Can decompression relieve intervertebral disc stress from individuals dealing with lumbar issues, restoring spinal mobility?


The spine’s intervertebral disc acts like a shock absorber to the spine when axial overload is placed on the spine. This allows many individuals to carry, lift, and transport heavy objects without feeling discomfort or pain throughout the day. It is crucial that the spine not only stays functional but also provides stability and mobility for the intervertebral discs to allow these motions. However, as the body ages naturally, so do the intervertebral discs, as they lose water retention and begin to crack under pressure. To this point, the intervertebral discs start not to be functional as normal or traumatic actions cause pain-like issues to the spine and can lead to a life of disability. When repetitive motions cause unwanted pressures, the intervertebral discs become compressed and, over time, can lead to pain-like spinal issues. At the same time, the surrounding muscles, tissues, ligaments, and joints start to get affected in the lumbar region, which then leads to low back pain conditions associated with the lower extremities. Today’s article looks at intervertebral disc stress, how it affects spinal mobility, and how treatments like spinal decompression can restore spinal mobility while reducing intervertebral disc stress. At the same time, we work hand-in-hand with certified medical providers who use our patient’s information to treat and mitigate pain-like symptoms associated with intervertebral disc stress. We also inform them that non-surgical treatments like decompression can help mitigate pressure on the spinal discs. We also explain to them how decompression can help restore spinal mobility to the body and how the treatment can be added to their routine. We encourage our patients to ask essential and important questions while seeking education from our associated medical providers about their pain. Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., incorporates this information as an educational service. Disclaimer


Intervertebral Disc Stress


Have you been experiencing radiating pain shooting down to your legs that is making it difficult to walk? Do you often feel muscle aches and strains from holding heavy objects that you have to lean your back a bit to relieve the pain? Or do you feel pain in one location in your body that travels to a different location? Many of these pain-like scenarios are correlated with intervertebral disc stress on the spine. In a normal healthy body, the intervertebral disc has to take on the spinal load when the body is in an abnormal position without pain or discomfort. However, as the body ages naturally, the intervertebral discs degenerate over time, and the intradiscal pressure within the spinal disc cavity decreases. (Sato, Kikuchi, & Yonezawa, 1999) To that point, the body and intervertebral discs begin to become stiff over time, causing the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tissues to be overstretched and ache when unwanted pressure starts to cause musculoskeletal issues to develop over time. At the same time, degeneration and aging have a causal relationship, which causes dramatic changes to the composition and structure of the spinal disc. (Acaroglu et al., 1995) These changes cause stress on the intervertebral disc, which then causes the spine to be less mobile.


How Does It Affect Spinal Mobility

When the intervertebral disc is dealing with mechanical stress from unwanted pressure, as stated earlier, it can develop into dramatic changes to its composition and structure. When people are dealing with spinal mobility issues, it causes segmental instability, which then causes influence the entire lumbar motion of the spine and causes the intervertebral disc to be highly stressed and cause disability. (Okawa et al., 1998) When high ‘stress’ is concentrated within the intervertebral discs, over time, it can cause musculoskeletal pain to the lumbar spine, leading to further disruption to the lower extremities. (Adams, McNally, & Dolan, 1996) When there is degeneration within the intervertebral disc associated with mechanical stress, it can affect the spine’s mobility function. For working individuals, it can have a huge impact on them. When dealing with stress correlated with the intervertebral discs, individuals will develop low back pain problems that can cause a huge burden when they are getting treated. Low back pain associated with intervertebral disc stress can cause a socioeconomic risk factor for lumbar pain and disability. (Katz, 2006) When dealing with low back problems, people will find temporary remedies to continue working while dealing with the pain until they have to be admitted for treatment. This causes an unnecessary stress factor for the individual because they would have to take time off work to feel better. However, it is important to get treated for intervertebral disc stress early on before more issues begin to occur, as there are non-surgical treatments that are cost-effective and safe to restore spinal mobility.


