Decompression Therapy

Non-surgical spinal decompression is a safe, drug-free treatment that works by gently lengthening and releasing the spine, creating negative pressures within the spinal discs. This reversal of pressure creates a vacuum within the disc space, and helps to pull the bulging disc material back into place, taking pressure off pinched nerves and surrounding soft tissue. Nutrients, oxygen, and fluids are also pulled back into the disc, which helps stimulate the body’s healing process. Lasting results for chronic back and neck pain have been achieved with this innovative new technology.

Non-surgical spinal decompression is a breakthrough in medical technology. This therapy can significantly reduce or eliminate back and neck pain with the use of the Hill DT decompression table. It allows us to safely treat a wide variety of patients suffering with spinal conditions such as herniated discs, bulging and protruding discs, posterior facet syndrome, sciatica, brachial neuritis, degenerative discs, failed back surgeries and poor results from previous treatments, without the invasive surgery that used to be the final option for most back pain sufferers.

To see how spinal decompression can help you, call our Hudsonville office at 616-662-1191 for a consultation.

This website is designed for anyone suffering from back pain, sciatica, leg pain, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, bulging disc, tingling, numbness, arm pain, neck pain, and some patients with spinal stenosis and failed low back syndrome.

Spinal Decompression Therapy has saved thousands of men and women from back pain without surgery.

If you or your family members have been struggling with these debilitating conditions with little or no relief, then ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do you depend on medications to get through the day?
  • Are your daily activities limited?
  • Have you had repeated injections or epidurals with little or no relief?
  • Are you considering surgery and are uncomfortable with that choice?
  • Have all the options been presented to you?
  • Have you already tried chiropractic or physical therapy?
  • Have you been out or work due to pain?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then non-surgical spinal decompression therapy is certainly a viable treatment option and could very well be what you’re looking for.

You are going to have some decisions to make, and you should be making those decisions based on your comfort level. Choices must be made. Some treatments are aimed at pain suppression and temporary pain relief. Other treatments are corrective in nature. Know the difference! Empower yourself to choose those procedures that make sense to you, it’s your health. EXPLORE, LEARN AND BE WELL.

Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. The personal costs are immeasurable from chronic pain alone, pain sometimes so great that it interferes with a healthy and satisfying lifestyle.

Did you know that an estimated 75 to 85 percent of all Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime? Low back pain can be quite debilitating and painful. Most cases respond well with non-surgical treatment. However, it has been estimated that 50 percent of all patients who have suffered from an episode of low back pain will have another episode within twelve months.

Most cases of back pain are mechanical in nature, and the pain is usually not caused by very serious conditions, such as cancer, fracture, infection, etc. The anatomy of the spine and the many conditions that negatively impact spinal health are complex. The following information provides a simplistic explanation of the causes for back pain:

SOME COMMON CAUSES OF LOW BACK PAIN

On many occasions you first feel back pain just after you lift a heavy object, move suddenly, sit in one position for a long time, sustain an injury or have been in an accident. Prior to that moment in time, there was often a pre-existing weakness, or loss of tissue integrity in your spinal structures.

The specific structures in your back responsible for your pain are difficult to determine in many cases. Whether identified or not, there are several possible sources of low back pain:

  1. Poor alignment or fixations of the vertebrae
  2. Spinal curvatures (like scoliosis or kyphosis), which may be inherited and seen in children or teens
  3. Bulging or herniated discs
  4. Injury or overuse of muscles, ligaments, facet joints, and the sacroiliac joints.
  5. Muscle spasm (very tense muscles that remain contracted)
  6. Degeneration of the discs
  7. Spondylolisthesis
  8. Osteoarthritis
  9. Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  10. Small fractures to the spine from osteoporosis
  11. Strain or tears to the muscles or ligaments supporting the back

Less Common Causes of Low Back Pain

  • Spinal tumors, or growths that develop on the bones and ligaments of the spine, on the spinal cord, or on nerve roots.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, which is a form of joint inflammation (arthritis) that most often affects the spine
  • Bacterial infection, in which bacteria are often carried to the spine through the bloodstream from an infection somewhere else in the body or from IV drug use. However, bacteria can also enter the spine directly during surgery or injection treatments, or as the result of injury. Back pain may also be the result of an infection in the bone (osteomyelitis) or in the spinal cord (most often in the material covering the spinal cord, called an epidural infection).
  • Paget's disease, which causes abnormal bone growth most often affecting the pelvis, spine, skull, chest, and legs.
  • Scheuermann's disease, in which one or more of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) develop wedge-shaped deformities. This causes curvature of the spine (rounding of the back, or kyphosis), most commonly in the chest region.
  • Prostate Cancer

