Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 3, 2022
When a soft tissue or nerve near your spine is compressed, it can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms, like pain, radiating muscle weakness and it can even affect how you walk and move. If you’re dealing with a compression issue, treatment is focused on decompressing the offending area, and there are numerous ways you can work to decompress your spine. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the best ways to decompress your spine.
Spinal Decompression Treatment
While we’re going to look at some of the most common decompression treatments, there’s no guarantee that any of these techniques will be right for your specific situation. It’s always advised to get a comprehensive diagnosis from your primary care physician or a spine specialist who can view your spine in-person and provide some individualized advice. Here’s a look at some of the recommendations they may provide depending on what’s causing your compression.
- Exercise – Exercise is a great way to help decompress your spine. If inflammation is contributing to nerve or tissue compression, exercise will help to strengthen structures and increase blood flow, which can help to calm the inflammatory response from your body that is compressing nearby spinal nerves. If traditional exercise is uncomfortable, consider some limited or non-weight bearing exercises like cycling, swimming or walking.
- Gentle Stretching – Stretching is another helpful way to take pressure off your spine. By stretching and manipulating your spine, you are changing how pressure is dispersed. Taking pressure off areas like spinal discs can help to calm a bulging or herniated disc that may be irritating nearby spinal nerves. Make sure you take a couple minutes to stretch before physical activity or if you’ve been seated for an extended period to help decompress your spine.
- Hot/Cold Therapy – We’ve discussed the benefits of using ice or heat on your spine to help treat back issues on the blog in the past, and these therapy techniques can also be helpful in the event you’re looking to decompress your spine. Ice can help to curb swelling and inflammation that could be compressing nerves and spinal soft tissues, while heat can help draw healthy blood to the area and relax stiff muscles, both of which can help your spine become healthier. Find which technique works best for you and turn to an ice pack or a heating pad a couple times a day to help calm symptoms.
- Yoga – Yoga is a hybrid of the first two techniques on this list, but it can be an amazing addition to your daily schedule if you’re dealing with problems like degenerative discs or spinal stenosis that can cause compression-related symptoms. You can look up some yoga poses that target your spine or turn to a beginner class that will work on improving the health of your whole body. Like stretching, yoga helps to take pressure off areas that handle a lot of strain throughout the day.
- Surgery – Finally, if conservative techniques fail to provide relief, surgery may be your best bet. There are a number of different decompression operations, but the goal of each is to address the area that’s causing the compression and to ensure that stability remains. For example, if a herniated disc or bone spurs are contributing to your tissue compression, surgery to remove part of the affected disc or the offending bone spurs could provide significant relief. Most surgeons will require that you attempt weeks of conservative care before jumping to surgery, because although the techniques are very safe, every surgery carries risks.
For more tips on how you can help decompress your spine, or to reach out to a professional if you’re attempting to overcome back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.