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Spinal Decompression

Spinal Decompression is a common phrase used for different types of mechanical traction therapy.  One type of traction therapy that we use in our office is called flexion distraction technique. Flexion distraction uses a unique table that allows the treating doctor to reduce pressure within the discs as well as to help to reduce the size and presence of disc herniations or bulges in the lower back.  Flexion distraction tables gently "pull" or traction the low back.  Then, the chiropractic physician places their hand gently on the area of the disc bulge as the table stretches gently down.  This "pull" and bending of the table creates "negative pressure" inside the discs of the low back (kinda like a vacuum effect) which causes the bulge to be sucked back into the inside of the disc.  When the bulge is sucked back to where it belongs, it takes the pressure off the nerves in the low back, which helps to decrease leg pain or numbness as well as low back pain.

Flexion Distraction Research Studies

1) European Spine Journal 2006,  Vol 15, Issue 7, 1070-1082

Patients who received flexion distraction had significantly greater pain relief than patients receiving an active exercise program (i.e. physical therapy). Patients with radiculopathy (leg pain or "sciatica") were found to improve more with flexion distraction alone than with active exercise alone

2) The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume: 12 Issue 7: September 13, 2006

"In this first trial on flexion distraction care, flexion distraction was found to be more effective in reducing pain for 1 year when compared to a form of physical therapy."

Basically saying that after one year of follow-up, the group that received flexion distraction treatment was still having less pain than the physical therapy group.