1100 Pitt Street, Cornwall, ON
Follow us on    

  Spinal Decompression

Non-surgical spinal decompression is a form of treatment used to relieve pain and dysfunction associated with disc bulges, disc herniations, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and other compressive spinal conditions. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy is safe, comfortable and painless.

How Does It Work?

This state of the art technology utilizes a special force transducer bed to intermittently distract specific spinal vertebra with the goal of decreasing the pressure within the discs and joints of that region. As the vertebra are gently pulled apart, pressure is reduced within the disc (intradiscal pressure) until a vacuum is formed. This vacuum or negative pressure will 'suck' the gelatinous center of the disc back inward thereby reducing the disc bulge or disc herniation. Significant disc bulge reduction will remove pressure off the spinal nerves and drastically reduce pain and disability. This 'sucking' effect will also pull in much-needed oxygen, nutrients and fluid into injured and degenerated discs allowing the healing process to begin.

What Happens During Treatment

Before treatment commences, a full history and physical examination is carried out by one of our trained doctors to determine if you are a candidate for non-surgical spinal decompression. During this time the doctor may ask to see any previous imaging (x-rays, CT, MRI) or may request reports of such tests from your family doctor or specialist. If it is determined that you are a good candidate for spinal decompression a treatment plan will be designed with the aim of achieving the best results for your specific condition. During the spinal decompression treatment the patient is full clothed. The doctor fits you with a harness around your pelvis and another around your trunk. You either lie face down or face up on a computer-controlled table. A doctor operates the computer, customizing treatment to your specific needs. Treatment may last 15 - 40 minutes. In extreme cases 20 to 24 treatments over four to eight weeks may be needed. A large majority of patients will see notable improvements within 1-4 treatments. Before or after therapy, you may have other types of treatment, such as LASER Therapy, interferential current, or hot/cold therapy. Specific at-home rehabilitation may be given to help expedite results and promote proper healing processes.

How Spinal Decompression Differs from Traction Therapy.

When traction is applied, the body's reaction is to pull in the opposite direction. Spinal decompression equipment, on the other hand, contains sensitive computer-feedback mechanisms, such as strain gauges, to overcome this phenomenon and allow for maximum therapeutic results. This allows the equipment to continuously monitor muscular reaction and to compensate by re-adjusting its distraction parameters. Each treatment is centered on a variety of adjustable logarithmic ramp-up, hold and release protocols implemented by the computerized system designed to bypass the proprioceptive response of ligaments and muscles to distraction. By comparison, traction therapy or inversion tables cannot adequately bypass the body's protective proprioceptive response and therefore cannot create negative intradiscal pressure for extended periods like a decompression table can.

A study by the Department of Neurosurgery and Radiology, Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Health Sciences Center, University of Texas, demonstrated the specific and important clinical action of decompression therapy that makes it effective. Intradiscal pressure measurement was performed by connecting a cannula inserted into the patient's L4-L5 disc space to a pressure transducer. Spinal decompression was introduced and changes in pressure were recorded at a resting state and again while controlled tension was applied by the equipment. The results of this study indicate that it is possible to lower pressure in the nucleus pulposus of herniated lumbar discs to below -100 mm Hg when distraction tension is applied according to the protocol described for decompression therapy. The lowest intradiscal pressure measured during progressive traction was 40 mm Hg compared to 75 mm Hg resting supine. Standard decompression therapy, therefore, differs from standard traction by creating a unique clinical circumstance of prolonged negative intradiscal pressure.

Scientific Evidence for Non Surgical Spinal Decompression

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment for the relief of pain associated with bulging and herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, and even relapse or failed back surgery. Since its release, clinical studies have revealed an amazing success rate in treating lumbar and cervical disc related problems with spinal decompression. An increasing number of studies are demonstrating the efficacy of spinal decompression therapy.
  1. A research paper from Gose et al state: "We consider decompression therapy to be a primary treatment modality for low back pain associated with lumbar disc herniation at single or multiple levels, degenerative disc disease, facet arthropathy, and decreased spine mobility. We believe that post-surgical patients with persistent pain or 'Failed Back Syndrome' should not be considered candidates for further surgery until a reasonable trial of decompression has been tried."
  2. Eugene et al report: "For any given patient with low back and referred leg pain, we cannot predict with certainty which cause has assumed primacy. Therefore surgery, by being directed at root decompression at the site of the herniation alone, may not be effective if secondary causes of pain have become predominant. Decompression therapy, however, addresses both primary and secondary causes of low back and referred leg pain. We thus submit that decompression therapy should be considered first, before the patient undergoes a surgical procedure which permanently alters the anatomy and function of the affected lumbar spine segment."
  3. Adding spinal decompression to exercise for patients with cervical radiculopathy resulted in lower disability and pain, particularly at long-term follow-ups (Fitz et al, 2014)
For a full list of research studies on non-surgical spinal decompression please contact us directly.

The following conditions are commonly treated at Cornwall Spine Care Plus:
Low Back Pain
Neck Pain
Sciatica Pain
Automobile Accident Injuries (MVA)
Sports Injuries
Overuse Injuries
Arthritic Joints
TMJ Conditions (Jaw Pain)
Disc Herniations
Strain and Sprain Injuries
Posture-related Conditions
Stress Management
Post-surgical Rehabilitation
Pregnancy-related Conditions
Groin Strain (Pulled Groin)
Well Being
If you are uncertain whether we can help you, please call us today to discuss your specific condition.


©2015 Cornwall Spine Care Plus