What is Spinal Decompression?
There has been much information in the media recently about the merits of spinal decompression. In order to appreciate the merits of the new technology, you must first understand the condition it treats.
Spinal decompression puts negative pressure on each disk, to alleviate the pressure and pain associated with compressed disks. When a disk is compressed, the disk material moves from its place between each disk, into the space occupied by the sensitive nerves. When the nerves become crowded, the patient experiences great pain and pressure. This pain is not alleviated by even the strongest of pain medications. Many times, the condition warrants the use of highly addictive medications, such as morphine to mask the pain long enough to give the patient some relief. Long term however, the risk for addiction increases, while the source of the pain is untreated.
Surgery attempts to treat the condition by shaving the part of the disk to create room for the material that is crowding the nerves. Spinal decompression eliminates the source of the pain, therefore eliminating the need for risky spine surgery and the subsequent months of down time post surgery.
Lumbar Spinal Decompression Therapy
The DRS Spinal Decompression Therapy Protocol is one of the most scientifically advanced back pain treatment systems available today. Designed to comfortably, and non-surgically relieve disc pressure, this device employs force delivery techniques which mimic physical therapy approaches to spinal dysfunction. The DRS Protocol, however, is capable of highly specific and consistently duplicable regimen advancement which cannot be achieved with conventional physical therapy.
The first phase of treatment begins with a treatment course targeted to the disc level identified by diagnosis. Our spinal decompression unit utilizes distinct angles of degree to manipulate and target a specific disc level(s).
This gentle manipulation works to relieve neurocompression and may promote regression of a bulge or herniation over time by means of a negative pressure state, or vacuum, within the disc. This treatment method also works to create an environment within the disc of increased nutrient flow. This rehydration process has been shown in many post treatment MRI’s and is highly beneficial to the healing process.
The second phase of treatment is experienced as a secondary oscillation modality which is directed alternatively to the surrounding muscle groups at the treatment site. Typical muscle guarding and straining may be significantly reduced with the relaxing effect of this oscillation modality. Patients report a significant increase in comfort and delivery acceptance during treatment incorporating this modality along with the primary treatment to the spine, as proprioceptor firing is reduced.
As with any total treatment plan, DRS Therapy calls for thorough patient education and minimal at-home lumbar stretching and strengthening exercises to maximize efficacy and duration.
The changes in pressure surrounding the disc through the cycling action of the machine facilitate blood flow through the disc. Fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients flow in while cations, acids, and the breakdown products of metabolism are removed. Thus, natural healing and repair can proceed in tissues that previously were encumbered with high diffusion pressure, edematous tissues, and chronic irritation. DRS Therapy has helped thousands of low back pain patients return to active, pain-free lifestyles.
What is the DRS Lumbar Decompression Unit?
The DRS decompression unit is an innovative technology that uses spinal decompression to treat various spinal conditions. It is being hailed as a state of the art alternative to invasive and risky back surgery. Axiom Worldwide developed the technology and it has received FDA clearance for treatment of back pain. The DRS is effective in treating herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. It has also shown to be effective in treating sciatica. It should be noted that not most patients are excellent candidates for the DRS. Your chiropractor will evaluate each patient independently.
The DRS uses computerized traction to slowly and gently encourage the spine to increase the intervertebral disc spaces. The process is precise, which eliminates the risk for additional injury. The machine is computer controlled and programmed by a trained professional.
On average, the treatment usually takes between two and six weeks involving 10-20 sessions. In several clinical trials, many of the test subjects reported immediate resolution of their pain following treatment. Of those, a majority reported lasting pain relief beyond 90 days. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy has been studied and discussed in several academic and industry papers. The bottom line is that Lumbar Decompression Therapy can be very effective allowing many patients to become more active thereby leading healthier, happier lives.
Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD, Summer 1994.
Thomas A. Gionis, MD, JD, MBA, MHA, FICS, FRCS, Eric Groteke, DC, CCIC, Spinal Decompression, Orthopedic Technology Review Nov/Dec 2003, Vol. 5, No. 6
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