Non-surgical Spinal Decompression

/ Services / Non-surgical Spinal Decompression
  • Overview

Non-surgical Spinal decompression involves pulling specific vertebrae apart through a special motorized traction table in an attempt to:
  • Create negative pressure in the intervertebral disc in order to promote retraction of a herniated or bulging disc.
  • Create an influx of oxygen, water and other nutrients into the disc to restore the height.
    [1]

    Trusted Source

    Journal of Neurosurgery

    Peer-reviewed journal

    Internationally recognized journal

    Go to source
  • Reduce pressure on a spinal nerve
The intervertebral discs in the spine act like shock absorbers. There is a disc in between each bony vertebra. These cartilaginous joints act like ligaments that hold the vertebrae of the spine together and allow mobility of the spine.

Patients that have neck pain, low back pain or pain going down an arm or leg are candidates for non-surgical spinal decompression.

The idea for the DRX9000 began with observations in space.    When astronauts experienced weightlessness during antigravity, the pressure on their spines were reduced and disc spaces were increased.
[2]

Excite Medical

Manufacturer’s website

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spinal decompression on the DRX-9000

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression in Scottsdale

  • Why is non-surgical spinal decompression done?

Treatment with the Decompression Reduction Extraction (DRX) 9000 is an advanced intermittent traction technology that allows treatment at a specific intervertebral disc.

When intervertebral discs budge, protrude or herniate, they can cause low back pain or neck pain.    When the inner part of these gelatinous discs press on nerve roots, they can cause pain, numbness, tingling, weakness or a combination symptoms.    The symptoms can also travel the length of the nerve they are affecting; so, pain or numbness can be present in an arm, hand, leg or foot.

Non-surgical decompression, especially the DRX9000, uses a controlled amount of force specific to the patient and spinal segment to gently pull apart the neighboring vertebrae in order to create a small vacuum-like effect to promote resorption of the herniated disc material, and restore disc height.    By creating more disc height and “pulling back in” the disc material, pressure is taken off of the surrounding nerve root which leads to a decrease in symptoms.

Patients seek non-surgical decompression for a variety of conditions including:

  • Bulging discs
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • Herniated discs
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • Worn out spinal joints (posterior facet syndrome)
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • Sciatica (pain going down the leg)
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • Leg pain

  • Muscle weakness

  • Neck pain

  • Numbness and tingling

  • Radiculopathy

  • Injured or diseased spinal nerve roots

  • Pinched Nerves

What Is Spinal Decompression?

Call for an Appointment

480-585-5577

or Request an Appointment Online

Call for an Appointment

480-585-5577

or Request an Appointment Online

  • Risks with Spinal Decompression

There are no long-term risks associated with non-surgical spinal decompression.
[4]

Trusted Source

Healthline

Backed by various research articles

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Possible short-term risks include:
  • Mild soreness/discomfort
  • possible muscle spasm.
    [4]

    Trusted Source

    Healthline

    Backed by various research articles

    Go to source
These side effects can be controlled with ice, tens, ultrasound or cold laser.
  • How you prepare

Before your non-surgical spinal decompression treatment, your doctor will likely:

  • Review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions in regards your condition, to prior treatment interventions, current medications, current or prior conditions, family history, etc.

  • Review your imaging. Be sure to bring any pertinent imaging with you such as x-rays or MRIs.    If you do not have any, the doctor will likely be ordering them.

  • Do a physical exam. Your doctor will perform an exam that may include: vital signs, range of motion testing, or orthopedic testing.

  • Discuss your expectations. Talk with your doctor about reasons for seeking treatment, risks, how many treatments you might need, and how long it will take for results.

Food and medications

  • There are no dietary or medication restrictions.

Clothing and personal items

  • The lower harness wraps around the patient’s hips and clips to a belt in between the legs.    Skirts and dresses would not be appropriate, shorts or pants would be more appropriate.

  • Many patients have something to read or listen to music during treatment.

  • What happens during non-surgical spinal decompression on the DRX9000?

During non-surgical spinal decompression for the low back, patients remain clothed and lie on a special motorized table:

  • Two harnesses are fitted to the patient and placed around the hips.
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • The Patient steps onto a platform at the base of the DRX9000.    The platform has a scale in it to obtain the patient’s weight which is used to calculate appropriate pressure to be applied during the treatment.
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • The harnesses on the patient are tightened and attached belts and buckles located on the DRX9000.
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • A pillow is placed under the patient’s legs to ensure the knees are slightly flexed.
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • The table is tilted down so the patient is lying on their back.
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source

For non-surgical spinal decompression on the neck:

  • The patient lies down into a cradle is fitted to the head and neck.
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • The cradle is attached to belts located on the DRX9000.
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • A pillow is placed under the patient’s legs to ensure the knees are slightly flexed.
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source


After parameters for treatment and a specific disc level is chosen, pull begins with the press of a button.    Pressure and pull can be stopped or adjusted at any point during the treatment.
[3]

Axiom Worldwide

Manufacturer’s website

Go to source


Pressure cycles from half to full pull throughout the 30-minute treatment.

