Spinal Decompression

by THOMAS on Mar 25, 2012 • 2:38 am

Decompression traction therapy is a sophisticated form of traction therapy that is a new and exciting alternative to more invasive therapies, such as drugs and surgery. Decompression works by gently pulling on your back and allowing your spine to decompress. This creates a vacuum effect that helps to hydrate the discs and soft tissue structures of the spine.


Back pain is usually the result of mechanical problems related to the spine. The common causes of back pain include strains and sprains, degenerated discs, bulging discs, herniated discs, facet syndrome, and degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis. The pain usually persists until the structural problem is corrected and normal spinal function is restored. Your spine is made up of 24 vertebral segments. Between each vertebral segment is an inter-vertebral disc that is composed of an inner core of gelatinous material and an outer layer of fibrous cartilage. The purpose of the disc is to provide flexibility and cushioning to the spine. It also creates a space between the vertebra, so that the delicate spinal nerves can pass through an opening called a foramen and reach their target destination. Damage to the discs can result in the beginning of a degenerative process that often results in a progressive cycle of pain.


Discs are normally very strong, and can withstand a great deal of wear and tear. Occasionally, however, they can become susceptible to injury created by repetitive activities and improper loading. This can be caused by lifting activities or sitting for long periods of time, which can cause the fibers to stretch and weaken. You can take a piece of flexible metal such as a coat hanger and bend it once, and it won’t break. But if you do it over and over again, it will eventually break in half. Disc fibers behave in much the same way. As the stresses on the disc are repeated (such as repetitive lifting or sitting for long periods of time) the fibers gradually weaken. This can create small cracks and fissures in the discs, creating a pathway for the soft inner nucleus to slowly begin to push outward. This is the beginning of a disc bulge or herniation. As this process progresses, the structure of the spine and the surrounding soft tissues begin to be affected, and ultimately nerve irritation or interference occurs. This results in the pain and stiffness associated with back problems. Once the discs are damaged, they no longer have the ability to maintain hydration, and they become dry, brittle and degenerated. This can in turn lead to chronic back problems.


Spinal decompression is a non-invasive gentle way of restoring normal function to the deep intrinsic soft tissue structures of the spine. This can be accomplished through a variety of treatment approaches, depending upon the nature of the spinal problem. It is my opinion that the Saunders 3-D Active Tract has the advantage of a wide variety of applications, due to several features:

    1.    Intermittent and static settings

    2.    Cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and hip treatment options

    3.    Lateral bending, rotation, flexion, extension settings


These features allow the doctor to treat a variety of spinal and extremity-related problems, including herniated discs, facet joint impingement, thoracic outlet syndrome, sub-occipital headaches, degenerative disc disease, degenerative joint disease, sciatica, chronic back or neck pain, and hip degeneration.


Please feel free to contact the clinic for additional information.