A Y-strap adjustment is a form of spinal manipulation in which manual, axial traction is applied to the cervical spine (your neck) to bring about the release of stuck joints and any nerve pressure that is causing neck pain. Applying axial force to the cervical spine is similar to lumbar (low back) spinal decompression therapy that is applied to the lumbar spine on a table called a spinal decompression table.
What is the difference between a Y-strap adjustment and spinal decompression therapy of the neck?
The difference between a Y-strap adjustment versus spinal decompression therapy of the neck is that a Y-strap adjustment occurs in a matter of a few seconds when the doctor applies the procedure on the patient. With spinal decompression therapy, this form of therapy occurs over several minutes usually 15 to 20 minutes per session on a decompression table.
A Y-strap adjustment is a procedure when the chiropractor pulls on your neck whereas spinal decompression therapy is a procedure when a machine such as a decompression table or a cervical traction device pulls on your neck.
Either procedure brings about the release of compressed discs and pinched nerves. The patient then gets the feeling of pain relief and relaxation of the neck. Following a Y-strap adjustment, the patient immediately feels good about himself and his spine.
What is that loud crack in a Y-strap adjustment?
That sound that you hear whenever a chiropractor manipulates your neck is called a cavitation. A cavitation is the sound made from the sudden escape of gas from the synovial fluid of your synovial joints found in your spine. This sound is similar to the sound made when you open up a can of soda. When the doctor applies manual, axial traction to your spine, those popping noises that you hear are the cavitations.
Can a Y-strap adjustment help my herniated disc?
Yes, it can. But first, the doctor will have to determine if you have a herniated disc by performing a physical, orthopedic, and/or neurological exam. If necessary, he will refer you out for an imaging study such as an MRI or CT to confirm a suspected herniated disc.
Once he locates the herniated disc, he will recommend the proper treatment such as chiropractic, spinal decompression, the Y-strap adjustment, electrotherapy, or any combination.
What happens to a herniated disc when a manual axial traction procedure is performed?
Stretching the spine will help reshape the herniated disc back into its proper shape usually over several visits. By applying manual axial traction (or the Y-strap adjustment), a vacuum is created inside the disc which, in turn, will imbibe nutrients and water molecules that you would not get if your discs were compressed or herniated. Think if this vacuum action like sucking on a straw. When you suck on a straw, negative pressure is created within the straw such that fluid is drawn into the interior of the straw to fill it up.
Who is a candidate for this form of spinal decompression?
Anybody who is exhibiting signs of neck pain, low back pain, sharp and shooting pain down the arms and hands or legs and feet, sciatic-like pain, pain due to disc herniations, and/or headache pain can be a candidate.