What is Spinal Decompression?

Written By Alla Levin
August 15, 2022
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What is Spinal Decompression?

At one point or another, you probably have had chronic back pain that refuses to leave. That is what it feels like when you have a bone from your spine pressing against a nerve, muscle fiber, or artery. Only that, this time, the pain rarely goes away. In medicine, this condition is called spinal compression

Painkillers are usually the first option for people in such a situation. However, that doesn’t remove the problem; medicine wears out, and the pain reoccurs. One way to treat this condition is through a surgical procedure called Spinal Decompression. This article tells you all you need to know about spinal decompression, but first, it will discuss what spinal compression is.

What is Spinal Compression?

Spinal compression is a condition that can occur when the vertebrae in the spine compress or collapse. That can happen for various reasons, including injury, degenerative diseases, and aging. When the vertebrae compress, they can pressure the spinal cord and nerves, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness.

Spinal compression is a severe condition that can cause pain and discomfort. Common symptoms of spinal cord compression include:

  • Balance issues;
  • Pain and stiffness in the neck, upper back, or lower back;
  • Burning pain that spreads into the arms, buttocks, or down the legs is called sciatica;
  • Numbness, weakness, and cramping in the hands, arms, or legs;
  • Loss of feeling in the feet;
  • Hand coordination problems;
  • Weakness of one foot or both feet that results in limping.

How Does Spinal Decompression Work?How Does Spinal Decompression Work

Spinal decompression is a treatment used to relieve pain in the spine. It is a non-surgical procedure that uses a machine to stretch the spine. This treatment is often useful for herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and other conditions that cause pain in the spine.

Spinal decompression can be done in a doctor’s office or hospital. The procedure takes about 30 minutes. You must lie on a table during the process, slowly stretching your spine.

After the procedure, you will likely feel relief from your pain. However, you may need to have several spinal decompression sessions to get the treatment’s full effect. However, a doctor may advise surgical spinal decompression if the other treatments are ineffective for bulging or ruptured discs, bony growths, or other spinal issues. 

What Conditions Requires Spinal Decompression Surgery?

Spinal decompression surgery is a type of surgery that is used to treat several conditions that affect the spine. The goal is to relieve pressure on the spine and nerves and stabilize the spine. Surgery is usually only recommended when other conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and pain medication fail to provide relief.

Such conditions that may require a surgical decompression procedure include herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.

  • Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is a condition that occurs when the inner gel-like substance of a disc in the spine leaks out through a tear in the outer layer. That can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected area. Herniated discs can occur in any part of the spine but are most common in the lower back.nb            

  • Spinal Stenosis 

Spinal stenosis is a medical condition that occurs when the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord or other nerve tissues. That can lead to various symptoms, including pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms and legs. In severe cases, it can even cause paralysis.

Age-related changes in the spine most often cause spinal stenosis, but it can also be caused by other conditions, such as tumors or injuries. Treatment typically involves a combination of physical therapy, pain medication, and, in some cases, surgery.

  • Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that affects the discs in the spine. The discs are the cushions between the vertebrae, which help absorb shock and keep the spine flexible. With degenerative disc disease, the discs begin to break down and deteriorate.

Degenerative disc disease is a progressive condition, which means it gets worse over time. It is most common in people over 40 and is more likely to occur in people with a family history of the condition. 

  • Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a medical condition in which one vertebra in the spine slips out of place. That can cause pain and other problems. The most common symptom of spondylolisthesis is back pain. That can range from mild to severe. Other symptoms may include stiffness in the back, difficulty moving, and numbness or tingling in the legs.

  • Slipped disc and sciatica

A slipped or herniated disc is where the tough coating of a disc in your spine tears, causing the jelly-like filling in the center to spill out. The torn disc can press on a surrounding nerve or nerves, causing pain in parts of your legs.

The most common characteristic of sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower back, down the buttocks, and into one or both legs, right down to the calf. The pain can range from mild to severe.

How to Prepare For a Surgical Spinal Decompression

If you are scheduled to have a surgical spinal decompression, there are some things you can do to prepare for the procedure. First, you should understand what the procedure is and what it is intended to achieve. You should also consult with your doctor and ask any questions you may have. Finally, you should follow your doctor’s instructions in preparing for the surgery.

Need a Chiropractor For Spinal Decompression Therapy

There is no definite way to prevent spinal cord compression. However, you can reduce the risk of getting spinal compression by preventing injury around your back and exercising regularly

Regular exercise strengthens the muscles that support the back and helps to keep the spine flexible. Maintaining a healthy weight is important because excess weight can stress your back and increase your chance of spinal cord compression.

However, if you feel consistent pain in your back, you can visit a chiropractor in Lone Tree to get professional spinal decompression therapy.

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