Radiating pain in your back can reduce your ability to engage in the activities you most enjoy. If you often experience lower back pain when bending over, tingling or numbness in your back or shooting pain that lasts for more than a couple of seconds, you could be a good candidate for spinal decompression.
These advanced medical treatment options are designed to address chronic lower back pain caused by a wide range of issues that range from sciatic nerve pain to degeneration of the discs and vertebrae of the spine.
What Are the Most Common Reasons for Back Pain?
Back pain can be caused by a number of different factors, including injuries, accidents and strains caused by too much activity. In some cases, overcompensating for an already sore and aching back can cause further stress on the structures of this part of the body. There are many causes for back pain:
- Muscle strains are common among younger or active individuals. Lifting objects in an improper fashion or overstressing yourself during the work process will sometimes lead to a sore and aching back that could last for days, weeks or even months. The duration of these issues will depend on the extent of the damage done to the muscles.
- Accidents, especially automobile accidents, can put severe stress on the delicate structures of the back and can lead to problems that require the assistance of a qualified healthcare professional to diagnose and treat.
- Pregnancy is a joyous time for many women. The added weight and the change in balance can sometimes result in severe back pain that will usually resolve itself after the baby arrives.
- Degenerative joints or discs can sometimes cause serious pain in the lower back and could restrict mobility for older adults. This condition requires careful attention to protect the vertebrae against damage and to restore the health of discs located in the spinal column.
More serious issues with your back may be caused by the following:
- Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes the spinal canal to become narrower over time. This usually results in numbness, tingling and pain for patients who have this serious issue.
- A disc bulge is an injury to the structures between your vertebrae that cushion them and prevent them from rubbing against each other. A disc bulge may also be referred to as a slipped disc or a protruding disc and typically requires prompt treatment to prevent further damage to your spine.
- Sciatica is a form of radiating pain associated with the sciatic nerve. This pain is usually confined to one side of the body and can be long-lasting and severe.
- A herniated disc is usually an early sign of spinal degeneration and occurs when only a portion of the disc slips out of place and out of the spinal canal. Spinal disc herniation is typically painful and may cause weakness or lack of mobility among some patients.
- Anklyosing spondylitis is a severe form of arthritis that begins in the lower back and that causes inflammation of the bones in your spinal column. It usually becomes worse with age and requires specialized treatment to maintain mobility for patients as it becomes more severe.
- In many cases, back pain can develop or become worse as we age. Finding the right solutions for managing pain and promoting the greatest mobility will help you to stay active and healthy for many years into the future. Decompression therapy is a great choice for many patients who want non-surgical intervention that works to relieve pain and to reduce pressure on the delicate structures of the spine.
Understanding the Anatomy of the Spine
To understand how decompression therapy works, you must first look at the overall structure of the spine, which consists of 33 vertebrae divided into five separate sections:
- The cervical spine is the seven vertebrae closest to the head. This section of the spine allows the neck to turn and to nod.
- The thoracic spine consists of 12 vertebrae in the middle back.
- The lumbar spine contains five very large vertebrae that support most of the weight of our bodies and that are very often prone to misalignment or injury from improper lifting.
- The sacrum is five fused vertebrae that create a triangle. This section of our spines connects the rest of the spine to the hips and pelvis.
- The coccyx consists of four fused vertebrae and is more commonly referred to as the tail bone.
The spine is made up of vertebrae, inter-vertebral discs and ligaments. Each vertebra has a hollow center through which the spinal cord travels from the brain to the bottom of the spine.
Inter-vertebral discs serve as the shock absorbers separating the vertebra and helping them to stay in position. Finally, ligaments travel along the entire length of the vertebral column to help stabilize it and to support the muscles, bones and cartilage that comprise the spine.
The top three sections of the spine are the most common trouble spots for most of us. By working with a qualified doctor of chiropractic, patients can often achieve outstanding results and reliable relief from pain caused by misalignment or damage to the structures of the spine.
This can improve the quality of life for many of those currently suffering from severe or persistent pain in their backs.
Treatment Options for Back Pain
Minor or occasional back pain can often be treated with normal measures, including over-the-counter pain medications, heat/ice or basic stretches. For more serious issues, however, you will need to consult with a chiropractor to determine the best course of action. In many cases, decompression of the discs that separate the vertebrae in our backs will provide the best and most effective results in relieving pain and increasing mobility. This process will relieve pressure on these spinal structures, which will often slow the progress of degenerative spine conditions and will promote the best health for patients in Franklin, Tennessee, and the surrounding communities.
