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Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression in Walnut Creek

spinal decompression therapy on female patientSpinal decompression therapy is an effective non-surgical approach to addressing disc problems, such as herniated or bulging discs, radiating neck and back pain, sciatic pain, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease or chronic lower back pain. It can be highly effective, even for patients who have had no success with other traditional or alternative options. Research shows an 86%-91% success rate when using spinal decompression for symptoms of sciatica, bulging or herniated discs, and back pain.

At Holmes Chiropractic, we recommend this therapy for patients with acute or chronic radiating pain, MRI confirmation of disc issues, and for those who want to avoid risky injections or surgery. This therapy may even help if you’ve had a failed spinal surgery.

New Patients

How Does It Work?

Spinal decompression is a state-of-the-art therapy utilizing a specialized table. After an in-depth assessment by your chiropractor, the table will be programmed to your exact needs. The computerized table will sense specific areas of the affected spine and gently stretch your spine and then relax it repeatedly throughout your session.

When your spine is stretched in this way, it helps reduce pressure throughout the spinal column and increases the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the discs and joints. Creating space will help to alleviate pain, reduce pressure on discs and nerves, and increase circulation to help speed the healing process.

Decompression therapy is generally painless, and most people find it relaxing and often fall asleep. As with all our care, your decompression care plan will be customized to your specific needs and goals.

The Top 3 Conditions It Can Address

If you’re experiencing any of the following, consider spinal decompression, which gets excellent results:

Bulged or Herniated Disc

The cushioning between our spinal bones, known as discs, can easily bulge or herniate over time. This can occur following an injury, or simply just from daily routines. Typically, discs bulge or herniate from accumulated stress. The most common symptom of a herniated or bulged disc is radiating pain. The disc can enter the spinal canal and joint spaces where sensitive nerves can be compressed or irritated by the protruding disc. Other symptoms can include sharp pain, numbness or tingling, weakness, and even a chronic dull ache.

How we can help: Non-surgical spinal decompression is used to target the injured discs. The table gently and safely pulls the discs apart allowing more space between the spinal bones and creates a “negative” pressure to help retract discs back to their normal position. This is known as the reverse vacuum effect.


Sciatica is a painful condition that occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg, becomes compressed or irritated. This can cause pain and discomfort in the lower back, hips, legs, and feet. It can also cause numbness and tingling. Sciatica can be caused by a herniated disc, joint misalignment, muscle tension or spasm.

How we can help: Non-surgical spinal decompression gently separates the spine and disc at the targeted sciatic area to safely remove the compression or stress to the sciatic nerve to help restore the disc and nerve health.

Degenerative Disc Disease

If we live long enough, all of us will gradually go through the process of degeneration and arthritis. Known as “break down” over time, bones and joints slowly lose the ability to perform and function normally. Discs and soft tissues wear down thus adding stress to the spine and surrounding muscles. This is known as degenerative disc disease. The discs thin out over time, losing the essential nutrients, blood flow and oxygen needed to maintain daily spinal health.

How we can help: Non-surgical spinal decompression helps to gently stretch the spine to alleviate pain associated with degenerative disc disease.

Here are some of other common issues for which patients seek this therapy:

  • Arthritis
  • Cervical disc bulge or herniation
  • Cervical stenosis
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Facet syndrome
  • Failed lumbar surgery
  • Failed neck surgery
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Lumbar disc bulge or herniation
  • Lumbar stenosis
  • Pinched nerve
  • Radiating low back and leg pain
  • Radiating neck and arm pain

A Complement to Chiropractic or Stand-Alone Therapy

Spinal decompression therapy can be done in conjunction with chiropractic care or as a stand-alone therapy. In some cases, the supporting structures are inflamed and can benefit from other therapies, such as chiropractic adjustments, laser therapy or massage.


Does decompression hurt?

This therapy is generally painless, and most people find it relaxing and often fall asleep. The table gradually and gently pulls to stretch and release the spine, allowing discs to absorb nutrients and properly heal. As with any treatment, there may be minor soreness following the first or second session. We encourage maintaining an active lifestyle to get the best benefit from spinal decompression.

How many sessions will I need?

Healing is a process; results come with sustained decompression over time. Typically, we recommend a series of sessions over several weeks, but every patient is different. You will be given specific recommendations for your unique case. Most see significant improvement with as little as 4-6 treatments.

How often should I come in for maintenance care?

Once corrections have been made, we encourage patients to maintain an active lifestyle. Many patients choose to come in for regular maintenance decompression.

What is the difference between traction and decompression?

Traction is simply stretching only the joints of the spine. Decompression will affect the spinal bones, discs, joints, nerves and surrounding soft tissues to produce a more effective healing process.

Will I get adjusted on my first visit?

Each unique case requires the right path toward healing. Most patients receive care on their first visit. We want you to see improvement as quickly as possible!

Will you suggest exercises or other things I can do?

Home care is not only an important adjunct to care, but also a necessary means to help reach your goals as quickly as possible. Our care plan will include guided home care activities to speed your recovery and get you back to an active lifestyle.

Can someone who has had back surgery see a chiropractor for spinal decompression?

Yes! Most current back surgery procedures are not a “cure-all.” Surgery is typically intended to stop the progression of pain. Spinal decompression has been successful with many post-surgery patients seeking to increase function and decrease pain.

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Spinal Decompression Walnut Creek CA | (925) 938-1122