Are Patients Satisfied with Spinal Decompression Therapy?
At any given time, about 31 million Americans are experiencing some form of low-back pain. Even more staggering, an estimated 80% of the population will experience back problems at some point in their life. Many patients who seek relief are recommended invasive spine surgery, which has large associated costs and long recovery times. One alternative is spinal decompression therapy, and patients who have chosen it have experienced outstanding results.
Pain in the neck and lower back is an incredibly pervasive health problem in the United States and around the world, and is the leading cause of missed work and disability. There are a number of treatments available, but depending on the cause, intensity, and frequency of the pain, many cause little improvement, or can actually worsen the condition. Non-surgical spinal decompression can be an extremely effective alternative to these treatments, as evidenced by the results reported by healthcare professionals and patients.
An Alternative to Surgery
In 2011, 1.391 million spinal surgeries were performed, up 17% from 2007. Surgical decompression accounted for over 12% of those surgeries. Like all surgeries, laminectomy, spinal fusion, and surgical decompression have associated risks and complications, such as infection, long and difficult recovery periods, and worsening symptoms.
What is spinal decompression therapy? It’s an alternative to risky and expensive back surgeries that has achieved great results in patients, especially those with chronic low-back pain for whom other treatments have failed to deliver improvement. With the use of a spinal decompression table, patients undergo a series of treatments that create negative intradiscal pressure without causing any discomfort. This allows nutrients to come into the disc more easily and creates more space between vertebrae for the disc to move back into its natural position and heal.
This therapy has had well-documented success in both clinical studies and in healthcare practices such as chiropractic and sports therapy clinics. In one study, 92% of 219 participating patients saw improvement in their level of pain, with 86% reporting complete resolution of symptoms. In addition, after 90 days, 84% of patients reported staying pain-free. Only 3% had abnormal findings in a physical examination 90 days after treatment. This study shows that while not all patients with low-back pain respond to spinal decompression therapy, it does provide lasting improvement for a large majority.
Spinal decompression has been shown to work particularly well on sciatica and herniated or bulging discs, as well as on facet syndrome, neck pain, degenerative disc disease, and other chronic back conditions. A study in the American Journal of Pain Management showed that 86% of patients with disc-related pain or sciatica and 75% of patients with facet syndrome who had undergone non-surgical spinal decompression treatments achieved self-reported “good to excellent” pain relief. There are patients who should not be considered for spinal decompression therapy, but overall, it is a very versatile treatment.
As a treatment that was developed relatively recently, there is still work to be done compiling evidence of the effectiveness of spinal decompression therapy, but there are plenty of studies and results that speak for themselves. Patients are getting the relief and healing they need from non-surgical spinal decompression, even when they can’t find it anywhere else.