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Conditions Treated by Spinal Decompression Therapy

Ever felt like your back was giving you a hard time, especially when you’re trying to enjoy life? You’re not alone. At Spine & Disc Specialists in Mehlville, MO, we understand that back pain is a universal issue affecting people of all ages. Founded by Dr. Longo, our clinic specializes in a range of therapies, including Spinal Decompression Therapy, aimed at providing you a life free from pain—without drugs or surgery. Stick around as we delve into what Spinal Decompression Therapy is, who can benefit from it, and how it aligns with our core values of patient-centric care and holistic wellness.

illustration of a section of a human spine

Spinal Decompression Treatment options

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Spinal Decompression Therapy is no hocus-pocus; it’s backed by science and years of medical research. Imagine your spine as a stack of doughnuts. Now, what happens if you press down on the stack? The filling oozes out, right? Well, the discs in your spine are somewhat similar to those doughnuts. They’re soft, cushion-like pads that sit between your vertebrae, and they can get squished too.

When these discs get compressed due to various reasons like poor posture, heavy lifting, or just the wear and tear of life, they can cause a lot of pain. This is where Spinal Decompression Therapy comes in. It aims to reverse that compression effect on your spinal discs. By gently stretching your spine, the therapy creates a vacuum effect that helps to pull the herniated or bulging disc material back into the disc. This promotes healing and reduces pain, giving you a much-needed break from that nagging backache.

But wait, there’s more! This negative pressure also allows an influx of nutrients and other substances into the disc, which aids in the healing process. So it’s not just a temporary fix; it’s a step towards long-term recovery.

Who Needs Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Herniated Discs

Got a herniated disc? You’re probably familiar with the sharp, stabbing pain that comes with it. This therapy is your new best friend. A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner material of the disc leaks out through a tear in the tough outer layer. This can irritate nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness, or even weakness in an arm or leg. Spinal Decompression Therapy helps to create a negative pressure that sucks the herniated material back into the disc. This relieves pressure on the nerves and other structures in your spine, providing pain relief and promoting healing. It’s like having a reset button for your spine!

Degenerative Disc Disease

As we age, our discs degenerate. It’s a fact of life, like wrinkles or graying hair. But does it have to be a painful one? Not necessarily! Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a condition where the spinal discs wear down over time, leading to pain and possibly radiating weakness or numbness. This can make even simple tasks like lifting a grocery bag feel like a Herculean effort. Spinal Decompression Therapy can help by creating space between the vertebrae, allowing the disc to heal and relieve pressure on the nerves. It’s like giving your back the room it needs to breathe and heal.


Ah, sciatica! That shooting pain down your leg that makes you wince with every step. It’s often caused by a herniated disc or bone spur pressing on the nerve. And let me tell you, it’s not fun. Spinal Decompression Therapy can help relieve that too by addressing the root cause—pressure on the spinal nerves. Imagine being able to walk, run, or even dance without that nagging pain. Sounds dreamy, right?

Spinal Stenosis

If you’re dealing with spinal stenosis, you know how debilitating it can be. This condition narrows the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through it. The result? Pain, numbness, or even difficulty walking. Spinal Decompression Therapy can widen the spinal canal and relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. It’s like clearing a traffic jam inside your spine, allowing everything to flow smoothly again.

How Does It Work?

The Procedure

You’ll be strapped onto a specialized table, and the machine will do its magic. The table will gently stretch and decompress the spine, creating that all-important negative pressure in the discs. Sounds simple, right? It is, but it’s also incredibly effective. The machine is computerized, allowing for precise control over the amount and angle of the stretch. This ensures that the treatment is tailored to your specific needs. No one-size-fits-all approach here!

Duration and Frequency

So, how long does each session last? Typically, a session will last about 30 to 45 minutes. And how many sessions will you need? That varies from person to person, but most treatment plans run for 20 to 28 sessions over five to seven weeks. It’s a commitment, but when you consider the potential benefits—reduced pain, improved mobility, and a better quality of life—it’s totally worth it.

Benefits of Spinal Decompression Therapy

Pain Relief

Say goodbye to pain and hello to a new, more mobile you. The primary benefit of this therapy is significant pain relief. Many people experience relief after just one session, although it usually takes several sessions for the effects to be long-lasting. Imagine waking up and going about your day without that constant, nagging back pain. It’s like being given a new lease on life!

Improved Mobility

But wait, there’s more! Not only does it relieve pain, but it also improves your range of motion. This is particularly beneficial for people who have had their mobility affected by back or neck pain. Maybe you’ve stopped going on hikes, playing with your kids, or even just taking the stairs because of your back issues. Spinal Decompression Therapy can help you get back to doing the things you love. It’s like rediscovering a part of yourself that you thought was lost.

Risks and Side Effects

Like any medical procedure, there are risks. These can include a temporary increase in pain, minor muscle spasms, or a temporary decrease in mobility. However, these side effects are generally mild and go away on their own. The risks are minimal compared to the benefits, especially when you consider the alternative—surgery.

Surgery comes with its own set of risks, including infection, blood clots, and anesthesia complications. Not to mention the long recovery time and hefty medical bills. Spinal Decompression Therapy offers a non-invasive alternative that can provide relief without the risks associated with surgical intervention. It’s like choosing the scenic route over a risky shortcut; it may take a bit longer, but it’s safer and just as effective.


So, is Spinal Decompression Therapy the answer to your back woes? It just might be. But as with any medical treatment, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice. This therapy is not suitable for everyone, especially those with certain pre-existing conditions like fractures, tumors, or advanced osteoporosis. However, for those who are good candidates, the benefits can be life-changing.

Spinal Decompression Therapy at Spine & Disc Specialists isn’t just about relieving pain; it’s about aligning with our vision to be the leading provider of holistic healthcare services in Mehlville, MO. Consult your healthcare provider at Spine & Disc Specialists for personalized advice to see if this therapy is right for you.


Is Spinal Decompression Therapy painful?

No, most patients find it comfortable. Some even fall asleep during the procedure! It’s like lying on a massage table, but instead of hands working on your muscles, it’s a machine working on your spine.

How many sessions will I need?

It varies from person to person, but most treatment plans run for 20 to 28 sessions. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency is key to long-term relief.

Is it covered by insurance?

Coverage varies by policy. It’s best to check with your insurance provider. Some plans may cover part of the cost, while others may require a co-pay. It’s always good to know what you’re getting into financially.

Can I go back to work immediately after a session?

Generally, yes. However, it’s advisable to avoid strenuous activities for a short period. Think of it as your spine’s “cooling-off” period.

Is it a substitute for surgery?

In some cases, Spinal Decompression Therapy can delay or even eliminate the need for surgery. However, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider for a personalized treatment plan. Surgery is usually the last resort, and this therapy could be the middle ground you’ve been looking for.

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