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Spinal Decompression: Frequently Asked Questions

Spinal Decompression is safe, viable treatment option that can relieve both the physical symptoms of back and neck pain, as well as address the root causes of discomfort. To learn more, browse our frequently asked questions and arrange a consultation with Natural Life Chiropractic to learn if you are a candidate for spinal decompression therapy.

1. How is spinal decompression therapy (DTS) different from intersegmental traction (IST)?

IST stretches your spine and muscles simultaneously. If you only stretch the spine, your body naturally “braces” for the next stretch reducing the ability for the treatment to be effective. This “overall stretching” commonly used in IST can also trigger painful muscle spasms. DTS is different than conventional IST it alternates between stretching and relaxation. The relaxation stages trick your body into staying relaxed and therefore maximizes the load and the effectiveness of the treatment. DTS should also allow your doctor to target your treatment area in three different dimensions. This isolates specific spinal discs and allows them to “target” their treatment, while IST often just “stretches” the entire spine. At Natural Life Chiropractic we can completely customize your DTS treatment. We can change the amount of stretch (load), the quantity of stretch/relax stages, the amount of time it takes to reach each peak stretch/relax stage and my other settings. This allows us to personalize the session for your age, weight and condition and to adjust your treatments as we track your results.

2. What can I expect during treatment?

During each 30-minute treatment session the patient relaxes comfortably on a heavily-padded bed. After being secured into position by an upper and lower body harness, the patient can completely relax by listening to music, or simply taking a nap. Typically, each 30-minute session is divided into 18-phases where spinal decompressive forces alternate between a maximum and minimum therapeutic level. The cycling of forces in this manner appears to create a pumping action that simulates the natural processes responsible for nourishing the intervertebral disc.

3. What makes Spinal Decompression Therapy (DTS) so effective?

Doctor skill combined with the table and computerized traction head are the keys. Proper assessment, correct positioning and the use of preprogrammed patterns of distraction and relaxation may reduce disc pressure allowing necessary nutrients to enliven and accelerate disc healing.

4. What can I expect during the course of treatment?

Some patients may experience light side effects with this type of therapy. Mild muscular soreness during treatment may occur. The sensation would be similar to what a person might experience at the onset of a new exercise regimen. Most patients find this therapy quite comfortable and relaxing. Adjunctive therapies to Spinal Decompression will include electrical stimulation and cold therapy.

5. Do most patients receive therapy and rehabilitative exercises in addition to DTS?

To reduce inflammation and assist the healing process, supporting structures are treated with passive therapies (ice/heat/muscle stimulation), chiropractic adjustments (as indicated) and/or active rehabilitation in order to strengthen the spinal musculature.

Did you know?

It is estimated that back pain afflicts over 31 million Americans and is the number one cause of activity limitation in young adults. Within a given year, up to 50% of U.S. adults suffer from back pain.

• Americans spend at least $50 Billion each year on low back pain and it is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States.

• Low back pain is the second most frequent reason for visits to the physician.

• 80% of people over the age of 30 will experience back problems at some point in their lives. 30% of those will have recurring problems.

• Back pain accounts for almost one fourth of all occupational injuries and illnesses.


Disclaimer: Results may differ from patient to patient based on many factors. Age, condition, length of time, and other health factors will affect results. As with any program there is no 100% gurantee, and we do not claim to cure any specific disease. Natural Life Chiropractic promises to do everything in our power to get you to your most optimal health.