Spinal Disc Decompression Explained Sioux City
Spinal disc decompression treatment is very popular and effective treatment for disc herniations, bulges, and extrusions. Damage to the intervertebral discs cause them to bulge backwards and herniate their contents backwards by the spinal cord or nerve. Disc herniations can cause severe pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hip, leg, or foot. With a low back disc herniation, some people cannot lift their foot, walk, or have difficulty standing.
Jelly Doughnut Structure
Spinal discs are in between the vertebrae, and act as shock absorbers. Spinal discs help vertebrae rotate, glide, and tip to allow our spinal movement. The disc structure has to balance the requirements of movement and structural support.
Spinal discs have a thick fibrous outer layer with a fluid center. Its structure is similar to a jelly donut – a centralized jelly surrounded by a ring of tissue. If excessive pressure is placed on the donut, the jelly can shoot out the back of the donut. This is similar to a spinal disc herniation where the jelly leaks out the back of the disc. Unfortunately, the spinal cord and nerve roots are directly behind a spinal disc, and the extruded jelly compresses either the spinal cord or nerves. The resulting inflammation and fluid further compresses the nerves.
Spinal Decompression Treatment Forces
Spinal disc decompression treatment enhances disc repair to speed healing and recovery. Spinal discs have a limited blood supply that requires movement to bring blood and nutrients to the tissue. All of our body weight is coming down and compressing on the vertebrae and spinal discs. This force inhibits blood from flowing into the disc. Normal body movements produce a series of compression and decompression forces on the disc. These movements allow blood flow during the decompression phase, and the compression phase pushes the blood away. Walking, running, jumping, and moving create cycles of blood flow through the body by compressing and decompressing the joints.
The passive blood flow system to the spinal disc requires movement to deliver nutrients. However, when we are injured and in severe back pain, we tend not to walk or move. Severe muscle spasms inadvertently further compression in the low back and spinal discs. Without the unloading phase, we are unable to deliver nutrients to help the disc repair and heal.
Imagine a wet sponge. When you put your foot on the sponge and step down the water rushes out, and removing the foot allows water to rush back into the sponge. This is the same mechanism that delivers blood flow to our spinal discs. However with an injury, we are not moving, and therefore not creating the cycles of blood flow. It would be as if we kept our foot partially compressed on the sponge and allowed just a little bit of movement.
Decompression therapy works to help unload the pressure placed on a spine and enhance the healing by using a specially-designed traction table. Spinal decompression stretches and pulls the joints apart, thereby decreasing the pressure on the disc so blood flow can rush into it. As the table slowly returns to the starting position, the disc reloads and blood is pushed out of the disc. Decompression would be similar to taking our foot all the way off the sponge and then slowly reapplying it. If we did this for 20 minutes, we would significantly increase the cycles and amount of blood that flows through the discs. More blood and nutrients means faster healing and a shorter recovery times.
Spinal decompression therapy increases the amount of blood flow through injured lumbar discs in a shorter period of time. By combining spinal decompression treatment with chiropractic, exercise, stretching, cold laser, and massage therapy, we produce improved long-term outcomes.
Spinal decompression treatment alone would help speed disc healing. However, without chiropractic and other therapies, the muscles and joints could not protect the disc. There would mean an increased likelihood of future injuries to the disc or adjacent joints. Proper core strength and stabilization restores normal movement to the low back and helps protect it during times of excess stress and strain. Muscle weakness often leads to excessive shear force across the spinal disc and joints, leading to damage, re-injury, or arthritis.
Establishing normal muscle mechanics prevents future damage from occurring and reduces the likelihood of future injuries. Spinal decompression treatment is fantastic for decreasing pain, muscle spasms, and reducing recovery time. In the end, it should be combined with proper stretching, strengthening, and chiropractic care to maintain low back joint movement and muscle stabilization to reduce the risk of future injuries.