Can Spinal Decompression Work For Sciatica?
Any sort of back pain can be terribly disruptive to your daily routine, and can leave you feeling defeated and unable to do all the tasks you’d like to do. If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort due to sciatica – one of the most common back complaints in the US – you’ll probably be looking for any kind of relief that can ease your symptoms and make life more bearable.
You may have already heard of spinal decompression therapy, and are wondering if it might work for you. This type of therapy can either be surgical or non-surgical, so we’ll concentrate on the non-surgical version and some possible alternative treatment solutions for your sciatica.
Sciatica is a medical diagnostic term used to describe the most likely origin of the pain, but not its cause. In fact, sciatica can be caused by a plethora of different problems, and is diagnosed due to symptoms such as pain following the sciatic nerve. This type of back pain usually originates around the lower back area, and can move as low as the buttock area or even down your leg to your calve or feet. One of the central characteristics of sciatica is that it usually only occurs on one side of the body. Sciatic pain symptoms are usually caused by lumbar nerve compression, which in turn can be caused by any of the following:
- Spinal disc herniation
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal Subluxations / Misalignment
- Piriformis syndrome
- Lifestyle Habits
The good news is, if you suffer from pain caused by sciatica, the chances are it can be treated.
If you think you are suffering from sciatica, you must first consult your chiropractor, doctor, or a back pain specialist, who can help to determine the exact cause of your sciatica. If your symptoms are shown to originate from a bulging or herniated disc, spinal arthritis, spinal stenosis, injury to the spinal nerve roots (radiculopathy) or posterior facet syndrome (worn spinal joints), it is likely that non-surgical spinal decompression is a good treatment option for you.
This type of therapy provides very effective, non-invasive relief for sciatica and back pain sufferers by taking a direct approach to treating damaged spinal discs. This medication-free treatment uses a kind of motorized traction to stretch the spine and relieve pressure from damaged discs, allowing for the retraction of herniation’s and uncomfortable bulges.
Non-surgical spinal decompression removes the inflammation and pressure that causes the sufferer so much pain, and neutralizes the force and position of the spine. When bulging or herniated discs retract, this helps to encourage the flow of oxygen, water and nutrient-rich fluids which allow the affected discs to heal. Other forms of treatment may have some beneficial effects on sciatica such as:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Limited rest
- Chiropractic care
However, they may only treat the symptoms and not the cause. Spinal Decompression works on the cause of your pain so that a recurrence of the problem is minimized or eliminated altogether.
How is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Performed?
During your non-surgical spinal decompression treatment, you will be fully clothed and fitted with harnesses by your doctor. One should fit around your pelvis, and another around your trunk. You will then be asked to lie either face-up or face-down on a comfortable computerized table which is operated by your doctor, who can adjust the settings accordingly to suit your specific requirements. A typical treatment can last anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes, and the average sciatica sufferer can expect around 20 to 28 treatments during a period of five to seven weeks. Certain other treatments can also be taken around the time of treatment, including:
- Heat or cold therapy
- Electrical stimulation
Who is Not Suitable?
Although it provides an effective form of relief from sciatic pain, not everyone is suitable for non-surgical spinal decompression therapy. A consultation with your doctor will inform you whether or not you are a suitable candidate. If you are not suitable, you will be able to discuss alternative treatments. There are several other alternative treatments available, such as stem cell therapy, prp injections or prolotherapy that may be a better treatment option for your particular problem. You should not undergo treatment if you have any of the following conditions:
- A tumor
- An abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Metal implants in your spine
- Advanced osteoporosis
- You’re under the age of 18
What Should You Do Next?
Get some help! Contact a doctor/clinic that specializes in back treatment programs and has several treatment options available. If you have back pain you already know the effect ti has on your life. Take action by yourself or have a family member help you, but get help. Advances in medical technology and treatment protocols have advanced a lot in recent years.
As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.