There is real hope today and for people with chronic back pain and for people with symptom such as sciatica, muscle spasms, stiffness, loss of mobility and numbness and tingling especially in the arms. These symptoms can be relieved and even, in many cases, completely cured. There is no surgery involved. No invasive procedure to alter the physiology. No pins, rods, fusions.
What is it? It is called Spinal Decompression.
Basically, it is a form of traction that is monitored by a computer. Unlike traction, there is no continuous pull on the back. During Spinal Decompression, you lie face down and the computer checks every 17th of a second whether your muscles are tense or relaxed. During tension the traction stops.
When you relax the Spinal Decompression device gently pulls, spreading the vertebrae and allowing relief from inflammation due to friction from bulging discs. As the vertebrae spreads the disc suctions the fluid that may have leaked out. Over time fibers in the tissues surrounding the disc re-hydrate, can heal and actually regenerate to their previous state.
So instead of uncertain surgical procedures that alter the body, and often cause a different pain and loss of movement, spinal decompression actually heals and brings your body back toward its previous pain free state. Unlike with surgery, Spinal Decompression does not alter the anatomy of the back.
Who is Spinal Decompression for?
Anyone with a moderate to severe bulging discs in the lower back or neck.
An X-ray and MRI are required to get a baseline and see if you would benefit. Those with strained muscles or muscle injury would not benefit. Elderly people with loss of disc height, stiffness and pain would benefit. Whiplash and neck problems can also be helped.
Case studies are phenomenal with a 90% recovery rate with great improvement in flexibility and reduction to complete elimination of pain. The amount of success depends on a person's severity of previous damage.
In a study reported in the Orthopedic Technology Review, Nov/Dec 2003 by Thomas Gionas MD and Eric Groteke DC, 229 people with major symptoms associated with herniated and degenerated disc disease underwent 20 decompression treatments over a six-week period. In 86 percent of the patients the pain levels were reduced to either a rating of zero (no pain), or one (occasional pain). These patients reported complete resolution of pain, lumbar range of motion was normalized, and there was recovery of sensory and motor loss.
After 90 days only 2 percent had relapsed and of the patients with abnormal findings at the end of therapy, only 3 percent still exhibited those findings at the end of 90 days, showing they continued to improve following the decompression therapy.
How long are treatments?
Each session lasts about a half an hour. And for the first 2 weeks you would go 4-5 times a week; after that 2-3 times a week. Six weeks is an average course of treatment, but the length can vary depending on severity of problem. Sessions are relaxing and comfortable.
During the first two weeks you are required to stay off your feet as much as possible - seemingly impossible with the busy lifestyles of today, but a small price to pay for freedom from pain.
Are there side effects?
In some cases of severe disc compression the process of decompressing can actually aggravate tissues that have been pressed together over time. During the first week or two, back pain can feel worse as areas become inflamed with movement. After 2 weeks, though, pain lessons and goes away.
In conclusion, Spinal Decompression is a virtually unknown treatment that gives hope for those multitudes of people with chronic back and neck pain. You will get the best results with proper nutrition and stress relief which will assist your body in healing. You really can return to the pain free and energetic lifestyle you used to have.
For general back health, it is good to keep moving. Don't sit for long periods of time. Magnesium is great supplement, because it helps to relax the muscles, and it is also used in the citric acid cycle for producing energy so it can help to energize the muscles. Supplements such as Vitamin C and glucosamine sulfate are beneficial for back pain because they help to build connective tissue. Shark cartilage helps to reduce inflammation.
There are a number of spinal decompression machine makers, and many that call themselves decompression that are really traction. A quality machine is the DRX 9000 C, because it also decompresses the cervical spine, has superior craftsmanship, and a patient friendly design.