Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression


Spinal decompression therapy that decreases muscle guarding and dramatically improves patient outcomes.

All About the Spinal Decompression Table

When something's wrong in the human body, there's not always a quick fix. Many people suffer from back pain - in fact, 31 million Americans are experiencing pain in their lower back at any given time. But when they seek treatment, they often find temporary relief from symptoms when what they want is long-term healing.

Patients who suffer from the chronic pain associated with bulging, degenerating, or herniated discs may benefit from treatment using a spinal decompression table. This type of pain, which can manifest as back or neck pain itself as well as associated pain in the arms and legs, may have already been treated by traditional traction methods or even by spinal surgery to limited improvement. In these cases, a spinal decompression table that uses computerized sensors to perform stretching actions on the spine and promote healing can be uniquely effective.

But what is a spinal decompression table, and how can it be used to treat patients who have not been able to find relief in other ways?

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Spinal decompression therapy, also known as non-surgical spinal decompression, is a practice that utilizes spinal decompression tables to relieve pain by creating a scenario in which painful disc tissue is able to move back into place and heal, alleviating the pain this condition causes.

Spinal decompression therapy aims to help patients who suffer from debilitating pain due to bulging, degenerating, or herniated discs. It can also be used for the pain management and treatment of many causes of sciatica, injured or diseased spinal nerve roots, and worn spinal joints. 

The therapy itself works to stretch the spine, using a decompression table or other device, in order to create negative pressure and space for the disc fluid to move back into place. The ultimate goal of spinal decompression is to relieve the patient’s chronic back, arm, neck, and/or leg pain, and to heal the source of said pain.

Spinal decompression therapy is also referred to as non-surgical decompression therapy, since it is often used as a safe, affordable, and extremely effective alternative to spinal surgery. The distinction between surgical and non-surgical spinal decompression is an important one, as surgical spinal procedures are often considered a last option, while spinal decompression therapy is a safe treatment at any stage of back pain. The most common spinal decompression surgeries are laminectomy and microdiscectomy, which present a greater risk of complication or failure. 

What is a Spinal Decompression Table? 

A spinal decompression table is the main tool used in non-surgical spinal decompression therapy. There are two main types of spinal decompression tables: one with cable and pulley systems that create pull on the patient's body, and decompression tables that consist of an upper and lower body portion that move independently from one another. The latter type of table is much more effective at preventing muscle guarding, and is what we recommend for the best possible patient outcomes.

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Patients are strapped to the table using a harness, with other props such as pillows used to keep the patient comfortable and the spine in the correct position for decompression. Once the patient is in place, the table program is enacted and the two parts of the table begin to pull apart from one another. The poundage of the pull depends on the type of decompression as well as the physicality of the patient and can range anywhere from just 5 pounds for a cervical decompression protocol to 100 pounds or more for lumbar decompression on a larger patient.

The difference between spinal decompression tables and other methods of decompression like inversion is the technology involved. The best spinal decompression tables include sensors that indicate whether a patient’s muscles are resisting the stretch being applied by the table. As the muscles resist, the table reduces the poundage of the pull until the muscles relax, then begins to pull again. By taking resistance into account, a decompression table is able to more effectively relieve pressure in the spine and ultimately provide relief.

Spinal Decompression: Questions and Answers

What is involved with a spinal decompression session?

In our office, our patients receive a therapeutic treatment prior to lying down on the table for a decompression therapy session. After a 20-30 minute spinal decompression session, you will receive a chiropractic adjustment.

What can spinal decompression treat?

Your doctor will discuss your specific case with you to determine if you are a candidate for spinal decompression. Patients with herniated discs, ruptured discs, bulging discs, degenerated discs, sciatica, spinal stenosis, arthrosis, and joint facet syndrome are spinal decompression candidates. Even people with certain failed back surgeries can be treated.

What kinds of conditions are not treatable or contraindicated?


Metastasized cancer

Spinal fusion

Broken vertebrae (fracture)

Patients with artificial discs or other spinal implant


Spinal tumor



Anklyosing spondylitis

Unstable spondylolisthesis with pars defects

Post-surgical conditions where metal implants (rods, cages, or screws) have been used

What is the success rate for spinal decompression?

85% of patients report favorable results. Preferred Chiropractic & Wellness only treats patients who are good candidates for spinal decompression therapy.

How long does a chiropractic appointment with spinal decompression treatment take?

A full treatment with pre-therapies, spinal decompression therapy, and chiropractic adjustment, followed by postural exercises is approximately 45mins to 1 hour.

How many spinal decompression treatments are needed?

Typically low back pain requires 20-24 visits but each case varies. Some patients need more and some need less. A cervical or neck condition can take between 15-20 visits. Often spinal decompression is given 3-4 days a week during the initial stages of care.

