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The new way to treat herniated discs! 

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Nonsurgical spinal decompression is a type of motorized traction that may help relieve back pain. Spinal decompression works by gently stretching the spine. It will take pressure off the spinal disks, which are gel-like cushions between the bones in your spine.

Proponents of this treatment say that over time, negative pressure from this therapy may cause bulging or herniated disks to retract. That can take pressure off the nerves and other structures in your spine. This in turn, helps promote movement of water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids into the disks so they can heal.

Spinal Decompression Therapy is an FDA approved treatment that medical research shows to be 86-92% effective for the relief of pain associated with many neck and low back symptoms.  Another recent study showed that over 91% of decompression patients were pain free four yearsafter treatment.

Decompression Therapy is achieved by reducing pressure on spinal vertebrae, discs, and nerves by ‘unloading’ the spine. A traction device alleviates pressure of joints, discs ,and nerves. Decompression Therapy causes a negative pressure within the spinal disc or “vacuum effect” that sucks any bulging material back into place. In addition, it is the “vacuum effect” that allows crucial nutrients to be ‘sucked’ back into the disc allowing it to heal optimally.

This type of treatment approach ensures optimal recovery at the SOURCE of the dysfunction, that of the disc and its’ surrounding tissues. By targeting the pain at its source, not only are we able to achieve almost immediate relief, but the results are longstanding and the chance of recurrence minimized.

Decompression Therapy is best suited for patients suffering from the following:

  • Back or Neck Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Bulging Discs
  • Herniated Discs
  • Pinched Nerves
  • Degenerated Discs
  • Spinal Arthritis

Correcting Positioning of Spine to Reduce Pain and Discomfort

If you suffer from pain and stiffness in your neck or back, you may have a bulging, herniated or compressed disc. While traditional chiropractic adjustments can correct many musculoskeletal problems, displaced discs often need a little extra help in returning to their normal position between the vertebrae. For this situation we turn to spinal decompression — a gentle yet powerful service offered (alongside chiropractic adjustments and other techniques) by our Richland, Michigan office, Gull Lake Chiropractic.  Located near downtown Kalamazoo.


The human spinal column does an amazing job of supporting your weight and maintaining your vertical balance under all kinds of circumstances, and yet parts of it are surprisingly fragile. Between each of the vertebrae that make up your spine, small gelatinous discs provide critical cushioning. These discs consist of a fluid-filled center encased in a flexible membrane. When a disc moves out of its central position to bulge outside the spinal column, it can cause painful nerve compression that affects various parts of the body. 

How Is Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression Done?

You are fully clothed during spinal decompression therapy. The doctor fits you with a harness around your pelvis and another around your trunk. You either lie face down or face up on a computer-controlled table. A doctor operates the computer, customizing treatment to your specific needs.

Does Spinal Decompression Hurt?

An overwhelming majority of spinal decompression patients experience no pain. Many times patients consider their spinal decompression as extra time to multitask, power nap, relax, listen to music, or read. Spinal decompression is safe and gentle intermittent traction of the neck or lower back with primary intent to restore and enliven the disc to its proper alignment and function.  It does not take a lot of pressure to enliven the disc.

Are there any factors or reasons why I shouldn’t have decompression?

Spinal decompression is a gentle and safe treatment once the doctor has examined you and ruled out conditions.  Make sure your doctor does a through history and examination to rule out conditions that could make the spine unstable such as aneurysm, acute fracture, gross osteoporosis, previous surgery with metal implants or tumors.  Of course women who are pregnant should not be treated with decompression.

Therapy Sessions:

Decompression Therapy session typically last less than 20 minutes, and most people feel pain relief with as few as 6 – 10 treatments. It is important to remember that pain subsiding does infer that your discs and spine are healed, so it’s critical that patients stick with the treatment protocol prescribed by their chiropractor in order to achieve the full value of the therapy.

Improving my Spinal Decompression Results from Gull Lake Chiropractic

The most common mistake patients make is continuing with compressive activities. It is best to AVOID COMPRESSIVE activities such as:

 1. Sitting for long periods of time like driving long distances or enjoying a movie without getting up to stretch and walk around.  Stopping every hour on long driving trips for 5 minutes to walk around and move really makes the trip more enjoyable and your back happier! 

 2.  Standing for long period of time especially on concrete or other hard surfaces.

 3. Carrying heavy or awkward items can put stress or strain on your lower back.

4.  Avoid lifting, but if you must use proper lifting techniques.

 5. Put recreational activities on hold except for walking. Especially avoid weight lifting and high impact exercises.  Speak with Zachary in the BioMechanical Center (within Gull Lake Chiropractic) for safe exercises.

  • The spinal decompression therapy that I have received on a weekly basis has helped relieve the pain in my back so that I can enjoy my activities that I want to pursue. I highly recommend this kind of treatment.

    Phyllis Kalkowski

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  • I have been suffering from hip and low back pain for the past 20 years. Over the last 3 years it has been quite severe. I have been seen by several specialists which includes surgeons and pain management injection specialist, none of which have offered any relief. I have been treating with Gull Lake Chiropractic over the last six months. I can honestly say I have returned my old self again. I am able to do my own yard work, cut wood, and my garden has never looked better. I am so grateful for the help I have received. I will continue to maintain my health through chiropractic care because now I understand the importance of balancing the muscular and neurologic system.  

    Jim Steve

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