Why Choose Chiropractic-Video

When it comes to treating low back pain associated with intervertebral disc stress, many individuals try out many home remedies and treatments to alleviate the pain. However, those at-home treatments provide temporary relief. Individuals who are experiencing spinal mobility issues can find the relief they are looking for by incorporating non-surgical therapies into their daily routines. Non-surgical treatments are cost-effective and can provide a positive outcome to many individuals as their health and wellness plans can be personalized. (Boos, 2009) This allows the individual to finally find the relief they seek and create a positive relationship with their primary doctor. Non-surgical treatments can also be combined with other therapies to relieve the individual’s pain further and reduce the chances of the problem returning. Treatments like chiropractic care, massage therapy, and spinal decompression are some non-surgical treatments that can help mitigate intervertebral stress and restore spinal mobility. The video above explains how these treatments can find the root cause of the problem and address the issues in a safe and positive environment.

How Decompression Relieves Intervertebral Disc Stress


Non-surgical treatments like spinal decompression can help with reducing the intervertebral disc stress that is causing low back pain issues in the lumbar region. Spinal decompression uses gentle traction on the spine to reduce the stress on the intervertebral disc. Spinal decompression allows many people to reduce their chances of going to surgery for their pain and, after a few sessions, have the pain intensity decreased significantly. (Ljunggren, Weber, & Larsen, 1984) Additionally, spinal decompression can create negative intradiscal pressure in the spinal column by allowing the nutrients and fluids to rehydrate the affected disc while promoting the body’s natural healing process. (Sherry, Kitchener, & Smart, 2001)


Decompression Restoring Spinal Mobility

Spinal decompression can also help restore spinal mobility to the lumbar region. When pain specialists incorporate spinal decompression into their practices, they can help by using various techniques to restore joint mobility. When pain specialists start to use these different techniques on the individual’s body, they can help stretch out the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tissues that were affected around the spine and help restore mobility to the joint. (Gudavalli & Cox, 2014) Combined with spinal decompression, these techniques allow the individual to be more mindful of their bodies and alleviate the pain they have been dealing with for a while. By incorporating decompression as part of their routine, many individuals can return to their activities pain-free without worrying.



Acaroglu, E. R., Iatridis, J. C., Setton, L. A., Foster, R. J., Mow, V. C., & Weidenbaum, M. (1995). Degeneration and aging affect the tensile behavior of human lumbar anulus fibrosus. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 20(24), 2690-2701.


Adams, M. A., McNally, D. S., & Dolan, P. (1996). ‘Stress’ distributions inside intervertebral discs. The effects of age and degeneration. J Bone Joint Surg Br, 78(6), 965-972.


Boos, N. (2009). The impact of economic evaluation on quality management in spine surgery. Eur Spine J, 18 Suppl 3(Suppl 3), 338-347.


Gudavalli, M. R., & Cox, J. M. (2014). Real-time force feedback during flexion-distraction procedure for low back pain: A pilot study. J Can Chiropr Assoc, 58(2), 193-200.


Katz, J. N. (2006). Lumbar disc disorders and low-back pain: socioeconomic factors and consequences. J Bone Joint Surg Am, 88 Suppl 2, 21-24.


Ljunggren, A. E., Weber, H., & Larsen, S. (1984). Autotraction versus manual traction in patients with prolapsed lumbar intervertebral discs. Scand J Rehabil Med, 16(3), 117-124.


Okawa, A., Shinomiya, K., Komori, H., Muneta, T., Arai, Y., & Nakai, O. (1998). Dynamic motion study of the whole lumbar spine by videofluoroscopy. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 23(16), 1743-1749.


Sato, K., Kikuchi, S., & Yonezawa, T. (1999). In vivo intradiscal pressure measurement in healthy individuals and in patients with ongoing back problems. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 24(23), 2468-2474.


Sherry, E., Kitchener, P., & Smart, R. (2001). A prospective randomized controlled study of VAX-D and TENS for the treatment of chronic low back pain. Neurol Res, 23(7), 780-784.



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The information herein on "Intervertebral Disc Stress Relieved By Decompression" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


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