Q&A

Q: What is Spinal Decompression Therapy, and how does it work?

A: Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy is a spinal disc rehabilitation program that uses FDA cleared medical technology that gently stretches the spine and decompresses the discs. This technique of spinal decompression therapy, that is, unloading due to distraction and positioning, has shown the ability to gently separate the vertebrae from each other, creating a vacuum inside the discs that we are targeting. This "vacuum effect" is also known as negative intradiscal pressure.

The negative pressure can induce the retraction of the herniated or bulging disc into the inside of the disc, and off the nerve root, thecal sac, or both. It happens only microscopically each time, but cumulatively, over four to six weeks, the results are quite dramatic.

The cycles of decompression and partial relaxation over a series of visits, promotes the diffusion of water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids from the outside of the discs to the inside. These nutrients enable the torn and degenerated disc fibers to begin to heal.

Patients are treated fully clothed and are fitted with a pelvic harness that fits around their pelvis as well as a thoracic harness as they lie face down or face up on a computerized controlled table. The doctor operates the table from a computerized console. Each treatment takes about 20 to 45 minutes. Most patients find the sessions to be comfortable, and relief of pain can sometimes be noticed in the first few sessions. Of course, this varies depending on the individual condition.

Q: Will Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression help a slipped disc?

A: A “bulging” or "herniated" disc is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "slipped" disc. Studies demonstrate that Spinal Decompression Therapy succeeds at treating bulging or herniated discs in as safe and effective manner. This of course varies depending on the complexity of the injury and other factors. Many times patients are able to avoid more costly and invasive procedures.

Q: How much does the therapy cost?

A: That depends on many factors, as there are many variations of disc injury and severity. The great news is that it can be very affordable, and members of the Association are dedicated to making this safe, breakthrough therapy available to all patients, providing stress-free payment plans. This enables patients to receive the care they desperately need even if they are on fixed incomes and/or Medicare.

Q: Will my insurance cover it?

A: There are many insurance plans, all with different benefits. Some plans cover the costs of associated
procedures. We will certainly be glad to help you verify all of your insurance benefits when you come into the office for a consultation.

Q: Are there any reasons that I can't go on this type of therapy?

A: The doctor has to determine if you are a candidate as there are certain conditions for which this therapy would be contraindicated The doctors perform a screening process and only then accept the cases they think this therapy can help the most.

Certain people are not candidates for spinal decompression therapy and usually have conditions such as:

  • Tumors
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurism
  • Fractures
  • Metal Implants/Screws/Plates in spine
  • Advanced Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy or
  • Certain conditions (diseases) that compromise the structural integrity of the spine and discs. These conditions are present in only a small percentage of the population.

Q: How long does the treatment last?

A: Generally speaking the therapy lasts about 45 minutes per session, with most cases lasting 4 to 6 weeks in duration.

 

Back Pain Statistics

Low back pain (LBP) affects at least 80% of us some time in our lives, perhaps 20-30% of us at any given time. It is usually recurrent, and subsequent episodes tend to increase in severity. It is common in individuals who lead sedentary lives and in those who engage in manual labor. It can occur at any age but is most prevalent during the third to sixth decades of life.

COSTS

A team of Duke Medical Center researchers has found that patients suffering from back pain consume more than $90 billion annually in health-care expenses, with approximately $26 billion of that amount directly attributable to treating the back pain. Tremendous costs are associated with LBP, including lost productivity and income from work, the expense of medical, rehabilitation, and surgical interventions, and the costs of disabling pain and limited daily function.

Back pain is second only to upper respiratory conditions as the stated cause of work loss. The costs for treatment and compensation for LBP in industry may be greater than the total amount spent on all other industrial injuries combined. However, most of the costs, perhaps 80%, are incurred by about 20% of the LBP patients who then become disabled.

COMMON MISCONCEPTION

A common misconception often cited is that 90% of back pain will go away on its own without treatment. However, a recent review published in the European Spine Journal in 2003, showed that the reported proportion of patients who still experienced pain after 12 months was 62% (range, 42-75%), dispelling the popular notion that up to 90% of low back pain episodes resolve spontaneously within 1 month.

There is also a large number of Americans who, after trying many standard treatments, are still left suffering with serious back pain. If you, your friends, or your family members have been told you have to learn to live with the pain, or if you have tried exercises, drugs, and/or shots, and you are still suffering, and are now being told you need surgery, then this therapy may be just what you are looking for. Please go to the “find a physician” link and schedule a complimentary consultation with an approved doctor. Another option is to fill out the “Web Physician Consultation” to see if you are a good candidate for decompression therapy first; then you may schedule a consultation with an approved member doctor.

Non Surgical Spinal Decompression

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is a revolutionary new technology used primarily to treat disc injuries in the neck and in the low back. This treatment option is very safe and utilizes FDA cleared equipment to apply distraction forces to spinal structures in a precise and graduated manner. Distraction is offset by cycles of partial relaxation. This technique of spinal decompression therapy, that is, unloading due to distraction and positioning, has shown the ability to gently separate the vertebrae from each other, creating a vacuum inside the discs that we are targeting. This "vacuum effect" is also known as negative intra-discal pressure.

The negative pressure may induce the retraction of the herniated or bulging disc into the inside of the disc, and off the nerve root, thecal sac, or both. It happens only microscopically each time, but cumulatively, over four to six weeks, the results are quite dramatic.

The cycles of decompression and partial relaxation, over a series of visits, promote the diffusion of water,
oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids from the outside of the discs to the inside. These nutrients enable the torn and degenerated disc fibers to begin to heal.

For the low back, the patient lies comfortably on his/her back or stomach on the decompression table, with a set of nicely padded straps snug around the waist and another set around the lower chest. For the neck, the patient lies comfortably on his/her back with a pair of soft rubber pads behind the neck. Many patients enjoy the treatment, as it is usually quite comfortable and well tolerated.

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is very effective at treating bulging discs, herniated discs, pinched nerves, sciatica, radiating arm pain, degenerative disc disease, leg pain, and facet syndromes. Proper patient screening is imperative and only the best candidates are accepted for care. Please go to the “Find a Physician” link to find a doctor in your area. You may also want to fill out the “Web Physician Consult” form to determine whether you are a candidate for this safe and effective treatment option.