What Is Spinal Decompression?
Decompression therapy for the spine is a non-surgical intervention that is designed to provide relief for patients who suffer from radiating pain, a disc bulge or chronic pain of the lower back.
It is also recommended for some patients who suffer from sciatic pain or who are experiencing degeneration of the vertebrae, intervertebral discs and other structures of the spinal column. The process typically requires less than an hour per session and can be performed on an outpatient basis.
Decompression therapy works by relaxing and stretching the spine in a gentle and gradual way. This will reduce the amount of pressure placed on spinal discs, allowing them to regain their previous shape and to heal from any damage caused by compression between two vertebrae.
This can prove helpful for a wide range of problems, including disc herniation, injuries or diseases of the spinal nerve roots, worn-down spinal joints or sciatic pain.
The process typically involves the use of a computerized system that can apply specific amounts of force to stretch the spine. You will generally be fully clothed during the procedure.
A harness will be fitted to your hips and pelvis and another one will be placed securely around your torso. Your doctor will then apply gentle pulling pressure using the harnesses and the computer to stretch the spine and to relieve pressure on discs that can cause pain.
Most patients require 20 to 28 treatments over the course of about six weeks to achieve the best results. These treatments may also be combined with laser therapy to promote the fastest healing for injured muscles and tissues and the most practical and positive solutions for patients with chronic back pain issues.
Class IV K-Laser therapy is a non-invasive and effective way to address muscle pain and to promote faster healing. The infrared rays used in this type of therapy can reduce or eliminate pain in the middle or lower back while ensuring that the decompression treatments work as effectively as possible for you.
Benefits of Spinal Decompression
If you are considering decompression therapy for yourself or for a family member, you should know that these treatment options offer some significant benefits:
- Most patients report at least some improvement after just a few sessions of spinal decompression therapy. This can ensure the fastest possible resolution of serious and painful symptoms without the risks or dangers associated with surgical solutions. By entrusting your painful back issues to a proven chiropractic team, you will often enjoy rapid relief that will last for an extended period of time.
- Decompression therapy is low-risk and are safe for repeated use. This means that if your back problems do recur after a few months, you can return to your chiropractor for a few more sessions. This is not true with some other treatment options. By deciding to opt for decompression rather than more radical treatments, you will leave your options open for future remedies and will ensure the greatest flexibility for your overall back pain therapy regimen.
- The decompression process is absolutely painless and may allow you to relax and even doze off during the procedure. This could help you to feel much more confident before and during your visits with your doctor. Lowering your stress levels is a positive move for your overall health and well-being and could help you manage your care more effectively now and in the future.
- There are no major side effects of decompression procedures. This is not true of many competing surgical treatment options, which can sometimes lead to serious medical issues for patients immediately or in the months and years following these procedures. By opting for decompression rather than surgical options, you can ensure the greatest safety for yourself and for other members of your family who are living with chronic back pain.
- The psychological and emotional benefits of living with less pain are not to be overlooked. Decompression therapy can allow patients to achieve improved mobility when walking, bending or stretching and can ensure longer periods of sleep uninterrupted by pain or discomfort. This can add up to an improved psychological outlook and a more positive attitude toward the challenges and activities we engage in every day.
- Some studies suggest that spine decompression procedures can restore the fluids, nutrients and oxygen that compression over time can squeeze out of the inter-vertebral discs. By allowing enough space for these discs to expand and to absorb fluids and oxygen, decompression of the spine will typically help to speed the healing process for disc bulge issues and herniation of the discs that separate the vertebrae in your back.
By working with a team of caring professionals, you can achieve these benefits and can ensure the right solutions for your back pain, slipped discs or sciatic pain.
Finding the right healthcare provider is essential to establish the right treatment regimen and to produce the best and most positive results for you and your family now and in the future.
At Advanced Health & Wellness Center, we specialize in providing you with the latest and most effective solutions for pain and discomfort. Our spinal decompression experts will provide you with the best solutions for your chronic or acute back pain symptoms. We work with you to determine the most practical approach to your needs.
Whether you require decompression services for a slipped disc or other spinal issue or a holistic approach to your health and well-being, the experts at Advanced Health & Wellness Center will work with you to create the right solutions for your needs. We are committed to the highest standards of excellence in chiropractic care and deliver outstanding solutions for our patients. Give us a call today at 615-905-0120 to schedule a consultation with our team of chiropractic professionals. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.