Spinal Decompression

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

We are one of the few clinics in Ottawa who proudly provide spinal decompression therapy. Spinal decompression therapy can help fix chronic low back and neck pain due to disc herniation and advanced arthritis, when everything else failed. It is a revolutionary technology that has been gaining attention as a nonsurgical option for disc or spinal injuries. It is very safe and efficient.

The procedure is very easy. To treat the low back, you will be lying comfortably on your back with a set of nicely padded straps snug around your waist and another set around your lower chest. To treat the neck, you will be asked to relax on your back with a pair of soft rubber pads around your neck. During the session, you will feel a relaxing distraction forces being applied to your spine in a precise and graduated manner. It’s such a remarkable feeling! With each visit, you will gradually feel less pain in your legs and back. Your practitioner will be with you during the session to monitor everything for you and to ensure you are always safe and comfortable!


What is Spinal Decompression Therapy used for?

Some patients present to our clinic with musculoskeletal conditions that are challenging. It may be you! Some of these conditions are not indicated for chiropractic adjustment. Patients with conditions such as unstable disc herniation, severe osteoarthritis and advanced degenerative disc disease can benefit from spinal decompression therapy. Unlike surgery, it is a non-invasive, effective and very comfortable procedure. That means fewer worries for you and more peace of mind!

Both physiotherapists and chiropractors can provide you with spinal decompression therapy as part of their treatment plan. Because every patient is different, the success of this therapy depends comes on the experience of the practitioner. Our practitioners are expert in tailoring the settings of the spinal decompression therapy to match your needs. Properly assessing your extent of injury through medical imaging, establishing your baseline ranges of motion, as well evaluating your muscle tone is crucial to create a successful outcome. Your practitioner may choose to also incorporate other conservative methods of treatments such as muscle relaxation techniques, electrical modalities, exercises, acupuncture and etc.



How can Spinal Decompression Therapy help?

Many studies demonstrated the efficiency of spinal decompression therapy in reducing the size of a herniated disc. Through traction, it is possible to diminish the pressure on the vertebral disc by providing sufficient nutrients and oxygen to the injured area. As a result, this creates an area of negative pressure within the herniated disc. Our practitioners can accurately calculate the direction and angle of the pull to suit the location of the disc.

Gradually, this traction can cause reduction in size of the herniated disc. As a result, less pressure is applied to the adjacent spinal nerve. People who have tried spinal decompression therapy reported less pain, better outcome measures, and improvement in their ability to extend their legs. They can go back to their normal life! There is a correlation between pain reduction and restoration of disc height. When a disc experiences resorption through traction, its height automatically increases. Therefore, adequate space is restored between two vertebrae. It is not uncommon to see improvement in spinal health in patients who have advanced osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease and who experienced spinal decompression therapy – especially when everything else failed.

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Scientific References:

• Apfel C, Cakmakkaya O, Martin W, Richmond C, Macario A, George E, Schaefer M, Pergolizzi JV. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010; 11:155. Published online 2010
• Macario A, Pergolizzi JV. Systematic literature review of spinal decompression via motorized traction for chronic discogenic low back pain. Pain Pract. 2006 Sep; 6(3):171-8.
• Choi J, Lee S, Hwangbo G. Influences of spinal decompression therapy and general traction therapy on the pain, disability, and straight leg raising of patients with intervertebral disc herniation. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Feb; 27(2): 481–483