Does Lumbar Traction Reduce the Size of Herniated Discs?
Traction, also referred to as spinal decompression, has been a common treatment for low back pain. This treatment is most commonly used with patients who have evidence of a herniated intervertebral disc.
The theory is that the distraction forces can help relieve pressure on the disc herniation, thereby allowing the disc to return to its normal shape and position.
However, a recent study published last year used ‘pre’ and ‘post’ MRIs to evaluate whether that claim was true. This report examined 26 patients with Lumbar disc herniations before and after a 3 week course of physical therapy combined with lumbar traction.
The results found decreased pain, decreased disability, improved sleep, and increased ranges of motion in 100% of the patients. But there was no consistent significant changes in the size of the patient’s disc herniations. Therefore, the mechanism by which traction helps patients with lumbar disc herniations is still uncertain, but this study also reminds us that a patient’s ability to function does not always correlate with the size of the disc herniation seen on MRI.
– Kamanli A. et al. Conventional physical therapy with lumbar traction: clinical evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging for lumbar disc herniation. Bratisl Lek Listy 2010;111(10):541-4
Dr. Fechter DC and Pain Relief Centre use Lumbar Traction in their treatment protocols for the patients whom are most likely to benefit from this therapy.
Call today to schedule your appointment and see if your back condition is a candidate for lumbar traction!
Dr. Scott Fechter practices chiropractic therapeutic services in St Augustine Florida and treats patients from nearby Cities. The Pain Relief Centre has locations in Palatka and St Augustine to accomadate chiropractic patients. Chiropractic can be an effective treatment for back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain, osteoarthritis and many other conditions.