Spinal Decompression

Spinal Decompression Treatment for Neck Pain

A popular model, much touted by salesmen and chiropractors, and used for both the lumbar and cervical spine is the DRX9000™ spinal decompression table. This product is purported to relieve symptoms associated with disc bulges or disc herniation, such as pinched nerves, numbness, and weakness, and is approved by the FDA and Health Canada. The theory behind the DRX9000™, and other non-surgical spinal decompression systems, is that it reduces the pressure in the spine, thereby improving the supply of nutrients and clearance of toxins to the spinal discs. This then promotes healing and recovery and can prevent or treat chronic back and neck pain that is associated with degenerative disc problems.

The cyclic action of the DRX9000™ creates a pattern of relaxation and distraction which leads to a vacuum effect and negative intradiscal pressure. This then induces the bulging or herniated disc to retract into the intervertebral space and oxygen, fluids, and nutrients to flow into the region to begin the healing process. Therapists often recommend a minimum of five sessions, with some people continuing for twenty or more treatments. These are usually spaced over around six weeks for those with neck pain, with three sessions each week. Patients undergo the treatment fully-clothed with a pair of soft rubber pads behind the neck as they lie on their back on the table. For pain in the lumbar spine patients are fitted with both a pelvic harness and a thoracic harness whilst lying face down or face up on the computer-controlled table. Frequently, clinics will add chiropractic treatment, massage, ultrasound, heat (thermotherapy), ice (cryotherapy), and electronic stimulation to the session to accentuate the decompression effect. They may also suggest that a patient uses certain nutritional supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and/or fish oil to complement the treatment. Staying hydrated during the treatment and the recovery will aid the healing of the discs.

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Last Updated: 11/20/2010