Spinal Decompression Therapy

Home / Back Pain / Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Do you suffer from chronic back pain? Does your back pain stop you from doing the things you love? Have you tried every kind of treatment but just can’t seem to shake the pain? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people across North America deal with chronic back pain and as a result aren’t able to do the things they love. Back pain shouldn’t be a part of your life and your local back pain specialist can help! Many people turn to chiropractic care, physical therapy, cold laser therapy, acupuncture, and massage to lessen the debilitating effects of chronic back pain. However for some people, normal techniques are not enough and they don’t know where to go from there. If you struggle with back pain, you might want to give spinal decompression therapy a shot! So what really is spinal decompression therapy, how does it work, what are the benefits and risks, and how do you know if it’s right for you? Here is your complete guide to spinal decompression therapy!

What is spinal decompression therapy?


There are two types of spinal decompression therapy: non-surgical and surgical.

Non-surgical spinal decompression: Non-surgical spinal decompression is a type of motorized traction that may help relieve back pain. Spinal decompression works by gently stretching the spine, leading to changes in force and positioning in the spine. By creating negative pressure in the disc, the therapy takes pressure off the gel-like cushions in your spine (spinal discs). As a result, bulging or herniated discs may retract, relieving pressure from your nerves and other structures of the spine. It also leads to increased oxygen, water, and nutrient-rich fluid flow into the spine to help it heal.

Surgical spinal decompression: Surgical spinal decompression is often only used as a last resort. Your doctor may recommend the surgery if every other alternative method has failed. Surgical spinal decompression tries to achieve the same goal as the non-surgical alternative. It is usually recommended if you have bulging or ruptured discs, bony growths, or other spinal problems.

How does non-surgical spinal decompression therapy work?

Throughout the treatment process you are fully clothed. The doctor will begin by fitting you with a harness around your pelvis and another one around your trunk. You lie either face up or down on a computer-controlled table. The doctor is able to control how the table splits apart, thus relieving pressure on certain areas of your back. Treatment time is anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes and may require up to 28 sessions over the course of 7 weeks.

What are the benefits and risks of spinal decompression therapy?


  • Effective pain relief treatment for back or neck pain and sciatica
  • Relieve pressure from herniated or bulging discs
  • May heal injured or diseased spinal nerve roots
  • Alternative treatment when nothing else has worked


The risks associated to spinal decompression therapy pertain more to the surgical variety simply because it is an invasive treatment. Anytime you go into surgery there is a risk of infection, blood loss, and even death.

How do you know which treatment is right for you?

Often times, your doctor will recommend that you try non-surgical treatment first. Non-surgical treatment is often just as effective and far less risky. However, if you have tried absolutely everything and your back pain is still hindering your everyday life, spinal surgery may be right for you. Consult your local back pain specialist today and find out how they can help!

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search

Exercises for Lower Back Painphysiotherapy