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Spinal Decompression Therapy - Anyone?

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  • Spinal Decompression Therapy - Anyone?

    I had an MRI last week and it looks like my entire lumbar area has bulging discs as well as degeneration from L5 to S1. Going to have the neurologist give me a more detailed interpretation tomorrow. Also, apparently have carpal tunnel in both wrists, so am also having nerve conduction studies tomorrow. So, has anyone had a similar problem and tried disc decompression therapy? If so, how did it work and did it help, did it heal, was it a waste of time? Really would like to avoid surgery, so looking at alternatives. TIA
    PennyG

  • #2
    I wouldn't even consider surgery for bulging discs. I have two herniated discs in my neck and even they are staying put unless they rupture. There are many things you can try like physical therapy, injections, chiropractic as well as the decompression. My daughter had good luck with decompression therapy when nothing else worked. She is now pain free for the first time in years but I would still consider it to be one of many tools in the box.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

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    • #3
      I have degenerating discs from L3-L4 down to L5-S1. When they bulged, the things that helped the most were PT- specifically exercises to strengthen the side they bulged to (that side of my torso was weaker due to a previous injury), acupuncture, and seriously my Sleep Number Bed! (I would toss and turn and wake up in the middle of the night with discomfort that wrapped around my hip. With the bed, that doesn't happen anymore )

      I remember we would have gone to injections after that if those didn't work, but luckily the last two things (acu and my bed) helped me avoid that. I still have flare ups on occasion, and for acute issues like that I can usually stop it pretty quickly with NSAIDs and some mild muscle relaxers (just enough to help with spasms but a low enough dose that I'm still functional)

      I thought chiro was contraindicated for actively bulging discs, but I could be wrong?

      Comment


      • #4
        Definitely do the decomp!!! 2-1/2 years after starting, I can stand up straight and I have no pain. I owe it to decomp and proper chiro care, something no amount of PT seemed able to fix, although I tried, I really tried...
        ETA: and ICE, ICE, and when you think you can't take any more, more F'ing ice!

        Now, if I could get decomp on my shoulder, but that one looks like I'm headed for surgery on my AC joint, with my collarbone being cut down.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks so much! I'm going to my neurologist today and I am leaning towards trying some decompression therapy. Does insurance cover it? Do you need a referral or prescription for it?
          Thanks again! I am in pain with this and it really screws up the quality of life!
          PennyG

          Comment


          • #6
            My insurance did not pay for it but that doesn't mean all insurance policies don't. I paid $40 per treatment for my daughter and she had two per week. She was also getting muscle stim and chiro adjustment at the same visit which was covered mostly by insurance. We had a $10 co/pay for that.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Has anyone bought a Teeter Table/Inversion Table and if so, how much does it help? Thanks!
              PennyG

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TKR View Post
                Has anyone bought a Teeter Table/Inversion Table and if so, how much does it help? Thanks!
                PennyG
                Yes, I have one [Teeter Table}; it was part of the therapy as indicated by my SD/chiro practitioner. It helped A LOT. One caveat: you need to fit a small motor to the underside to help get the fluids between the discs flushing. I started by using it 6 days/week for 8 minutes at a time, now I use it about once every 2nd week for about 7-8 minutes.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Fanfayre -- THANKS -- could you give me more information regarding the motor you mentioned? My hubby could do that, I'm not sure I'm computing what you mean, though. Flushing the disc bulge fluid would be great and that's the idea, isn't it. I think I'm going to get one. My email address is BGarzarek@aol.com if you prefer to email it to me.

                  PennyG

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    email sent!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just got back from my chiro, had my 9th? DTS treatment, after which he adjusted me. I have arthritis in my spine, lumbar neuropathy and some lumbar disk degeneration. I also have *extremely* tight lower back muscles (quadratus lumborum), and get myofasical trigger point therapy; I don't think I have a problem with bulging disks, so can't speak to that, but I do have chronic lower back pain, so do a LOT of stretching (in addition to the above therapies), and also use the Back To Life machine every day, which provides a more gentle traction. My chiro has gradually increased the amount and intensity of the traction for me--the more the better, in my case!--and I have found that it has started to make a difference for me. I wish I could go every week, but it's 60 for the DTS, and then another 58 for the adjustment afterward (which really helps the total effectiveness), so doing this every other week is all I can afford. Insurance pays a whopping $18 , so it's $100 a pop. (Insurance also doesn't cover ANY of the myofascial treatments, at another $100 a pop, but she works on me for at LEAST 90 minutes each time, again, every other week.)


