Decompression Therapy is used by a physical therapist in conjunction with a complete treatment program. The physical therapist will position a patient in an appropriate position and perform the treatment to the affected area for an appropriate amount of time and at an appropriate intensity or pull. The settings will be based on what the therapist is trying to achieve with the treatment and the area being treated. A specialized belt, strap or harness may be used to assist in the providing the appropriate intensity at the desired level. A normal treatment time will be between 8 and 20 minutes depending on the area being treated and desired effect of the treatment.
Benefits of Decompression Therapy.
Traction allows for increased range of motion with increased tissue elasticity. With the increased elasticity and improved blood flow, a person will have decreased symptoms while being able to move more. Traction will also decrease pressure on vertebral structures and will cause an unloading effect on spinal nerves and discs. This unloading will decrease symptoms and pain caused by the pinching of nerves and will decrease pressure on the disc.
Expected outcomes of Decompression Therapy.
A person can expect to have a short-term increase in range of motion and a short-term decrease in pain. When traction is used by itself, it has only been shown to have short-term relief, but when combined with other physical therapy treatment procedures, these short-term changes can have long-term changes with increased range of motion, increased mobility, and decreased pain. There are not a set number of treatments that can be performed with traction, and as long as a person is seeing benefit, the traction can continue to be performed. Most people will experience some type of benefit within six treatments of traction and other combined treatment procedures. If a person needs a long-term treatment with traction, a home traction unit can be rented or purchased for a person to use at home.