What is Spinal Decompression?

Many of my accident clients have neck and back pain as a result of strong impacts and whiplash resulting from a collision. Non-surgical spinal decompression is used to treat injuries associated with car, truck and motorcycle accidents and is approved by the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA). This article answers common questions about spinal decompression. 

What Does Spinal Decompression Treat?

Spinal Decompression is commonly used to treat:

  • Bulging or herniated discs in the neck and in the low back
  • Pinched nerves
  • Radiating arm pain
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Leg pain
  • Facet syndromes
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Failed surgery

How Does It Work?

In short, this medical technology stretches the spine and decompresses the discs. Non-surgical spinal decompression increases the height between the vertebrae to create a negative pressure within a disc and increases blood flow to the disc, allowing the outer layer to start laying down new cartilage fibers. By allowing blood to return back to the disc, the healing process can begin. Blood is essential to this whole process because increasing blood flow to the disc allows the natural healing process to occur. 

During decompression therapy, the patient lies on the spinal decompression table and relaxes while the device applies decompression forces to the injured areas. A spinal decompression therapy system consists of a split table that is programmed by a computer to provide cycling distractive forces along the axis of the lumbar spine. The intensity of intermittent force is increased gradually to help prevent muscles from contracting in reaction to being stretched. With proper positioning, traction can also be applied to an isolated spinal disc. 

Success Rates

Studies demonstrate that spinal decompression therapy succeeds at treating bulging or herniated discs over 70 percent of the time. The number of treatments can vary but will be determined by a doctor after an examination. 

In general, therapy can last around 45 minutes per session over the course of 4 to 6 weeks. In almost all cases, treatments are completely painless. Some patients are even known to fall asleep during spinal decompression session. Non-surgical spinal decompression can be an excellent way to alleviate any pains to the neck resulting from car accidents.


Mark A. Anderson
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Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas