Adjacent vertebrae in the spine are separated by discs. Compression of these discs due to load bearing or vibration can cause nerve impingement and pain. These vertebral discs are over 80% water and have two distinct areas. The center is called the nucleus pulposas, and is a gel like material that acts as a shock absorber. Outside the nucleus pulposas are seven concentric layers of collagen fiber that contain the nucleus which is constantly under pressure while we are upright. At night, while we sleep the discs are no longer under pressure and absorb water through a process known as imbibition. Most people are about 1/2 “ taller when they wake up in the morning due to this process which allows discs to swell to their maximum height. This separates the vertebrae and removes pressure from the spinal nerves which exit the spinal cord in between two adjacent vertebrae.
At Stabilized Chiropractic we actively perform this imbibition process by decompression, which is accomplished through the use of our Leander Flexion/Distraction Tables. Decompression is the use of technology to stretch the body in such a way as to elongate the spine and increase the distance between vertebrae. Combined with the gentle pumping motion of these tables, this will actively hydrate the discs in just a few minutes which allows us to remove pressure from the spinal nerves and reduce pain quickly. We often combine this modality with cryotherapy to simultaneously reduce local inflammation, further reducing nerve pressure and pain.