Decompression Therapy And How It Treats Back And Neck Pain

Decompression Therapy And How It Treats Back And Neck Pain

Chronic back and neck pain are two of the most common pain conditions experienced by men and women. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, lower back pain affects 568 million people worldwide.

Besides leaving those affected in a perpetually uncomfortable state that restricts their mobility and degrades their quality of life, chronic back or neck pain also entails missing more workdays than one would like due to repeated visits to the doctor. But despite the persistence of back and neck pain, they are still highly treatable conditions. Spinal decompression therapy is one of many treatments that address this pain and restore the health of your neck and lower back. First, let us understand what causes this chronic pain and how spinal decompression therapy addresses it.

What Is The Leading Cause Of Chronic Back Or Neck Pain?

Although back and neck pain can stem from any number of issues within the structures inside or around the spine, including bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments 一 most cases are due to a problem in the intervertebral disc. These discs, also known as spinal discs, are the flat, gel-like, and rubbery cushions separating your vertebrae (the small bones that form your spine) and serve as shock absorbers. When these discs in your lower back or neck get shifted even slightly out of place (bulging discs), tears (herniated discs), or deteriorate (degenerative disc disease), your spine can be misaligned and affect the surrounding nerves.

How Spinal Decompression Therapy Works

How Spinal Decompression Therapy Works

Image Credit: Pain SG

Spinal decompression therapy is a nonsurgical type of motorised traction that helps to relieve back pain. The procedure works by stretching the spine gently and changing its force and position. This change alleviates pressure off of the spinal discs. It creates negative pressure inside them, prompting herniated or bulging discs to retract and, in turn, take off pressure from the nerves and other nearby structures. The negative pressure also draws oxygen-rich blood and nutrients into the area to promote healing and tissue regeneration.

During the therapy session, patients remain fully clothed and lie face up or down. In contrast, the doctor fits them with a harness surrounding their pelvis and trunk attached to opposite ends of a computer-controlled traction table. This specialised table allows doctors to customise the application of pull force with extreme precision and offset by the most effective cycles of rest based on the nature of the patient’s spinal condition and sensitivity. Upon activation, the lower end of the table will gently slide back and forth alternately to stretch and release the spine.

Spinal decompression therapy generally lasts around 30 to 45 minutes per session and entails 20 to 28 sessions over five to seven weeks. Other types of treatment may be conducted before or after the decompression therapy, such as heat or cold therapy, ultrasound (sound waves generate heat which promotes healing), and electrical stimulation (to ensure muscles contract).

Who Can Receive Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Those interested in decompression therapy should first consult their doctor to determine if they are a good candidate for the treatment since it is not suitable for everyone. Pregnant women and people with the following health conditions should not undergo decompression therapy:

  • Tumours
  • Fractures
  • Advanced osteoporosis
  • Metal spine implants
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm


A comprehensive approach is often the best to fix chronic back and neck pain and restore your spine to optimal health. Although spinal decompression therapy works wonders independently, its effects can be significantly enhanced with other physical therapies and treatments.

At Pain SG, our mission is to help those with chronic pain and give them relief from their conditions and improve their quality of life. To that end, we provide physiotherapy treatments for various types of pain, including ‘tech neck’ and lower back pain treatment in Singapore. With a team of multidisciplinary pain management specialists in Singapore, our services focus on the physical, mental, and emotional aspects to provide a holistic treatment approach.

Contact us for an appointment today at and get the best treatment options and pain-relieving products for your pain.