There has been much information in the media recently about the merits of spinal decompression. In order to appreciate the merits of the new technology, you must first understand the condition it treats.
Spinal decompression puts negative pressure on each disk, to alleviate the pressure and pain associated with compressed disks. When a disk is compressed, the disk material moves from its place between each disk, into the space occupied by the sensitive nerves. When the nerves become crowded, the patient experiences great pain and pressure. This pain is not alleviated by even the strongest of pain medications. Many times, the condition warrants the use of highly addictive medications, such as morphine, to mask the pain long enough to give the patient some relief. Long term, however, the risk for addiction increases, while the source of the pain remains untreated.
Surgery attempts to treat the condition by shaving part of the disk to create room for the material that is crowding the nerves. Spinal decompression eliminates the source of the pain, therefore eliminating the need for risky spine surgery and the subsequent months of downtime post-surgery.