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A 34-year-old member asked:

could spinal decompression fix a bulging disk?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery 40 years experience
Depends: The traction machine advertised to "decompress" the spine pulls on it. The disk bulge may temporarily reduce in size during the treatment (pulling the bones further apart), but standing and walking will return the spine to the condition before traction. Bulging is part of the normal aging process and does not always cause pain. The science behind this treatment is soft.
Dr. Paul Slosar
Orthopedic Surgery 33 years experience
Maybe: Some chiropractors use a machine to apply traction to the spine and they call this "decompressioin." the scientific data is not robust so far and i dont believe any insurance companies cover the treatment which can be expensive. Some patients swear that it was helpful while others not so... "caveat emptor".
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery 40 years experience
It is also being offered by some physicians, but agree: caveat emptor (Latin for buyer beware).
Dec 26, 2011

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If I have a herniated disk, is it unsafe to weight lift?

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Depends: If your disk herniation is acute (within the last few months), most spine experts suggest limiting heavy lifting until the pain subsides. When lifting is resumed, it should be gradual, starting with low resistance and more repetitions before adding to resistance. Check with your provider for specific guidelines in your personal situation.
A 31-year-old member asked:

What's a decompression for spinal stenosis?

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Surgery: Spinal stenosis is when the spinal canal is too narrow for the nerve elements. This can be a congenital or acquired in origin. When surgery is indicated, one of the mosf common is a laminectomy which is a removal of the "roof" of the spine freeing up or decompressing the nerve tissues, a decompression.

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Last updated Oct 22, 2015

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