Monday, January 19, 2009
One of the first questions prospective patients and other Doctors ask is - What is
the difference between the DRX-9000 "True Spinal Decompression" and traction?
The machine on the left is not the same as the machine on the right.
There are actually many differences despite the fact that the general purpose of taking
pressure off of the spine is the same. Basically, standard traction has never been proven with
research to be as effective as the DRX9000 because it has no specific control mechanisms
and generally just applies a very simple force to the spine. On the other hand, in one study,
the DRX-9000 Spinal Decompression system showed a 68-100% success rate with an
average of 86% success.
A more recent study showed the DRX to be over 88% successful in relieving chronic back
pain. For details of this study, click here.
(It is actually quite a compliment to the DRX9000 that most standard traction table treatment
providers quote research done on the DRX9000 to show that spinal decompression is an
effective treatment. This is because there is only limited research available utilizing standard
The main difference between the two tables above is that the treatment is carefully controlled
by a computer to ensure both safety and highly specialized treatment. Traction applies a
basic force to the entire lumbar spine without any specificity whereas the DRX-9000 has been
proven to reduce intra-discal pressure at a single disc level. This makes it much more
effective than standard traction. Standard traction is unable to effectively target a single disc
The most significant difference between standard traction tables and the DRX-9000 is that
standard traction has no continual feedback mechanism which can adjust the weight being
applied to the spine during treatment to ensure safety and to prevent the lumbar paraspinal
muscles from tightening. The DRX-9000 reads the amount of pressure being applied to the
spine 13 times per second and adjusts if it detects a change in pressure. This is done using
special servo motors. These servo motors alone cost as much as entire non-DRX standard
The DRX-9000 also uses a slow logorythmic ramp up mechanism to slowly increase the
weight to the pressure recommended by the patients' Doctor. Studies have shown that
pulling on the spine even a few milliseconds too fast with standard traction devices can
cause a stretch reflex to be set off in the back muscles which sends a signal to the brain and
back to the paraspinal muscles to tighten up resulting in pain and an actual increase in
intra-discal pressure. This is virtually eliminated with the DRX-9000 ensuring that every time
the DRX goes through a cycle it achieves a repeatable drop in intra-discal pressure.
During each cycle, the DRX-9000 computerized Spinal Decompression system slowly raises
the pressure from zero to the therapeutic amount of force prescribed by the Doctor and then
holds this pressure for one minute and slowly releases for another 30 seconds. The outcome
is a measurable drop in intradiscal pressure of negative 100 - 200mmHg which is responsible
for the vacuum like effect that retracts the herniated disc material back in, away from the pain
producing nerve roots, relieving leg pain as well as local low back pain without producing
muscle tightness or spasms. Research has shown that most traction tables are only able to
produce a negative pressure of (-30 to -50mmHg).
The cycling effect of the DRX-9000 decompressing the disc and holding for 1 minute followed
by 30 seconds of rest also creates a pump-like effect within the disc causing nutrients, blood
flow and oxygen to be introduced into the disc area which speeds healing of the disc and
surrounding soft tissue.
Before and after MRI studies show retraction of the disc bulge or herniation as well as actual
healing and repair of the disc.
Another significant difference is that Spinal Decompression using the DRX-9000 is very
comfortable for most patients and many patients undergoing standard traction report pain
and muscle spasms. Most patients rest comfortably during treatment and many even fall
asleep. While undergoing spinal disc decompression treatment, the patient can listen to soft
music or watch a relaxing DVD.
Many patients that have been treated with both DRX and standard traction
have reported improved results and more comfort with DRX treatment.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Exercises for Herniated Disc Patients-
I find that patients that suffer with Low back pain that have herniated disc do fantastic with spinal decompression.
Although adding a exercise routine is a crucial part of their long term follow up.
If you just to the spinal decompression without spinal strengthening exercise it is like wearing braces for a year and nor wearing the retainer!
In my Manhattan NYC herniated disc practice we utilize the SpineForce to strengthen core muscles and teach patients about core stability once they are out of pain.
The addition of our Physical therapist and certified athletic trainer allow us to educate patients on proper excercises to do after they have completed care to prevent relapse.
Exercises for the back muscles and spine can help in all cases and stages of herniated disc disease. As the herniated disc heals, back exercises can be used to help manage pain when combined with other treatments and physical therapy. These exercises are also helpful in regaining mobility and extending your level of activity after a back injury. Finally, back exercises can help you prevent further or additional injury, and avoid recurrences of a herniated disc disease.
There are two exercises that are exceptional for easing back pain while recovering from a herniated disc. The first exercise requires you to lay flat on your back on a bed or the floor. You then raise your knees with your feet on the bed. Wrap your ivy tech online courses or hands around your thighs and lift your knees as close to your chest as possible. It is recommended by most physical therapists that you repeat this exercise for five repetitions several times per day.
Another exercise that you can do to relieve back pain caused by a herniated disc requires you to stand flat footed, away from a wall. You simply place your hands on your lower back, lean back as far as you ivy tech online courses and hold for a few seconds. Physical therapists suggest that you repeat this exorcise as needed when your herniated disc is causing you severe amounts of pain because it takes pressure off of the disc.
There are many great exercises that are great for strengthening your back to prevent further injuries or herniated discs as well. In fact, there are so many that they cannot all online course management here. Most of the exercises that will strengthen your back make use of an exercise ball, available at most department stores or work out supply shops.
One such exorcises requires you to simply lie back on the ball with your feet flat on the floor, and your arms crossed on your chest. Crunch up slowly from your waist and lie back. This exercise will my credit score you to stabilize your spine and take pressure off of any painful areas or the herniated disc. It will also help strengthen the muscles in your back to help prevent any other injury or another case of a herniated disc.
Hip rolls are also great for strengthening the back for the prevention of a herniated disc. Simply lie flat on your back on the floor with your online course management bent and your feet flat. You allow your knees to fall toward the floor first right, then left. It is recommended that you turn your head in each direction while doing this, and repeat the exercise about ten times.
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