What Is Spinal Decompression?
Spinal decompression is a treatment that may relieve back pain associated with compression of the spinal vertebrae (back bones). The nonsurgical approach to spinal decompression uses traction, a treatment in which a machine or gravity is used to gently stretch and decompress the patient’s spine in an attempt to relieve pain and tension.
The simplest effective form of spinal decompression uses inversion machines, which can be found in Yakima at Central Washington Physical Therapy. An inversion machine secures the patient to a flat surface and tilts them backward until the spine is gently stretched, temporarily relieving back pain in as little as one session.
Spinal decompression can also be used to help decrease neck pain and headaches. In such cases, the therapist typically performs the traction manually. With the patient lying down on their back, the therapist gently pulls backward from the base of the skull to relieve tension in the neck. This type of spinal decompression may also help alleviate pain, weakness, or tingling in the arms, as these symptoms are often linked to spinal issues of the neck.
Conditions That Spinal Decompression May Help
- low back pain
- neck pain
- spinal disc herniation
- spinal stenosis
- weakness, pain, or tingling down the arms and hands
- weakness, pain, or tingling down the legs and feet
Always consult your physician before attempting any kind of treatment program.
At Central Washington Physical Therapy, our trained staff can teach you at-home methods of spinal decompression for pain relief away from the clinic. One such method involves using the weight of the lower body to pull and decompress the spine. To do this, you will need a table or other sturdy surface around waist-height. Placing your hands on the table, push down and lean onto them to take some of your weight off your feet. This movement releases some of the compressing forces on your spine, often helping to decrease low back pain.
While not as effective as an inversion traction machine, this and other at-home techniques our staff at Central Washington Physical Therapy can teach you may be just what helps you get through the day.
If you suffer from neck or back pain, spinal decompression may bring some relief. Contact Central Washington Physical Therapy below to get started.