I played competitive tennis in high school and college. I injured by back playing and training and have had severe back pain since for almost 15 years and have not been able to play since.
About 2 years ago I had reached my breaking point and just could not tolerate the pain and discomfort anymore. I had to walk with my head down constantly scanning the ground to avoid unlevel areas and curbs, since they would really aggravate my back and sometimes floor me. Walking up and down handicap ramps was a way of life for me. I went to my MD to get it checked out and hear the dreaded news.
They took x-rays and an MRI. They told me I had 3 compressed and bulging discs. One had burst and was so flat there was less than 1ml of disc left. The bones in my spine were so close together that they were pressing on a nerve and causing the pain and immobility. The doctor gave me some pain medications and a referral to a specialist. The specialist suggested surgery, but the surgery is not guaranteed to work, in fact, it could make the problem worse.
I felt I had to find other options, so during my hunt I came across a brochure for spinal decompression therapy. It is a treatment process that targets the specific damaged discs and attempts to place the body in the position to repair the discs. They do not guarantee results either, but they have had many successful results from previous patients.
I figured I would try it and if it didn’t work, well, I’m back to opting for surgery or looking for other options. The process starts out with heat treatment, then decompression, then electrotherapy, then massage. You must drink plenty of water and be fully hydrated for the process to work.
The decompression is quite an experience. You are strapped to a machine at the torso. You are then strapped to a bench and the machine angles itself to isolate the disc to be treated. The machine slowly pulls and releases your torso and the disc space. Pulling the disc space apart creates a vacuum and forces fluid back into the disc space.
After enough treatments, the fluid will remain in the disc space and the disc itself will seal with the fluid inside. This will keep the bones apart and prevent them from pressing or pinching the nerves. A treatment takes about 1-1/2 hours. After about a year and close to 50 treatments, I now feel great and have had no problems with my back or treatments for over 7 months.
I definitely had my ups and downs during the process. At about the 20th treatment, I wasn’t getting any better and had pretty much lost hope of it working on me. I stuck to it though and a week or two later, I slowly started feeling better.
I now play tennis at least twice a week and feel great. In fact, I just became a certified teaching professional with the USPTA and plan on teaching lessons over the summer! If my back stiffens up, all I really need now is a good soak in my hot tub.
If you would like to know more about spinal decompression therapy, you can look them up on the web at www.nospinesurgery.com.