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Spinal Decompression Therapy - What Can I Expect?

What we’ll do

Spinal Decompression Therapy is more than just the table. At the start of your program of care, your chiropractor will explain to you the various components involved. The following will be included in your program:

spinal decompression therapy table

  1. Spinal Decompression Therapy
    At Canberra Spine Centre, we use the latest technology. The Hill DT Spinal Decompression tables are the standard in Decompression Therapy. They provide safe, reliable and consistent treatment, using an array of integrated sensors which continually monitor the patient, ensuring proper treatment delivery. Your chiropractor will choose from one or a combination of 8 different programs, adjusting the treatment to your needs as you progress through the treatment plan.
  2. Chiropractic Care
    Your progress will be quicker and more complete when Chiropractic adjustments are combined with your decompression treatment. Restoring proper joint motion and nerve function assists in healing damaged discs and other components of the intervertebral joints. There are many types of chiropractic adjustments to suit a variety of body types, ages and conditions, from large and strong to weak and delicate. Your chiropractor will select the type of adjustment, and the force used, to suit your needs.
  3. Nutritional Advice
    spinal decompression therapy nutrition
    When you have a serious problem, you need to stack up all the points in your favour to maximise treatment outcome. Good nutrition and possibly supplementation can be very helpful in assisting you to achieve this. Your chiropractor will recommend certain foods to avoid, and others to eat more of. He or she may also recommend one or more nutritional supplements to assist in the recovery process. These can help reduce inflammation and provide the body with an abundant supply of the right nutrients for rebuilding your damaged connective tissues.
  4. Other Supportive Recommendations
    Your chiropractor may also provide other recommendations for things you can do to help yourself, such as ice, heat, or even recommend massage or other complementary therapy. Remember, the goal is to get you well in the shortest possible time.
  5. Rehabilitation exercises
    spinal decompression therapy exercise
    Your core stabilising muscles tend to get out of sync and in poor condition when you have a chronic and painful spinal condition. Treatment outcomes tend to be better when combined with targeted rehabilitation exercises. Your chiropractor will provide you with a tailored series of exercises designed to improve motion, function and strength along the way. Don’t worry, you won’t get a list of 20 things to do, we’ll keep it simple and effective!

What sort of things will happen as a result of treatment?

There are many benefits of Spinal Decompression Therapy. Local effects related to the mechanical forces on the spine and related tissues are as follows:

  • An increase in blood flow to the local area, improving nutrient supply into the disc and other joint-related tissues.
  • A reduction in pressure inside the disc, helping it to heal.
  • ‘Drawing in’, or reduction in size of the disc herniation.
  • A reduction in nerve compression (directly from the disc) and nerve irritation (from surrounding inflammation).
  • Rehydration of the disc, creating healthier disc tissue.
  • An improvement in spinal mobility as adhesions within and around the joint are stretched and released.

spinal decompression therapy treatment result
There may also be more generalised effects of your Spinal Decompression Therapy related to less compromise of the nervous system with better spinal motion and improved function, such as:

  • Less muscle guarding due to a reduction in damage and inflammation.
  • Improved posture for similar reasons.
  • Reduced pain levels due to the lowered inflammation and nerve irritation.
  • A lowered ‘stress response’ in the body (and all that this entails, such as inability to relax, irregular sleep, poor mood and upset digestion among other things) due to less pain and damage messages passing around the nervous system.

What will I feel during the treatment?

Feeling of stretch

Some people will notice a slight stretching sensation to begin with, others may not. We start your program on a low force setting to ensure your safety and comfort.

Is anything happening?

As you progress, you may start to feel that nothing is happening – that the decompression table isn’t working. This is normal. It means that the tissues around your damaged joints are changing and adapting, and the settings on the table need to be adapted.

Sometimes you’ll feel pain.

Due to the stretching of scar tissue of the tissues in and around the joints, you may occasionally get an increase of pain during your decompression session, or shortly afterwards. This passing discomfort is common, and a sign of the table doing the work your body needs.

Ups and downs

When we are making substantial changes to the tissues of your spine, we expect some ‘ups and downs’ – some days feeling great, other days feeling less so.
Generally, any leg or arm pain that you have been experiencing will centralise or recede to your lower back or neck. During this period, you may feel that your arm or leg pain is getting better but that your back or neck pain is actually getting worse.
Again, this is common and a passing phase as your body goes through the tissue changes as part of the treatment.

What other things may change?

Other improvements that patients of Decompression Therapy notice are:

  • A reduction in pins and needles where this was part of your previous symptom picture.
  • A decrease in numbness.
  • A return of normal sensation.
  • An increase in function – often noticed as improved strength.
  • An increase in your range of motion.

spinal decompression therapy - freedom

Will I be helped and how soon will I feel it?

Most people respond well, but not everyone

Spinal Decompression Therapy has a high success rate for the right candidates. While most people will respond well to this therapy, not everyone will. With our method of regular measuring and testing, we identify quickly those unlikely to respond well and refer appropriately. Some people may still require surgery or other forms of treatment.

Different time frames for healing.

For the majority who do respond well, timing is different for everyone. There are many paths to healing:

  • Some will feel the benefits within the first few visits.
  • Most will begin to feel positive change within 2 – 4 weeks of treatment.
  • Some will take even longer than this to feel change.
Functional changes before symptoms change.

In fact, we often find that people improve functionally before they feel symptomatically better. That is, their tests and measurements improve, showing that the treatment is working, before they feel any difference.
Some people feel better movement and strength before they feel any changes in their levels of pain. Everyone is different.

Longer time frame for more serious conditions.

The variability and longer time frame for healing is probably due to the fact that ideal candidates for the Decompression table often have more chronic and serious problems, and therefore more damage and inflammation for their body to heal.
That’s why most people will need between 20 – 30 sessions over a 2 – 4 month period to achieve maximum recovery. We will monitor your progress to ensure that you get the care that you need – no more and no less – to help you be your best.

If you have problems with your spine, please call us on (02) 6257 9400 – we’d love to help!If you would like some more information about the spinal decompression therapy and how it relates to your health, please check out the other articles on our Facebook page or from our website: Spinal Decompression Therapy.