When we’re young, the intervertebral discs in our spine have a great deal of water packed full with nutrients in the nucleus pulposus – the soft, gel-like center of the disc. The water content gives the nucleus a spongy quality and allows it to absorb pressure and keep the spine flexible by acting as a cushioning pad during body movement. The nucleus is the major carrier of the body’s axial load, allowing us to move and twist our bodies without causing damage to nerves and vertebrae.
As we advance in age, excessive hours of sitting (which exerts the greatest compressive forces on the lumbar discs) or injuries to the discs forces fluids out, also making it more difficult to get fresh fluid back in. Small tears start showing up in the outer layer of the tough, ligament-like material of the disc, which may eventually lead to the damage of the nucleus pulposus and the loss of its water content. As the discs dehydrate, they begin to bulge outward, pushing against the vertebrae, which in turn push the vertebrae in their proximity. This is when deep, throbbing pain in the lumbar area first appears.
Reduced concentration of fluid in the spinal discs is one of the first signs of disc degeneration.Click To Tweet
Pain symptoms can vary from person to person, but generally the following apply:
- Pain is centered in the lower back area, potentially radiating to the hips and legs
- Pain is often made worse by prolonged sitting, which exerts greater compressive force on the lumbar discs than standing up, walking, or lying down
- Pain is exacerbated by movements of the spine such as bending and twisting
Although degenerative disc disease is relatively common in aging adults, it rarely requires surgery. When medical attention is needed, most patients respond well to non-invasive forms of treatment such as chiropractic adjustments and non-surgical spinal decompression therapy, an FDA-approved medical technology with a high success rate for treating debilitating back pain without surgery.
Spinal Decompression Therapy Explained
Spinal decompression is a modern, non-invasive traction procedure that successfully addresses the cause of low back, neck, and radiating leg and arm pain. This type of traction has been proven especially successful in relieving pain associated with degenerative spinal discs, spinal disc herniation, and facet joint syndromes. Spinal decompression therapy gently minimizes the pressure within the patient’s spinal discs and facet joints by using traction, distraction, and body positioning.
Traditional spinal traction has been around for centuries and has been used in a variety of forms. Old forms of spinal traction were usually painful and didn’t always produce pain relief, mainly due to the body’s reaction to the steady pull of the traction device. Under a steady traction pull, paraspinal muscles would involuntarily contract, which not only made unloading the injured spinal disc unsuccessful, but also increased the pressure between the discs. The discs weren’t allowed to rehydrate and heal or the spinal nerves to become decompressed.
Advancements in medical technology of recent years have brought forth a deeper, scientific understanding of how spinal decompression forces can provide relief for compressive and degenerative injuries of the spine without causing muscles to contract. Today, non-surgical spinal decompression is performed with the help of high-precision, computer-controlled traction systems such as the DRX900, a technology which has been continually researched and developed since 2001.
DRX, which stands for Decompression Reduction Extraction, is an advanced technology that achieves decompression by utilizing a specific combination of spinal positioning and varying the intensity and degree of force to the targeted area. As the injured disc is located, pressure is slowly reduced within its structure until a vacuum is formed, which allows the gelatinous center of the disc to be safely pulled back in its natural placement and relieve pressure off the surrounding nerve roots.
The DRX900 utilizes complex treatment techniques to calculate the logarithmic spinal decompression treatment curve for each individual patient and constantly adjust and correct the decompressing force experienced by each patient. The device gently separates injured discs and alternates between brief moments of pulling and relaxing, which decreases protective muscle tissue contraction and eliminates the negative effects of outdated traction techniques.
The gentle pulling and stretching action of the DRX900 reduces pressure on the nerves causing pain, repositioning the injured or degenerated disc to allow water, oxygen, and nutrients to be reabsorbed and aid in rehabilitation and trauma recovery. By maximizing spinal elongation in this precise and calculated manner, the DRX900 provides considerable relief to patients who are currently suffering from debilitating back pain and other diseases of the spine.
Unlike other treatments for degenerative disc disease, the DRX900 spinal decompression is pain-free and so comfortable that many patients fall asleep during the 25-30 minute sessions. Best of all, they typically start feeling relief from pain after only a couple of sessions. In many cases, patients have found success with the DRX900 after a failed back surgery.
If you have been told that you need back surgery but wish to avoid it, or if you haven’t had positive results with other conservative care options, spinal decompression may be your best answer. Find a local chiropractic office that uses the DRX900 high-precision decompression system to provide relief from pain and help prevent future pain and disability.
About the Author
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.