Spinal Decompression Therapy in Atlanta

Spinal decompression therapy is a leading non-surgical alternative for disc-related conditions of the cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) spine. This treatment uses sophisticated equipment to stretch the spine, relieve pressure from the discs, muscles, and joints, and to enhance the body’s natural healing process.

What conditions are treated with spinal decompression therapy?

Your doctor will discuss your medical problem with you to determine if you are a candidate for spinal decompression. Conditions treated with this therapy include herniated discs, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, failed back surgery syndrome, spinal stenosis, facet joint syndrome, sciatica, and arthrosis.

When is spinal decompression therapy contraindicated?

There are certain conditions that cannot be treated with spinal decompression therapy. These include osteoporosis, cancer, tumors, osteomalacia, ankylosing spondylitis, unstable spondylolisthesis, myelitis, post-surgical conditions with metal implants, and fractures.

How often do I go for spinal decompression and how long does it take?

A full spinal decompression treatment last between 45-60 minutes, and low back pain can require up to 25 visits, whereas a neck condition can take between 12 and 15 visits. Spinal decompression is usually given 3-4 days per week during the initial stages of care.

What happens during a spinal decompression treatment?

The patient is harnessed to the decompression table and hooked up to the computerized machine, which is programmed specifically to the individual. Depending on the vertebrae of focus, the degree of angle and intensity of force will be set.

During a decompression session, the machine will pull and open the table to create a stretch and decompression for 45-60 seconds. Then, the machine is set to release 20-50%, depending on the patient’s unique condition.

What should I expect after a spinal decompression session?

You are allowed to return to work after receiving a spinal decompression treatment. However, you should limit activities of twisting, lifting, and/or bending for 6 hours post treatment.

What are the risks and side effects associated with spinal decompression?

While most patients do not experience any side effects associated with spinal decompression, there is a slight risk of pain, muscles spasm, and soreness. There are no risks associated with spinal decompression, and the system has emergency stop switches for both the operator and the patient. These switches will terminate the treatment if pain occurs, to avoid any injuries.

What is the success rate for spinal decompression?

Approximately 85% of patients report favorable results with spinal decompression. While spinal decompression typically provides long-lasting relief of pain, it is a good idea to have decompression at least once every 6-8 weeks to maintain the correction.

In a recent study involving 33 patients, the decrease in pain was reported at 76% at one year follow-up. In another study of patients with chronic low back pain, improvement after 20 sessions was statistically significant over those who only had 10 treatments.

How much does spinal decompression therapy cost?

Unfortunately, most insurances do not cover spinal decompression therapy. Compared to back surgery, however, the cost of this treatment is low. Charges depend on the condition, and range from $75-$100 per session, not including adjustments and other treatments at the visit.

Resources

Ramos G. Efficacy of vertebral axial decompression on chronic low back pain: study of dosage regimen. Neurol Res. 2004;26:320–324. doi: 10.1179/016164104225014030

Shealy N, Koladia N, M. W. Long -term effect analysis of IDD therapy in low back pain: a retrospective clinical pilot study. Am J Pain Manage. 2005;15:93–97.