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illness, age and injury very often lead to a situation in the lower back and spine that results in compression of the nerves that exit the lower back. This can cause debilitating lower back, hip buttock and lower leg pain or numbness. In advanced cases the nerve pressure can be so severe that it reduces results in loss of strength in the muscles of the legs and feet. In relatively younger folks this is most often due to a disc problem in the lower spine. You may have heard of the term sipped or herniated disc. The fact of the matter is the disc has little or no ability to 'slip' out of place, but the disc can swell, balloon and bulge out and put pressure on the nerve roots of the spine. For anyone who has suffered with this condition, you know is really hurts, causes numbness and weakness in the legs and can completely incapacitate a patient. In older patients the cause is usually a condition called spinal stenosis. These two conditions are the result of pressure on the nerve roots and produce similar symptoms, even thought the mechanism of the nerve pressure is different. In this article we discuss the two best non-surgical approaches to the treatment of disc problems and spinal stenosis.
Flexion Distraction Therapy versus Spinal Decompression.
Flexion-Distraction tables like the one pictured to the left, are smaller less expensive and utilize a reflex in the back known as the flexion relaxation reflex to assist in obtaining maximum separation of the vertebrae. This just like the spinal decompression table, frees up room for the pinched nerve roots and alleviates lower back and leg pain.
Spinal decompression tables like the one pictured above are big, expensive, impressive looking therapy units they use computer analysis of muscle relaxation to assist in getting maximum separation of vertebrae. This causes decompression of the nerve roots and reduces symptoms of sciatica and spinal stenosis. They work to take the pressure off the spinal nerve roots, hence the name spinal decompression therapy.
Flexion Distraction Versus Spinal Decompression
You probably after reading about these two competing decompression therapies are starting to wonder, what's the difference? As far as their ability to decompress the nerves in the lower back, they are very similar. The patient lays face up on the decompression table, face down on the distraction table. The decompression treatment is computerized, distraction is not. Does this make a big difference? We think not. The big difference is cost. Decompression tables are expensive, therefore treatment is expensive. Distraction produces the same or similar decompression at a fraction of the cost. All things considered, we believe that the cost-benefit ratio favors flexion distraction over spinal decompression for the non-surgical treatment of spinal stenosis, sciatica and disc problems. Call us to find out more about this safe effective and gentle treatment for severe back and leg symptoms. 623.547.4727