The back plays an integral supporting role in keeping the body upright. More so, a robust and healthy spine can facilitate both simple and complex movements by stretching or compressing. Without a strong back, getting up or carrying out simple activities can be difficult or almost impossible.
That said, over 31 million Americans are currently suffering from lower back pain stemming from a myriad of different causes. If you're one of them, you've probably experienced how painful and limiting chronic backache can be. Depending on the severity of the condition, it can be alleviated with adequate rest, activity, therapy, or—in the worst case—surgery.
But most often, injuries like herniated discs respond well to spinal decompression therapy and do not require invasive procedures. In such cases, a conventional spinal decompression table is the best option to accurately stretch compressed discs, allowing for better blood flow and healing. While traction machines may sound intimidating to some, they are used by many patients every day. Read on to see how lumbar traction and decompression machines can help improve quality of life.
What Is Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Spinal decompression therapy is a holistic method of treating chronic back pain without the need for surgery. This operation utilizes a traction device (known as a spinal decompression table) to help relieve severe back pain symptoms by aligning the spine, allowing nerves and discs to heal. Back pain can arise from many different causes, such as pinched nerves, arthritis, disc herniation, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease.
How Spinal Decompression Therapy Works
A decompression machine helps to provide instant pain relief, correct posture, and alleviate muscle spasms. Aside from healing backaches, a decompression table can provide immediate relief to chronic neck, leg, shoulder, and arm pain. The main aim of decompression therapy is to loosen up severely compressed bone structures to alleviate pain.
As a result, fresh blood gains access to these previously inaccessible pain sites, sending water, proteins, nutrients like iron and calcium, and oxygen cell carriers into the spinal discs, thus enhancing cell growth and ultimately improving a patient's healing abilities. Ideally, for outstanding results, a patient would require at least 20–30 treatments from a chiropractor or physical therapist.
What Are the Benefits of Spinal Traction?
Helps With Herniated Discs Alignment and Healing
A chiropractor or physical therapist can promote optimal herniated disc healing with spinal traction therapy alone. In most cases, back pain may arise due to trauma or wearing of the spine, causing one or more discs to rupture. When this occurs, an external pressure build-up causes the disc to protrude and press against sensitive nerve roots and muscles, causing extreme discomfort, pain, numbness, tingling, or swelling.
However, spinal traction therapy helps reduce excessive pressure by gently stretching the spine, allowing bulging discs to decompress and stop putting pressure on the surrounding nerve roots.
Minimizes Sciatica Pain
Sciatica (or sciatic neuritis) is a condition in which the sciatic nerve is compressed by a herniated disc or bone spur within the spine. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and down each leg, but in most cases, sciatica only affects one side of the body.
Spinal traction, along with medication, is a safe, non-intrusive way that provides pain relief to the sciatic nerve without the need for complex surgery. During spinal traction therapy, a patient's spine decompresses, which helps realign the discs that are responsible for the pain.
Relieves Muscle Spasms
Bad posture, nerve damage, autoimmune disorders, back trauma, disc herniation, and strain can lead to recurring muscle spasms and back pain. However, spinal traction is an effective way of alleviating muscle spasms and can be paired with massage therapy for optimal pain relief.
Improves Poor Posture
Over the years, our spine endures hours upon hours of unnecessary pressure by sitting or standing in unnatural positions. Whether it’s from your desk job or late-night gaming sessions, if you're not mindful of your posture, this can cause long-term damage to the lumbar and cervical discs, which can then develop into chronic back pain. Spinal traction therapy helps to gently straighten out a patients' back. Coupled with practicing good posture habits, spinal decompression therapy can significantly improve years of poor posture.
Non-Invasive Medical Solution to Chronic Backache
Spinal decompression therapy provides a pain-free way to mitigate chronic back pain symptoms. It achieves this effect in a non-invasive way, ultimately alleviating the need for needles, scalpels, and other medical or surgical equipment.
Life-Long Positive Results
Unlike most therapeutic sessions, a patient undergoing spinal decompression will not only have their back aligned but will also experience long-term results. The average patient needs eight sessions until they see significant results.
What Is the Outlook After Spinal Traction?
While presenting various benefits, spinal traction requires consistency and dedication for the results to be fully noticed. With time, patients can expect to exhibit signs of improvement in their posture within the first few therapy sessions. As weeks go by, back pain symptoms are expected to resolve between 20 to 30 sessions.
Some may experience pain relief at different rates depending on their back's starting condition and their individual healing factor. Other physical results can be spotted after traction therapy, such as better posture.
After a successful spinal decompression session, the general outlook is overwhelmingly positive as the signs manifest both visually and internally. Just be aware that it takes time, so the procedure should not be seen as an instant cure for chronic pain. In the end, you’ll see that your dedication and patience was well worth it!
How Can You Prepare for Spinal Traction?
Before starting spinal traction therapy, it is essential to ensure that you're not suffering from any of the following conditions in order to avoid any injuries or adverse reactions:
- Vascular disorder
- Open wounds
- Severe arthritis
- Ligamentous instability
Furthermore, users with arm or leg prosthetics are advised to take caution when utilizing spinal decompression machines. The device pulls and releases limbs during the shortening and lengthening cycles, causing stiff joints to move. As always, if you have any doubts about whether spinal traction therapy is right for you, consult your physician.
What Is a Spinal Decompression Table? How Does It Work?
A spinal decompression table or traction machine is a device that applies a soothing force onto a patient's cervical spine. This mild pressure stimulates the back and helps relieve pain.
The machine resembles a typical table or bench. The device comes fitted with cushioned padding, which allows users to lay on top comfortably and features belts and harnesses wrapped around the user's lower back, chin, or back of the head. The harness is then connected to the traction machine, which gently tugs it towards the table at a controlled speed. If a patient feels some degree of discomfort, the device's rate and pulling weight can be altered to the user’s preference.
As the patient's neck is pulled in one direction, their lower back is tugged in the opposite. As the spine is gently twisted, spaces are created in between the discs, releasing pressure on pinched nerves. The procedure continues until any pressure between the cervical discs is released.
What Does a Traction Machine Do?
A traction machine helps rectify herniated or bulged discs while straightening the back. Furthermore, it helps improve overall posture and works on easing tensed neck and back muscles. This is achieved via repeated lengthening and shortening cycles, which stimulate spinal joint and back muscles with an automated computerized pulley-like system using a harness and belts.
Your One-Stop Shop for Chiropractic Back Relief Equipment
At ScripHessco, we understand that dealing with chronic back pain can be debilitating. That’s why we provide the top names in inversion tables and decompression machines to physical therapists and chiropractors online.
To learn more about our products, feel free to give us a call or speak to our customer service agents.