Spinal Decompression Therapy
Spinal Decompression therapy occurs on a computerized “Tritan” table which provides a gentle stretching of the spinal column to promote nutrition intake in the discs. In healthy intervertebral discs, daily motion and body positions allow the disc to be nourished properly. As we age or if we are injured, our discs can lose mobility which affects their ability to take in nutrition they need to maintain healthy function. Tractioning the spine in a controlled manner can re-establish more normal disc function and promote disc regeneration and health. As in all things, healing takes time but with Spinal Decompression Therapy and your doctor’s prescribed exercise program, the road to recovery will be more effective and timely.
How is the treatment performed?
Spinal decompression is performed on a specially designed table in either a face up or face down position.
You will remain fully dressed during the treatment although we recommend wearing loose fitting clothes and removing your belt and emptying your pockets.
You will be comfortably positioned on the table and fitted with a wrap-around harness. This harness is what allows the unloading of your spine and discs by the traction motor.
Your position on the table, the harness and the angle of the gentle traction allows for accurate and focused treatment to the affected disc.
Once comfortable on the table, the computer controlled traction device is programmed to deliver a gentle stretching force to the spinal vertebra. The total treatment time is usually less than 18 minutes. Most patients report simply feeling a subtle and gentle stretching at the lower back or around their hips.
Since DTS Therapy is a comfort-based procedure, patients usually report a snse of relief and relaxation during the session. Many patients even fall asleep.
How does it work?
The gentle stretching and relaxing of the spine fosters a phenomenon called “imbibition”. In the simplest of terms, this is the way a normal disc gets nutrition. This pumping action promotes nutrition intake into the discs, something often lost in damaged and degenerative disc conditions. In a healthy disc, imbibition occurs naturally with daily motions and body positions and accounts for the increase of disc thickness in the morning and decrease at night. Stretching or tractioning the spine in a controlled, comfortable manner can help re-establish a more normal imbibition which can resupply the disc with nutrients which helps it heal.
Decompression therapy is not traction. Traction has been in use for a very long time with no documented clinical efficacy, because traction creates distractive forces throughout the entire spine by utilizing a linear pull. A linear pull elicits a proprioceptor response in the body, which prevents the traction device from opening up the intradiscal space enough to create a significant amount of negative intradiscal pressure.
Decompression isolates the distraction forces to a specific motor unit of the spine and affects a specific disc level. When this is done on a logarithmic curve, the pull avoids the body’s proprioceptor response, allowing the intradiscal space to be opened for intradiscal pressure to occur. The result is that pressure is relieved on the anatomical structures that may be causing back pain.
How long will it take to feel better?
Although most patients report a dramatic reduction of their pain within as few as five treatments, an injured disc needs time to heal. This is why we urge you to be regular with your prescribed treatments and office visits. Research shows to completely heal some discs a regular program of home exercises, prescribed by your doctor will need to be followed.