U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 34-year-old member asked:

why do divers call decompression sickness "the bends"?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Laura Arbogast
Internal Medicine 19 years experience
They bend over: Because when dcs was discovered in the 19th century, the patients suffering from it would arch their backs in pain which resembled a then, popular dance maneuver, the "grecian bend." funny how medical terms originate.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Bends: The term “bends” reportedly originated w men who worked on the brooklyn bridge caissons who stooped due to hip ; leg pain. Their co-workers jokingly referred to their posture as “grecian bend” which was a posture that fashionable women of that era used. In 1894 a surgeon named andrew smith described this. This differs from the grecian bend which was a dance maneuver before the american civil war.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
$30 per visit with
membership

Similar questions

A 24-year-old member asked:

Can spinal decompression systems work for herniated or bulging discs?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 18 years experience
Non-surgical?: If you are referring to non-surgical spinal decompression employed mostly by chiropractors, there is very little evidence showing its efficacy. It is a very costly treatment that uses traction to relieve pain caused by a disc herniation and nerve root compression. It has not shown to be any different then allowing time to allow inflammation to improve.
Dr. Jonathan Hyde
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 29 years experience
There is a good web article about the controversy about this type of treatment....Look at http://www.chirobase.org/06DD/vaxd/vaxd.html.
Jan 27, 2012
A 23-year-old member asked:

Could spinal decompression heal a bulging disc?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paul Slosar
Orthopedic Surgery 33 years experience
Depends: If you mean getting into a machine and getting pulled into traction there is no good scientific data that supports this. It can be very expensive and insurance companies do not cover it.
CA
A 34-year-old member asked:

My friend has just had a spinal decompression. When will it be safe for him to fly?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Hicks
Family Medicine 43 years experience
Depends: Depends on how long ago the surgery was and if he has cleared the normal post op course. Once cleared from a surgical point of view it should pose no problems flying in a pressurized plane.
CA
A 36-year-old member asked:

What is spine decompression therapy, and how does it work exactly?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vikas Patel
Orthopedic Surgery 24 years experience
Traction: It is essentially traction of the spine. It is meant to pull the spine segments apart so that the disc might heal. There are many ways to accomplish this including physical therapy techniques, specialized machines often used by chiropractic, and inversion tables. There are no good studies on any but the techniques may have some benefit. Inversion is likely the cheapest.
A 33-year-old member asked:

Who should benefit from spine decompression therapy?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Aaron Stupple
Dr. Aaron Stuppleanswered
General Practice 9 years experience
Cervical Stenosis: The most common need for decompression therapy is for those whose spine has, over a long time from, developed bony protrusions called osteophytes in and around the outside of the spinal cord and the holes that the nerves come out of. This is a natural aging process, but in some it can press on the neves and cause pain. Decompression does just that- opens up room for the nerves.

Related questions

A 32-year-old member asked:
2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
A 40-year-old member asked:
2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
A 19-year-old female asked:
1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
$30 per visit with
membership
Last updated Jan 5, 2019
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
$30 per visit with
membership

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.