After suffering a significant trauma, experiencing years of abnormal wearing and tearing to the spine, or repeated smaller injuries, many patients come to us with symptoms of a herniated disc. While there are several preventive measures that can be taken, one very effective tool to address a herniation is decompression therapy. Disc Decompression consist of evaluating the damage to the spine and the disc involved, decompression therapy, EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation), and hydrating the body while occasional icing the treated area.
When a patient first visits, the highest priority is to find the cause of their pain. We start with a consultation, exam and x-rays to determine the severity of damages in the painful area. After reviewing all of these, Dr Overton, our Chiropractor, can then determine the exact course of treatment and set a procedural guideline. We call this list a “Care Plan” and is given to chiropractic patients who have a condition requiring it.
What Is Decompression Therapy
Decompression therapy is two parts. The first function is to “relieve pressure” to disc herniations or bulges. While the Spinal Decompression table pulls, the space between the vertebrae increases and inflates. This space between the vertebrae is occupied by spongy gelatinous disc, and as this space increases a negative pressure is formed in the center of the disc causing a “suction effect” that can draw in disc herniations or bulges. This takes pressure off the “pinched” nerve or pressure on the spinal cord. The second function of Spinal Decompression Therapy is to thicken and heal the disc while infusing it with nutrients. As the Decompression table pulls and relaxes, it creates a “pump effect” that rushes nutrients, blood and oxygen into the disc, and forces wastes out of the disc – this heals and strengthens the disc and increases disc thickness, strength and dexterity.
Depending on the pain a patient has, and the level of inflammation and swelling, the Chiropractor may suggest EMS. Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) mimics the body’s nervous system by sending safe, low frequency electrical pulses to the affected area, causing the muscle to contract and increasing temperature and blood circulation. The electric signals cause the muscles to contract and release in a manner that leads to relaxation. Electrical Muscle Stimulation is an exceptional way to help the body in the healing process.
Lastly, the Chiropractor suggests that the patient properly hydrate. This means drinking an appropriate amount of water every day and avoiding items that cause dehydration (caffeine, alcohol, soda…ect). Icing the affected area is also important. Dr Overton suggests to do a regiment of 20 minutes of ice and an hour off to help healing.
The pains of a herniated disc can be extreme and excruciating. While there are many treatments available, the nonsurgical one is the obvious choice for most people. WIth a proper consultation, decompression therapy, Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS), proper hydration and ice treatments, a patient can expect to see a noticeable reduction in pain. These and many more Chiropractic treatments are being developed to address the pains of those in our Columbus, Ga audience. Our Chiropractor will be updating on future treatments soon.