Published Research on the Effectiveness
of Spinal Decompression
Outcomes for Spinal Decompression
Gionis, Thomas A, MD and Groteke, Eric DC
Study to investigate clinical outcomes of spinal decompression
therapy for 219 patients suffering from herniated or degenerative
disc disease. Research shows that using DRX9000, spinal decompression
was found to relieve symptoms and restore mechanical function in
86% of patients previously thought to be surgical candidates. Note: This study is currently the subject of discussion with certain regulators who have taken the position that a study may need to be double-blinded in order to support an 86% success rate claim.
Technologies Decompression, Reduction and Stabilization of the
Lumbar Spine: A Cost Effective Treatment for Lumbosacral Pain
Norman Shealy, MD, PhD and Vera Borgmeyer, RN,
MA, AJPM. 1997; Vol. 7, pp. 63-65.
Research comparing traditional mechanical traction to a more sophisticated
decompression device and its effectiveness in treating patients
with pain in the lumbosacral spine. Concludes that a
decompression system should be evaluated as a primary intervention
early in the onset of low back pain—especially in worker’s
Concepts in Back Pain Management: Decompression, Reduction and
Shealy, C. Norman, et al., Pain Management, Practical
Guidelines for Clinicians, Fifth Edition,
Chapter 20, pp. 239-258.
Research and findings identifying the seven major factors in achieving
clinical results for lumbar pain. Discussion includes research
overview, comparison to other treatments, i.e. traction, and success
rates using segmental decompression.
Effects of Controlled Dynamic Disc distractions on Degenerated
Marcus Kroeber, MD, et
2005; Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 181-187.
Effects of temporary dynamic distraction on intervertebral discs
were studied on the in vivo lumbar spine rabbit model to characterize
the changes associated with disc distraction and to evaluate feasibility
of temporary disc distraction to previously compressed discs in
order to stimulate disc regeneration. Results of this study suggest
that disc regeneration can be induced by axial distraction in the
rabbit intervertebral disc. The decompressed rabbit intervertebral
discs showed signs of tissue recovery on a biologics, cellular
and biomechanical level after 28 days of distraction.
A Retrospective Data Analysis of the Effectiveness of
Decompression Therapy in Patients with HNP/DJD, Facet Syndrome
Amy K. Dicke-Bohmann, PhD; Jonathan
A Bohman, PhD; Jack Aldridge, PhD, William Squires, PhD, Andrew
Rutledge, DC. Technical
Report, June 2004.
Study analyzing data from patients whose diagnosis included lumbar
disc syndrome, degenerated disc disease, herniated disc, stenosis,
sciatica and facet syndrome and 16 of who had back surgery. These
patients were treated with the Lordex RX1 decompression machine.
The basic protocol of this study produced a 91.7% positive response
in the 122 patients. Many of the patients were able to avoid any
invasive procedures after the series of treatments.
Evidence of Nonsurgical, Mechanical Reduction, Rehydration and
Repair of the Herniated Lumbar Disc
Edward L. Eyerman, MD, Journal of Neuroimaging.
1998; Vol. 8, No. 2.
Serial MRI imaging of 20 patients treated with the decompression
table shows in this study over 90% reduction of subligamentous
nucleus herniation in 10 of 14. Some rehydration occurs detected
by T2 and proton density signal increase. Torn annulus repair is
seen in all. Transligamentous ruptures show lesser repair. Facet
arthrosis can be shown to improve chiefly by pain relief. Virtually
all subjects have sufficient relief of pain to return to work.
Axial Decompression Therapy for Pain Associated with Herniated
or Degenerated Discs or Facet Syndrome: An Outcome Study
Earl E Gose, William K. Naguszewski and Robert K. Naguszewski, Department
of Bioengineering, University of Illinois and Coosa Medical
Group, Rome, Georgia.
Data was collected from 22 medical centers
for 778 patients. The treatment was successful in 71% of the 778 cases, when success
was defined as a reduction in pain to 0 or 1 on a 0-5 scale. Patients
who received vertebral axial decompression (VAX-D) therapy for
low back pain, which was sometimes accompanied by referred leg
Axial Decompression on Sensory Nerve Dysfunction in Patients
with Low Back Pain and Radiculopathy
Frank Tilaro, MD and Dennis Miskovich, MD. Canadian
Journal of Clinical Medicine, January
Study designed to determine if vertebral axial decompression (VAX-D)
could externally decompress the nerve root. The results showed
that after vertebral axial decompression therapy, 91% demonstrated
improved neurological function measured by the CPT Neurometer after
therapy. Overall improvement was 67%, statistically significant
to p<0.05. 64% of patients achieved complete recovery of neurologic
of Vertebral Axial Decompression on Intradiscal
Gustavo Ramos, MD and William Martin, MD; Journal
of Neurosurgery, 1994, Vol. 81; pp. 350-353.
