What is Spinal Decompression?
This FDA approved technology relieves pain by enlarging the space between discs. The negative pressure of decompression releases pressure that builds on to the disc and nerves, allowing the herniated and bulging disc to eventually go back to normal position. Decompression is the only treatment that is truly effective for severe cases of herniation, degeneration, arthritis, stenosis, and pressure on the nerve root. According to a clinical study performed by the Orthopedic Technological Review in 2004, 86% of all cases experienced spinal relieve with disc decompression.
How does Spinal Decompression work?
A highly specialized computer must modulate the application of distraction forces in order to achieve that ideal effect. The system applies a gentle, curved angle pull which yeilds far greater treatment results that a less comfortable, sharp angle pull. Distraction must be offset by cycles of partial relaxation.
The system continuously monitors spinal resistance and adjusts distraction forces accordingly. A specific lumbar segment can be targeted for treatment by changing the angle of distraction. This patented technique of decompression may prevent muscle spasm and patient guarding. Constant activity monitoring takes place at a rate of 10,000 times per second, making adjustments not perceived to the eye as many as 20 times per second via its fractional metering and monitoring system.
Negative pressure within the disc is maintained throughout the treatment session. With genuine decompression, the pressure within the disc space can actually be lowered. As a result, the damaged disc will be rehydrated with nutrients and oxygen.
What result should I expect?
Many patients with lower back syndromes may experience pain relief as early as the third treatment session. Comparison of pre-treatment MRI's with post-treatment MRI's has shown a 50-60% reduction in the size and extent of herniation. In clinical studies, 86% of patients reported relief of back pain with a spinal decompression program. Within the past 5 years, some private practice clinicians have reported success rates as high as 90%.
What time commitments are required by patients?
Each treatment session averages 25 to 30 minutes in duration. Research has established that optimum results are achieved with sessions that incorporate 10 to 15 decompression/relaxation cycles. On average, treatment is administered 3 times weekly for a period of 7 weeks or 20 sessions.
Herniated discs generally respond within 20 sessions, while patients with degenerated discs may need ongoing therapy and regulated intervals to remain pain free. Patients with posterior facet syndromes may achieve complete remission with 10 or fewer sessions.
Research has demonstrated that most patients achieve full remission from pain after the initial treatment regimen.
Who can benefit from using disc decompression therapy?
The following would be inclusion criteria for decompression therapy:
- Pain due to herniated/bulging disc that is more that 4 weeks old
- Recurrent pain from a failed back surgery that is more than 6 months old
- Persistent pain from degenerated discs not responding to 4 weeks of therapy
- Patients available for 7 weeks of treatment protocol
These indications are ideal candidates for enrollment into our program and have the potential of achieving quality outcomes in the treatment of their pain: nerve compression, lumbar disorders, sciatic neuralgia, herniated discs, injury of the nerve root, degenerative discs, degenerative joint disease, and stenosis.
Lastly, the system should be utilized with patients with low back pain, with or without radiculopathy who have failed conventional therapy (physiotherapy and chiropractic) and who are considering surgery. Surgery should only be considered following a reasonable trial of decompression therapy protocols.
What conditions are contraindicated?
Patients with the following problems or symptoms are usually excluded from using spinal decompression therapy: pregnancy, prior to surgical fusion, cancer, severe osteoporosis, grade II or greater spondylosithesis, compression fracture of lumbar spine below L1, aortic aneurysm, disc space infections, severe peripheral neuropathy, cauda equine syndrome, tumors, osteosarcoma, meningitis.
How long before the patient experiences change?
Oftentimes a patient experiences some relief within the first few (3-7) treatments. Usually between the 8th and 12th treatment most patients have reported partial or complete remission of symptoms. Patients not showing significant improvement by the 15th to 18th session may be referred for further diagnostic evaluation.
Does decompression therapy work for everyone?
80 to 90% of patients who have been properly selected and comply with the protocol will have good to excellent outcomes. Patient's conditions who do not respond quickly to the therapy are often unable to be helped by anything quickly. Patients vary in age, sex, and body morphology and may require counseling in weight loss, nutrition, and other lifestyle changes.
Do I need any additional therapy along with decompression to get better?
There are several therapies which we incorporate that are essential or complementary to the decompression protocol to achieve the best results. They are as follows:
- Balance training to activate your core muscles and stimulate mechanoreceptors to improve muscle tone and reduce pain receptors. This is achieved with a 10 minute session on our vibration plate.
- Exercise therapy to strengthen your core spinal muscles to help sustain your results and prevent future problems. This will be a key component to your future health. We have a state of the art rehab facility with friendly competent exercise therapists to get you in top spinal strength.
- Natural anti-inflammatory supplements. After years of research and development, there is a company that has produced a major breakthrough in dialing down inflammation naturally. Our supplements can literally "change your life." Your doctor will discuss which ones are right for you.
- Weight loss may be the answer for you as well. Even losing 10 to 20 pounds can add significant benefits to your chronic back pain relief. We have partnered with the medically developed program called Ideal Protein. Our patients have lost from 15 to over 100 pounds in record time and kept it off. Pound for pound this is the least expensive, healthiest way to lose weight and add quality and years to your life.