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Both surgical and non-surgical spinal decompression treatments are used to provide relief from various sources of back pain associated with degeneration and trauma.
Studies indicate that non-surgical decompression is an effective solution for many types of back pain, and several procedures offer patients a drug-free, non-invasive,alternative treatment for disc degeneration, disc bulges, herniated discs, facet syndrome, and sciatica.
Non-surgical spinal decompression is, in essence, a gentle system of pressure relief that is designed to reduce pressure on the back and provide nutrients to the compressed regions of the spine.
When gentle force is applied to area surrounding the intervertebral disc, a suctioning effect can reduce pressure on the disc and diminish or eliminate the nerve compression that is causing pain. Because the discs depend upon receiving its nutrition through the end plates of the vertebrae surrounding it, the reduction of pressure allows nutrients and water into the disc, facilitating the healing process.
Sometimes referred to as "traction", non-surgical decompression treatments today rely on advanced computerized systems that allow a physician precise control over the angle and the force applied to the damaged area of the spine, and can greatly reduce the body’s natural impulse to generate a muscle spasm in the area.
Typically, the "articulation decompression" treatment involves alternating a series of one minute cycles of decompression with one minute cycles of relaxation performed while the patient lies comfortably on a bed. Padded straps are snugged around the body at optimum locations to improve the effectiveness of the treatment, which is often quite relaxing and pleasant. Non-surgical spinal decompression avoids many of the risks associated with invasive procedures such as injections, anesthesia or surgery.
Surgical spinal decompression may be performed using one of these common procedures, and is an effective form of treatment for patients who cannot achieve relief from back pain through non-invasive treatments:
Micordiscectomy (or microdecompression) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure removes a portion of the herniated disc using an instrument, or laser, when possible.
Laminectomy (or open decompression) is a more invasive surgical procedure in which a small portion of the actual vertebrae is removed to help alleviate the pressure on the pinched nerve. Both non-surgical and surgical spinal decompression can provide pain relief for patients with a history of discomfort, who are seeking a solution to chronic back pain.