Recommendations and conclusions
While results obviously vary, many back pain patients who undergo decompression therapy, including those who are long-term chronic or post-surgical cases, are able to resume normal activities. Patients not showing significant improvement by the 15th to 18th session may be referred for further diagnostic evaluation. Age, body morphology, smoking, previous surgery, chronic use of narcotic or steroid medications, obesity, and large amounts of daily caffeine may negatively affect the outcome.
Surgery should only be considered following a reasonable trial of the decompression protocols.
Spinal decompression therapy is safe, comfortable and painless. As decompression therapy becomes better known, patients are likely to look to chiropractors as a source of information, referral or treatment. Knowledge about the technique is a good place to start for those who wish to educate their patients about alternatives to surgery.