You are at particular risk for low back pain if you:

  • Have arthritis or osteoporosis
  • Work in construction or another job requiring heavy lifting, lots of bending and twisting, or whole body vibration
  • Smoke, don't exercise, and/or are overweight
  • Are over age 30
  • Have bad posture
  • Are pregnant
  • Have a low pain threshold

Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is a collection of several nerve roots that arise between the bones of the lumbar spine
(vertebrae). These nerve roots join together and form the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body. This nerve travels down from the low back under the buttock muscles all the way down the legs and feet. Sciatica is a term to describe an irritation or pressure on the nerve, which is commonly caused by a herniated or bulging disc (also referred to as a pinched nerve, ruptured disc or “slipped disc”) in the lumbar spine. The pressure or irritation leads to a complex of symptoms that include sharp, radiating pain, burning, and/or numbness and tingling. This is a very debilitating condition that affects thousands of people every year.

Generally, herniated or bulging discs are the cause of the problem. The herniated material of the disc will
compress or contact and irritate the exiting nerve root producing the symptoms. Sometimes central canal stenosis, lateral canal stenosis, spondylolithesis, or degenerative disc disease can cause this nerve compression as well. The problem is often diagnosed as a "radiculopathy", meaning that one or more intervertebral discs have herniated or protruded from its normal position in the vertebral column and is putting pressure on the nerve root in the lower back, which forms part of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica most frequently occurs in people between 30 and 50 years of age. On many occasions this condition slowly develops as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine and discs. Rarely is this condition surgical. Unless there is a progressive neurological deficit, or cauda equina syndrome, the majority of people who experience sciatica get pain relief with non-surgical treatments. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is very effective for these conditions. Physical therapy and Chiropractic can help sometimes as well. Combining these conservative therapies increases the odds of success.

UNDERSTANDING SCIATICA PAIN

While sciatica can be very painful, it is important to keep in mind that the main problem may be with the
intervertebral discs. Most likely the discs are dry and weakened due to “wear and tear” injuries. Treatment goals should be to minimize pain, minimize the disc herniation, re-hydrate and re-nourish the discs and nerve roots, and to strengthen and rehabilitate for permanency and prevention of re-injury. This is where spinal decompression therapy can be very effective.

Everyone responds differently to pain. For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the pain might come and go intermittently, and not be so intense. Usually, sciatica only affects one side of the lower body, and the pain often radiates from the lower back into the deep buttocks all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg. Sometimes the person experiences calf or foot pain. It is quite variable. One or more of the following sensations may occur as a result of sciatica:

  • Pain in the buttocks or leg that is worse when sitting
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot , with the
  • Leg pain being a little worse than the back pain.

Symptoms that may constitute a medical emergency include progressive weakness in the leg or bladder/bowel or incontinence. As mentioned above, this may represent a rare condition called cauda equina syndrome. You should seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing these signs.

In general, patients with complicating factors should contact their doctor if sciatica occurs, including people who have been diagnosed with cancer; take steroid medication; abuse drugs; have unexplained, significant weight loss; or have HIV.

SCIATICA TREATMENTS

Since sciatica nerve pain is caused by a combination of pressure and inflammation on the nerve root, and treatment is centered on relieving both these factors, typical sciatica treatments should include:

Non-surgical sciatica treatments:

  • Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Massage Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Acupuncture

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or COX-2 inhibitors), or oral steroids can be helpful in reducing the inflammation and pain associated with sciatica. Research the side-effects of these chemicals as well. There are many natural alternatives that may be just as effective, yet have less risks of side-effects.

EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTIONS

The goals of non-surgical treatments should include both relief of sciatica pain and prevention of future sciatica problems. Injections are invasive and are usually only a temporary solution.

SURGICAL OPTIONS

When reading the medical literature, it is generally agreed upon that nearly all cases do well with non-surgical management.

For severe cases that just don’t respond, the following options are available for surgery:

Microdiscectomy or lumbar laminectomy and discectomy, remove the portion of the disc that is irritating the nerve root. This surgery is designed to help relieve both the pressure and inflammation and may be warranted if the sciatic nerve pain is severe and has not been relieved with appropriate manual or medical treatments and should be considered a last resort.