Spinal traction for degenerative disc disease
Have you been told you have Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)? Don't despair! We can help!
Any disc degeneration, disc bulges, slipped disc or disc herniations, be it cervical (neck) discs, lumbar (low back) discs, or thoracic (mid-back) discs can be helped with traction. Spinal traction can prevent surgery, no matter how bad the health of the discs are!
Disc herniations can be treated with chiropractic manipulation and mechanical traction, but if the herniation is grossly impinging the nerve, you may need a more immediate release of pressure on the nerve, which requires surgery. It is NOT the degree to which the disc is "broken", but how much pressure it is putting on the nerves. Discs CAN heal, but nerves do not heal as well. You do not want permanent nerve damage. So as long as your nerves are holding up, you have the time it takes for traction to help your discs repair and heal. If your nerves are being "pinched" you may not have the time it takes, so you may need surgery to get the pressure off the nerves.
Always get more than one opinion from at least two types of health practitioners. If you ask a surgeon how to treat a disc herniation, you are more likely to hear that you need surgery. If you ask a chiropractor, you are more likely to hear you don’t need surgery. Every year, I have dozens of patients who have been told they needed surgery, and after seeing me, they were able to avoid surgery.
If you can get well without surgery, you are better off in the long run; once you have one surgery on the neck, you usually need more surgeries over time. Surgeries to the neck change the functionality of the cervical spine, leading to increased stressors to the bones above and below the surgical site. As a result, they degenerate faster, leading to another surgery. However, sometimes a condition is severe enough that the disc herniation risks the health of the nerves (which don’t heal well), so surgery is imperative.
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If you have a disc injury tractioning will help. The questions is do you have enough time and commitment to avoid irritating activities and traction at home several times a day, and be treated 3-5 times a day until the pressure is off your nerves? If you do, you can likely avoid surgery and better off in the long run.
In terrible pain and want to know how we can treat you gently? Check out:
Spinal traction Reverses Degeneration
Bones and joints are not rods of iron that rust with time. They are living tissue that degenerates with aberrant stressors over time. Everyday activities result in micro trauma to tissues. As you age, your ability to heal slows down, so your body begins to lose the healing battle.
When you are young, you heal rapidly because the joints are plump with nutrient-filled fluid, which is why you do not feel this micro trauma occurring. Over time, abnormal stressors of our modern lifestyle cause the joint fluid to slowly seep out, and the cells inside start to die. With less nutrient-filled fluid and fewer cells to repair the damage as we age, each of these injuries is felt more profoundly. You take longer to heal, and the micro traumas begin to accumulate. This results in degeneration and arthritic changes.
But movement can help heal this damage. It was once thought that cartilage in the joints just wears away with time. Now we know that cells (chondrocytes) inside each joint repair the cartilage. Unfortunately, most people cause damage faster than the few chondrocytes can fix it, resulting in degeneration.
We need movement to support the cell repair and to facilitate the flow of nutrients in and waste out required for the repair process. Why?
Blood delivers nutrients to the joints, but for the nutrients to seep into the joint fluid, the fluid has to stir. Movement stirs the joint fluid and allows blood in the capillary bed to deliver nutrients deeper inside the joint fluid. The cells inside the joints receive the nutrients they need for this rebuilding process. Thus, simply moving your joints helps them heal.
When you sit or stand still for too long, the weight of your body slowly squishes the fluid out of your joints (Figure below).
Your joints become deficient of the much-needed nutrients that would normally flow into a healthy, moving joint. If you sit too long, you literally starve your joints, causing them to degenerate over time.
Like physical movement, an traction literally “feeds” the joints it tractions. When the bones traction apart, new fluid flows in. Nutrients flow in, facilitating the joint’s healing and reversing the degenerative process.
The increased space between the bones takes the pressure off nerves (decreasing one’s experience of pain) and allows for more blood flow and lymphatic drainage. All of this facilitates the healing of the surrounding tissues.
Even young adults who do not move enough will experience degeneration in their joints. I am seeing people at younger ages getting degenerative joint disease from sitting too much beginning early in their life.
If your neck pain is due to nerve irritation from herniation(s) in your neck, a home traction unit may be a good idea (Figure below). Explore the possibility with your healthcare provider.
My favorite home traction unit for the neck is the Saunders Cervical Home Traction Unit; the unit allows you to traction your neck at a specific poundage at an angle designed to open the space between the vertebrae in your neck. It is very effective at decompressing cervical discs; so much so, many suppliers require a prescription from a healthcare provider.
You can find new units selling for less than $400 online. To see how to use it, check out the video below. As always, before doing anything from a video, talk to your health care provider (hopefully that is one of us here at Drummond Chiropractic).
Same goes for the lumbar spine (low back). To see how to use a lumbar traction device, check out our YouTube video below:
Looking for a healthcare provider that can help? Check us out!
Drummond Chiropractic, LLC
We are disc herniation specialists
565 N Walnut St,
Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 336 - 2423