Spinal Decompression At Home: Everything You Need To Know

If you are currently suffering from lower back pain and other related symptoms, or have suffered from these things in the past, then you know just how terrible it can be at times.  Luckily for people like us, spinal decompression at home is something we can take into our own hands and can be done with specially designed and reasonably priced devices. This article aims to shed light on spinal decompression therapy, it's pros and cons, and a few things you can do at home to relieve your back pain.


spinal decompression at home

Sometimes when my back pain just refuses to go away no matter what I do, I know I can always fall back on spinal decompression therapy to relieve the pain.

A good old spine stretch is sometimes just what we need.

Here's what you learn in this article:

What is spinal decompression

Pros and cons of spinal decompression therapy

Learn whether or not this is for you

Which spinal decompression device is best for you

What Is Spinal Decompression?

Non-surgical spinal decompression is a type of traction that works by slowly and gently stretching the spine, allowing the cushion like substances known as cartilage to move back into place, allowing them time to heal.

Spinal compression is a natural occurrence that happens gradually over time as we combat the natural forces of gravity.  It can cause issues with posture as well as contributing to pain in the neck or lower back. 

Both doctors and chiropractors have used this technique to try to treat conditions such as back pain, neck pain, or sciatica.  Spinal decompression therapy also helps people who suffer pain from bulging or herniated discs

 I have personally been treated by both doctors and chiropractors for my chronic lower back pain.

I have a herniated disc and a few other complications with my back and in my experience, lumbar stretching therapy, or spinal decompression therapy,  has proven to be very effective.

Not only has this therapy proven to be effective for me,  but this is also something that I have been able to take into my own hands and do at home.

Spinal decompression therapy at home is not only super helpful but it can also be fun depending on what kind of decompression device you're using.

Spinal Decompression Therapy Risks

As with all things, there are risks that come with spinal decompression therapy at home.  It can place a lot of stress on the bones in your spine and if you have certain conditions this can be potentially dangerous and cause some real complications.

You should not do spinal decompression therapy at home if you have a condition like a spinal fracture, osteoporosis, or if you are pregnant.

You should always consult a licensed medical professional before performing a spinal decompression by yourself.

What Are The Side Effects Of Spinal Decompression?

Whether it's in the form of pills, surgery, or physical therapy there will almost always be side effects to deal with.

Spinal decompression is really a form of traction or pulling. You can expect the same kind of side effects you would get from that.

Some of the side effects of spinal decompression therapy are:

Spinal Decompression Therapy Pros And Cons

Just like with nearly everything else in life there are pros and cons to non-surgical decompression. 

To decompress or not to decompress... that is the question.

Pros For Spinal Decompression

  • For most people, this is something you can do at home
  • No surgery involved
  • With proper guidance and it is very safe
  • You can quickly alleviate pain with this treatment method

Spinal decompression therapy at home really is as great as I make it sound it out to be.  But there are a few cons that come with this treatment.

Cons For Spinal Decompression

  • Has the potential to be harmful if the instructions are not adhered to
  • Can sometimes cost more money depending on your needs

Spinal Decompression Devices

Back decompression is one of the most widely practiced treatment methods by chiropractors simply because it works.  So why not have a machine of your own they can stretch your lumbar?

Back traction devices that you can use at home or a great way to relieve back pain quickly and without dependents on drugs. 

Here are a few of the different types of spinal decompression devices that you can use for your personal use at home.

Spinal Decompression Harnesses

There are several different types of spinal decompression harnesses that you can use.  It depends on your specific therapeutic needs.

The harness decompression devices work great for those who have need of a neck decompression with an over door cervical traction unit.

One such product is the over door cervical traction device.  You can see in the picture below how it works and get a general idea of what it does.  

over door cervical traction device

Hit the button to find your neck decompression device to use at home.

Spinal Decompression Machines

If you don't have the cash to spend on chiropractors or if your insurance doesn't cover those expensive sessions then you might find yourself wanting to purchase a spinal decompression machine that you can use at home.

