Spinal Decompression is painless, drug-free and non-surgical. Published scientific studies report effectiveness at 86% to 94%.
Medications and injections are only effective at masking pain – they do not address the source of the pain. All medications are associated with some risk.
Physical therapy is a safer alternative to medication with similar limitations. Also, muscle strengthening treatments could make disc problems worse.
Chiropractic is beneficial for mild to moderate disc bulges and disc herniations, but not recommended for severe cases
Of all available options surgery is the most dangerous, the most expensive and has the lowest success rate
Surgery also has the longest total recovery time and is the most painful treatment option
Frequently Asked Questions
The bones of the spine called vertebrae are separated by tough cartilage pads called intervertebral (inter = “between”; vertebral = “bones of the spine”) discs.
Over time gravity, spinal joint dysfunction and accumulated trauma cause the discs to compress, flatten and degenerate. This constant compression prevents much-needed oxygen and nutrients from entering the disc to aid in healing and trauma recovery. This ongoing starvation causes the once-tough outer layers of the disc to soften allowing the contents of the disc to bulge outward. Significant disc damage can become a tear called a disc herniation or the inner gelatinous material of the disc can leak out called a disc sequestration. The “jelly center” of the disc can also dry out over time which is referred to as degenerative disc disease. All forms of disc injury can eventually impinge on the nerves exiting the spine (“pinched nerve”) which can create numbness, tingling, burning or sharp pain down the arms or legs. Sharp pain originating from the back and “shooting” down the legs is often referred to as sciatica. The only treatment that can reverse this degenerative compression is Non-Surgical Spinal Disc Decompression (DRX9000).
All forms of disc injury can eventually impinge on the nerves exiting the spine (“pinched nerve”) which can create numbness, tingling, burning or sharp pain down the arms or legs. Sharp pain originating from the back and “shooting” down the legs is often referred to as sciatica.
You can find out more about this on our Common Problems page. The following links will also take you directly to information about specific conditions:
Severe or Chronic Low Back Pain
Severe or Chronic Neck Pain
Pinched Nerves in the Neck or Low Back
Degenerative Disc Disease
Herniated Discs (Disc Herniation)
Bulging Discs (Disc Bulge)
Partially Ruptured Discs
Numbness, Tingling or Burning Pain
Weakness of the Arms or Legs
Sharp, Shooting Pain
Some Forms of Spinal Stenosis
Some Cases of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
There are several options a patient may consider, including:
Oral and Injected Medications
Surgical Treatment Options for Disc Herniations and Disc Bulges
In relation to the spine, decompression is defined as “A procedure carried out to relieve pressure on the spinal discs, spinal cord or nerve roots.”
In relation to the spine, traction is defined as “The application of tension or pulling to the spine.”
Methods of applying traction may include Gravity Boots, Spinal Traction devices, SpineMed Traction, DTS (Dynamic Traction System), Accu-Spina, Chattanooga Traction, or Lordex.
Comparing the Two
So, where your spine is concerned, Decompression relieves pressure whereas Traction is merely the act of tensioning or pulling.
Prior, unsuccessful attempts to reduce intradiscal pressure relied heavily on high-force, linear pulling motions that were unable to target specific spinal segments. High-force, linear pulling motions are effective at traction by definition (“tension or pulling”). However, simply “pulling” the bones of the spine apart (i.e., traction) results in little more than forcing the spinal muscles to protectively contract around the injury site. Unfortunately, these muscular contractions counteract the tension created by the traction and can actually increase pressure on the disc and spinal cord.
Several traction methods exist including gravity boots, spinal traction, over-the-door cervical traction, Lordex and SpineMed traction. All of these methods provide traction. However, none of them have been demonstrated scientifically to “relieve pressure on the spinal discs, spinal cord or nerve roots.”
Decompression techniques provide relief by separating the bones of the spine reducing the pressure within the disc (intradiscal pressure)
Disc decompression treats the source of the pain – pain caused by disc bulge or disc herniation pressure
Treatment is computer controlled
More advanced methods use oscillation to reduce muscle spasm that could work against the decompression motion
More advanced methods also direct the treatment to specific levels of the spine by varying the angle of decompression making the treatment more effective and comfortable
For more details about the how the DRX9000 works, please visit our DRX9000 page.