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Spinal Decompression Therapy

Sometimes, chiropractic and physiotherapist may not be the right fix for you especially if a patient has serious injuries that may not be appropriately treated using chiropractic manipulations. Injuries such as severe advanced degenerative disc disease, acute disc bulge, spinal stenosis, and non-resolving sciatica can be challenging to treat. At Kent Chiro-Med Wellness Clinic, Spinal Decompression Therapy may be a great solution for you. In this video, Dr. Maryam (Chiropractor) explains how she and her medical team apply it to patients.

Spinal Decompression Therapy (SDT) works by repairing joints and disc injuries. When we are young, our discs between each vertebra are packed full of water which means we float along through the day on a cushion of fluid. As we advance in years, our discs lose fluid and we usually lose height. Each day, all of us lose approximately 20% of discal fluid through two sets of forces: the weighing down of gravity and muscular activity compressing the spine. This means we all go to bed approximately 2 centimetres shorter because of disc dehydration. There have been small studies carried out on footballers measured before and after the game where height loss could be restored with spinal decompression.

Our movements also become stiff and limited. The height loss is due to reduced concentrations of the magic proteoglycans substance (a special type of protein) inside the discs exerting weaker osmotic attraction on water to keep the discs fully hydrated and plumped up.

Sustained spinal loading dramatically reduces the synthesis rates of proteoglycans and we mainly load our spines through excessive hours of sitting. Sitting also forces fluid out of the discs, while at the same time making it harder to get fresh water back in for the discs. For this reason, thinner discs are much more common in the lumbar area, as we get older.

Reduced concentrations of proteoglycans are usually one of the first signs of disc degeneration. Over time, it can cause the disc at a single spinal level to become thinner. Once a disc thins, problems become more widespread at that spinal level. One of the benefits of Spinal Decompression Therapy is interrupting the negative effects of spinal loading. It is still not possible to say whether the benefits of spinal decompression can permanently restore the height of a degenerating disc.

Spinal researchers also tell us we lose more fluid the spine in a bent (kyphotic) position than arched. Therefore a position of passive hyper-extension in supine is likely to facilitate disc rehydration. In conclusion, Spinal Decompression Therapy is a safe, efficient and gentle treatment for many people!

We lose more fluid from our lumbar spines when sitting because the intra-discal pressures are higher. And we sit all the time. Slumped forward sitting exerts the greatest compressive forces on the lumbar discs, which dehydrate more rapidly (quicker still if vibration is involved which explains why you get stiff driving). With compression squeezing out approximately 10% of discal fluid in the first 2 hours of sitting, lumbar decompression helps get the fluid back in.