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Spinal Decompression Therapeutic Benefits

Clinical research giving evidence to the benefits of spinal decompression

Posted by Dr. Leonard J. Kielbasa, DC, CCSP, Cert. MDT, FMSC

Spinal Decompression is an effective form of conservative therapy for neck and lower back pain from bulging, degenerative, and in some cases herniated discs. Compressed nerves associated discs in the neck and lower back can also be treated with this method. Below are clinical studies proving the effectiveness of this treatment method and why we offer it as a treatment option.


1) Restoration of disc height with associated reduction of pain

Research has indicated that non-surgical spinal decompression has the potential ability to restore disc height following loss related to a herniated disc. This has shown strong correlation to a reduction of low back pain with traction/spinal decompression and is believed to be one of the primary therapeutic benefits associated with this treatment.

Research Links:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20615252

2) Reduction of pressure on a pinched nerve (herniated discs, spinal stenosis)Research has shown the ability of traction to help decrease pressure off of pinched nerves associated with condition such as herniated discs and spinal stenosis. As a result, we have noted decreased pain (and other possible nerve symptoms including tingling and numbness) and improved function (improved muscle strength) to the affected areas.

Research Links:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19846359

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15609843

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11324874

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10903582

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16385939


3) Reducing size of disc herniations

Research has shown that continuous lumbar traction has the ability to reduce the size of a herniated disc

in the lumbar spine, thereby helping to decrease the symptoms associated with these injuries.

Research Links:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16249899

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12461276


4) Maintenance of proper hydration of the intervertebral disc through proper fluid exchange

The intervertebral disc is a fluid tissue and as such requires proper hydration to maintain its function as a "shock" absorber to help aid as a cushion between the bones, vertebrae, in our spine. Research has lead to support the ability of traction to assist in the maintenance of this hydration, which is extremely important to the overall health of the disc.

Research Link:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18824391

5) Possibly helps to aid in improved blood flow to pinched nerves

Traction may improve nerve health through improving blood flow to pinched nerves.

Research Links:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11956981