveda, where there are lots of spinal massages involved. It massages the point of contact between the disc and the impinged nerve, thereby providing relief. However, the relief is not permanent, as there is every chance of the patient experiencing the pain later.

• Acupressure/ Acupuncture - One of the cheaper and effective solutions out there. It pinches the appropriate pressure points of the spine on the hands and legs, using several techniques, thereby stimulating blood circulation.

• Therapeutic Yoga - Where yogic asanas are taught to suit the nature of the illness. Asanas that would help relieve the pain are practiced, thereby alleviating pain.

• Surgery - The final, but sure alternative. The protruded disc bulge gets amputated and thrown out, thereby relieving the nerve of its impingement and ensuring normal blood supply.

Spinal decompression therapy aims to decompress the nerve that gets impinged due to a protruded disc bulge. Depending upon the intensity of the bulge, the compression stage maybe either severe or acute, thereby warranting immediate medication.

If the spinal decompression therapy, in any form, is postponed, the nerve may lose blood supply due to prolonged impingement. In the case of a lower disc bulge, say L4 or L5, the sciatic nerves gets impinged leading to numbness in the legs. This is first felt by numbness in the little fingers in the right or left legs. There maybe excruciating pain in the hamstring, often observed as shooting pain. If that’s the case, immediate therapy is warranted, failing which there maybe loss of blood supply to the nerve leading to amputation of the leg.

Surgery or the therapy in any form ensures that the impingement is cleared and the nerve regains its normal course of blood supply from the spinal canal. The treatment is effective and the relief can be almost instantaneous depending upon the mode of treatment adopted.

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If you are based in Denver, you may find the following website resourceful: Spinal Decompression Therapy Denver


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