Benefits, side effect and costs associated with Spinal Decompression Therapy !
Benefits of Spinal Decompression Therapy
Spinal decompression therapy is a computerized form of traction. The machines or the table’s can also bend and move in certain ways to address the injured area more specifically. As I mentioned in previous Spinal Decompression articles at Simply Align Rehab we use our machines to address the injured areas in pain free position. Spinal Decompression is used for various conditions and can effectively relieves pain associated with disc herniation, degenerative discs, posterior facet syndromes by reducing the pressure on spinal discs and facet joints through unloading created by distraction and positioning. The computerized traction also known as pulls are subtle and monitored by built in sensors at real time.
In short spinal decompression can help with
- Disc Bulge or Protrusion – condition in which the outer layers of discs put pressure on the spinal nerves
- Disc Herniaion – condition in which in inner part of the discs pierce through the outer layers and cause inflammation and pressure on the spinal nerves.
- Sciatica – refers to pain going down the leg due to pressure on spinal nerves
- Stenosis – refers to pain usually down both legs of arms due to pressure on spinal cord
- Disc Degeneration with osetophytes – deterioration of disc and resulting in loss of disc height
- Facet Syndrome – condition in which the small joints of back of spinal bones are affected
Side Effects of Spinal Decompression Therapy
Much like any medication or surgery or treatments there are some side effects and risks involved with Spinal Decompression Therapy. As I mentioned before spinal decompression therapy is really a form of traction, so basically the same side effects apply.
After Spinal Decompression you may experience:
- Some muscle spasm – Inform the doctor since ice and/or muscle stimulation can be used to reduce this spasm
- Shooting pain down the arm or leg – Press to stop button and inform the doctor, 3D Spinal Decompression and repositioning may be required
You should not do Spinal Decompression if you have:
- Bone Cancer or infection
- Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Severe Osteoporosis
- Artificial discs, or Bone on bone screws
- Recent spinal or abdominal surgery
You should consult your health professional if you have:
- Old Spinal surgery
- Moderate osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis
- Spondylolisthesis – when one spinal bone has moved forward with respect to the level below, seen on x-ray
- Paget disease – is a chronic disorder that can result in enlarged and weaken bones.
- Difficulty with lying down on your back or on your stomach since these positions is required for Spinal decompression machine
Cost of Spinal Decompression Therapy
The cost associated with Spinal Decompression therapy varies from as low as $40 to as high as $250 a visit in different clinics. More expensive does not mean better. At the same time you may be wasting your money in cheaper therapies and traction machines. Many clinics including our clinic suggest packages. I strongly believe that signing up for a package that roadmaps your therapy is beneficial. Many patients that try Spinal Decompression only a few times waste their money and time. It is really a process of healing. At the same time I have heard packages as much as $5000 to $7000 for 20 sessions of Spinal Decompression Therapy including supplements, belts and orthotics. I am not sure if that can be justified. After years of experience in this particular type of therapy I have formulated the following as cost reasoning.
The experience of the doctor – How many years or how many patients with different conditions has the doctor seen with Spinal Decompression Therapy
Patient education – Are education in performing daily activities are thought by the clinic? This activities include how to get on and off the table or bed, proper posture, proper lifting, bending, standing, sitting and etc..
Stability Exercises –Are stability exercises in clinic and at home are thought by the clinic? These exercises are essential in stabilizing the back. They are not simple stretches, they are specific to the condition and change from patient to patient and must be thought properly.
Complementary Therapy – Electro therapy, Laser, ultrasound, acupuncture and stretches can be applied to reduce pain and inflammation and increase range of motion. At Simply Align Rehab we use Hands Free Ultrasound, Super Pulsed Laser Therapy, Electro Therapy, Acupuncture, Tissue Work and Stretches as a complement to Spinal Decompression.
Spinal Decompression Machine – These machines can cost the clinic as high as $100,000 (DRX 9000 Decompression table) to as low as $8000 (Triton Traction Table). I put this category near last because I don’t think the machines matter as much. Most machines are designed to pull the spine and they do just that. The positioning ability of the table or machine allowing most comfortable position and comfort during decompression is what matters the most. Belts of the Spinal Decompression tables should be comfortable but firm. The pulls and traction intervals should be gradual and programmable. At Simply Align Rehab we use 3D Spinal Decompression Machine. There are no pulleys or ropes with our machine. The table itself splits and applies decompression. The lumbar or lower back region of our table can bend and twist in eight different positions allowing to maximum comfort.
Additional Supplements and Belts – Many clinics have different supplements and belts as part of their packages. In my experience not everyone need supplements or back belts. There is some research suggesting that back belts can cause muscle weakness and should be avoided. There is also no high quality research suggesting disc replenishment using supplementation such as Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Calcium or other natural supplements. At Simply Align Rehab we have few well researched supplements and different types of belts and posture correctors that are part of your package or suggested only when you need them.
For more information about our pricing please contact us or see us for a free consultation. Our pricing is reasonable and covered by most insurances such as Manulife, Sun life, Great west Life and Auto Insurance.