Low back musculoskeletal disorders have become one of the most significant medical and socioeconomic problems in the world. The statistics on the magnitude of the problem are overwhelming, and the number of chronic back cases continues to grow each day. In fact, low back pain that is related to work is the most common complaint presented to primary care physicians and workers’ compensation. Diagnosing and treating the patient with low back pain can often be challenging, and decisions regarding optimal management are not clear-cut.
There are many different options for the treatment of low back pain. Some of these options include but are not limited to chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, medicine, and spinal surgery. Unfortunately, many of these options may not work for people suffering from back pain that is related to disc injuries such as disc herniations and disc bulges. People end up turning to spinal fusion or other invasive spinal surgeries to help their back problems. Others may opt for spinal injections – yet these typically offer only short term relief. The patient soon discovers that the injection merely masks the problem by covering up the symptoms for a limited duration while their condition continues to deteriorate.
There are safer and better options for eliminating back pain for these types of injuries. Spinal decompression (or vertebral axial decompression) on Advanced Spine and Sports Medicine’s VAX-D table is one such option. VAX-D is a non-invasive treatment for chronic back pain from disc and facet joint disease. It is an effective and safe procedure without any of the risks associated with surgery, injections, or anesthesia. Time off work or in recovery is minimal, and resolution of symptoms can be long lasting. VAX-D can relieve the pain associated with herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, posterior facet syndrome and radicular (nerve root) pain. Patients can avoid the merry-go-round of drugs and non-specific treatments.
So what, specifically, is VAX-D? VAX-D is a patented medical technology that gently stretches the spine and decompresses the discs. Pressures in the lower lumbar spine can be as high as 180 mm of mercury during many common daily activities. VAX-D treatment is able to reduce the pressure in the lumbar intervertebral discs down to levels of –160 mm of mercury. Negative intradiscal pressure, in studies pioneered by Cyriax, are thought to reduce a herniation or bulging disc by “sucking” a herniated disc back in towards the midline thereby making the herniation/bulge smaller and relieving the pressure on the surrounding “pinched” nerves. In short, VAX-D is capable of breaking the cycle of pain caused by bulging and degenerated discs and helps the body heal itself. Studies published in numerous medical journals show that VAX-D succeeds at treating bulging or herniated discs over 70% of the time.
We are often asked: how is VAX-D different from traction or other treatments claiming to decompress the spine? Although traction devices can stretch the lower back, they have not demonstrated the ability to decompress the lumbar discs and spinal nerves. Standard traction devices apply traction linearly (either statically or intermittently) but this does not bypass trunk muscle contraction/spasm and therefore does not lower intradiscal pressures. Muscle spasm is a homeostatic protective response that prevents decompression. In fact, studies have shown that traction may actually lead to an increase in intradiscal pressure and therefore may be contra-indicated for patients with herniated discs. The VAX-D applies tension to the spinal column using a logarithmic time force curve, bypassing the muscle guarding reflex, allowing disc pressures to lower to negative levels. The VAX-D is the only device proven to achieve spinal decompression through direct recording of negative pressures in intervertebral discs in living subjects. No other device has been shown to lower the disc pressure. The VAX-D is the most well studied and effective form of decompression in the published medical literature.
Patients are treated fully clothed and are fitted with a harness that fits around their pelvis as they lie face down on a motorized table. The doctor operates the table from a computerized console. Each treatment takes about 45 minutes. Most patients find VAX-D to be comfortable, and relief of pain can usually be noticed in the first few sessions.
If you suffer from chronic low back or have been diagnosed with a herniated or bulging disc, the VAX-D and spinal decompression may be the solution that you have been seeking! Please feel free to contact us at (214) 599-9540 if you have any questions, or would like additional information.
Advanced Spine & Sports Medicine Dallas