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What is chiropractic decompression?

Chiropractic decompression focuses on improving spinal nerve function by taking pressure off them through manual adjustment and devices. Nerve compression is commonly caused by bulging discs, bone spurs and other degenerative spine conditions.

Chiropractors believe that the body’s overall health is supported by a fully aligned spinal column. Since spinal nerve compression occurs when displaced spinal anatomy causes narrowing of nerve pathways, a chiropractor would try to achieve decompression by manipulating the vertebrae and discs back into their proper positions.

Chiropractic decompression tables and manual adjustment

Decompression tables are sometimes used during a chiropractic decompression session. Some tables rely on inversion, while others use traction devices that stretch the spinal column and pull protruding bones or discs back into place. New models for decompression traction use the vacuum effect of negative pressure to achieve pain relief. Manual manipulation is also used to align shifted vertebrae and some chiropractors also perform massage treatment to relax muscles and stimulate blood flow. However, because traction and manipulation do not permanently remove the source of compression, relief is often temporary. Typically, chiropractic decompression will become a recurring treatment in order for it to provide lasting relief for a patient.

Alternative treatment options

Nonsurgical treatment methods for your neck or back pain should consist of a range of approaches. For example, if you do try chiropractic decompression therapy, your primary doctor may recommend complementing this with over-the-counter pain medication, low-impact exercise and hot/cold compression therapy. In the event that conservative treatment has proven ineffective after several weeks or months, your doctor may ask you to consider surgery.

Before committing to the risks and lengthy recovery of a traditional open spine surgery, contact USA Spine Care. Our team of board-certified orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons perform minimally invasive decompression procedures that have helped more than 60,000 people find relief from neck and back pain.

Request a review of your MRI or CT scan at no cost* from our dedicated team to find out if you could be a candidate for an outpatient minimally invasive spine procedure.

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