Do I get permanent relief from spinal decompression?

Spinal decompression usually provides long-lasting relief but it’s a good idea to get checked and decompressed at least 1 time every 4-6 weeks to maintain the correction after your initial intensive care is complete.

Are there any side effects to the treatment?

Most patients do not experience any side effects. Though, there have been some mild cases of muscle spasm for a short period of time.

How does spinal decompression separate each vertebra and allow for decompression at a specific level?

Spinal decompression tables use computerized technology to create negative intradiscal pressure in the spine. A decompression table has two parts which move independently of one another. During setup, a spinal decompression technician chooses a decompression program that is best suited to the patient’s needs. The right program for an individual will depend on that person’s diagnosis as well as how they have responded to previous treatments.

As the decompression table stretches the spine, negative pressure is created within the spinal discs, which can result in the retraction or repositioning of the disc material, leading to pain relief. In addition, the lower pressure within the disc can cause an influx of healing nutrients to the disc, to promote further relief even when the patient is not on the table.

One of the hurdles to effective decompression with manual techniques is the fact that the body naturally resists the stretch, known as muscle guarding. With a decompression table, sensors can detect when the patient’s muscles are guarding against the stretch and release the tension, ensuring that the maximum decompression is accomplished. 

Is there any risk to the patient during spinal decompression?

There are no risks associated with spinal decompression. It is totally safe and comfortable for all subjects. The system has emergency stop switches for both the patient and the operator. These switches (a requirement of the FDA) terminate the treatment immediately thereby avoiding any injuries.

Can I work after getting spinal decompression therapy?

Most patients work even after receiving spinal decompression treatments. If your job involves physical labor/activities, we may recommend you wear a brace and/or limit activities of bending, twisting and lifting for 6 hours post treatment.

How much does spinal decompression cost?

Compared to a low back surgery, the cost is low. Spinal decompression is not covered by insurance. Our charge for decompression is only $125 per visit, not including adjustments and other therapies required for a visit. We offer payment plans to stay within your budget and we also offer 10% off for payment in full for a Spinal Decompression Therapy Package. We also offer Care Credit as a no interest alternative.

Does insurance pay for spinal decompression?

Before your treatment begins, our staff will check if your health insurance will contribute to your chiropractic and pre and post therapy care. However, insurance unfortunately does not cover spinal decompression therapy.

I had back surgery which didn’t give me pain relief, so now can I have spinal decompression?

Patients treated with back surgery can usually have spinal decompression providing you do not have metal implants and it has been at least 6 + months since surgery. Spinal Decompression may help to avoid additional surgery.



Candice Blacknall

The only way I can really do this place justice is to walk you through my experience, because it was positive from start to finish!

Firstly, I'd never been to a chiropractor before and I was more than a little nervous, but if you have chronic back pain you get to the point where you're willing to overcome nerves if it means relief so I called on my way to my clinical site. The woman at the front desk, Amanda, has the most pleasant disposition. She was very helpful and even texted me the information I needed for my visit because I was driving and couldn't write it down. Scheduling was prompt! I called on a Tuesday (I think) and was seen on Friday. The facility is immaculate and gorgeously decorated. There was even a great musical ambiance playing. I was greeted by an equally sunny in person, Amanda. Sensing my nerves, she talked with me while I waited the short time (I think 5 minutes) to be seen and it really calmed me for my visit. In walks Dr. Moran who is equally as sunny and has an obvious passion for the wellness of her patients. She was incredibly patient explaining the process and educating me on what I needed to do to improve my health. She spent about 15-20 minutes with me just going over my medical history and general day to day activities that may have exacerbated my back pain. By the time we actually got to the adjustment part I already trusted her expertise 100%. The trust was well invested. Dr. Moran is excellent at what she does! The adjustment was completely painless. I walked in with a stiff tensed back and glided out to finish the rest of my day.

I can't recommend them enough! Please go there if you're like me: super busy and super stressed. They aren't just good for the body. They're good for the soul! Will definitely be using them as my home for all chiropractic care in the future.

Delta B

I own a fitness studio and having resources like Dr. Moran is very important to me. My clients often need expertise that I do not have. Dr. Moran is an excellent chiropractor, has treated many of my clients and she is one of two people that I recommend in confidence.
One chiropractor has a non-traditional approach and I jokingly call him master sensei and Dr. Moran grasshopper. The truth is that they both are very good in their own way.
Dr. Moran has a more traditional approach. You can make an appointment, she takes insurance, she has up to date equipment and stays on top of the techniques that enable her to have a positive impact on the health of a client.
When you are working towards improving your health, you want all of your resources to be in alignment with your goals and working together. My clients see her, she (with client permission) gives me insight from her perspective, as to what the client needs to improve their condition which often involves pain. She has been invaluable with her feedback and her recommendations get results.
I know from personal experience and from my clients feedback that Dr. Moran has a great bedside manner. She is funny, very knowledgeable and capable as a chiropractor. As one review stated, "There is knowledge and skill, and then there's talent; she is a master of all three." She is a straight shooter and will tell it like it is.
You can't go wrong with Dr. Moran. I recommend her to anyone in need of a health care resource. You will not be disappointed.

