Non-Surgical vs. Surgical Lumbar Decompression

Jun 9, 2021

Non-Surgical vs. Surgical Lumbar Decompression When back pain starts to affect your quality of life it’s time to talk to your doctor about all your options. When your back pain is caused by a herniated disc or nerve damage in and around the spine, you may experience debilitating pain and even feel burning sensations, tingling, and numbness. Talk to your doctor about non-surgical and surgical lumbar decompression to learn more about how this type of treatment may provide you with lasting pain relief.

What Is Lumbar Decompression?

Many times, people try pain medications, physical therapy, and even injections before considering lumbar decompression as an option. However, this type of decompression can be a non-invasive treatment option or it can be surgical. If you are looking for a non-invasive, natural treatment to help with your debilitating back pain then you may want to consider non-surgical lumbar decompression. If your back pain has not responded to other, more conservative approaches to back pain treatments then surgery may be your next option. When there is too much pressure on the spine and nearby nerves, it can cause the type of back pain you are experiencing. This type of decompression uses both non-surgical and surgical ways to relieve that pressure off your spine.

How Is Lumbar Decompression Helpful?

If you sustained a spine injury that has led to constant back pain, you may qualify for lumbar decompression to help reduce the pressure on your spine where the injury occurred. Sciatica is a type of back pain that specifically refers to the lower back where the sciatic nerve is located. If you have sciatica then the sciatic nerve is likely compressed or pressured and until that goes away you may not experience lasting pain relief. When the nerves and tissues in and around the spine are under a lot of pressure, they can send pain signals throughout the body that make you incredibly uncomfortable. Lumbar decompression is a way to relieve that pressure so your spine and surrounding nerves can function optimally again.

Non-Surgical Lumbar Decompression

Non-surgical lumbar decompression is a more conservative approach to your back pain that is natural and doesn’t require any injections or medications. When you undergo non-surgical decompression, you will lay on a table and your doctor will attach straps to various parts of your body. This will allow the table and machine to take the pressure and weight off of certain parts of your back so that a herniated or bulging disc can be reduced. When your spine is lengthened and the pressure is relieved, this also allows for the better flow of nutrients through the spine, spinal discs, and nerves.

Surgical Lumbar Decompression

Surgical decompression is a procedure performed by a neurosurgeon who is highly knowledgeable and skilled in treating spinal issues. When back pain prevents you from walking or affects your general mobility, surgical lumbar decompression can help. There are three main types of surgical decompression that can help provide you with lasting relief from back pain.


A laminectomy is a type of surgery that involves removing a section or piece of one of your vertebrae. This type of procedure helps relieve pressure on your spine when one of your vertebrae is the main source of the pain. Your neurosurgeon may also elect to perform a laminotomy instead, where they drill a hole instead of actually removing a section of the vertebrae.

Spinal Fusion

In some cases, your neurosurgeon may recommend a spinal fusion with your specific circumstances. A spinal fusion involves fusing two vertebrae together, which can actually help provide your spine with more stability.


When a ruptured or herniated disc is causing your chronic back pain, your neurosurgeon may recommend a discectomy to help alleviate your pain for good. This type of procedure involves repairing or even removing a spinal disc that is damaged and causing pain.

Lumbar Decompression at AICA Orthopedics

It may be time for an orthopedic approach to back pain. Many people report feeling immediate pain relief symptoms following spinal decompression. At AICA Orthopedics, our team of orthopedists, neurosurgeons, physical therapists, and other spine specialists can work together to determine what type of lumbar decompression is best for you. If you are struggling with back pain that is affecting your daily life then visit one of our locations near you and learn more about how lumbar decompression can help!


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