Back Pain and Spine Physicians in Colorado
Telephone: (303) 762-0808
Fax: (303) 762-9292

FAQs about Spinal Decompression Machines

Spinal decompression is not a new concept. Rather, spinal decompression takes manual or mechanical traction a step forward by using computer technology to control treatment duration, distraction / angle, intensity, and relaxation.

What spinal conditions are treated?
The types of spinal conditions treated include degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome, herniated disc, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.

Who cannot undergo spinal decompression?
Although patients are individually evaluated for treatment, spinal decompression is not for everyone. Contraindications include:

  • Nerve damage or nerve tethering from scarring
  • Obese
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pregnant
  • Previous spinal fusion and instrumentation (i.e. screws, plates, rods, cages)

How is the treatment administered?
The patient is comfortably positioned on the therapy table and secured in place. Many treatment variables are programmed into the computer, including therapy duration and graduating levels (and angles) of distraction and relaxation.

Many patients report the treatment is relaxing and may nap; others listen to music. Each decompression session is followed with spinal stabilization exercises. Spinal decompression may be recommended 3 to 5 times per week. Patients complete 15 to 20 sessions.

What are some of the benefits of decompression therapy technology?
The value of this treatment varies among patients. In general, benefits include:

  • Forces to the spine are better and more effectively controlled

  • Pressure within an intervertebral disc can be reduced and helps to decompress discs and alleviate nerve pain (i.e. sciatica)

  • Helps to restore disc function

  • During pull, a suction or vacuum effect draws in oxygen and nutrients into the discs necessary to stimulate healing

Our Viewpoint
Our practice does not offer this type of spinal decompression therapy. Currently, there are no scientific studies in the peer-reviewed literature that demonstrate the clear or long-lasting effectiveness of computerized spinal decompression therapy. Rather, our Chiropractic Doctors (DC) use flexion-distraction therapy performed under the direct supervision of the DC. Flexion-distraction therapy is a long-standing and proven technique.

Colorado Comprehensive Spine Institute (CCSI) remains on the cutting edge of new technologies and techniques - but will only bring them to you when a clear benefit and safety record is established. Because computerized spinal decompression therapy has not been proven to be efficacious, most, if not all, health insurance companies decline reimbursement placing the entire, and considerable expense on you, the patient. The out-of-pocket expense for computerized spinal decompression is impractical and out of reach for most patients.

Simply put, CCSI does not believe computerized spinal decompression therapy offers a clear advantage in the cost to benefit analysis.

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