Disc Decompression Therapy

Anyone who has back pain or neck pain caused in whole or in part by a damaged disc may be helped by disc decompression therapy. These conditions include herniated, protruding or bulging discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica or radiculopathy (pinched nerves).

Yes – in fact, one study documented (by MRI) up to 90% reduction of disc herniations in 10 of 14 cases! Another study reported that 86% of ruptured disc patients achieved “good” (50-89% improvement) to “excellent” (90-100% improvement) results after spinal decompression treatment!

Spinal decompression treament is usually not recommended for pregnant women, patients who have severe osteoporosis, severe obesity or severe nerve damage. However, spinal decompression treatment after bone fusion or non-fusion surgery, can be performed.

In almost all cases, spinal decompression treatment is completely painless. In fact, some patients fall asleep during the spinal decompression session. The specific spinal decompression treatment plan will be determined by the doctor after your examination. Based on current research, the best results have been achieved utilizing 20 sessions over a 6-week period.

To reduce inflammation and assist the healing process, supporting structures are treated with passive therapies (ice/heat/muscle stimulation), chiropractic adjustments (as indicated) and/or active rehabilitation in order to strengthen the spinal musculature.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the decompression differ from ordinary spinal traction?
Traction is helpful at treating some of the conditions resulting from herniation or degeneration. However, traction cannot address the source of the problem. Disc decompression creates a negative pressure or a vacuum inside the disc. This increase in negative pressure causes the flow of blood and nutrients back into the disc allowing the body’s natural fibroblastic response to heal the injury and re-hydrate the disc. Traction and inversion tables, at best, can lower the intradiscal pressure from a +90 to a +30 mmHg. Disc decompression is clinically proven to reduce the intradiscal pressure to between a -100 to -200 mmHg. Traction triggers the body’s normal response to stretching by creating painful muscle spasms that worsen the pain in affected area.

How does the DRS separate each vertebra and allow for disc decompression at a specific level?

Decompression is achieved by using a specific combination of lumbar positioning and varying the degree and intensity of force. The key to producing this decompression is the gentle pull that is created by a logarithmic curve. When distractive forces are generated on a logarithmic curve the typical proprioceptor response is avoided. Avoiding this response allows decompression to occur at the targeted area.

How long do treatments last?

Most patients require 16-20 treatments and a customized physical therapy program.

Are results permanent?

Typically additional treatments are not required after the completion of the treatment protocol. However, as with any treatment there are always severe cases that involve particular job/lifestyle activities that may require re-evaluations.

What conditions can and cannot be treated by the DRS?
Treatable conditions
1. Low back pain, unilateral or bilateral
2. Sciatica (leg and foot pain and numbness)
3. Post surgical patients with failed back syndrome
4. Herniated Discs
5. Bulging Discs
6. Disc Extrusions
7. Disc Degeneration
8. Mild to Moderate Spinal Canal Stenosis
9. Chronic Low Back Pain

Non Treatable conditions
1. Spinal tumors
2. Vertebral Fractures
3. Spondyololisthesis
4. Osteoporosis
5. Severe medical conditions