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Spinal Decompression

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in Alternative Treatments
Has anyone had spinal decompression therapy before? I didn't even know that such a thing existed, until I came across it as I was researching non-invasive treatment options for my lower back pain. I would really like to get some feedback on other peoples' experiences with this treatment before I look into it further. Thanks!

Spam link removed by forum Authority Cath111. We do not permit spam links on Spine-Health.


  • Hi JT:

    I'm currently undergoing it now for a severely herniated disc. I had an 11 mm herniation. Before treatment the pain was a 13 on a scale from 1-10 on a bad day and an 8 on a very good one. And that's with taking prescription Ibuprofen and Tylenol 3s 3x per day. I could not stand for more than 5 minutes, couldn't sit at all. I've not been able to work since Feb. Now I'm no longer on pain meds, my pain level ranges between 0-1.5. I'm on treatment #34. Some people need fewer sessions, some need more. Please note that I was a very severe case. I will continue to need more treatments. I'm still recovering. I'm not able to return to work. I'm walking about two blocks. I have a long way to go. Next week I'll be incorporating a neurologist on my path to recovery. There very well may be some nerve damage issues involved. Please do check it out. Beware of any Dr. that guarantees a complete recovery. No one can guarantee that and each person is different. But I do know this works for a great many people.

    Best of everything to you...

  • Yes I have done it twice. The first time I went on a Spine-Med table (25 treatments) and it worked great! It gave me complete relief from my sciatic pain for over a year until the pain came back (from a coughing spell). I was not in the same area (Florida) and could not find a Spine-Med table in my area (New York) but I did find a DRX9000 table. I tried 15 treatments on this table with NO results. I can say there is a big difference between the 2 tables. The Spine-Med table has it all over the DRX9000. When I went to the Dr. that had the DRX9000 table I showed him the literature on the Spine-Med table and he said he wished he had seen that before he bought the DRX9000. You can also get traction treatments through most PT offices. I hope this helps. Dava
  • :H Hi! My boyfriend had a situation where he herniated L4-L5 and had to go to the hospital. He was on an array of medications, but before he signed up for surgery his sister told him about vax-d. It looks like traction, but dosen't work exactly the same way. According to the doctor it creates a vacuum effect that brings nutrients back into the disc and helps it to heal. He was able to get from a pain level of 8/10 to 1/10 in 20 treatments. We live in Chicago and went to the XXX Center in the loop. I don't know where you're located, but maybe you can find a vax-d center near you and they can help! I really hope you can find something to help him!


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  • I had decompression therapy with my chiropractor prior to my surgery as a way to alleviate my pain while waiting for surgery (I postponed it 4 months due to work/personal conflicts). I went once a week for three months.

    Prior to the decompression therapy, I had been on steroids, NSAIDS, muscle relaxers, wearing a neck brace and nothing really helped. I asked about cortisone injections, but my spinal column and neural foramen were so narrowed the NS didn't think there was even enough epidural space to give an injection!

    Seriously, before surgery this was the best pain reliever I found. I almost canceled my surgery because all of my numbness and tingling disappeared and I was nearly pain-free. But decompression is not a cure for what I had....the spinal stenosis, bone spurs and narrowed neural foramen were not going to magically go away, and even my chiropractor urged me to go through with the surgery.

    My problems were in my neck, while yours are in your lower back, so I don't know if you would have similar reaction to decompression. However, I did feel pulling in my lower back during the treatments, so I'm sure it wasn't just isolated to decompressing only my cervical vertebrae.

