Finding Relief from Lower Back Pain: The Benefits of Spinal Decompression Therapy

Understanding Lower Back Pain: Causes and Consequences

If someone asked you what the most common type of back pain is, would you guess the lower back? If you did, then you're entirely right. But then, the question is: why is the lower back the most susceptible to back injuries? Let's find out.

Inappropriate lifting or improper form

The bulk of weight-bearing activities should use the support of the hips and glutes. However, if you lift something incorrectly, it won't be your glutes or hips taking on the load but your lower back. Improper lifting leads to injuries more often than not. To add to that, your lower back has only five vertebrae, much less than other sections of your spine, so there is less flexibility and structural support to distribute improper load. Plus you have the added weight of your upper body that all rests on these 5 lower vertebrae that place a constant load on your lower back.

Understanding Lower Back Pain: Causes and Consequences

To prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your lower back, we can't stress enough the importance of proper form when engaging in weight-bearing activities. It's common knowledge that weightlifting requires careful attention to form and technique to avoid injury. Bending over while lifting can increase the pressure on the delicate lumbar discs over 2.5 times versus standing. Improper lifting can drastically increase the chances of injury. However, the mundane, everyday tasks—like bending to pick up a laundry basket or lifting groceries—often pose the greatest risk to our lower backs. Simple adjustments to our lifting form, such as bending at the knees instead of the waist or engaging the core muscles while lifting, can significantly reduce the strain on our lower backs over time.

A weak core

A weak core means your spine lacks stability and isn't as supported as it could be. If you have weak abdominal muscles, you'll be at an increased risk of injury (and improper lifting to compensate).

A weak back and core can also cause poor posture, another major cause of lower back pain. Over time, poor posture can also lead to physical changes to your spine.

Long-term wear and tear

Both a weak core and improper use of your lower back muscles can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on the discs and vertebrae in the low back. The gradual breakdown of ligaments, bone, and tissue in your back can cause a whole host of lower back pain-causing issues, such as:

      • Muscle or ligament strain
      • Bulging or ruptured discs
      • Arthritis
      • Osteoporosis
      • and more

The Consequences of Chronic Lower Back Pain

Back injuries are notoriously difficult to bounce back from. So, the best treatment is prevention.  

However, if you experience and continue to ignore chronic lower back pain, it may get to the point where your doctor suggests invasive procedures to correct it. If it’s too far gone then they may even recommend surgery. Unfortunately, even with surgery, back pain can return. 

For those who suffer from chronic pain, it can quickly become a repetitive cycle. At some point, your back specialist may advise you that further procedures may make your back too unstable to undergo any more surgery.

We've had patients come to us because they were told there's a chance of permanent damage if they have a second or third surgery. They wanted a safer, less invasive way to deal with their chronic lower back pain. We're happy to say integrative medicine has been the answer for a lot of people who come to us wanting their lives back.

What is Spinal Decompression?

What is Spinal Decompression

Whether you've been experiencing lower back pain for a short time or are years into your chronic pain, spinal decompression could offer you the relief you're seeking. Spinal decompression offers non-surgical pain relief, and it's FDA-cleared, safe, and non-invasive.

When you come to our office, our doctors will program the computerized table based on your unique back injury to reduce pressure and restore moisture and blood flow in the disc. By lowering the pressure, spinal decompression encourages painful herniated or bulging disc material to retract or realign.

The gentle stretching of the table causes a vacuum-like effect, which allows any leaking tissue to return to the spinal disc and increases blood circulation in the spine. Increased blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen back into the spine, which is necessary for healing.

What can you expect from spinal decompression treatments?

  • Before your first session, we’ll thoroughly assess your condition and program the spinal decompression table accordingly.
  • Most patients find that lying on their backs is the most comfortable and therapeutic position to completely release their spine during treatment.
  • As part of your treatment, the table will move back and forth. You will be securely strapped in to prevent injury. The movement also prevents muscle spasms afterward, encouraging more regenerative fluid to enter the disc.
  • Spinal decompression focuses on gently stretching and pulling your spinal column, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients into the impacted discs. The computerized table and healthcare provider will monitor the entire process to ensure a successful session.
  • A successful and lasting course of treatment may require 20 to 25 sessions (about 10-12 weeks); depending on your condition, most people start to feel relief about halfway through their course of treatment.
  • The individual treatments take approximately 25 minutes.

Who should receive spinal decompression therapy?

It's an effective treatment for people experiencing pain as a result of a herniated disc, nerve compression, or other back pain. Spinal decompression can also be used to treat cervical compressions, as well. We often recommend it for patients who have not found relief from other treatments like pain medication, physical therapy, home remedies, epidural steroid injections, or other pain management regimens.

In contrast to most Western medicine, spinal decompression aims to treat the underlying cause of low back pain rather than merely the symptoms. This makes it an innovative approach to treating back pain. Instead of cutting away at the spine to make room (surgery), this technique uses traction to restore space, gently pulling the irritated discs away from each other, bringing in healing fluids and alleviating nerve strain.

Benefits of Spinal Decompression for Lower Back Pain

20 to 40 percent of invasive spinal procedures do not succeed. Statistically, 29.2 percent won't see any improvement six months after their procedure, and 50% of patients whose surgeries failed had the wrong procedure prescribed, resulting in unnecessary spinal immobility or rigidity. But it's not as simple as a failed surgery. Every procedure can further destabilize your spine and lead to future problems. Surgery isn’t always the answer everyone wants it to be.

On the other hand, spinal decompression won't require a surgical procedure.

  • It's less invasive and won't require bandages or weeks of bed rest.
  • You come into our offices walking, and you leave walking.
  • You won't need to take time off work.
  • You can feel significant improvement in as little as 2 to 4 weeks.

Ready to feel the benefits of spinal decompression for lower back pain yourself? Call us and schedule your visit today.