Flexion Decompression Therapy
This article was provided by Dr. Jason Drivere, a chiropractor at Advanced Spine Care and Wellness in Aiken, SC. If you would like to learn more, please visit https://www.advancedspinecare.net/
Do You Have Low Back Pain, But Don’t Like Conventional Side-Posture Chiropractic Adjusting?
Perhaps you should try something different. I’ve used this treatment on patients young and old for the past 15 years. Some people are familiar with traction or low force spinal adjustments like drop table or instrument adjusting, but flexion decompression treatment is a little different. Flexion Decompression is a treatment that involves a low force chiropractic technique used to treat various spinal conditions, but the most common is low back pain. It is an effective non-surgical treatment that helps to improve spinal motion while resolving disc bulge/herniation pain and dysfunction. This form of treatment is a great as a safe, gentle, low-force treatment that is proven to help take pressure off the spinal nerves that may be injured or dysfunctional.
My Clinical Experience With Flexion Decompression
I am so glad that we were taught this technique in chiropractic college because it has and continues to help patients where other chiropractic or physical therapy treatments have failed. I believe it helps more because it addresses tightness in muscles and other soft tissues in addition to the spinal joints. I like this treatment because it is a gentle way to get the spine moving and it seems to work especially well for older patients with spinal stenosis or spinal arthritis. I’ve had patients that had neck arthritis and disc bulges that were told that they needed surgery, but they were afraid so they wanted to try this. After just 5 visits they were able to get improvement in their neck and arm pain so much that they did not end up needing neck surgery after all. This is not always the case, but it never hurts to try less invasive treatments first before considering more invasive treatments like spinal injections or surgery.
How does it help?
- Reduce pressure on the spinal nerves from a disc bulge or herniation
- Increase spinal motion within the disc and spinal joints
- A less invasive option to surgery for herniated discs
- Helps reduce sciatica symptoms
- Helps reduce general low back pain and stiffness
- Helps reduce spinal arthritis pain
- Helps reduce spinal stenosis pain
How Does It Work?
Flexion Decompression involves using a special table that separates and flexes the spine in a gentle rhythmic motion. This technique is considered a form of Chiropractic adjustment since it involves hands-on manual techniques with the table to resolve the disc herniation or bulge symptoms. The goal is to allow the spine to reduce spinal stiffness in a manner that will remove pressure from the disc bulge or herniation. The treatment does this by creating a negative pressure that helps pull the disc bulge back into the proper position in the spine. The motion also helps to allow flow of nutrients into the spinal disc and helps keep them well hydrated. This treatment does not hurt and includes no quick twisting or popping of joints. Flexion decompression is considered spinal manipulation and is covered by most health insurance plans including Medicare.
Is It Decompression?
You or people you know may have had sought out decompression treatment to help heal up spinal disc injuries. Most times these decompression treatments also involve an expensive pre-paid treatment plan that could cost you anywhere from $2000-$5000 for a set number of decompression sessions. These costs are typically because health insurance does not pay much for spinal traction or decompression so the doctor typically puts together a treatment plan of 10-20 visits for which you pay up front or monthly via electronic fund transfer from your bank. The fact of the matter is that spinal traction and decompression are essentially the same thing. The difference is how the treatment is marketed to the public. I’ve studied the science of various decompression machines and whether you lay on your stomach or lay on your back the end result is essentially the same. The basic mechanics of the treatment is separation of the spinal segments to help create negative pressure to decompress the spinal discs.
Flexion decompression as I’ve described above also provides a decompressive force to spinal segments, but instead of placing you on a machine with a cable that pulls you apart I can decompress specific spinal segments by hand with a gentle pressure. We also don’t have expensive pre-paid plans for our flexion decompression treatments. In the past I’ve had patients visit other clinics and pay $5000 for decompression treatments only to have the results last a month or so after treatment stopped. The spine tends to need continued care periodically to maintain spinal mobility, decompression, and flexibility so these expensive pre-paid plans are no permanent fix in most cases and as a result I am not a fan of those plans.
I prefer flexion decompression treatment because we don’t have to have expensive pre-paid plans because most insurance, including Medicare, covers this type of treatment as it is defined by most as a form of spinal adjustment since it is hands on like most chiropractic treatments.
Is Exercise Necessary For Long-Term Low Back Pain Relief?
Most people are unaware that studies show that spinal stabilization exercise is very important for people that suffer from chronic or long-term low back pain. This is because low back pain tends to change the way we move and live to avoid pain. As a result of this studies show that we will have atrophy of spinal muscles that help keep our back stable which makes our low back even less stable. Some studies including MRI scans even show that this atrophy can start to become noticeable after only a week of low back pain. Flexion decompression can help reduce spine stiffness and pain which is great because it can help you to get more active again, but do you still have to get more active and do home exercises or supervised exercises to get their spine stronger and more stable to get the best lasting results. Our whole body vibration plate is a great way to stimulate the low back and hip muscles to get stronger again at a fraction of the time compared to conventional exercise.