Experiencing mild to moderate back pain on a regular basis? There could be many causes when the occasional back pain arises. But if you find it occurring on a regular basis it may require something called spinal decompression therapy. Your pain might be caused by a bulging disc or a herniated disc, and not getting it taken care of as soon as possible will only lead to worse and worse pain over time. This is especially the case if your pain started after an accident. You should first consult your doctor or primary care physician before deciding upon something such as spinal decompression therapy, as they would best be able to explain all of the alternatives to consider. But if you’d like more information first, read on!
What is spinal decompression therapy?
A simple way of looking at spinal decompression therapy is stretching your spine for a short period of time to reduce both back and leg pain. This creates negative pressure on the spinal disks, and allows them to stretch out. It has been FDA cleared and provides a way to avoid having to get surgery. There are two types of spinal decompression therapy, surgical and nonsurgical.
Nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy involves the use of motorized traction to help stretch the spine. The process involves visiting a doctor who will fit a harness around your pelvis area. You would then lie down face up or face down on a computer-controlled table. The doctor then using the computer to target specific areas of your spine to release pressure on. A session generally takes around 30 minutes. Other methods involve the use of sound waves to generate heat and electrical stimulation as well. The sessions take place over the course of two months.
Surgical Spinal Decompression
More serious spine-related problems such as ruptured disks may require surgical spinal decompression instead. This can not only address back pain but also any sort of pain relating to the spinal cord or nerves as well. There are five main types of surgery related to spinal decompression.
- discectomy (removal of parts of a disk),
- laminotomy (removal of parts of a bone),
- foraminotomy (removal of tissue or bones to open nerve roots),
- ostephyte (removal of bony growths), and
- corpectomy (removal of a vertebral body).
A doctor would be best to consult regarding which type of surgery would be best to undergo, and there are risks associated such as infection and blood clots that should also be discussed as well. Technology has advanced to the point these days where surgery can be minimally invasive, involving the use of lasers. Surgery is a last resort option, as nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy can help relieve back pain in many situations.
Orthopedic Doctor or Chiropractor?
When it comes to spinal decompression therapy, should you consult an orthopedic doctor or a chiropractor? While both are very good options to consider, a chiropractor tends to be more hands-on with their patients in general. They will also spend much more time with you. What this results in is a therapy that is better tailored to suit your needs, which results in greater effectiveness as well.
Before coming to a decision it is important that you put in the necessary research ahead of time; not only into the procedures that are recommended to you but of the individuals giving the advice as well. You want to make sure that you are dealing with someone who has a good amount of experience and is looking out for your best interests and not just their own. Unfortunately there are doctors out there who are more interested in making money and will give you all sort of alternative options that may not help you at all. Look for doctors who specifically perform spinal decompression therapy and have a history of good reviews from patients.
Who is not a candidate?
There are certain individuals who shouldn’t go through spinal decompression therapy, such as those who are: of advanced age, pregnant, obese, and have advanced degeneration of their disks. This is why it is important to take advantage of free consultations that are available across the industry for this type of problem.
The doctors will let you know if you are an ideal candidate for a certain type of therapy. It is important to keep in mind that even though something may not be for you, that there are still alternatives out there for you to consider. For instance, alternatives to spinal decompression therapy include yoga, pain relief injections, hot and cold compresses, massages, and medication. Several months of spinal decompression therapy may not even work, and it may require having to do one of the aforementioned activities on a regular basis to reduce the pain. It is all just a matter of staying both realistic and optimistic at the same time in regards to spinal decompression, especially in the period of recovery after a severe accident.
Spinal Decompression Costs
Costs vary depending upon which option you choose (nonsurgical versus surgical). Nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy can cost as little as $30 per session to upwards of $200. The amount of sessions will depend upon the severity of the pain and what the doctor feels would be best. Surgical options can run as much as $6,000. It is important to consider both insurance and cost comparing for both surgical and nonsurgical spinal decompression. There are certain options that may or may not be a part of your insurance plan. That’s why it is best to call your insurance provider first before agreeing to anything. You should also consider getting quotes from other doctors in the area as well. Some may charge more but have numerous highly rated reviews from past patients. It is all really a matter of both preference and what your insurance provider has to say as well.
So, now that you know everything you need to know about spinal decompression… Give us a call, and we can refer you to physicians and chiropractors who know all about it, and can tell you more!