Kraus Back & Neck Institute: 281.446.3876(281.44.Neuro)


Spinal Decompression Machines

Spinal decompression is a non-surgical, non-invasive treatment for different neck and low back problems.  A spinal decompression machine is computer-controlled, mechanized type of spinal traction.  It is better than manual spinal traction because a spinal decompression system is more exacting and provides therapy that is consistently accurate.

How spinal decompression works

Spinal decompression is administered on a special, padded table. Comfortable straps secure you to the table while computer technology administers your therapy. The computer calculates where and at what angle the spine’s discs are distracted (gently pulled), the intensity, periods of relaxation, and therapy duration.

As the spine’s discs are distracted, negative pressure is created between specific intervertebral discs and then, at relaxation, pressure is relieved.  As distraction and relaxation modes are alternated, the discs pull in oxygen and nutrients essential to stimulate healing.

Spinal conditions treated with spinal decompression

Many cervical (neck), and lumbar (low back) conditions are treated using a spinal decompression machine.

  • Herniated discs
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylosis
  • Sprains and strains

Spinal decompression is not for everyone

Although spinal decompression is safe for many patients, it is not appropriate for all patients with neck or back pain or problems. Similar to other treatments-like non-operative or surgical-your doctor’s evaluation and diagnosis are essential.

This therapy may not be for you if you are/have/had …

  • Pregnant
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal fracture
  • Disc space infection
  • Higher grade spondylolisthesis
  • Previous spinal instrumentation

This list above is not all inclusive. To find out if you are eligible for this therapy, please talk with your doctor.

What spinal decompression treatment involves

The treatment is gradual and progresses according to the previous session. A total of 20 treatments over 4- to 6-weeks is recommended.

Stretching and strengthening your body’s core-the ligaments and muscles that support your neck and back is important. Sometimes passive physical therapies such as moist heat or massage are administered.

Talk with your doctor

We hope this information about spinal decompression machines has answered your immediate questions. Remember, your doctor is your most valuable source to answer your questions about spinal disorders, treatment and your healthcare.

Learn more about spinal decompression from these online sources:

Gary Kraus, MD,
Neurosurgeon, is Board Certified
Meet Gary Kraus, MD
Masaki Oishi, MD,
Spine Fellowship at the University
Meet Gary Kraus, MD
Pain Library - Kraus Back & Neck Institute
Online Videos - Kraus Back & Neck Institute
Patient Forms - Kraus Back & Neck Institute
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