Stephanie S

I visited Dr Muran's office a few days ago and had my first adjustment ever. I had been experiencing ongoing hip pain and was a bit skeptical about going but turns out it was the best decision I could have made for myself. My alignment provided instant relief and I learned so much about how I can prevent future problems. Dr Muran is super knowledgable, friendly, and makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. Her office staff is friendly and accommodating as well. I will definitely be returning and would highly recommend Dr Muran and her expertise to anyone in need.


I love love love Dr. Moran. I was her patient when I was on my student insurance plan. When I graduated I found out she was an in-network provider for my new insurance and I made an appointment and have been going ever since. She is an awesome chiropractor and her front desk receptionist is the sweetest. They take the time to talk to you about any issues you may be experiencing and offer recommendations to aide in your healing process. The office is clean and inviting and they always have nice relaxing music playing in the waiting area.. Not to mention the essential oils in the air just add to the ambiance. I could write forever about Dr. Moran. I recommend her to everyone I know. She's the best!

Vanessa S

You know how you have a friend that you can just ask, "Do you know a good ________"?, and they'll point you in the right direction? Well, Dr. Moran was that "good chiropractor" I was referred to. Turns out Dr. Moran and Amanda weren't just good, they were amazing. From the first call with Amanda, I felt welcomed and accommodated. Dr. Moran is awesome. She really cares about how you're feeling and your improvements. I was having a nagging pain in my knee and some neck pain after a car accident. Dr. Moran got me on the road to recovery, and I feel much better. Dr. Moran was very informative and helpful during the claims process. Just awesome. Now, if anyone ever ask me if I know a "good chiropractor", I know where to send them.

Ginger D

Love this place. My neck and back have a mind of their own, and it's nice to know that I'm in good hands when gettingadjusted. I've been to quite a few chiropractors over the years, and this is the first place I've never felt pressured to adhere to a daily/weekly/monthly office visit regimen. Dr. Moran gives great advice on how to keep yourself aligned and how to stretch and Amanda always does the best job booking an appointment as soon as possible. Honestly, if it weren't for these lovely ladies I wouldn't have my head on straight!

Ayesha N

This review is for Dr. Moran, not her physical practice (because I've never been to the actual space). But because she's a miracle worker and I've been her patient, I wanted to write this review! It's long, but I'm an idiot, so I did a bunch of stupid stuff that necessitated this novel.

Okay, so I bought this weird, sofa bed thingy from Ikea and while it was comfortable in the store, once I was sleeping on it regularly, I realized my back was hurting. I've never had back problems, so this was definitely a strange and not at all pleasant development. But it wasn't until one morning when I went to sneeze and literally threw my back out and fell onto the floor in pain and spasms (it was like something out of a sitcom- so ridiculous) that I KNEW I had a serious problem. But, me being me, I lived with it until the universe sent me yet another warning sign.

So, a few months pass and although I'm not sleeping on the weird, devil bed thingy, my back is still hurting, particularly the lower back. I took so much Advil I actually ran out of a bottle of 500 in a pretty short amount of time. One day, a package I ordered arrived and when I went to open the door with the box in my hands, my back let out an unholy scream, the likes of which I've NEVER experienced. I honestly thought I'd have to go to the hospital, the pain was that great.
What to do, what to do. I crawled into my bed and prayed. Seriously. A few minutes later, I checked my email and it seems that someone was listening to my prayer. I saw an email from my school's health center saying that Dr. Moran was going to be on our campus. I sent her an email immediately explaining my situation and asked for an appointment, which she graciously accepted.

The next day, I met Dr, Moran. She did a complete evaluation and then went to work. She told me what she thought my problem was and did a whole bunch of things to get me back to 100%. I honestly didn't have much hope, simply because I was in sooooo much pain, but she worked and worked and then my appointment was finished.

I'm not joking, I floated out of that office on a damn cloud! I didn't even feel the ground under my feet. It was heavenly. Better yet, after the euphoria wore off, I realized later that night that I was, in fact, PAIN FREE. For the first time in over a year. I couldn't even try to make my back hurt. It was like something out of a dream. I did yoga for the first time in many months. I can't even explain how I felt. I actually got my life back.

So, thank you Dr. Moran for working a small (major) miracle in my life. I'm happy to report that it has been several months and I have been PAIN FREE ever since. Even after doing more stupid stuff!

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