Spinal decompression therapy involves using a traction table to stretch the spine with the goal of relieving back and/or leg pressure and pain. Both traction and decompression therapy are applied with the aim of relieving pain and promoting an optimal healing environment for bulging, degenerating, or herniated discs.
Chiropractors understand how to relieve this pain. They are specially trained to find the source of your back pain, assess the problem, and make the proper adjustments that allow your spine to work properly again. Your chiropractor will likely give you advice on posture, exercise, and might also use soft tissue therapy or recommend massage therapy, physiotherapy or acupuncture. Chiropractic joint manipulation or “adjustment” is a treatment where the chiropractor uses his hands to apply a very quick, precise, and safe amount of pressure directly on the problem area of your spine. This pressure momentarily separates the joints, allowing a gas bubble to escape (this is the popping sound or cracking noise you might have heard about). This relieves the pressure on the joint and surrounding nerves, allowing your spine to return to its proper position. The adjustment is not painful, and often provides immediate relief.
Spinal traction and decompression is a non-surgical way to relieve pain and correct problems in the spine. Research points to the beneficial effects of traction because it can distract joint surfaces, reduce protrusions of nuclear discal material, stretch soft tissue muscles and mobilize joints. These effects provide many patients with pain relief from spinal dysfunction. The stimulation of sensory mechanoreceptors that occurs with the application of traction may also gate pain transmission.