Spine Decompression Table


Spine decompression table has been arousing some curiosity among the spine patients. It is a non surgical therapeutic option available for certain spinal pathologies.

More Details

Spine or the backbone houses and protects the spinal cord. Myriad spinal nerve roots emerge from the spinal cord and exit the spine through small holes called as neural foramina.

So it is obvious that the health of the spine is a big concern or both the health care workers and the patients.

The treatment options available for spine pathologies can be broadly grouped under two categories; surgical and non surgical.

While surgical treatment is kind of mandatory in certain situations e.g. major cauda equina, conus medullaris syndromes, severe myelopathy etc however if a choice exists both spine surgeons & patients generally will look for nonsurgical options mainly because of the sensitive structures like spinal cord, spinal nerve roots involved. Also if nonsurgical options are available then why not give it a try?

Generally for recent onset or mild to moderate spinal conditions conservative non surgical treatments are tried first unless there is an emergency. There are myriad such conservative choices that include physical therapy, chiropractor manipulations, medications, steroid shot etc. Many of these measures are symptomatic and do not fix the actual spinal problem.

When there is a large disc and/or severe spinal stenosis etc it may compresses the spinal cord and/or spinal nerve roots. This compression has to be relieved if it is serious and/or if the conservative therapy fails. As discussed above there are subsets of patients who may not require surgery, at lest immediately, so here comes the role for nonsurgical decompressive treatment modalities.

The traction to the spine has been available for long for this purpose. There is also some buzz about spine decompression table which too works on traction mechanism. There are different brands avilable in the market.

What Does Literature Tell?

There was an article in pubmed that focused on the nonsurgical decompression of spine. They are hinting that the claims of efficacy of nonsurgical spinal decompression has not been sufficiently confirmed. As per the article whatever research studies are available so far have not unequivocally affirmed the benefits of these nonsurgical treatment modalities.

Also some of these treatments are quite expensive. The insurance may not always cover for these treatments.

Another point; they are never the first line therapy before proper investigations have been performed. Every patient with severe back or neck pain must undergo a thorough clinical evaluation followed by certain relevant investigations like CT or MRI of spine etc. Any consideration of nonsurgical spinal decompression arises only after surgery is not considered mandatory or not immediately necessary.

Chiropr Osteopat. 2007 May 18;15:7 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17511872

Spine Decompression Table to Neurology Articles


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