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Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression


                Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression is a specific type of traction that is applied through a machine.  The machine that we use at Arizona Chiropractic & Holistic Health Center, the DRX9000 is considered the “Cadillac” version to all other decompression machines.  Along with its development, it “address[es] some of the possible pitfalls of simple traction.”  The DRX9000 gently stretches the spine in an attempt to “facilitate oxygen and nutrient uptake and improve disk metabolism and restoration;” or simply, hydrate the disk.  As the DRX900 stretches the spine, a negative pressure is created which helps draw in water, oxygen, and nutrients; as a result, a herniated or bulging disk may resorb quicker and/or increase disk height.

                Disk height is directly proportional to the intervertebral foramina (IVF).  This is an important structure because it is the “hole” that the nerve exits the spine and is the “intent of many surgical procedures to decrease the pressure in the IVF.”

                Patients remain clothed during spinal decompression.  The doctor fits the patient with two harnesses, one for the trunk and one around the waistline.  The bed is brought to an upright position and the patient is asked to step onto a platform.  The bed is then lowered and various belts are tensioned.  The machine is started and treatment lasts approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

                There are some conditions which are not indicated, including: fracture, pregnancy, tumor, abdominal aortic aneurysm, advanced osteoporosis, or metal implants in the spine.

1. “Spinal Decompression Therapy.” WebMD, WebMD,

2. Ghan, Trong J, et al. “Http://” Anesthesiology News, 2007.

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