  • Very interesting. I am considering spinal decompression but I have reservations....what are the risks? The FDA has recorded one incident of worsening condition so it seems to be safe.....
  • My Lumbar MRI from 7 months ago shows 4 disc bulges, 4 synovial cysts, 1 fissure, and osteoarthritis in the facet joints.
    My chiropractor suggested that I try his decompression table. I started 3 times a week, then 2 times, then once a week. After a few weeks I noticed a great improvement. I was soon able to put my socks on by myself again and drive again. I still had a lot of pain while sitting and I couldn't stand very long so I kept going once a week. After about 3 months I started getting more pain again. And then my right leg started to hurt. I was sure something was wrong with my leg so I had an x-ray done on my hip. No problem there. I was told that it was because of my back. My chiropractor told me that I should do more weight (they had been pulling with 70lbs because that was all I could take). So they cranked me up to 85 lbs and I would just take the pain and hope that it was helping. I also kept telling the office helper who put on the harness that I thought the lower harness should be put on lower. She did move it down a little, but I don't think it was low enough.
    After a couple more weeks of that, my leg got worse and worse until it got to the point where I have excruciating pain the minute I stand up and my leg has pins and needles. I requested another MRI (7 months after the last one). My new MRI shows that the disc bulge on my L5/S1 is now 11 mm completely filling the right lateral recess and causing significant mass effect on the thecal sac. There is also moderate spinal stenosis.
    The pain is so bad now that if I have to walk for more than 5 minutes I use a wheelchair. It hurts so bad when I go to bed that I have a hard time sleeping, even if I take a sleeping pill.
    I can't take pain pills very often because they give me migraines and also cause severe pain under my right ribs.
    I think that the decompression helped a few of my higher discs, but I think that it caused worse damage to my L5/S1 because the harness was higher than my disc. So instead of pulling 85 lbs pressure off of the disc, it was putting 85 lbs pressure on the disc.
    I think that if the office helper would have put the harness lower, like I kept saying, I would be much better right now.
  • my neurosurgeon said not to waste my money on these. i am not a candidate for surgery so he wasn't just trying to get me to have surgery instead. i tried the
    drx9000 for a while but honestly i don't think it did a thing.
  • I'm happy for those on here that received some relief from decompression. Myself, I got worse. I only managed 10 of 20 scheduled appointments before pain in my left hip (new) appeared at an intense and constant level (it eventually wore off about 8 weeks later, although re-occurs occasionally). My PCP, who encouraged it in the first place, encouraged me to stop at #10, pointing out that I was getting worse and his only clients in the past that received relief got better after 2-6 appointments.

    Good luck, either way!
  • Hi:

    I have herniation at L4/L5/S1 with constant pain in my right leg and calf. After 2 months with no relief from PT (it actually made it worse), I tried DRX9000. I did great the 1st two weeks with significant improvement in my right leg. However, on my 11th, 12th and 13th visit, I started to notice a pain in my left hip, which was new. By the 13th visit, I started having spasms in my left leg, again, new. The pain on the left is worse than it was on the right side, initially.

    I think spinal decompression is dangerous. I feel it worsened my situation and do not recommend it. Be very careful.

    I found out just today that the machine they had me on the last 3 times, broke the following day. Apparently, it had been pulling at full 100% weight, never cycling. I am sure that is what hurt me.

    Now, I am worse off.
  • This time last year my wife's sciatica was so bad she could barely walk.

    Then she tried a portable spinal decompression device called 'Spinal Stretch.' It's a strange looking thing that weighs only 4 lbs, and we were skeptical it would help, to say the least.

    One week later Helen was pain free and remains that way.

    I spoke with the doctor/inventor and learned hundreds of his patients got similar relief.

    After 9 months of playing devil's advocate trying to find flaws with the product--even showing it to top neurosurgeons--I finally concluded it was the real deal.

    The doctor/inventor knew nothing about manufacturing (which is my expertise) so I licensed his patent.

    You can learn more at nowhere.com, where we've posted educational videos plus Rx papers authored by world renowned spine researchers.

    Best of luck to everyone here at spine-health.

    Spam link removed by forum Authority Cath111. We do not permit spam links on Spine-Health.

    --Kerry Welsh
    Edited by forum Authority member Cath111. For the safety of our members, we do not allow posting of personal email addresses. If anyone would like to contact you, they may do so by sending you a Private Message (PM) and you can then decide who gets your address.

