Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal Decompression Therapy in San Diego at Sorrento Valley Pain Relief


Spinal decompression therapy is an effective new treatment for back and neck pain. This treatment is much less expensive than surgery (less than 5% of it in fact). Patients who have tried conventional therapies with suboptimal results are good candidates for this therapy. This therapy addresses discs, which  have minimal blood supply, and aims to decompress (relax) the disc using a vacuum-type pressure.

What conditions are treated with spinal decompression therapy?

This treatment is effective for:

  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Facet joint syndrome
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Post-surgical back conditions

Spinal Decompression Therapy In San Diego

Why is decompression necessary?

Research shows that intervertebral discs are responsible for lumbar (low back) pain 40% of the time, as well as associated leg pain (radiculopathy). Compression increases intradiscal pressure, which causes extrusion of the inner gel-like material (nucleus). Discs are avascular structures, meaning they do not receive a fresh blood supply. To restore nutrients and enhance healing, decompression is helpful.


What is spinal decompression?

In order to understand spinal decompression therapy, one must have knowledge of the spine and associated structures. There are 24 bony vertebrae separated by cushioning, quarter-sized discs. The discs act as shock absorbers, and the spine is held together by muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia.

Each disc has a tough outer layer (annulus fibrosus), as well as the inner nucleus, which is mostly water. The spinal cord runs up the vertebrae (behind the discs), and spinal nerves spur off this structure. Each intervertebral foramen (IVF) is an opening between two vertebrae where spinal nerves exit. These nerves travel to various body structures.

Decompression is reduction of intradiscal pressure. The intermittent mechanical traction used with the specialized decompressing device reduces disc pressure. With spinal decompression, the protruding disc material can be retracted by the reduction of pressure. Also, the disc’s pressure is reduced, pulling in increased blood flow, oxygen and nutrients for healing potential.

How is spinal decompression done?

The patient is positioned on a spinal decompression table, which is used in conjunction with other modalities to relieve the pain of disc degeneration and injury. The table is designed to apply distraction tension to the spine without causing reflex vertebral muscle contractions.


The vacuum effect allows protruding disc material to be pulled back, and stimulates a healing response by increased blood supply. The computerized table cycles through distraction and relaxation phases to isolate the spinal disc under negative pressure.

Spinal Decompression Therapy At Sorrento Valley Pain Relief

Who should not have spinal decompression therapy?

Spinal decompression traction treatments are not recommended for pregnant women or anyone with severe osteoporosis. In addition, morbidly obese patients or those with nerve damage are not candidates. One other contraindication is if a person has had a previous lumbar fusion surgery WITH instrumentation.


How many treatment sessions will I need?

Spinal decompression therapy is performed around 3-4 times a week for a total of 20-24 sessions. Each session takes around 45-60 minutes to perform.


Is spinal decompression therapy contraindicated in patients who have had back surgery?

Patients with failed spinal surgery can benefit from spinal decompression therapy. This is treatment is useful for people who have a stable spine after surgery but continue to have disc-related pain and disability. If instrumentation is in place, the treatment is contraindicated.

Does spinal decompression therapy work?

Clinical studies show that spinal decompression therapy works quickly. People who do best with decompression tend to feel a sense of relief, due to pain cessation or reduction in stiffness and/or aching. It usually takes 4-6 sessions for noticeable pain relief, and many patients report full pain relief after 8-12 sessions. By reducing intradiscal pressure, spinal disc decompression has an 85-90% efficacy rate. Studies show a reduction in disc herniation around 50-90%, depending on the number of treatment sessions performed.

Does spinal decompression therapy work?

Sorrento Valley Pain Relief offers spinal decompression therapy with several highly trained professionals. The San Diego chiropractic team utilizes the best spinal decompression therapy table on the market to insure the best outcomes! Call us today for a complimentary consultation and to find out  more about what decompression therapy can do for you.

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