Back-to-Back: Patients share tips on experiences with spinal decompression

Read our peer-reviewed article about spinal decompression:

All About Spinal Decompression Therapy

Want to know more about spinal decompression from those who have been affected most? In our Back-to-Back section, patients share tips and advice about using non-surgical spinal decompression to treat their back problems. Please visit our message boards to discuss spinal decompression, including the different types of chiropractic equipment used for this treatment.

Decompression therapy is not for everyone

I was put on the Accu Spina decompression unit and told it'd make me better. After 6 treatments my pain has increased from a 5 to a 8-9 and I now have severe leg pain and difficulty standing straight!!! Decompression DOES NOT help everyone, beware!!

From: csdrs - Illinois, USA


What's the big deal with decompression therapy?

1. You get harnessed or relax your head on a pillow
2. You lay on your back
3. Your spine gets gently pulled
4. You watch tv or sleep while this is happening

What is the big deal?

Yeah, the treatment isn't cheap like an inversion table or some pictures of exercises on a piece of paper.

Your complaint is more about the $ than your neck problem.

Save your money for more important things - whatever that means for you personally. Some people invest in their health, others don't, it is just your back and your nerves, and the people around you that have to put up with you.

From: C


Bad experience with spinal decompression therapy

I have herniated L3-L4 down to L5-S1 and have stenosis from L4 to S1. I have been dealing with this for over a decade. I have tried physical therapy, pain meds, yoga, meditation, etc., but have always insisted I will never have surgery. When I saw the ads for spinal decompression, it sounded like a miracle treatment. At $5000 for a required 20 sessions, it better be. I was pressured into signing up for the package and had the first treatment a week ago. Within 30 minutes of leaving the office I could not turn my head. A week later, I still cannot do so without severe pain (never had any neck pain before) and am fighting with the office to not have to pay.

I am glad that a lot of people have been helped but I was a perfect candidate on paper and it didn't do anything positive for me. I feel scammed because I was repeatedly told nothing bad could happen, that the worst result would be that it would not help. I feel taken advantage of and I have no idea what lasting pain/issues/consequences I now face with my neck as a result of that one session.

SERIOUSLY consider everything before you commit!

From: J - New York, USA

Inversion table had awesome results for my pain

I bought an inversion table and had awesome results when I threw out my back last time. I'm usually in a lot of pain and suffer for about 2 weeks or so when I "do something stupid" and injure my back. I have no diagnosis other than possibly slight scoliosis and a more pronounced "S" curvature than normal. Anyway after I built the thing in my living room and got on it for about 10 minutes my pain was almost gone. My hip hurt some from not being used to pulling on it that way, but that healed up in a couple days and wasn't that bad. Inversion table: $250.. Hanging upside-down on the monkey bars at the park: PRICELESS.

From: Derrick – Maryland, USA

Successful decompression therapy depends on qualified patients

I believe the key to successful decompression treatments lies in the ability of the doctor to properly evaluate and qualify a patient as suffering from a primary compression syndrome that would therefore, benefit from decompression therapy.

Simply having a herniated disc and back pain DOES NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT, definitively qualify a patient for treatment. Many docs are guilty of making that quick clinical decision, which in my opinion is lazy/uninformed doctoring and can lead to patient/doctor frustration with poor results and patients wasting time/money.

Other factors, such as movement impairments (e.g. flexion movement), and core stability, need to be considered because improper patient positioning during decompression treatment can cause exacerbations of secondary spinal issues.

The cost of any healthcare procedure should be based on the price of the technology and the doctors experience.

The DRX is expensive and forces docs to possibly charge more for care. In my opinion, the price doesn't mean its more just means that the manufacturer charged more than others.

I use the Chattanooga Triton DTS. Care is affordable & effective. It can treat neck & low back, face-up, face-down or side-lying. I really like these options.

Beware of price gouging and incomplete evaluations. And if you properly qualify for treatment, you will get the amazing results you've read about.

And remember, no healthcare procedure is 100% guaranteed...that’s just how it is. All doctors should just do what they feel is best for their patients.

From: Doctor – Pennsylvania, USA

Trying an inversion table first

I purchased an inversion table by Champ and have had it for 2 days. I already feel better and feel excited about using it. i was diagnosed w/disc herniations and I am just trying different methods to reduce my back pain. Hope it works.

From: Juan Torres – Texas, USA

Need advice or want to give some? Communicate with others about decompression therapy

* Note: This page expresses the experiences and opinions of patients, not doctors. The Back-to-Back forum is provided because we think people often have very practical advice and insights to share that can benefit other patients who have similar back problems. This section has not been peer reviewed by our Medical Advisory Board, and is provided for your informational purposes only.

If you have questions about your specific condition or treatment approach, please go through this site to read peer-reviewed health information about spinal conditions, diagnosis and treatment options. The quickest way to locate information on the site is to use the “keyword search” located in the upper left hand corner of each page. Also, if you want to talk online with others who may be in a similar situation, please go to the Message Board.

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