Spinal Decompression Therapy (SDT)
This section is designed for anyone suffering from back pain, sciatica, leg pain, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, bulging disc, tingling, numbness, arm pain, neck pain, and some patients with spinal stenosis and failed low back syndrome.
Spinal Decompression Therapy (SDT) allows patients a 70-80% chance of resuming a normal lifestyle.
If you or your family members have been struggling with these debilitating conditions with little or no relief, then ask yourself the following questions.
Are you currently dependant on medications on a daily basis?
Are you limited in daily activities?
Have you had repeated injections or epidurals with little or no relief?
Are you considering surgery and are uncomfortable with that choice?
Have all the options been presented to you?
Have you been out or work or school due to pain?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then non-surgical spinal decompression therapy (SDT) is certainly a viable treatment option and could very well be what you’re looking for.
We sincerely want you to utilize all the material provided for your benefit. You are going to have some decisions to make, and you should be making those decisions based on your comfort level. Choices must be made. Some treatments are aimed at pain suppression and temporary pain relief. Other treatments are corrective in nature. Know the difference!
The following are a few ailments which can be helped with SDT
The sciatic nerve is a collection of several nerve roots that arise between your spinal bones (vertebrae). These nerve roots join together and form the largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve. This nerve travels down from the low back under the buttock muscles all the way down the legs and feet. Sciatica is a term to describe an irritation or pressure on the nerve, which is commonly caused by a herniated or bulging disc (also referred to as a ruptured disc, pinched nerve, or slipped disc) in the lumbar spine. The pressure or irritation leads to a complex of symptoms that include sharp, radiating pain, burning, and/or numbness and tingling. This is a very debilitating condition that affects thousands of people every year.
Generally, herniated or bulging discs are the cause of the problem. The herniated material of the disc will compress or contact the exiting nerve root producing the symptoms. Sometimes central canal stenosis, lateral canal stenosis, spondylolithesis, or degenerative disc disease can cause this nerve compression as well. The problem is often diagnosed as a "radiculopathy", meaning that one or more intervertebral discs have herniated or protruded from its normal position in the vertebral column and is putting pressure on the nerve root in the lower back, which forms part of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica occurs most frequently in people between 30 and 50 years of age. On many occasions this condition slowly develops as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine and discs. Rarely is this condition surgical. Unless there is a progressive neurological deficit, or cauda equina syndrome, the majority of people who experience sciatica get pain relief with non-surgical treatments. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is very effective for these conditions. Physical therapy and Chiropractic can help sometimes as well.
Anatomy of the spine
The intervertebral discs are located between each vertebrae in the spinal column. Of the vertebrae, there are 7 cervical (neck), 12 thoracic (mid-back) and 5 lumbar (low back) discs. The discs make up approximately 1/3 of the spinal column. They have three main functions: (1) "Absorb shock" from everyday wear and tear. (2) Allow movement of our spinal column. (3) Separate the vertebrae.
The intervertebral disc is actually a type of cartilaginous joint. Discs consist of an outer layer, annulus fibrosis, and an inner nucleus pulposus, which is a soft, jelly-like, substance. The disc is made up of proteins called collagen and proteoglycans that attract water. Normally, discs compress when pressure is put on them and decompress when the pressure is relieved. These discs do not have a blood supply; therefore, they exchange nutrients by a process called "imbibition". Imagine a sponge filled with water; when that sponge is compressed, the water is forced out of the sponge. When the compressive force is removed, the water is "sucked" back into the sponge. This is precisely how discs stay healthy and functional. Diseased discs can lead to degenerative disc disease that can then lead to: arthritis, herniated discs, bulging discs, facet syndromes, sciatica and spinal stenosis.
A herniation describes an abnormal condition of an intervertebral disc. Some refer to this condition as a "slipped", "ruptured", or "blown" disc. Most of the time it is not known what caused the disc to herniate, but it is thought to occur from repetitive stress due to occupation, poor spinal posture, and/or natural processes of aging and/or trauma.
A herniation begins when the inner nucleus pulposus bulges through the annulus fibrosis, causing a bulging or protruding disc. This bulge may push on a spinal nerve. This interferes with the natural blood supply to the nerve roots and sets up a condition known as intraneural edema. Basically, the nerve root microcirculation is compressed and can progress to the point where the nucleus begins to leak out of the disc. At this point the body begins to fight back by launching an autoimmune response to the disc material (nucleus pulposus). The reaction of this defense mechanism causes severe inflammation and progressive deterioration of the nerve root. If the herniation is located in the cervical spine (neck), the symptoms can range from neck pain, with or without arm pain, to numbness and tingling. Muscle weakness can be common as well. If the herniated disc is located in the lumbar spine (low back), the symptoms can range from low back pain, with or without leg pain, to numbness and tingling. Muscle weakness is also common. This type of pain and/or numbness in the legs or arms is referred to as a "radiculopathy". This happens because the nerves that exit your spinal cord innervate ("attach to") the skin in your arms and legs. They are responsible for sensation and for movement of the muscles in your arms and legs. They are also responsible for the reflexive movements as well. This is the reason some individuals with these conditions experience extremity (leg/arm) pain / numbness / tingling and/or weakness when they have a herniated or bulging disc. Be aware that, some individuals with herniated discs may report arm or leg pain only, with minimal neck or low back pain.
In this section we will discuss some of the confusion in the terminology regarding bulging discs, herniated discs, protruding discs, etc. Many times, even doctors use incorrect descriptive terms. We will use some diagrams to help demonstrate our lesson.
The following information is from the North American Spine Society, American Society of Spine Radiology, and American Society of Neuroradiology.
The term ‘bulging disc’ is and should be used as a descriptive term, not a diagnostic term.
Although ‘bulging disc’ is a popular term, it is usually not representative of what is really going on at the spinal level. It is used because it is easy to understand. Most people really have a herniated disc.
Non-surgical spinal decompression can be very effective in treating these difficult conditions. The treatment results in an unloading of the offending disc structures, which in turn creates a negative intradiscal pressure inside the disc.
This facilitates water and nutrient exchange into the disc, thus, allowing the injury to heal. It also can cause a vacuum-like effect, allowing the displaced materials to return to a more centralized position.
Over time, this treatment allows collagen, one of the body’s healing proteins, to form. Collagen can then repair the cracks and fissures in the annulus fibrosis. In addition, the inner matrix material of the disc becomes healthier with the exchange of water and nutrients. Spinal stabilization rehab exercises should follow a common sense spinal decompression therapy program.