Although physical therapy is quite different from chiropractic treatment, people often find it hard to distinguish between the two, mainly because both are entirely non-invasive and physical. But looking deeper, one would discover some more similarity in some of the treatment techniques, especially in spine manipulation. Like chiropractors, the physical therapists you find at PhyxMe PT also use spine therapy.
The method of spine adjustment or manipulation is done by using some equipment or machine whereas chiropractors do it by using their hands only. This is known as Spinal Decompression Therapy which is the treatment for relieving back pain and pain in the leg like sciatica pain that extends from the lower back and hips.
What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Spinal decompression therapy is a non-surgical procedure that holds good promise in the treatment of sciatica. The therapy consists of manipulating the spinal disc and the sciatic nerves carefully by using devices that work on the basic principle of spinal traction like what chiropractors, osteopaths and other health professionals trained in pain management have to offer.
The manipulation allows both the discs to move back to its rightful place while also allowing the compressed sciatic nerve to open and thus enabling it to receive vital nutrients. The inflammation that accompanies sciatica pain results from the nerve receiving fewer nutrients.
The treatment requires the patient to lie face down on a decompression table which is like a traction table or some identical motorized device. The tables are like those used by chiropractors for spinal manipulation of all kinds, routine and advanced. The physical therapist does the stretching of the spine but unlike chiropractors, use a computer-aided machine that gently elongates the spine. Although the process is slow, the minute elongations open the space in the vertebrae close to the damaged disc.
The newly created space allows the disc to move back to its original position, and the healing process sets in as nutrients start flowing to the area through the nerve that is now free from stress.
The Spinal Decompression Session
During the spinal decompression session, patients can wear their clothes while lying down on the motorized table, the lower half of which can move. To ensure minimal body movement during the treatment, the therapist ties a harness around the hip of the patient and attaches it to the table near the feet. The upper part of the table remains fixed while the lower part to which the patient remains attached with the harness provides traction and relaxation by sliding back and forth.
Although it is a general rule to make the patient lie face down on the table, some devices require the patient to lie in the face-up position. Patients might feel some pain during the treatment as also a stretched feeling in the spine.
Doctors recommend the treatment for a variety of lower back pain conditions but whether to go for it is a decision that the patient must take. Although the treatment works for some people there is yet no scientific evidence available about its benefits.
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