Decompression Therapy For Neck Pain

By Dr. Philip Cordova

October 25, 2022


There are alternatives to using decompression therapy for neck pain, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a part of your plan to alleviate pain and stay as active as you can. If you’re a frequent computer and phone user (who isn’t), then neck pain will become a part of your life if you don’t start working on steps to keep your neck as healthy as possible.

Decompression Therapy For Neck Pain Through Exercises

When the discs are showing evidence of being compressed, that means there’s a lot of extra pressure being placed on the discs and the spinal joints. One way to decrease the amount of pressure is by making the neck stronger.

Neck exercises can create a much stronger support system for the neck, which decreases the amount of pressure on the areas that need the help. This will act as an initial decompression therapy for neck problems. Since our daily posture is usually a forward head posture, you’ll want to work on stretching the front and sides of the neck while strengthening the back and sides. This will work to counteract all the computer activity, since it’s unlikely you’ll be able to stop doing that.

Decompression Therapy For Neck Pain Through Posture Supports

If you’re looking for something you can do at home for decompression therapy for neck pain, you have a lot of devices that stretch and pull your neck. None are really a neck decompression pillow, but it’s a similar idea. We regularly recommend the use of a neck wedge for our patients, as it’s very comfortable and it uses the weight of your head for gentle traction of the cervical spine.

In the video below, Dr. Natalie Cordova shows you how to get the most from it. We have found that some of our more petite patients were feeling that their heads were being pushed forward, which is the opposite of the ideal situation and benefit from using the neck wedge.

Cervical Decompression Therapy For Neck Pain

When you’re ready to bust out the big guns and really see changes in the disc spaces in your neck, you’ll want to utilized cervical decompression therapy for neck pain. Doing neck exercises will build support and help reduce pressure on the joints, but there’s no tractioning true decompressing of the spine.

Using home devices for traction is gentle and helpful, but has to be done consistently and for extended periods of time to see a difference. You also only get whatever gravity gives you, so you are limited on how much pulling and stretch you can really achieve.

Our neck decompression machine allows for a gentle to strong pull following by relaxing or return of about 25% before pulling again. It’s this “pumping” action that allows for the disc to begin to heal and restore the normal spacing between vertebrae.

Who Should Or Shouldn’t Use Decompression Therapy for Neck Pain?

Is neck decompression safe? Cervical decompression therapy can provide a lot of relief for patients experiencing neck pain, especially if that neck pain is due to degeneration or disc-related issues. Patients with a recent cervical surgery or fusion are not good candidates for this treatment until they are a year post-surgery.

Other patients have underlying problems in their spine that would require a different protocol using our cervical decompression device. That’s why it’s so important to us to do a consultation, examination, and take any necessary x-rays before starting chiropractic care in our office. We will be able to see exactly what’s going on and make sure the treatment is provided safely and effectively. We cannot start someone on decompression therapy without seeing an x-ray first.

Insurance companies still consider decompression therapy to be “experimental” at this time, so they will not cover this under your health insurance policy. We have payment options and discounts available when you buy packages of sessions. Before searching for “cervical decompression therapy near me,” ask your chiropractor if you need this therapy and then we can get started. Neck decompression side effects are usually related to soreness, especially at first due to an increase in inflammation. Over the counter anti-inflammatories and ice work well to reduce this side effect.

Dr. Philip Cordova

About the author

Dr. Philip Cordova is a chiropractor in Houston, Texas. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and decided to become a chiropractor after hurting his back as a teenager and getting help from chiropractic care. He is speaker on health & posture. Click Here To Read His Full Bio

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