Spinal decompression therapy is a clinically tested, computerized, FDA cleared treatment with a very high success rate for a number of low back, neck ailments and pain associated with herniated or bulging discs, even after failed surgery. During the procedure, there is a cycling through distraction and relaxation phases. Proper positioning allows the injured spinal disc to be isolated and placed under negative pressure, causing a vacuum effect within it. The decompression of the discs lets oxygen and blood flow return to the injured area to promote healing and relieve pain.
At Back to Health, we use the state-of-the art Autotrax Spinal Decompression System (ATX). Our unit is fully computerized and it uses this technology to deliver treatment directly to the injured area. The patient actually moves with the table as the decompression occurs. There is no hospitalization and no harmful side effects. ATX spinal decompression therapy gets to the cause of pain by gently taking pressure off the spinal disc and nerves, allowing them to heal naturally.
During spinal decompression therapy, a negative pressure is created within the disc and surrounding tissues. Because of that negative pressure, disc material that has protruded or herniated can be pulled back within the normal confines of the disc and permit healing to occur. It also increases the oxygen and blood flow in the affected areas and helps to remove waist products of injury from the affected discs, and joints and nerves. The discs lose their blood supply during our teenage years and must rely on changes in pressure in the tissues to remove waist products and receive nutrients. The negative pressure enhances this process.’
Who can benefit from Spinal Decompression Therapy? Anyone who has back pain or neck pain caused in whole or in part by a damaged disc may be helped by spinal decompression therapy. These conditions include herniated protruding or bulging discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica or radiculopathy (pinched nerves).
Are there medical studies that document the effectiveness of Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Yes! One study documented by MRI reported up to 90% reduction of disc herniations in 10 of 14 cases and other studies reported that the majority of ruptured disk patients achieved “good” to “excellent” results after spinal decompression therapy. Another clinical outcomes study was performed to evaluate the effect of spinal decompression on symptoms and physical findings of patients with herniated and degenerative disc disease. Results showed that 86% of the 219 patients who completed the therapy reported immediate resolution of symptoms, while 84% remained pain-free 90 days post-treatment. Physical examination findings showed improvement in 92% of the 219 patients, and remained intact in 89% of these patients 90 days after treatment. This study shows that disc disease—the most common cause of back pain, which costs the American health care system more than $50 billion annually—can be cost-effectively treated using spinal decompression. The cost for successful non-surgical therapy is less than a tenth of that for surgery. These results show that biotechnological advances of spinal decompression reveal promising results for the future of effective management of patients with disc herniation and degenerative disc diseases.
Are there conditions where Spinal Decompression Therapy is not recommended? Spinal decompression therapy is not recommended for pregnant woman, patients who have severe osteoporosis, severe obesity or severe nerve damage. Spinal surgery with instrumentation (screws, metal plates or “cages”) is also contraindicated. However, spinal decompression therapy after bone fusion or non-fusion surgery can be performed.
Are the Spinal Decompression sessions painful? In almost all cases, the treatments are completely painless and most people even notice a reduction of pain during treatment. In fact, some patients fall asleep during the spinal decompression session. Some patients report increased muscle soreness following the first couple of treatments. This is to be expected (movement in that area may not have been used in a long time). It is like starting a new exercise program and being sore after the first few sessions.
How many sessions will be required? The specific treatment plan will be determined by the doctor after your examination. Based on current research, our clinical experience, and normal situations, the best results have been achieved with a total of 15 to 25 sessions comprised of 20 to 30 minutes each of treatment time. It is up to the doctor’s discretion to determine these times and if the patient can tolerate the longer treatment time.
Do most patients receive therapy and rehabilitative exercises in addition to Spinal Decompression Therapy? To reduce inflammation and assist the healing process, supporting structures are treated with passive therapies (ice/heat/muscle stimulation), chiropractic adjustments (as required) and/or active rehabilitation in order to strengthen the spinal musculature. We offer Post Decompression Rehabilitation. The Post Decompression Rehabilitation is a series of rehabilitative exercise and stretches that are customized and modified to your specific cervical or low back correction. Strengthening muscles, the core, and supportive structures, will not only make the body strong. But will also keep prior debilitative conditions from coming back.