Now serving Inman, Stafford, St. John, and Sylvia
" I was completely debilitated. I couldn't walk from a back injury. After a very short time I am back to work and have no back or leg pain." Michael Rumback, Hutchinson KS
Non-surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy
There are many tables that perform non-surgical decompression of the spine. The following results were obtained from DRS/Inter-Discal Decompression (IDD) therapy, Vertebral-Axial Decompression and non-surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy. Although the concept of non-surgical Spinal Decompression therapy is similar in the DRS/VAX-D, please note that each table is a registered trademark and the following research may be specific to a specific decompression table/protocol employed. LCD is up to 70% successful, but studies on Spinal Decompression indicate between a 71%-90% success rate with one study reporting an immediate resolution of symptoms in 86% of the participants involved.
In a recent journal article in Orthopedic Technology Review titled Surgical Alternatives: Spinal Decompression, results showed that 86% of the 219 patients who completed the therapy reported immediate resolution of symptoms while 84% of patients 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.
Another article in Journal of Neurological Research reported that vertebral axial [spinal] decompression was successful in 71% of the 778 cases". The success rate varied from 73% for patients with a single herniated disc. It was 72% for people with multiple herniated discs.
The American Journal of Pain Management reported "good to excellent" relief in 86% patients with Herniated discs, with back pain and sciatica symptoms being relieved. Good to excellent results were also obtained in 75% of those with facet syndrome.
A small non-randomized study in Anaesthesiology News reported of the 23 patients who responded to therapy, 52% had a pain level of zero, 91% were able to resume their normal daily activities, and 87% were either working or were retired without having back pain as the cause of retirement.
In a small study to determine the long-term effects of vertebral axial decompression, the following results were obtained: "Among 23 patients, 71% showed more than 50% reduction in pain immediately after treatment, and 86% showed a 50% or better pain reduction at four years. After four years, 52% of respondents reported a pain level of zero. Thus, pain relief not only improved but lasted. This pilot study shows great promise for long term relief and new pain management techniques.
An interesting study at theRio Grande Hospital
, Department of Neurosurgery compared the effects of 20 treatment sessions vs. 10 treatment sessions on chronic low back pain sufferers. The group receiving 20 treatments of decompression therapy reported a 76.5% with complete remission and 19.6% with partial remission of pain and disability. The second group, receiving 10 treatments of decompression therapy, reported a 42.9% rate of remission and 24.1% with partial remission. Failure rate was only 3.9% for those receiving 20 treatment sessions while it was 32.9% for those receiving only 10 sessions. Remission was defined as 90% or greater relief of pain, back to work without limitations, and abilities to carry out Activities of Daily Living (ADL's). Partial remission was defined as persistence of some pain but ability to carry out most ADL's and return to work with some restriction of duties, depending on the occupation. Failure rate was defined as no change in the level of pain and or/ADL.
As you can see from the above referenced Clinical Trials, Spinal Decompression Therapy may be the only effective therapy for some people experiencing Discogenic or Arthritic pain (pain arising from the disc or caused by various types of Spinal Arthritis). In addition, promising research suggests that the effects of Spinal Decompression Therapy can be a long-lasting solution to certain chronic back pain disorders. Although failure rates are relatively low, studies suggest that completion of prescribed treatments can reduce failure rates from 32.9% to 3.9%.
Effect at the level of the Herniated Disc:
The effects of Spinal Decompression Therapy at the level of the Interbertebral Disc is thought to be a decrease in pressure, thus creating a vacuum effect and producing a negative interdiscal [within the disc] pressure. This negative interdiscal pressure is responsible for a decrease in the size of the disc herniation/bulge and a resultant decrease in pain and pressure on the nerve root.
The effects of spinal decompression therapy on intradiscal pressure (pressure within the disc) was studied in the Journal of Neurosurgery. The results indicated that axial [spinal] decompression reduced the intradiscal pressure significantly to negative levels in the range of -100 to -160 mm Hg.
