Spinal Decompression

Does Spinal Decompression hurt?

It should not hurt during the procedure. Some patients may experience slightly more pain after the first few sessions. This is a result of the stretching that occurs to spinal ligaments and disc tissue. As you proceed through your lumbar decompression treatment regimen, the discomfort decreases as your spine acclimates to the improved mobility.

Can I get Spinal Decompression if I had a laminectomy?

In most cases, yes, as long as you didn't have a bilateral laminectomy (both; i.e., left and right, laminas of the same vertebra were removed). In addition, the surgery must have had at least twelve (12) months to heal.

Can I get Spinal Decompression if I had other back surgery?

It depends on the type of surgery you had. If you had a spinal fusion, for example at L4 and L5, you should not get the treatment. If you had a partial discectomy without fusion or surgical screws and still have back pain, you may still be a candidate. If you have any kind of surgical hardware (pedicle screws, rods, x-stop device, artificial disc), you cannot get spinal decompression.

Is Spinal Decompression safe?

Yes. There is no surgery and no injections. We are careful to properly screen the patient and identify those who aren't qualified. Spinal decompression is very gentle and comfortable. You will be lying on your back, legs propped up for most of the duration. Decompression settings are custom set for each patient, depending on his or her particular condition. The maximum distraction force is set low initially, and gradually increased over the course of treatment.

I have severe spinal arthritis. Can it help?

Spondylosis, the term given to arthritic, degenerative changes to spinal vertebrae, do not go back (resorb) once formed. If the bony protrusions impinge on a spinal nerve root or the spinal cord itself (severe stenosis), the prognosis is less favorable. If you have spondylosis that does not significantly narrow the foramen (hole where nerve root exits; also where spinal cord resides), the prognosis is more favorable. Spinal decompression provides relief by increasing space between vertebra and relieving pressure in the discs and facet joints (rear spinal joints).

How many sessions are necessary?

For chronic low back pain from degenerative disc disease, a treatment regimen of 10-25 sessions are typically recommended.

Does my health insurance cover spinal decompression?

Currently, Oklahoma spinal decompression is not covered by health insurance. It has not been around long enough for elaborate, long-term medical trials, which are typically required for insurance reimbursement. This does not change the fact that many happy patients throughout the country are benefitting from this non-surgical procedure, where other procedures have failed. Most patients have no problem paying out of pocket for this treatment. Compared to the cost of surgery, spinal decompression is a bargain.

What about the DRX9000 machine? What's the difference?

The DRX9000 was one of the first spinal decompression tables to come out. Since then, less expensive models like our DX2 system have come into the market. Despite its elaborate appearance, the DRX9000 uses the same type of technology as the less expensive models. Some of the DRX9000 features include a built-in DVD player and TV screen for patient relaxation, and a console that prints out a summary of each treatment session. These two features have a negligible effect on treatment outcome. DRX9000 centers are also likely to charge much higher rates, due to the significantly higher cost of the machine.

Our DX2 system is manufactured by Dynatronics, an industry-leading manufacturer of medical grade Physical Therapy equipment. It is rated up to 200 pounds of maximum pull, equal to the DRX9000 and similar decompression units.

Why haven't I heard about this from my medical doctor?

Unless your medical doctor is an orthopedic specialist, he/she probably hasn't been exposed to non-surgical spinal decompression. Since most medical practices rely on insurance billing, and since spinal decompression is not covered by insurance, there is little incentive for MDs and physical therapists to offer the service.

How long is each Spinal Decompression session?

The decompression session itself is 30-45 minutes, but you should budget one hour for the appointment to allow for evaluation and any physiotherapy application needed.

Do I need MRI films?

If you are suffering from chronic lumbar pain, especially pain that radiates to the buttocks and/or lower extremities, it is highly recommended that you get an MRI study of your lumbar spine. MRIs provide important information such as levels of disc herniations, size of disc herniations, and areas of stenosis that can make your spinal decompression treatment more accurate. They can also reveal potential contraindications to spinal decompression such as cancer and aortic aneurysms. Our office can write the prescription for you. We use a facility that is conveniently located in Tahlequah. Many health insurance plans have coverage for MRI studies.

How do I get started?

You can call us at (918) 453-0112 Mondays through Fridays to set up your initial evaluation. If you have MRI films, we will ask you to bring them to your first appointment.

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