Typically, non-surgical spinal decompression is painless; however, a stretch in the spine may be felt.
  • After non-surgical spinal decompression on the DRX9000

While non-surgical spinal decompression is typically painless, there may be some mild discomfort after due to the paravertebral muscles consolidating.
[3]

Axiom Worldwide

Manufacturer’s website

Go to source
The discomfort is short-lived and can be further decreased with ice.

Frequency and number of sessions vary case-by-case; however, Axiom Worldwide, the inventors of the DRX9000, recommend the following protocol:
  • 5X a week for the first 2 weeks
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • 3X a week for the following 2 weeks
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • 2X a week for last 2 weeks
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
  • Once a month for maintenance
    [3]

    Axiom Worldwide

    Manufacturer’s website

    Go to source
The recommended frequency will be adjusted to fit the patient’s specific condition and needs.
  • Success with the DRX-9000

According to research, spinal decompression has a success rate of about 88.9%.
[6]

Trusted Source

Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine

Peer-reviewed journal

Go to source


A case study demonstrated that non-surgical spinal decompression can reduce the size of a disc herniation and can increase disc height.
[7]

Trusted Source

European Musculoskeletal Review

Peer-reviewed journal

Go to source


In an additional study with 24 study participants, there was consistent pain relief that continued after treatment with non-surgical spinal decompression was completed and continued to improve one year later.
[8]

Trusted Source

American Journal of Pain Management

Peer-reviewed journal

Go to source


In another study, the conclusion about non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 was that it provided pain and symptom relief from conditions like: bulging discs, protruding discs, degenerative disc disease, posterior facet syndrome, and sciatica.
[9]

Trusted Source

The Journal of Medicine

Peer-reviewed journal

Go to source

In order to back up the information in our articles, Arizona Chiropractic & Holistic Health Center exclusively cites high-quality sources such as peer-reviewed research. We strive to provide accurate, dependable, and trustworthy content based on the best evidence avaliable.

  1. Ramos, G., & Martin, W. (1994). Effects of vertebral axial decompression on intradiscal pressure. Journal of Neurosurgery, 81(3), 350–353. https://doi.org/10.3171/jns.1994.81.3.0350
  2. Excite Medical. (2018, Aug 8). DRX9000 Explained by a Neurosurgeon - How does it work?. Excite Medical.
  3. Axiom Worldwide, Inc. (2000). DRX9000 Operator’s Manual PN 64-0001 Rev. B. Tampa, FL. Axiom Worldwide, Inc..
  4. Stubblefield, H. (2017, July 9). Spinal Traction. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/spinal-traction
  5. Apfel, C. C., Cakmakkaya, O. S., Martin, W., Richmond, C., Macario, A., George, E., Schaefer, M., & Pergolizzi, J. V. (2010). Restoration of disk height through non-surgical spinal decompression is associated with decreased discogenic low back pain: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2474-11-155
  6. Richmond, C., Leslie, J., Macario, A., Apfel, C., Florio, F., Auster, M., & Pergolizzi, J. (2008). 716. Pilot: Effectiveness & Safety of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression. Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, 33(Suppl 1), e219.1-e219. https://doi.org/10.1136/rapm-00115550-200809001-00424
  7. Pergolizzi, J., Yochum, T., Florio, F., Richmond, C., & McCain, B. S. (2008). Management of Discogenic Low-back Pain with a Non-surgical Decompression System (DRX9000TM)—Case Report. Touch Briefings, European Musculoskeletal Review 3(1), 14–15. ISSN: 17545072
  8. Shealy, C. N., Koladia, N. K., & Wesemann, M. M. (2005). LONG-TERM EFFECT ANALYSIS OF IDD THERAPY IN LOW BACK PAIN: A RETROSPECTIVE CLINICAL PILOT STUDY. American Journal of Pain Management, 15(3).
  9. Leslie, J. B., Pergolizzi, J. V., Pergolizzi, A., Apfel, C. C., Clair, D., Richmond, C., Florio, F., Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, Departments of Anesthesia and Health Research and Policy, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, Clinical Research Consultants LLC, San Francisco, California, Vibrance Medical Group, Beverly Hills, California, NEMA Research, Inc., Naples, Florida, Axiom Worldwide, Inc., Tampa, Florida, & Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. (2008). Prospective Evaluation of the Efficacy of Spinal Decompression via the DRX9000 for Chronic Low Back Pain. The Journal of Medicine. Published.