Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy in Highlands Ranch

Non-surgical spinal decompression (NSSD) is a safe, painless, and non-invasive treatment to help patients with back pain, disc issues, and more. At our Highlands Ranch clinic, we offer this innovative therapy to provide relief for those suffering from chronic or acute back pain.

How Does Spinal Decompression Work?

During each session at Highlands Family Chiropractic, you will be fitted with a pelvic harness to assist in the decompression process and asked to lie down on the table. Using a specialized pulling mechanism attached to a table, NSSD applies a pulling force, then relaxes a little bit, and then pulls again. This cycle is repeated during each session.

Try to visualize an accordion being played. With NSSD, it does that same motion, but to a disc, and of course at a much more anatomically appropriate level. The motion pumps the disc to promote healing. The disc has a very poor blood supply, and the pumping motion helps with fluid exchange, called imbibition, which helps the disc heal. This relieves pain, pressure on nerves, and can reduce disc herniations. 

The therapy is appropriate for most people and can be performed on the low back as well as the neck. Our doctors will make sure there are no contraindications to spinal decompression.

What Are The Benefits?

With non-surgical spinal decompression, you may experience the following:

Overall Reduction In Pain

The main benefit of NSSD is a reduction in pain. The therapy works by gently stretching the spine, creating negative pressure within the discs, and allowing them to return to their proper positions. This relieves pressure on nerves and restores blood flow to the affected area, leading to a decrease in pain levels.

Ability To Return To Daily Activities

Chronic back pain can restrict a person’s ability to perform daily activities such as work, exercise, and even simple tasks like household chores. After undergoing NSSD therapy, many patients report an improvement in their range of motion and the ability to engage in these activities without pain.

Relief After Five Or Six Treatments

Many patients experience relief after just a few treatments, with significant improvement seen after five or six sessions. The exact number of treatments required varies based on each individual’s condition, response to therapy, and ultimate goal of each treatment plan.

A Reduction In The Size Of The Disc Herniation

NSSD has been shown to reduce the size of disc herniations, which are a common cause of back pain. By gently pulling on the spine and allowing the discs to return to their proper positions, pressure on the affected nerves is relieved, and the discs can heal themselves.

Being Able To Avoid Surgery And Drugs

One of the most significant benefits of NSSD is that it offers a non-invasive, drug-free alternative to surgery and medication for back pain relief. Surgery can be costly, risky, and require a long recovery time, while medication may only provide temporary relief and can come with unwanted side effects.

Conditions And Symptoms We Treat With Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

With its broad range of benefits, non-surgical spinal decompression serves as an excellent treatment option for various conditions and symptoms. 

Here are some conditions and symptoms that we effectively treat using NSSD at our Highlands Ranch clinic:

Bulging Or Herniated Discs

NSSD is highly effective in treating bulging or herniated discs, which occur when the inner layer of a disc protrudes through the outer layer. This can cause pressure on nerves and result in pain, weakness, and numbness. By gently pulling on the spine and allowing the disc to return to its proper position, NSSD can relieve this pressure and reduce symptoms.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs between vertebrae begin to wear down due to age or injury. This can lead to pain, weakness, and limited mobility. With NSSD, the discs are gently stretched and repositioned, promoting healing and relieving symptoms.

Facet Syndrome

Facet syndrome is a condition where the small joints in the spine become inflamed and cause pain. NSSD can reduce pressure on these joints, leading to decreased inflammation and pain relief.

NSSD can also alleviate the following symptoms:

Neck Pain and Headaches

NSSD can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of neck pain, including headaches, stiffness, soreness, and limited range of motion. By gently stretching the spine and promoting proper alignment, NSSD can relieve tension and pressure on nerves in the neck.

Chronic Low Back Pain

Chronic low back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, from muscle strain to degenerative disc disease. NSSD is an effective treatment option for this type of pain as it addresses the underlying cause and associated symptoms to promote healing.


NSSD has been shown to be an effective treatment for sciatica, a condition that occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back, buttocks, and legs. By relieving pressure on the affected nerves, NSSD can provide relief from the symptoms of sciatica.

Take that first step toward better health.

Contact Highlands Family Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment!

Contact Us

What To Expect During Your Visit

At your first appointment, our doctors and team will take a detailed history and do some orthopedic and neurological testing. And in the presence of appropriate markers that indicate a need for radiology, we would likely be taking X-rays. 

If you’re like some of our patients who arrive with those images or MRIs, those are sufficient, unless the images are outdated. Our Dr’s  will use the images in conjunction with your history and exam findings to identify the cause of your condition.

“We’re trying to not go after the symptom, but instead identify the cause, so we can eliminate it whenever possible, and make recovery as permanent as possible.”

A realistic treatment plan for most patients is from 12 to 24 sessions. The length of your care depends on how long the condition has been there and how severe the underlying cause is. The uniqueness of the person will dictate the frequency of treatment. 

I often give the analogy of a gym. If the person is trying to lose 5 pounds, they can work out for a month and lose those 5 pounds. However, if they’re trying to lose 50 pounds, then it will take longer,” says Dr. Hicks. 

How far a person is from the “finish line” will dictate the number of treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s understandable that new patients or those considering NSSD therapy may have a few queries regarding the procedure, outcomes, and benefits. To address these concerns and provide a clear understanding of what to expect, we have curated a list of frequently asked questions below.

No, usually patients get so much relief from the therapy that they often don’t want it to end!

Traction is static—meaning it just pulls with one force continuously. The decompression has a rest phase, so it pulls for a set amount of time, and then it relaxes for a set amount of time, around 15 seconds. Then it pulls again and then relaxes again. This process repeats the entire time a patient is on the table, which is usually 15-20 minutes.

Typically, decompression will be coupled with some form of PT or physical rehab. We may also adjust patients on those visits, depending on their unique circumstances.

Most people can, but we screen for contraindications such as pregnant women and those with metal hardware in the area of treatment among others.

Office Hours
Morning Afternoon
Monday 8AM - 1PM 3PM - 6PM
Tuesday 11AM - 1PM 3PM - 6PM
Wednesday 8AM - 1PM 3PM - 6PM
Thursday 11AM - 1PM 3PM - 6PM
Friday 8AM - 1PM --

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Contact us today to book a free 15-minute consultation with our Chiropractor in Highlands Ranch! We look forward to getting you on the path to optimal health and wellness.