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Spinal Decompression
NW Pain Institute
16821 SE McGillivray Blvd, Suite 204
Vancouver, WA 98683
Phone: 360.433.9580
Fax: 360.258.1170

What is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression?
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression the latest non surgical procedure for the treatment of chronic back pain. The treatment has been widely used in Europe and has now been approved for treatment for patients in North America. The treatment is considered safe and unlike surgery does not entail the use of anesthesia, needles or joint manipulations. The primary aim of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is to induce negative pressure in the vertebral joints which creates space and relieves pressure of the nerves.

What conditions can Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression be used to treat?
Besides chronic back pain, Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression has been used to treat sciatica, facet joint syndrome, herniated discs, degenerated discs from arthritis, and in individuals who have pain after failed back surgery.

Who can undergo Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression treatment?
Unlike surgery, Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression can be a first line treatment for individuals with chronic back pain. The treatment is used in individuals who have the following:

1) those who have undergone surgery and continue to have back pain
2) continued pain after 4-6 weeks of other supportive care methods
3) if you have low back or leg pain that is caused by a herniated discs, bulging disc, osteoarthritis or trauma,

Is there anyone who should not undergo Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression?
Yes, there are some individuals who may not be appropriate candidates for Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression.

Individuals who are pregnant or are breast feeding are not candidates for this procedure
Any individual who has been in a recent trauma with a resultant spinal fracture should wait at least 6-9 months before undergoing this treatment.

Individuals who have failed back surgery and also retain surgical rods and nails are not candidates for this procedure. The Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression sessions can lead to further loosening of this metal hardware.

Individuals who have osteoporosis are generally not candidates for this therapy; however, if someone has just recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis and still has good bone density, then one may be a candidate.

Individuals who have cancer of the spine or metastases from other cancers to the spine are generally not candidates for Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression.

Individuals who have an infection of the spine or vertebrae are not candidates for this therapy.
Other individuals with conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, cauda equina syndrome, severe scoliosis, lordoisis or kyphosis are not candidates for this treatment.

How does Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression treatment work?
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is an outpatient treatment. One must undergo anywhere from 15-23 sessions for the maximum benefit. Your physician will determine the number of treatments based on your condition, and how you fare with each session. The treatments are undertaken every day except for the weekends. Each treatment session lasts about 30-60 minutes. During the treatment, you will be made comfortable and there will be no undue pain during the sessions.

Are there any studies required prior to the treatment?
Yes, one does need X rays, MRI or a CT scan. If you have had these before, there is no point in having them performed again. Prior to the treatment, the physician will review the CT scan or MRI to determine where the pathology is and how severe it is.

What does Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression do exactly?
For one thing, Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is not a traction treatment. It generates negative pressure between the discs and decompresses the joint. This vacuum effect essentially relieves pressure of the nerves and eases the pain.

Are there any other benefits of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression?
Yes, most people who have been studied note that after Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression, their posture is improved and the back is more flexible. It is believed that Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression can also help realign the back muscles, and restore the normal anatomy of the joints.

Is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression covered by Medicare?
Unfortunately, the treatments are not covered by Medicare. Some insurance carriers may partially cover the cost. However, one should discuss the treatment with the insurance carrier prior to starting treatment. Because the treatment is so new, many insurance carriers would like to see long term results before they start to cover it.

How should I dress?
You will be expected to lie down on your stomach on a flat bed which is warm and comfortable. One should wear slacks, track pants or loose fitting clothes during the treatment sessions.

When does one see result after Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression?
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression may or may not produce immediate results. Healing of tissues is time dependent. Most individuals begin to see some relief in pain after about the 2-8 treatment sessions. Maximum benefit is obtained after 15-20 treatments. The pain relief can last up to 4 years.

Is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression painful?
Not all. Most individuals lie flat on their back on a special bed and feel relaxed. The only sensation is one of pulling and holding.

What actually happens with Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression?
Once you lie down on the specially designed bed, you will be fitted with a harness that goes around your pelvis. A technician will be present to monitor you throughout the therapy session. The device is then operated by the technician and you will have no discomfort.

What are the side effects or complications of this therapy?
In general, Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression has no major side effects or complications. The most common complain is that of a muscle spasm which is transient in nature.

Does Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression work in everyone?
Unfortunately no. it is difficult to predict who will not respond to this treatment. Thus, we recommend all individuals undergo 6-9 sessions and determine the response for themselves. Those who are not going to respond usually see no response after the 9th session.

Are there any articles published on the efficacy of this treatment?
Yes. There are a number of scientific articles which attest to the efficacy of treatment. Infact, during the first consultation, we will provide you with a brochure detailing the major studies done on Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression.



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