Spinal decompression: Non-surgical treatment for herniated and bulging discs

Non-surgical spinal decompression is a state-of-the-art treatment that has been helping thousands of patients with chronic low back pain, sciatica, spinal stenosis and herniated, bulging or degenerated discs.

This is an entirely different treatment from traditional chiropractic adjustments. Many of the patients who are candidates for this procedure have already tried chiropractic, physical therapy, injections, and are told they would need surgery.

There are approximately 500,000 spinal surgeries (discectomies, fusions, etc.) performed each year. Current research confirms the unfortunate dismal success rate of the procedures. A recent study found that 74 percent of workers had not returned to work within two years of the surgical procedure.

By contrast, non-surgical spinal decompression has demonstrated a significant correlation in decreased low back pain and an increase in disc height following treatment.

This breakthrough treatment works by gently separating the vertebra, which decompresses the disc, thus, causing the bulging material to be drawn back into the disc. It does this by reversing the high intra-discal pressure, thus, creating a vacuum effect.

At the same time water and nutrients are drawn into the disc to assist the healing process. Non-surgical spinal decompression is very effective, has a high success rate, and can be utilized for both cervical and lumbar disc injuries.

The typical treatment program is spread over several weeks. In addition to the decompression therapy, additional support may be necessary in the form of bracing, TENS (electrical stimulation), and nutritional supplementation.

It is also essential to strengthening the spine following decompression. This is accomplished through "core strengthening" rehabilitation exercises.

These exercises are designed to strengthen the superficial and deep muscles of the spine and abdomen in order to provide the patient with optimum spinal stabilization.

Most patients resume the previous activities they enjoyed. If you or someone you know has been told they need injections or back surgery, suggest they have a consultation to determine if they are a candidate for this procedure.

• Dr. John E. Boardman is owner and director of Boardman Family Chiropractic, P.C. and Ahwatukee Spinal Aid Center. He treats children and adults of all ages for a variety of injuries and conditions. Reach him at (480) 704-1954, www.ahwatukeechiropractic.com or www.azspinalaid.com.

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