1. How is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy different from traction?
Traction is a one dimensional, unilateral pull of the spine, not specifying any one segment. The downward intradiscal pressure when a person is standing is 100 mmHg of pressure. When generalized traction or inversion therapy is performed, the intradiscal pressure drops down to 40 mmHg of positive downward pressure. This is the point that muscle spasms can be relieved, however not enough to create transfer of fluid from outside of the disc back into the nucleus palposus or the center of the disc. Inversion therapy is just another form of generalized traction, pulling the ankles, the knees, the hips, the low back, the mid back and the neck, never creating enough of a decrease in the intradiscal space to allow for the transfer of the fluid outside of the disc back into the center of the disc.
With Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy, the intradiscal pressure goes down to a negative 160 mmHg creating the transfer of fluid from outside of the disc into the center of the disc, vacuuming back in the protrusions or herniations as well.
2. What causes the disc to degenerate and lose its fluid in the first place?
Fluid leaves the disc usually for one of three different reasons to include: time, injury, or a combination of the two. By age 55, 85% of the population suffers from degenerative disc disease or dry disc disease. Just the process of everyday walking, bending, or lifting eventually wears out the disc and the fluid is lost. Hence the diagnosis of dry disc disease being the same as degenerative disc disease.
3. Does the treatment hurt or any negative side effects?
No not at all. We check our patients through a comprehensive assessment to make sure they are a candidate for this treatment program. Most of our patients sleep throughout their treatment time.
4. I have already had back surgery and I am still in pain, can I releief from pain through the spinal decompression therapy?
Yes, 15% to 20% of our patients have had what is called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome and have had a prior Laminectomy and/or Micro Discectomy that failed to decrease the patient’s pain and increase their function. This type of prior surgery does not preclude us from providing the care necessary to help the patient. As long as there is no spinal fusion, either bony or with metal, we can provide our care.
5. Is this treatment considered as Chiropractic?
No not at all. By definition, Chiropractic is employing manipulation and adjustment of body structures, such as the spinal column, so that pressure on nerves coming from the spinal cord due to displacement of a vertebral body may be relieved. There is no manipulation of the spine or the treatment of displaced vertebrae in Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy is actually a medical procedure that was developed by a Neurologist by the name of Dr. Dryer. He first started with a table that was called a Vax-D which showed great results for the relief of pain and the increase of function.
6. Is there an age limit to go through this program?
We have had patients in their early 20s to late 80s that have done well, however there are certain conditions that make a patient unacceptable or not a candidate for care which we screen for in our very consultations. Safety of the patient and an attempt for good results are our primary goals.
7. When do I start to feel better?
Every person is different from the next. With as many years as we have been doing this and with the thousands of patients we have seen, we have seen everything. We know it takes a minimum of 20 to 25 visits to provide enough hydration to make a change, and sometimes up to 35 visits. However with that said, each person perceives pain differently. We have seen patients that within the first 6 visits they were out of pain, and we have seen patients that on the 25 visit, it was like someone had thrown a switch and their pain went away. There is no rule that states the exact moment that will occur and the patient will be feeling much better, however with our very high success rate, most people will reach that level at some point, most earlier than later.
8. Can I still work while going through treatments?
Most times the answer is yes. Most of our patients continue their usual and customary duties of their employment while having to change nothing. If you are a person that is in extreme acute pain and have a career that requires heavy lifting, it may be in your best interest to try to be put on light duty while going through the treatment program. Most of our patients have little trouble if any in going through with their program regardless of the type of work they do.
9. Can I continue with my prescription medication when I start treatment?
Yes you should. We advise you to discuss your medication with your Physician and once you have started to have less pain and greater function, to ask your Physician to assist you with lessening your medication. You should always follow your Doctor’s prescription for your medication and never stop without his or her advice.
10. Does BC Medical Services cover the treatment?
No, this is a private clinic but if you have extended health insurance from different insurance companies, it is possible to get reimbursement. We will provide you with statements that you can submit to your insurance.