The goal of spinal decompression therapy is just as it implies—to relieve the spine from compression.
But in addition to treating compacted discs or vertebrae, this particular technique is also connected to your body’s ability to properly absorb the nutrients you consume, decreasing your inflammation levels, and potentially reducing pain.
Nutrition and spinal compression
The foods you eat and the supplements you take all contain vitamins and minerals necessary for critical functions and long-term health. For instance, if you eat an apple, you are getting a high level of vitamin C, which is essential to a healthy immune system, protects you against cardiovascular disease, prevents vision-related issues, and enhances your skin.1
However, sometimes the nutrients you intake via various foods and supplements cannot be directed toward the areas that need them most.
This is what happens when your spine is compressed, as the nutrients are unable to pass through the compacted area to reach your discs. This lack of nourishment can make it more difficult for that particular area of your body to heal.2
Imagine taking a hose and putting a kink in it. This prevents the water from flowing out, which ultimately means that your garden won’t receive the water it needs to grow luscious fruits and vegetables.
In a sense, the same is true when it comes to your spine. If nutrients fail to flow through the compressed area, you likely won’t heal as well or as quickly as you could. The end result is more time spent in pain and less time feeling healthy. This condition is made worse by the consequential inflammation related to spinal compression.
Spinal compression also has the capability to aggravate your body’s inflammation response. How? As your disc is compacted, it bulges and pushes into various nerves in your spinal column, creating a situation in which the body initiates an autoimmune response best described as a defense mechanism.3
This inflammation that results can produce pain, numbness, or tingling in your arms or legs, as well as a number of other bothersome symptoms depending on which nerve is impinged.
Thus, spinal decompression therapy can help your body by releasing the pressure between discs, fortifying the flow of nutrients, and decreasing the potential for an inflammatory reaction.
1 Zelman, K. “The Benefits of Vitamin C.” http://www.webmd.com/diet/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c?page=1. Published April 10, 2008. Accessed May 31, 2015.
2 Spine-health. “All about spinal decompression therapy.” http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/all-about-spinal-decompression-therapy. Published Sept. 24, 2013. Accessed May 31, 2015.
3 American Spinal Decompression Association. “Herniated disc.” http://www.americanspinal.com/herniated-disc.html. Accessed May 31, 2015.