WODdoc Episode 387 P365: Spinal Decompression

I wanted to preface this convo by saying disc injuries of any degree are serious injuries and if suspected, should be examined by a health care professional. So what would be some warning signs we should be looking for?… First and foremost pain that begins in the neck or back and travels aka “radiates” down the arms or legs (In today’s case we are talking about upper extremity radiation). Pain is often sharp and burning and has been described as shock-like pain traveling into the fingers and toes. In severe cases muscle weakness can occur.  Disc injuries can cause compression on the exiting nerve roots.. see below:

disc 2disc bulge


It’s this neural compression that is the source of the pain.

Lets try to understand the mechanism of disc injuries so we can make a more educated approach at alleviating them. Think of an oreo cookie… If we squish it hard enough eventually some of the filling will push out the side. Now, imagine that cookie was in a confined space … say wrapped in saran wrap. As the filling squishes out the side there is no room for anything to go and we have a problem. So, what caused the problem in the first place … compression right?….  then, if we can do the opposite of squishing the oreo that would be a good thing. We call this distraction… or distraction therapy.

Today’s episode is about distractive therapy.


Today’s WODdocket:

With a folded a towel or shirt, wrap it just under the base of your partners skull. Bring the ends around and above your partners eyes (as shown). Holding the ends of the towel apply a gradual traction upward to your partners tolerance. Hold the traction 10-15 secs and then release for 10-15 secs. Repeat this cycle for 10 mins.


***Stop if your partner complains of any increase in pain intensity***