Chiropractor Reviews the Research on Spinal Decompression to Decrease Back Pain

McKinney Chiropractor Best Practices

Research Commentary;

Influences of Spinal Decompression for Back Pain

A randomized control trial by

Choi, J., Lee, S., & Hwangbo, G. (2015). Influences of spinal decompression therapy and general traction therapy on the pain, disability, and straight leg raising of patients with intervertebral disc herniation. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 27(2), 481–483.

Research Reviewed by Dr. Erik Waldeland

Influences of Spinal Decompression for Back Pain

Summarized review of conclusion:

This study examined the effects of both spinal decompression therapy and traction therapy for pain, disability scores, and straight leg raise ability of patients with intervertebral disc herniations.  To summarize, the researchers found that there were significant decreases in pain levels, disability scores, as well as significant increase in straight leg raise range of motion following both therapies.  These conservative treatments can be very beneficial and cost effective in comparison to surgical interventions when treating disc injuries.

Below I have referenced key quotes from this research to help summarize the results.


Quotes from the Article:

“SDTG and GTTG showed statistically significant declines in VAS and ODI scores, and a statistically significant increase in the angle of SLR. A possible explanation for these results is that spinal decompression therapy and traction therapy reduce the pressure generated by gravity and soft tissues and increase spinal separation and the diameters of the intervertebral disc and intervertebral foramen.”

“Spinal decompression therapy resolves problems with the disc and removes the pressure applied to the disc by supplying nutrients and oxygen to the disc. This creates a state of non-gravitation or negative pressure within the spinal canal and reduces pressure inside the intervertebral disc by softly increasing a specific part of the disc through the decompression of a precise part of the lesion”

“It could serve as a cost-effective way to promote overall health amongst the general public and thus reduce medical expenses.”


Introduction to the Research

This study was conducted to investigate two different forms of decompression therapy and their effects on pain and functional abilities with patients who have experiences intervertebral disc herniations.  As a Chiropractor, we always focus on the least invasive treatments first, so treatments such as spinal decompression, or traction therapy are much lower risk and cost effective compared to spinal surgeries.  Spinal decompression, as mentioned above, aims to take pressure off the discs to allow oxygen and nutrients to get into the space to help the disc and joint heal.



Research Methodology

The subjects of this study were 30 patients (male: 9, female: 21) who complained of radiating pain caused by chronic lumbar pain. The subjects had suffered from continuous lumbar pain, as diagnosed by an orthopedic specialist, for over three months, and were selected from among patients who visited S Hospital, located in Daegu Metropolitan City, Korea. On average, the spinal decompression therapy group (SDTG, n=15) was 41.3±7.3 years of age, 162.3±8.9 cm in height, and 58.3±12.2 kg in weight, and the general traction therapy group (GTTG, n=15) was 44.0±4.1 years of age, 162.7±8.4 cm in height, and 59.1±11.3 kg in weight.


All subjects were treated three times each week for four weeks. The SDTG were treated with a spinal decompression therapy device (MID 4 M Series, WIZ Medical, Korea) for 20 minutes each time. The GTTG were treated with a lumbar traction therapy device (OL 110, Dong Bang Medical, Japan) for 20 minutes each time. Hot packs (20 minutes), interferential current therapy (15 minutes), and ultrasound (5 minutes) were used to treat both groups during the conservative physical therapy.


Research Findings

In conclusion, the research found the SDTG and GTTG showed statistically significant declines in the VAS and the ODI scores (p<0.05), and a statistically significant increase in the angle of SLR. Therefore, either spinal decompression or general traction may be viable, cost-effective options when someone experiences an injury to the intervertebral disc.


Research References

As always with these reviews, these are my takeaways from the article and I encourage you to read the article in its entirety.  The references used in this article by the authors of this article are listed here.


Our Message

When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain.  Our McKinney Chiropractors, located near Craig Ranch, near the corner of S. Stonebridge Dr. and Eldorado Pkwy., will teach you what the research says about how and why we should eat a better diet, move more and have more positive thoughts.