FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Spinal decompression therapy has a high success rate for pain associated with herniated or bulging discs...even after failed surgery. It is a non-surgical, traction based outcome for the relief of back and leg pain or neck and arm pain. During this procedure, by cycling through distraction and relaxation phases and by proper positioning, a spinal disc can be placed under negative pressure, causing a vacuum effect within it.
How does this negative pressure affect an injured disc?
During spinal decompression therapy, a negative pressure is created within the disc. Because of that negative pressure, disc material that has protruded or herniated can be pulled back within the normal confines of the disc, and permit healing to occur.
What System is used for this purpose?
After a significant amount of research, WE chose the Triton® DTS system manufactured by the Chattanooga Group, the premier manufacturer of physical medicine equipment. More importantly, our two systems - yes, we have TWO complete systems to avoid patient wait times - have the brand new 2006 computerized head which is the most sophisticated and technologically advanced unit in the world. No office - and we do mean NO OFFICE - has more "state of the art" spinal decompression systems.
In fact, the new 2006 Triton® head is so revolutionary that it won the 2006 Australian Design Award in the "Medical and Scientific" category. It is also the system that the University of Texas purchased for the treatment of its world-class athletes.
We also selected the Triton® DTS systems due to their ability to treat discs in both the neck and the low back.
How is Spinal Decompression Therapy different from regular traction?
The award winning Triton® computer is the key. It controls the variations in the traction pull allowing for spinal decompression and eliminating muscle guarding that is typical in conventional traction devices. The preprogrammed patterns for ramping up and down the amount of axial distraction allows for higher levels of spinal decompression and disc rehydration.
Who can benefit from Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Anyone who has back pain or neck pain caused in whole or in part by a damaged disc may be helped by spinal decompression therapy. These conditions include herniated, protruding or bulging discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica or radiculopathy (pinched nerves).
Are the medical studies that document the effectiveness of Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Yes! One study documented by MRI up to 90% reduction of disc herniations in 10 of 14 cases and other studies reported that the majority of ruptured disc patients achieved "good" to "excellent" results after spinal decompression therapy.
The February 2007 issue of "To Your Health" Magazine features an article about spinal decompression therapy authored by one of our doctors, James Edwards. In the article, Dr. Edwards discusses the safety and effectiveness of this non-surgical treatment for spinal disc herniations.
Are there conditions where Spinal Decompression Therapy is not indicated?
Spinal decompression therapy is not recommended for pregnant women, patients who have severe osteoporosis, severe obesity or severe nerve damage.
Spinal surgery with instrumentation (screws, metal plates or "cages") is also contraindicated. However, spinal decompression therapy after bone fusion or non-fusion surgery, can be performed.
Are the sessions painful, how many will be needed?
In almost all cases, the treatments are completely painless. In fact, some patients fall asleep during the spinal decompression session.
The specific treatment plan will be determined by the doctor after your examination. Based on current research and our clinical experience, the best results have been achieved utilizing 20 sessions over a 6-week period.
Does Insurance cover the cost of treament?
Yes! Most insurance plans provide coverage for the cost of our spinal decompression program. While reimbursement can vary, your out-of-pocket expense for all needed services could be as little as a co-payment
Do most paitents recieve therapy and rehabilitative exercises in addition to Spinal Decompression Therapy?
To reduce inflammation and assist the healing process, supporting structures are treated with passive therapies (ice/heat/muscle stimulation), chiropractic adjustments (as indicated) and/or active rehabilitation in order to strengthen the spinal musculature.
How do I get started?
We want make it easy for you to learn if you are a candidate for spinal decompression therapy. Just call our office 913-648-PAIN to arrange a consultation with Dr. Timmer or Dr. Spiess.