  • i'm just about to finish a 4 mnth course of decompression treatment along with physical therapy consisting of stim, ultrasound and deep tissue massage (which i instructed the therapist to do since i am an LMT.)

    i have a herniated disc c5/6. nothing else has helped. i've tried epidurals and trigger point. i have gotten some relief from decompression but i'm not convinced it was from the decompression but rather the deep tissue work.

    now the dr says i should continue with treatement for maintance to prevent the disc from compressing again or else i may have TO START ALL OVER AGAIN. i think this is b/s. the chiropraticor sold me on this cause it was supposed to be a FIX. now it seem like a scam to keep me coming back forever. if i would have known it was only a temporary pain relief i would have never committed all my time and money to it.

    ps - i have a pending lawsuit so i think dr sees me as a blank check.

    opinions please. should i stick with it or stop. i can do stim, stretching, massage ice and heat on my own. or maybe take a month off and see if it makes a difference. i'm sore for 2 days after treatement and i think i need to give myself a break from all this tugging and pulling.

    i think after 4 mnths i've gotten all i can out of it and this is it.

    or maybe just go back 1 a mnth. any advice or expereince from others who have had decompression??
  • There is a blue and white felxible THING on tv. It is short and it stands up. You rest the back of your knees on it.

    I don't know what it is but I think that it works. It is just like someone pulling your legs after you have been sitting too long and need to get relief from the thigh pain.

    The same movement, gentle....it works.

    Now, it does not make the problem go away. It certainly does help the pain though so you can manage that time frame.

    I have known a few people that say it works. Anyone one else adding weights , I don't trust it. Go with something you can control and stop if you have pain.

    Good luck.
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    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator 05/26/11
  • ANIMA: I have been going to decompression for 6 weeks now. After i had it i was extremely sore the next day. It took my breath away. I wasn't going to stop i knew it was going to be a no pain no gain situation. After going for another week or so i noticed the soreness gradually getting less after each time i went. I just purchased an inversion table and i'm hoping this stimulates the same movement as the machine at the chiropractor did. (But a lot cheaper) Hope you find something that works soon
  • I've just had the 6th session on the DX9000 and although extremely skeptical at first, I now believe its helping BUT, I can't say for sure how much the PT aspect that I'm also doing - for core exercise and stretching etc. has contributed. I feel you need both. I am very sore following each 25 minute session but I'm told its normal. The following day I always feel better. I do two sessions a week with the PT which I also do everyday at home or at the gym. Its been four months and I'm still only able to walk a few blocks without the shooting pains down my leg, but two months ago I was barely able to walk a block and three months ago I couldn't walk at all, so as bad as it is, its at least improving.
  • After three years of leg tingling, sciatic pain, physical therapy exercises for flexibility, chiropractic adjustments I had an MRI in April this past yr. I had the worst pain in my left leg last January and could not stand, walk, sit or lay down. I was miserable. I did not immediately seek out help, but tried my PT exercise from the previous year. Then I noticed that I was limping and could not flex my foot and the muscle in my calf was so tight and painful and my heel dropped off the step as I climbed stairs. I went back to PT but asked for an MRI after four weeks and little improvement. My MRI showed three disks L3,L4,L5 ruptured to the left with L5S1 compression. I too, was very active and could not do anything. Dr recommended epidural spinal injections, but the needle phobic that I am sought out other options. Both my PT and chiro recommended decompression as the next step with injections after that if I did not get relief. I was believed to be a good candidate for the treatment. I did three weeks with electrode, ice therapy following. This treatment got me over the hump. I am happy to say, that along with stretches to remain flexible, core exercises, and lifestyle changes I have seen a huge improvement from where I was last year. I have accepted my limitations and learning to live within my new abilities. FYI, when you start treatment, a good therapist will tell you that it will or may bring on the symptoms you don't want. But in my case it got better after a few days. Sure beats surgery. Good luck to all those that share my history. I was on this site looking for information for a young man with sciatic pain.
  • All spinal decompression is is fancy traction. It's a bench with a wench.

    I think it's a scam. I did the Accuspina treatments and they were not any better that standard traction. I have seen no evidence that non surgical decompression reduces disk hernias. I heard the claims but have seen ZERO evidence.
  • decompression will work for spinal discs that are compressed.....

    that is basically what the name inplies,

    I use an inversion table,

    Live to Pray
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