Can spinal decompression therapy help relieve symptoms of deteriorating degenerative disc disease?
No enough studies, but in clinical practice it has helped my patients.
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.
Degenerative disc disease is a chronic condition which can be often difficult to treat. There are many treatment alternatives around some recognized by traditional western medicine and some considered as part of alternative medicine. No method is effective in all patients, some do better with one some with the other. The trouble with most of treatment methods is the lack of proper studies involving big numbers of patients with control groups. So there is insufficient evidence for many therapies.
The only method for which there are quality studies proving some benefit is physical therapy. For that reason that is the first choice and if you are not doing it you should.
When it comes to spinal decompression unfortunately there is not enough evidence. There are some studies which indicate benefit, but there are also others which show it to have no benefit at all. So my answer would be more based on everyday experience rather than scientific proof. From personal experiences with my patients I must say that I think it is helpful. I have had several patients in whom other treatment methods have failed which have tried spinal decompression therapy with significant improvement. So I do recommend it in patients in whom physical therapy, oral medication and epidural injections are not producing the desired results.
Dr. Olsi Taka, Neurologist
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