Study objective was to examine the effect of vertebral axial decompression
on pressure in the nucleus pulposus of lumbar discs. The results
indicate that it is possible to lower pressure in the nucleus pulposus
of herniated lumbar discs to levels significantly below 0 mmHg
when distraction tension is applied according to the protocol described
for vertebral axial decompression therapy.
A Prospective Randomized controlled Study of VAX-D and
TENS for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain.
Sherry E. Kitchener, P and Smart R. Neurological Research,
October 2001; Vol. 23, No. 7; pp. 780-4.
Randomized controlled trial to address the question of efficacy
and appropriateness of vertebral axial decompression (VAX-D) therapy,
a new technology shown in clinical research to create negative
intradiscal pressures, and has been shown to be effective in treating
patients with chronic low back pain with associated leg pain. A
statistically significant reduction in pain and improvement in
functional outcome was obtained in patients with chronic low back
pain treated with VAX-D.
Spinal Decompression and Physical Therapy Research
A Comparison between Lumbar Decompression Therapy and
Standard Physical Therapy as a Means to Decrease Nonspecific
Lower Back Pain
James A. Eldridge, Glen Nelson and William G. Squires
Study to determine if a new treatment modality consisting of 21
sessions of lumbar decompression incorporated with lumbar extensor
strengthening was more effective in the elimination of nonspecific
Lower back pain (LBP) compared to current physical therapy methods.
Results found that the therapeutic modality of lumbar decompression
using a decompression unit followed by lumbar extensor exercises
not only decreased the perceptual pain indices of the subjects,
but also alleviated pain to the point that the subjects reported
the complete absence of pain.
The Effects of Spinal Flexion and Extension Exercises
and their Associated Postures in Patients with Acute Low Back
Dettori JR, Bullock SH, Sutlive TG, Franklin RJ, Patience
T; SPINE; 1995 Nov. 1; Vol 20; pp. 2303-12
A prospective randomized clinical trial to compare the immediate
effects of back exercise on functional status, spinal mobility,
straight leg raising, pain severity, and treatment satisfaction
and to determine whether spinal exercise during the acute stage
of low back pain reduces recurrent episodes of low back pain. The
study concluded that after 8 weeks there was no difference in outcomes
between the flexion or extension exercise groups and no difference
among groups regarding recurrence of low back pain after 6-12 months.
Trunk Muscle Strength in and Effect of Trunk Muscle Exercises
for Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain and Differences in Patients
With and Without Organic Lumbar Lesions.
Takemasa R, Yamamoto H, Tani T. SPINE.
December 1995; Vol. 20, Is. 23, pp. 2522-30.
Study to investigate trunk muscle strength and the effect of trunk
muscle exercises on patients with chronic low back pain. Results
were that patients with chronic low back pain had significantly
lower trunk muscle strength compared to a control group. Trunk
muscle exercises were effective in reducing low back pain in patients
that did NOT have detectable organic lesions. Using exercise to
increase trunk muscle strength DID NOT completely eliminate the
low back pain induced by the organic lesions of patients in group
Spinal Manipulation in Treating Low Back Pain
A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Manual Therapy and Specific
Adjuvant Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain
Geisser ME, et ai. The Clinical Journal of Pain. November/December
2005; Vol. 21, Iss. 6, pp. 463-470.
This article examines the effectiveness of manual therapy with
specific adjuvant exercise for treating chronic low back pain
and disability. A single blind, randomized, controlled trial
was employed. When controlling for pretreatment scores, patients
receiving manual therapy with specific adjuvant exercise reported
significant reductions in pain. No change in perceived disability
was observed, with the exception that patients receiving sham manual
therapy with specific adjuvant exercise reported significantly
greater disability at post treatment.
High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Spinal Manipulation for Symptomatic
Lumbar Disk Disease: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Lisi AJ, et al. JMPT.
July 2005; Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 429-442.
Study to review the evidence for high-velocity low-amplitude spinal
manipulation (HVLASM) for symptomatic lumbar disk disease (SLDD).The
reviewed evidence supports the hypothesis that HVLASM may be effective
in the treatment of SLDD and does not support the hypothesis that
HVLASM is inherently unsafe in SLDD cases.
Safety of Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Lumbar
Disk Herniations: A Systematic Review and Risk Assessment
Drew Oliphant, DC JMPT.
March 2004; Vol. 27, No. 3.
Review of research to provide a qualitative systematic review
of the risk f spinal manipulation in the treatment of lumbar disc
herniations (LDH) and to estimate the risk of spinal manipulation
causing a severe adverse reaction in a patient presenting with
LDH. Results concluded that the risk of spinal manipulation causing
a clinically worsened disc herniation or CES in a patient presenting
with LDH is calculated from published data to be less than 1 in