These aren't machines that you plug in.  They are not like the harnesses or tables that you have seen throughout this article.

With these machines, you have more control over the force and speed at which your neck is being stretched.  With the machine that I'm going to show you below, you should have a better idea of what I'm talking about.

Spinal Decompression Machines

This machine that gently hugs your head so that your neck and the rest of your spinal column is gently stretched.

You can purchase this particular machine at Amazon.

Spinal Decompression Tables

Out of all of the lumbar decompression therapy you can do at home, the inversion table is my absolute favorite.

Not only is it super fun, but I also find that it is the quickest way to alleviate your back pain.

Inversion tables work by setting your height and then locking your ankles in and slowly leaning back until gravity takes hold and gently stretches your entire spine.

I have used inversion tables for lower back pain relief, sciatic pain relief, and just general stretching and relaxation

This particular inversion table that I have shown you below also has massage and heat therapy with it.  Not talk about fancy!

inversion therapy table

You can purchase this inversion table at Amazon.

Portable Back Stretchers

Portable back stretchers are all the rage these days.  How great is it to know that you can have something with you throughout your day that, at any moment you want, you can just take a few minutes and relieve your back pain?

Portable back stretchers offer this to you.

This particular back stretcher is made by Teeter, the same company that creates the inversion tables that I know work so well.

portable back stretcher

You can purchase this product at Amazon.

Will Spinal Decompression Work For Me?

The Journal of Physical Therapy Science conducted a study in 2016 that showed those who participated in spinal decompression therapy at home found that they were in less pain than those who did not do lumbar decompression.

Lumbar decompression therapy is a treatment that has been used for the past 20 years.

Will spinal decompression work for you? Most likely yes.

When your lumbar is allowed to stretch through decompression, water and nutrients are allowed to flow back into the area which might have otherwise been constricted.  This happens through the negative pressure that is created when the cartilage and Lumbar in your spine are gently stretched and pulled away from each other.  

Will Spinal Decompression Therapy Cause More Damage?

Although there are no known risks for non-surgical spinal decompression therapy at home, your medical care professional or chiropractor might have to determine if you are eligible for treatment.

Here's a short list of things that might determine you ineligible for decompression treatment:

  • Pregnancy

  • Osteoporosis 

  • Spinal fractures

  • Metal rods or other metal pieces in your spine

  • Spinal infections

  • Tumors in your spine 

  • If you are taking blood thinners 

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Spinal Decompression Treatment

When it comes to lumbar stretching at home, it would be great to know a few things you can do or consider to get the most out of your spinal decompression therapy.

First and foremost:

Do your best to stay relaxed and allow the device to do its job.  If you are using an inversion table you want to make sure that the settings are set to your correct height and that you allow the proper amount of time to let your lumbar stretch while you're hanging upside down.

I know exactly how bad back pain can get.  Trust me, I've been there plenty of times in the past.  Relaxing is the last thing you feel like you can do sometimes.  But if you really give it your best effort and do what you can to relax then you're just that much closer to getting the absolute most out of your decompression therapy.

Another thing to keep in mind when you're using spinal decompression devices at home is to always make sure that you either have the emergency switch at hand or close by or that you are in a position that you can stop the exercise or therapy immediately if you need to.

As I've said multiple times throughout this article, make sure that you consult with a licensed Medical Professional before performing any of these home treatments on yourself.

If you are experiencing any unusual pain or discomfort other than the back pain that prompted you to get the spinal decompression therapy device in the first place, then you should stop what you're doing and make an appointment with your doctor or chiropractor.

Your health and well-being are very important to me.  I want you to get the most out of your back stretching therapy.  So, please do your best in taking care of yourself and being mindful of your back when performing these at home therapies.

Leave a comment below and let us know which decompression therapy works best for you.  Don't forget to share.

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Marty L.