Spinal decompression and other disc treatments
Spinal decompression has become a much discussed and somewhat controversial topic in healthcare lately. Non-surgical spinal decompression is a form of intermittent, motorized traction used usually for the treatment of disc herniations or facts syndromes. Spinal decompression promotes pumping action in the discs, often by a series of traction followed by relaxation, which brings nutrients to the injured discs and promotes healing.
People frequently ask us if we use name brand spinal decompression units like Vax-D, DRX-9000, Axiom or DRS. Although we do use spinal decompression for our patients who we think might respond to a traction type of procedure, we are strongly opposed to the intense marketing that many chiropractic and other physician’s offices around the country have been prone to do. We also oppose charging patients additional and outlandish fees for this technique above and beyond what a regular chiropractic visit entails. In our practice, spinal decompression is covered by your insurance when performed during an office visit.
You see, some chiropractors and other physicians have decompression therapies and they will charge $3,000 to $10,000 for a series of treatments, usually 12-20 — that’s outrageous! These costs usually correlate to the cost of their decompression table, which is often in the vicinity of 100k and the cost of their marketing which including television ads and big newspaper spreads, can get awfully pricey.
Those fancy decompression tables do not do all that much more than the less fancy decompression tables unless you feel that a flat-screen monitor playing videos and music while you’re in therapy is worth an extra $9000 for your treatment. Decompression is decompression. In our office we offer spinal decompression as one of our services and it produces the same effect of any other non-surgical spinal decompression therapy.
We are strongly against the practice of doctors who tell patients spinal decompression is an extremely expensive, almost magical treatment. It isn’t, nor should it be. We see spinal decompression for what it is: one more tool to use in helping our patients achieve their treatment goals. If a chiropractor tells you you need to pay large fees in advance for any treatment or that he or she has a special decompression machine that insurance doesn’t cover, you should strongly consider looking for treatment elsewhere.
In our office, we also utilize a techinque called Flexion-Distraction (or Cox technique) which is another very effective motorized equipment treatment for disc injuries, such as bulges and herniations that might cause radiating leg pain. We will sometimes use Flexion-Distraction by itself and sometimes use it in conjunction with spinal decompression — every patient is different and has a treatment altered to what their particular problem needs.