Many potential Charlotte patients are not familiar with spinal decompression or Gonstead chiropractic adjustments, and that may make some individuals feel intimidated when seeking chiropractic treatment for issues such a bulging discs. The process is straightforward and painless. The patient lays on a table and the upper body is held snugly in place while the lower body is slowly and softly tractioned. This tractioning or pull is subtle as too much pulling force can cause tearing in the fibers that protect the disc. The pulling effect is held for a few seconds and then released. This allows the muscles to relax as the nervous system no longer uses those muscles to guard that area.

In effect, the Gonstead chiropractic adjustment becomes a series of simple soft traction movements on the disc in short “pumping” actions. The reason for a soft traction type of pressure is too much pressure can damage the disc by tearing the fibers that surround the inside of the disc. Also, if a chiropractor pulls too hard, the nervous system will send the surrounding muscles into spasm to try and protect the area.

Why the “pumping” movements rather than just a traction and hold? If a chiropractor just tractions and holds, the body will simply adapt and send the surrounding muscles into spasm to try and protect the disc. Also the pumping action pulls the  disc apart and then compresses it repeatedly, allowing the herniated area to retreat back inside the disc, where it should be.

While spinal decompression is a popular treatment and more are learning about Gonstead chiropractic adjustment, spinal decompression may not be the optimal plan of care for all chiropractic patients. The challenges with spinal decompression include:

  • The procedure does not always target the specific disc that is causing issues.

  • The procedure is expensive and usually is not covered by insurance.

  • If the disc herniated because of a compressive force, when a chiropractor further compresses it, that same compressive force that caused the herniation in the first place will cause the disc to go back over time anyways.

After owning not one, but two spinal decompression tables, our experience here at Dhillon Chiropractic in Charlotte with spinal decompression is that the procedure is often inferior to a precise chiropractic adjustments. Our recommendation for patients with a disc bulge or herniation is to seek the care of a Charlotte area chiropractor experienced in spinal decompression and Gonstead chiropractic adjustments. Here at Dhillon Chiropractic we have over a decade of experience with Gonstead adjustment techniques, and look forward to helping you.