Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is an FDA cleared treatment that has been helping thousands of people suffering from pain associated with bulging/herniated discs, stenosis, disc degeneration, facet arthrosis (arthritis), and chronic low back pain. It works by reversing the high intra-disc pressure.
When pressure builds up in the disc, it causes the jelly like substance in the middle (the nucleus) to bulge. Prolonged pressure can increase to the point where the outer cartilage bands of the disc rupture and now the material has leaked beyond the borders of the disc. This is known as a ruptured or herniated disc. This bulging or leaked material now puts pressure on the nerves, causing low back pain that can refer down the legs and into the feet and toes. Cervical (neck) disc herniations can cause neck pain that refers to the shoulders or down the arms and into the hands and fingers. This can even lead to numbness, dysfunction, and loss of strength.
Decompression relieves the pressure on the nerves by creating a vacuum-like effect within the disc. According to the Journal of Neurosurgery (vol. 81, 1994), decompression was found to reduce the pressure in the nucleus to “below -100 mmHg.” This negative pressure draws the bulged or herniated material back into place, allowing the disc to heal. At the same time water and nutrients are drawn into the disc to assist the healing process.
Additional research included a follow-up MRI study which found “…85% improved clinically, and the improvement could be correlated fairly well with the MRI changes.” (Journal of Neuroimaging, April 1998, Vol. 8:2). A study in 2004 revealed that 76% of patients with chronic low back pain, achieved remission with decompression. (Neurological Research, 2004 Apr; 26(3):320-4) A second study on patients with low back disc pain, demonstrated an “83% improvement in low back pain, and a (patient) satisfaction rating of 8.55/10 (median 9).” (Pain Pract., Mar. 2008) Non-surgical spinal decompression is very effective and has a high success rate in patients with herniated discs.
Dr. Boardman will personally conduct your initial consultation and evaluation. This will consist of a thorough history, review of MRI’s and X-rays, and a physical examination which will include orthopedic and neurological tests. Upon reviewing all information, we can then determine if you qualify as a candidate for spinal decompression.
The Treatment Program:
Our initial goal is to make an accurate diagnosis, thoroughly explain your condition, and present your treatment options, so you can make an informed decision regarding your health.
The typical treatment program is spread over several weeks. In addition to the decompression therapy, additional support may be necessary. This may include bracing, nutrition, shoe orthotics, cryotherapy (ice), and a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit to be worn at home to block nerve pain. Spinal decompression has an 86% success rate for treating disc herniations and is higher for other conditions. There are no known documented cases of a patient becoming worse with decompression therapy.
Dr. Boardman believes strongly in strengthening the spine. This is accomplished through “core strengthening” rehabilitation exercises. These exercises are designed to strengthen the superficial and deep muscles of the spine and surrounding regions in order to provide the patient with optimum spinal stabilization. Many of our patients resume the previous activities they enjoyed.
We will provide you with home and self-care instructions, and any restrictions during and after treatment will also be discussed. Since there are no drugs or surgery involved, many of our patients are able to continue work and activities, during the treatments, with little or no down time.
Patients come to us for the relief of pain and to live their lives to the fullest and that’s what we give them!
Frequently Asked Questions about Spinal Decompression:
Q: What types of conditions can be treated?
A: The most common conditions we treat are disc herniations/ bulges, sciatica, disc degeneration, stenosis, facet arthrosis, chronic low back pain and mild spondylolisthesis. We are able to treat these conditions in both the neck (cervical) and low back (lumbar) regions.
Q: What is the success rate for decompression?
A: According to the American Journal of Pain Management, patients with disc herniations who undergo decompression have an 86% chance of success. For other conditions, the success rate is higher.
Q: What is the difference between traction and decompression?
A: Traditional traction involves applying a straight steady pull of pressure on the entire spine. It does not allow the muscles to relax and has even been shown to increase the pressure in the disc. Decompression provides computer-controlled intermittent or oscillating traction, with parameters set specifically to each individual. It can also target specific discs by adjusting the angle of pull. Non-surgical spinal decompression is the only non-surgical treatment that has been shown to create a negative pressure within the disc.
Q: What is the cost for decompression therapy?
A: Good news! The cost is reasonable and we provide everyone the opportunity to receive decompression therapy. We have eliminated the worry of finances by offering flexible payment plans and we also offer financing at low rates so everyone can now afford the scientific discovery of nor-surgical spinal decompression. During your initial consultation, Dr. Boardman will determine if you are a candidate, and we will fully explain how much it will cost before starting care.
Q: Are all decompression tables the same?
A: NO. BEWARE…There are many doctors claiming to do decompression using only traction tables. These traction tables are being marketed as decompression tables since the treatment gained popularity. Most appear to be an elevated chiropractic table with a winch at the end. These do not create the negative pressure within the disc, which is a crucial part of decompression.
Dr. Boardman was the first in Arizona, and only one in the Phoenix area to utilize the FDA Cleared Zero-Gravity Decompression Table (Z-Grav). It uses state of the art computerized technology coupled with the comforts of the modernized self-reclining bed. The patient does not need to “climb” up, assist or brace themselves on the table in any way, during the treatment. The Z-Grav is designed for both cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) decompression.