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Spinal Decompression Therapy And Neck Paindecompression therapy and neck pain

If you have been plagued with neck pain, you know how disrupting it can be to your everyday life. Standing up straight for long periods can hurt; getting comfortable at night can take forever, and simple things like unloading groceries can become extremely painful.

Many people experience neck pain or stiffness occasionally. In many cases, it’s due to poor posture or overuse. Neck pain can also be caused by an injury from a fall, contact sports, or whiplash.

Patients that will benefit most from decompression therapy may be those diagnosed with herniated discs, bulging discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease or facet syndrome.

What Is Spinal Decompression

Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive mechanical procedure performed to help relieve neck pain. It involves gently stretching the spine to take pressure off of the spinal discs (the cushions that separate the vertebrae in the spine).

When patients experience pain in the neck area, it is due to impinged nerves in the cervical spine in the majority of cases. By relieving this pressure, bulging discs can retract back into place which will take the pressure off of the nerves in the spine responsible for the pain a patient feels.

This procedure is called nonsurgical decompression therapy (as opposed to surgical spinal decompression, such as laminectomy and microdiscectomy).

Functions Of The Cervical Nerves

There are 31 pairs of nerve roots along the spine from the neck to the tailbone. The seven cervical (neck) vertebral segments protect eight sets of cervical nerve roots, which are abbreviated C1 to C8.

When a degenerative cervical spine condition, such as degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis, produces an anatomical abnormality such as a herniated disc or bone spur, the C1 to C8 nerve roots can become compressed.

This produces the symptoms listed above, and the location of the compressed nerve determines the area of the body where the symptoms arise. Here are the parts of the body associated with each of the eight cervical nerves:

  • decompression therapy and neck pain automationlinksC1 — breathing and blood supply to the head.
  • C2 — breathing, eyesight and head, and neck movement.
  • C3 — breathing and facial movement.
  • C4 — breathing, heart rate, and facial movement.
  • C5 — heart rate, wrist, and elbow movement.
  • C6 — heart rate, neck, and shoulder movement.
  • C7 — arm, hand, and finger movement.
  • C8 — arm, elbow, hand, and finger movement.

Some Contraindications for Spinal Decompression Therapy
  • Pregnant women.
  • Patients with broken vertebrae.
  • Patients who have had spinal fusion.
  • Patients who have an artificial disc, or other implants, in their spine.
  • Patients with failed back surgery.
  • Anyone who has had multiple surgeries without recovery (pain improvement).

The Spinal Decompression Therapy And Neck Pain Takeaway

The spine is composed of a complex system of vertebrae, discs, joints, and nerves.

Accidents, overuse and poor posture, as well as the natural degeneration of the spine, can lead to the development of certain cervical conditions, such as a herniated disc or spinal arthritis. When these conditions occur, displaced disc material or an arthritic bone spur can put pressure on surrounding spinal nerves, causing pain and other symptoms.

In the past, a patient suffering was usually was given pain medications, instructed to refrain from physical activities, referred for physical therapy, and when they weren’t progressing they were sent for spinal surgery.

If you have been diagnosed with a cervical spine condition, such as a herniated or bulging disc, that causes nerve compression, you may benefit from cervical decompression therapy. Spinal decompression therapy is an alternative therapy designed with the goal of alleviating pain and promoting healing of the intervertebral disc.

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