Understanding Conditions that Spinal Decompression Can Treat

Understanding Conditions that Spinal Decompression Can Treat

Spinal surgery has come a long way during the past couple of decades, but despite those advances, one time-tested nonsurgical treatment still offers superior results in many patients. That treatment is spinal decompression, and research shows it provides significant relief to patients with many types of spine-related pain, especially in the neck and lower back.

Spinal decompression uses special nonsurgical techniques to gently “widen” the spaces between your spine bones (vertebrae), reducing nerve compression that can cause a host of uncomfortable symptoms. 

In fact, without proper treatment, nerve impingement can eventually result in permanent nerve damage and disability, affecting the way you use your arms and legs and sometimes interfering with bowel and bladder function.

Led by Barbara Adonis, DC, the team at Easy Reach Chiropractic uses spinal decompression to treat many types of spine problems, including the following five common causes of back and neck pain. 

1. Sciatica

A common cause of lower back pain, sciatica happens when the sciatic nerve is “pinched” at the point where it exits the spine. The longest nerve in your body, the sciatic nerve divides into two branches, with each branch extending down a leg. 

If you have sciatica, you can have pain, numbness, burning sensations, and muscle weakness anywhere along the nerve path, from your lower back through your buttock and all the way down your leg.

2. Spinal stenosis

Stenosis means narrowing, and in spinal stenosis, the space inside your spine (the spinal canal) narrows. That means it’s a lot more likely that the nerves inside your spinal canal will be compressed, either inside the spine or at the facet joints, where the nerves leave the spinal canal and travel to other parts of your body.

Lots of factors can contribute to spinal stenosis, including arthritis, thickened ligaments, and other changes most commonly associated with getting older. 

3. Herniated disc

Discs are spongy “shock absorbers” located between each pair of vertebrae. If a disc “slips” out of its normal position, it can wind up pressing on nerves as they exit the spine. Discs are made up of a tough outer membrane surrounding a gel-like interior. 

If a disc is compressed or pinched too much, that membrane can tear or rupture, and the gel can leak out, increasing nerve irritation. Herniated discs can happen anywhere in your spine, but they’re more common in the neck and lower back, the two most flexible areas of your spine.

4. Traumatic injury

Car accidents, falls, and sports injuries can all cause damage to your spine, directly or indirectly causing nerve compression and impingement. Traumatic injuries include fractures, “slipped” or damaged discs, and nerve damage.

5. Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is another spine condition that becomes more common as we get older. Aging causes the discs to “dry out,” which means they lose some of their ability to cushion the spine and protect the nerves. 

As the discs lose some of their natural fluid, the spaces between the vertebrae also shrink, increasing the risk of impingement. Combined with years of wear-and-tear, disc “shrinkage” and spine joint deterioration can lead to chronic back or neck pain, along with symptoms in your arms, legs, and other parts of your body.

Chronic spine and nerve-related pain can be debilitating, but spinal decompression can help. To learn more about this nonsurgical technique and other conservative treatment options that can help you find relief, book an appointment online or over the phone at our offices in Lake Worth and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, today.

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