                      !#$%! insurance! (I am in very good shape, work out and stretch DAILY, eat a great diet, work very hard at my own time-consuming "therapies", etc. Every. Day. The things that would help improve my quality of life and reduce my pain are, of course, NOT covered. Including acupuncture and neurofeedback, which is *very* $$, but which did help with the pain issues. GRRRRRR!)

                      With all of this, I am functional (broke! ), but still in pain, so I made an appt. to see a physiatrist (will bring detailed notes with me about my problems from the above care givers); I'm hoping maybe injections might help me? I would be interested in hearing from others with similar issues or stories, and to the OP, yes--I've personally found DTS to be very helpful, I just wish I could do it every week! They start you out gradually, and it's never painful, but it does really help separate the vertabrae and allow the disks to breathe; it's a very gentle traction, and it is adjusted for the individual. Good luck!
                      "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                      "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have been doing decompression therapy now for almost 6 weeks. I ruptured 2 disks in September, opted not to have surgery, but had a multitude of other treatments. The decompression combined with a rehab program of physical therapy, chiropractic, and E-stem (electric muscle stimulation) have really done wonders.

                        I had tried pys. therapy on its own, as well as done the injections, and the really had not helped.

                        I really love the decompression. My insurance covers a majority of it, and the rehab place I go to (http://www.sandiegospinalcare.com/) is really great and adjusts the amount I pay in addition to what the insurance covers on a per income basis.

                        Highly, highly recommend it. It can be somewhat uncomfortable the first couple times, but the relief after is so worth it. Ice is your friend!
                        It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I no longer have a bulging disk, I have no disk. (It was trimmed years ago when the surgeon had to remove the piece of it that was lodged in my sciatic nerve - ouch!) Anyway, I don't usually have pain but at the end of a long day on my feet, my right leg goes numb - at the end of the day gravity wins. The ortho wanted to do spinal fusion (Absolutely not happening!). So, I now have an inversion table. On days when the leg is numb I use it and have gravity undo the damage it has done. It works great! And, I picked the table up from CL, used once, for $100!

                          For that price it was worth the try.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've been thinking about acquiring an inversion table (chiro has one, I haven't used it there), but have heard that they can be VERY hard on the ankles; any thoughts on/experiences with that?
                            "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                            "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My ankles are destroyed from being crushed in wreckage during a car accident when I was 14 and I've no problems with the inversion table hurting them. I have a herniated disc at L5/S1, a couple of bulging discs and my neck is trashed. The table's a lifesaver! I take no meds and had one round of injections the year the herniation occurred along with chiro treatment. I wouldn't hold up to riding 3+ a day anymore but am fine to ride one a day and jump etc. I'd also like to hear about adding a motor to the tables, but mine keeps me pretty close to pain free.
                              Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                An inversion table made me almost pass out. Do it slowly if you have low blood pressure, doing it fast is very uncomfortable.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Good to know these things!
                                  "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                                  "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Chall View Post
                                    An inversion table made me almost pass out. Do it slowly if you have low blood pressure, doing it fast is very uncomfortable.
                                    When I first started using the table I wouldn't use it unless my huuby was in the room. Once I understood how to control the rate of inversion I was fine.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I haven't been to a doctor or formally diagnosed, but I suffered a few spectacular falls from horseback over a few years the second to last one really hurt me, the last one left me hobbling from sciatic pain. I was literally using my wheelbarrow as a walker and using a muck rake as a cane as I hobbled around doing my chores in the morning. I was on so much ibuprofen I started getting IBS, and I could not sit or stand in any one position for more than 10 minutes before I hurt. Laying down and stretching was my only relief.

                                      Desperate I decided to either see a doctor or get an inversion table (teeter). The teeter came with a massaging pad so it won I LOVE my teeter (SO calls it the upside down machine). I tell everyone about it. I spent a total of 10 min in it a day for 3 weeks before I worked up to full inversion and my debilitating back pain went away and never returned.

                                      Now I pull it out anytime I know I'm going to be doing something serious (last week throwing hay) and get in it in advance. I love how it stretches out my knees and ankles too, my knees hurt less.

                                      I love love love love love my teeter. The massage pad slid around and was a pain, but perhaps thats the motor thats being mentioned? I'd like to learn more about the motor too.

                                      I did get cocky about my teeter once and after several months of not using it I pulled it out and went full inversion every day for 3 days. Mistake. My lower back was STIFF and hurt. Its really important to slowly work up to full inversion I've discovered.
                                      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Okay, so I've started googling these (inversions tables and teeters), does anyone have a link to what *they* use and like? The ones that are "easier on the ankles" seem to cost more (figures), but what is the selection like on Craig's List? I should probably research this more myself, just looking for some guidance
                                        "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                                        "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                                        Comment

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