Spinal decompression is a type of traction therapy applied to the spine in an attempt to bring about several benefits. The following is the basic premise of how the therapy works.

  • Creates a negative intradiscal pressure to promote retraction or repositioning of the herniated or bulging disc material.
  • Creates a lower pressure in the disc that will cause an influx of healing nutrients and other substances into the disc.

If you’re familiar with an inversion table, think of this therapy like a more intense version. If you’ve ever thought about purchasing an inversion table, we highly recommend you try out decompression at the office first before you buy one. Some backs do not respond to this therapy and it’s always good to have the approval of one of our doctors before you purchase a unit.


Anyone with spinal conditions can benefit from this therapy, because the traction reverses the force of gravity. It is most commonly used to treat:

  • Bulging / Herniated Discs
  • Degeneration / Arthritis
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Stenosis
  • Pinched Nerves


Spinal traction therapy can be administered manually or mechanically, depending on your needs. The most common form used at our office is called flexion distraction. During this therapy, you will lie face down as the table gently flexes. The doctor will contact your lower back as a gentle force is applied to stretch the spine out. This table can also be flexed side to side to emphasize traction on one leg or SI joint. Some patients experience soreness after their first treatment. No worries! This is a normal occurrence as the body gets accustomed to the new position. Applying ice in most cases relieves the pain, but any pain is closely monitored to make sure that spinal traction is the best treatment option for your care plan.