Brief Back Ground
Although chiropractic care and physical therapy can effectively treat many cases of back and neck pain, it may not be enough in some of the severe cases. In those cases, a new technology called Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is offering relief from even the most severe cases of pain caused by herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica and facet syndrome.
This technology has truly been the answer to those who’ve explored all other options – including chiropractic. If your case is severe enough, this may be your only option outside of surgery. In our office, it is common for a patient to say, “I’ve got surgery scheduled in 3 months. I don’t want it. But I can’t live with like this. I hope you can help me?” Often we can… Sometimes we can’t.
If you’ve been told by your medical doctor, or your chiropractor, that surgery is your next step… this web page is a must for you!
Spinal Decompression has an interesting history.
Its concept has been around for hundreds of years – in its most primitive form. You’ve seen the old black and white movies of old torture devices called the “rack”. Imagine back to the dark ages. Where the hooded-torturer would strap your feet to the end of a table and lay you on your back and then strap your hands toward the top of the table and as he would crank on a large wheel your body would be stretched and stretched until you gave up your cherished secret because the pain was just too much to endure. Yes, even back in the old dark ages, this torture was also used to stretch the spines of ailing royalty to help them with their back pain.
Over the decades the rack has evolved. It has developed into a much more advanced form of therapy; it’s now called “traction”. Still today, traction is a commonly used therapy prescribed by doctors. You have probably already tried traction. Traction is different than spinal decompression, as we’ll explain later. But conceptually, traction must be discussed now as it was the ancestor to today’s spinal decompression.
Traction would pull and pull and the forces of the pull, or traction, would overcome the contraction or the resistance of the tissue at hand – a misaligned bone, a spasming muscle, pinched nerve, etc.
Then, there was a huge leap in development!
It is not exactly clear how this leap in thought was discovered, though I’ve heard a number of things. One I’ve heard, that I thought had some interesting points, but has not been validated and could be argued the other way is that of zero-gravity.
It’s been said that more than a decade ago, astronauts began reporting that when they were in space, they experienced a relief from back pain while in the zero-gravity environment of space. It has been argued that scientists found that when astronauts were in an anti-gravity state, the discs of their spine were not being compressed by gravity like they are on earth, allowing the discs to become fully hydrated and to reduce herniations (bulges) in the spinal discs. It is fact that the fully hydrated discs resulted in most astronauts being upwards of two inches taller during their space flight. Since creating a fully hydrated disc results in an elimination of most cases of severe back pain, as well as improved health of the spine, the question that scientists wrestled with was how to successfully reproduce the same effect here on Earth. On the other hand, it is safe to say that due to the rigorous nature and the physical demands required of an astronaut through launch, the space travel, and return to earth, that they have more pain as a result of their journey. So, while this theory has weight, we have not seen the studies to completely satisfy us on this.
Spinal decompression is a technique of replicating the anti-gravity state of space, allowing the spinal discs to regain their normal height, hydration and healthy status.
Although crude forms of spinal decompression have existed for some time, mostly in the form of traction, in the late 1980’s, another step in the evolution of spinal decompression occurred. That was the work of a number of medical doctors in the development of VAX-D.
VAX-D is classified as a class II medical device and approved by the FDA. The first piece of research conducted on VAX-D was conducted in 1987 by the medical physicians, Dr. S.J. Peerless, Dr. I. Meissner, Dr. H.J.M. Barnett and Dr. C.R. Stiller, at the University Hospital in London, Ontario.
While this machine looked very much like the “rack”, it had much a much better success rate than simple traction. On this table, you lay on your stomach (face down), your lower body is harnessed while your arms are stretched above your head holding onto hand grips. You maintain your grip as your lower body is tractioned/pulled. While this did perform better than traction, it was found that patients were developing rotator cuff and shoulder problems.
Closer, but still not there.
Recent advances in biotechnology have allowed spinal decompression to evolve into a highly-effective and cost-effective nonsurgical treatment for many causes of severe back pain.1
One of the most advanced and effective spinal decompression systems on the market today is the DRX9000, manufactured by Axiom Worldwide.
The DRX9000 has more than 30 critical components that are protected by existing patents or patent applications. 15 of these components are unique and specialized to the DRX9000 and are integral in achieving spinal decompression. In December 2004, axiom applied for its own patent of the DRX9000. In June 2006, the United States Patent Office published Axioms proposed patent.
There are a total of four FDA 510 (k) clearances as Class II medical devices assigned to the DRX products. The first clearance was obtained on May 1, 2001 for the original design the DRX2000 under 510 (k). The second clearance was on the DRX3000 and was obtained January 2003. The third clearance was obtained December 2002 for the DRX5000. The fourth clearance was obtained May 2006 for the DRX9000.
Unlike traction that pulls both muscle and spine, the DRX9000 uses a mechanized, patented, FDA cleared traction system that uses a combination of harnesses, air bladders, and disc angle pull adjustments to decrease the pressure within the spinal discs, thereby enhancing the flow of fluid into the discs. Most people describe the treatment as a gentle, intermittent pulling on the spine. The process is relatively painless; some patients even relax to the point of falling asleep during a treatment. For more information go to www.thedecompressioncenter.com
We also use spinal decompression machines from other manufacturers with great success.