Of the various treatment options we perform here at Total Chiropractic Care, patients frequently ask about the difference between spinal decompression and traction therapy. Each technique provides valuable benefits depending upon each patient’s specific treatment needs.
What’s the Difference Between Spinal Decompression & Traction Therapy?
Both traction therapy and spinal decompression relieve pressure on the spine or joints. Both treatments allow for greater ease of movement and less pain.
Traction Therapy Past to Present
Traction therapy, sometimes called distraction, is a very old healing method going back to ancient Egypt from the period of about 3,000 B.C.E. Papyri reveals that Egyptians used axial traction to reduce spinal fracture dislocations and other conditions.
Modern development and usage of traction therapy can be attributed to W. Gayle Crutchfield in 1933 performing cervical spine traction to restore proper vertebral alignment. Controlled restorative spine care began in 1974 at the Sister Kenny Institute in Minneapolis where they introduced a Gravity Lumbar Reduction Therapy Program, which includes a safety control to prevent excessive force from being used.
Traction therapy can be performed manually or mechanically. It can also be intermittent, where traction alternates in short cycles with periods of relaxation, sustained, or continuous. Sustained traction therapy is held for 20-60 minutes. Continuous traction therapy is the version most often shown in pop culture where the position is held for hours or days.
Spinal Decompression Past to Present
Spinal decompression used to refer to a surgical procedure that relieved pressure on nerves. Then in the 1980s, Dr. Allen Dyer, a Canadian medical doctor, developed non-surgical spinal decompression. When using the term “decompression” in this article we’re referring to non-surgical decompression as developed by Dr. Dyer, and those who followed his work.
At Total Chiropractic Care & Wellness, we perform spinal decompression therapy using a specialized table that uses advanced technology and controlled by a computer program. That allows us to carefully monitor and adjust the distraction force applied.
What Can Spinal Decompression Treat?
Doctors use non-surgical spinal decompression to treat:
- Back pain
- Neck Pain
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Injured nerve roots
What Can Spinal Traction Therapy Treat?
Doctors use spinal traction therapy to treat:
- Bone spurs
- Slipped discs
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet disease
- Pinched nerves
Talk to Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness
If you’re interested in chiropractic care, traction therapy, or spinal decompression, contact Dr. Goldman and his staff. You will receive a comprehensive evaluation to determine if it’s the right solution for your needs and when. Dr. Goldman creates treatment plans that incorporate pain management services as well as general lifestyle recommendations to help you live the best life you can, as pain-free as possible. Contact us today.