An article in the Journal of Neuroimaging reported that a 90% reduction in disc herniation size could be seen at the critical point of nerve root impingement in 71% of patients when pre-treatment and post-treatment MRI examinations were performed. Torn annulus repair is seen in all patients.
Several other scientific articles have reported a decrease in disc herniations/ protrusions, intradiscal ("within the disc") pressure, an increase in joint space and intervertebral ("between the vertebrae") distance when measured by x-ray, MRI, CT scan or epidurography.
Effect at the level of the Nerve and Nerve Root:
It has been demonstrated that during Spinal Decompression Therapy, the vertebral bodies are distracted or 'separated'. This results in a negative intradiscal pressure creating a 'vacuum effect'. The resulting vacuum effect creates a reduction of disc herniation size which relieves, or takes 'pressure' off, the spinal nerves. The effects of Spinal Decompression Therapy at the level of the nerve can be measured by several Methods. DSSEP's (Dermatomal Somatosensory Evoked Potentials) and CPT (Current Perception Threshold) measure nerve function and response, or the "functioning/overall health" of a nerve.
An article in the Journal of Neurological Research reported an average pain reduction of 77%. DSSEP's measured an improvement in 61% of nerve root responses. A small pilot trial in the Canadian Journal of Clinical Medicine reported that a 90% improvement on nerve function with 14/22 nerves (64%) returned to normal function and 6/22 (27%) improved when measured by CPT.
Shealy, Norman MD; LeRoy, Pierre MD. New Concepts in Back Pain Management: Decompression, Reduction, and Stabilzation. In: Weiner R, ed. Pain Management: A Practical Guide for Clinicians.Boca Raton, Fla
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Gionis, Thomas MD; Groteke, Eric DC. Surgical Alternatives: Spinal Decompression. Orthopedic Technology Review. 2003; 6 (5).
Grose, Earl PhD; Naguszewski, William MD, Naguszewski, Robert MD .Vertebral axial decompression therapy for pain associated with herniated or degenerated discs or facet syndrome: An outcome study. Journal of Neurological Research. 1998; 20: 186-190.
Shealy, Norman MD; Borgmeyer, Vera MD. Emerging Technologies: Preliminary Findings: Decompression, Reduction, and stabilization of the lumbar spine: A cost-effective treatment for lumbosacral pain. American Journal of Pain Management. 1997; 7(2).
Eyerman, Edward MD. Simple pelvic traction gives inconsistent relief to herniated lumbar disc sufferers. Journal of Neuroimaging. Paper presented to the American Society of Neuroimaging,Orlando, Florida
Eyerman E. MRI evidence of mechanical reduction and repair of the torn annulus disc. International Society of Neuroradiologists. October 1998;Orlando
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Naguszewski, William MD; Naguszewski, Robert MD; Gose Earl; Ph.D. Dermatosomal Somatosensory Evoked Potential Demonstration of Nerve Root Decompression After VAX-D Therapy. Journal of Neurological Research. October 2001. 23(7).
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Chung, TS; Lee, YJ; Kang, SW; et al. Reducibility of Cervical Disk Herniation: Evaluation at MR Imaging during Cervical Traction with a Nonmagnetic Traction Device. Radiology. 225(3):895-898, 2002.
Constantoyannis, C; Konstantinou, D; Kourtopoulos, H; et al. Intermittent Cervical Traction for Cervical Radiculopathy Caused by Large-Volume Herniated Disks. Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics. 25(3):188-192, 2002.
Goldish, G. Lumbar Traction. Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation of Low Back Pain. CD Tollison and M Kriegal, eds. Williams and Wilkins,
Our most recent patient is Jennifer Smith from Turon, KS.
Jennifer said, “I came to Dr. Gill’s office with headaches ever since a car accident over two years ago. I had immediate relief. As a matter of fact, now I have chosen to get a check-up every month and have not had a headache since I my first visit. I tell everyone I know about the successful I have had.