Spinal Decompression

Female getting back adjusted

1. What is spinal decompression?
Spinal decompression involves stretching the spine while using a traction table, which changes the force and position of the spine. This change takes pressure off the spinal disks and creates a negative pressure. As a result, bulging or herniated disks may retract which takes pressure off nerves and other structures in the spine. The negative pressure that is created helps promote movement of water, oxygen, and other nutrient-rich fluids into the disks so they can heal. The goal is to relieve back pain and/or leg pain.

2. What is DRX Therapy?
DRX therapy (decompression) is an advanced technology of intermittent traction with a controlled amount of force to a specific spinal segment. The injured disc is located and gently separated, creating a small vacuum, which allows the disc to be “pulled back in” taking pressure off the surrounding nerve root.

3. What does DRX stand for?
Decompression Reduction Extraction.

4. What makes the DRX9000 machine special?
The DRX9000 is the best quality and most researched decompression device on the market. Research conducted by doctors from the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford and other prestigious medical institutions documented the success of the DRX9000. Because the DRX9000 has repeatedly had proven results and has had independent research studies done from many distinguished entities, Heresco Chiropractic and Associates purchased this particular unit to have as a treatment option for their patients.

5. How much time does it take to complete DRX9000 treatment?
Typically, the sessions are just under 30 minutes for the decompression procedure. Afterwards, we will “re-educate” the lumbar muscles using electric muscle stimulation (EMS) that will help them become accustom to the new desired position. This EMS therapy takes an additional 20-25 minutes. During some visits, you may also receive a spinal adjustment. Typically, 20 DRX treatment sessions are recommended.

6. When can I expect to start feeling results?
A few patients begin to feel some relief after only a few sessions. On average, most patients start feeling results at about two week or half-way through the decompression therapy treatment plan. There are always exceptions to this and there are a fair number of patients who don’t start feeling results until the third and sometimes the fourth week. All of this is determined by the size of the disc injury in the back and how long it has been there.

7. Will the DRX treatment hurt?
The decompression procedure typically does not hurt. In fact, most patients say it feels good. However, after lying down for 20-30 minutes, there may be some mild discomfort after standing up, just as you may experience pain upon arising in the morning. The discomfort will be from the change of position, not from the decompression procedure.

8. How good are the results?
In two large, independent studies of DRX decompression therapy, both came up with the same results –86% success rate. That of course, is determined by how compliant the patients are to the specific decompression therapy protocol. This rate of success is very high. It should be noted that one or two people out of 20 will not get positive results; in fact, require other types of treatment and maybe even surgery. The good news is that approximately 18 out of 20 patients that complete the DRX Protocol can expect to have positive results.

9. What is the Frequency of Treatments?
The goal of each DRX session is to remove the bulging disc pressure from the nerve root. This means re-educating the disc and muscles to be in a more aligned position. The frequency and number of sessions can vary depending on your case. However, the typical frequency of a prescribed twenty sessions is: Daily sessions five days a week for two weeks, followed by three times per week for two weeks, completing with two times per week for two weeks. The recommendation will be based around the needs of your specific condition.

10. Are DRX treatments expensive?
Compared to surgery, a less-than-active lifestyle or a degenerating disc in your spine, the DRX option is reasonably priced at $55 per session. Assuming your condition required the sessions described above including 20 DRX sessions and 20 EMS sessions with recommended chiropractic adjustments over the course of six weeks, the cost would range from $1100 to $1600.

11. Does my insurance cover the cost?
The DRX treatment is a non-billable service. Each DRX treatment will cost $55, which includes the EMS.

12. What happens if I miss an appointment?
Studies have shown 86% positive results using decompression therapy. This 86% success rate is achieved when a certain protocol is followed. It is the consistency of the decompression therapy that is effective. If you miss an appointment, that will slow down the results. Certainly, emergencies in life happen and you may have to miss an appointment. However, missed DRX treatment sessions may affect the outcome. As always at Heresco Chiropractic we try to accommodate our patients. If you are unable to make a scheduled appointment, we may be able to schedule you later in the day.

13. What should I wear?
There is a harness that attaches to your lower back and goes between your legs. Dresses or skirts would not be appropriate to wear. Shorts or comfortable pants and shirt would be more desirable.

14. Where should I park my care during these sessions?
Because each treatment session takes an hour and we have limited parking, we ask our DRX patients to park on 7th street. This will allow our acute and elderly patients to use the closer parking lot.

15. Can I bring music to listen to?
Yes, by all means. We encourage you to bring your headphones and plug into your smartphone. We would encourage you to listen to music, podcast, etc. that you find relaxing as your results will be better.

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