Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spinal decompression treatment Pros and Cons, Manhattan Back pain treatment

I found this interesting article posted by a Chiropractor from Texas. I am glad Doctors are being truthful about their success and failures. Our New York City Spinal decompression office recently completed our 1000th. spinal decompression session. Over the past 7 years I have personally seen amazing results with patients that have been told surgery is their only option. I can count on my hands patients that did not respond to treatment and patient compliance is one of the primary reasons.
If you are suffering with chronic back pain or have a herniated disc call the Manhattan, NYC herniated disc specialists at (212) 645-8151 or visit us online at or

Pros And Cons Of Spinal Decompression Treatment

Posted by Back Pain - 30/05/09 at 10:05 pm

Spinal decompression is a high-tech form of traction used to treat disc bulging and degeneration and their associated pain and disability. Spinal decompression differs from regular traction in that it uses computer-controlled motors to trick the spinal muscles into remaining relaxed and uncontracted during the treatment session. This results in much greater reduction in disc pressure than regular traction, which usually must work against the resistance of contracted muscles. Most people get excellent results from spinal decompression treatment, but some do not get any improvement, and a few may actually get worse. The following is an explanation of the reasons for the failures in spinal decompression treatment and ways you can know whether or not spinal decompression is likely to help in your particular circumstances.

I have been using spinal decompression in San Antonio for a few years now, and while it is a highly effective treatment for many people, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, the costs of providing spinal decompression services sometimes influences doctors to recommend it in cases where it may not be entirely appropriate. Even with proper patient selection, spinal decompression is not 100% effective - no treatment is. But when doctors are not as discriminating as they need to be in what patients they accept, the results can be far from ideal and some patients may even get worse with this form of treatment when doctors prescribe it inappropriately for financial reasons.

From my experiences in my San Antonio practice, the patients who get the best results with spinal decompression are those with one or more bulging/herniated discs and patients with mild to moderate disc degeneration. Patients who have previously undergone disc surgery are somewhat more complicated, but most still get good results when they meet the selection criteria (no metal implantation in the spine, no spinal instability, and no impaired healing at the site of surgery). The vast majority of people who meet these criteria get very good results and are usually able to return to their normal activities without any significant pain.

Although complete disc ruptures (disc extrusions) may sometimes be helped with spinal decompression, my experience has been that people with true disc ruptures (the term “rupture” is often used incorrectly even by doctors to describe disc bulges and herniations - actual disc ruptures are relatively rare) do not tend to get good results.

In addition to the importance of applying spinal decompression only in the appropriate cases, it is extremely important for the doctor or technician operating the machine to set the patient up properly for the treatment. Several factors are involved, and every spinal decompression system has its own unique set-up procedure. Ongoing training of any personnel who operate this type of equipment is essential. It is very easy to get sloppy with setting up patients on the equipment, and this leads to ineffective treatment. Overall, because of the design of the better spinal decompression systems, even very poor patient set-ups rarely lead to patient injury, but mistakes in the use of the machine can definitely prevent the patient from getting the desired results and might cause a temporary flare-up in symptoms. To help avoid this problem, I recommend asking any potential spinal decompression provider you may be considering seeking treatment with about his or her training for the operators of the equipment. A one-time training done when the equipment was first received is simply not sufficient. I strongly recommend working with providers who perform re-training on the equipment on at least a quarterly basis.

One other consideration is the fact that some patients are not good candidates for spinal decompression treatment because of their inability or unwillingness to follow the recommended treatment protocol. In my experience, the primary reasons why a patient can’t or won’t follow the treatment recommendations are usually related to money and/or time.

A full spinal decompression treatment program that includes spinal decompression and other adjunctive treatments can seem somewhat expensive. In actuality, it is a much lower-cost treatment option than surgery for most people and has a statistically much higher success rate, so it can be a very good value, but nonetheless, some people try to cut down their costs by trying to cut down the amount of treatment. This can be a big mistake. In my San Antonio office, most people who complete the recommended treatment plan get lasting relief and can safely return to their normal activities. Those who discontinue care prematurely will often relapse, and may suffer worse pain and worse damage to the disc because they resume excessively exertive activities before the disc has stabilized.

Of course, some people fail to follow treatment recommendations primarily because they have busy lives and are unwilling to spend the time on getting better. This type of patient tends to miss a lot of appointments and may go long periods of time between treatment sessions. Unfortunately, the success of spinal decompression usually depends on getting the recommended amount of treatment at the recommended frequency of treatments. The effectiveness and results are not as good when people don’t make time for their appointments. What some busy people fail to realize is that if they don’t set aside time to properly deal with their health problem, sooner or later that health problem will deteriorate to the point where it forces them to make time to get treatment, and this often occurs when they are at their busiest and treatment is least convenient. It is my recommendation to invest the necessary time in getting better, rather than do the treatment intermittently and not get the best results.

In summary, spinal decompression is a very effective means of treating the pain and disability associated with herniated and degenerated spinal discs, but there are some important factors in getting maximum results. Doctors and patients alike are responsible for making sure the treatment is done properly to get maximum results.

Dr. George Best has been providing spinal decompression in San Antonio, Texas since 2006 with the DRX9000 system. For additional infomation, visit his website at

Great article, to read more research on the benefits of spinal decompression visit

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