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Old 01-27-2010, 12:31 PM
4,271 posts, read 14,176,148 times
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Has anyone ever done spinal decompression therapy? If so, how was your experience? What did they do to you? What did you have (if it's not too personal)? Did your insurance cover it? Any advice or lesson learned?

I've had back probs all my life and was diagnosed with spinal stenosis last year. The kicker: I'm only 31. I've had a couple of flare ups in the past year but this past week was the worst ever. I'm having to use a wheel-chair and on good days, I have to use a walker. It's a wake up call for me to do something about this instead of just "dealing with it".

I read about spinal decompression therapy and although it seems like it would help, it looked kinda "gimmicky" to me (I think part of it had to do with pressentation - one website had "As seen on TV" glip and it totally turned me off while other websites made the therapy look legitimate).

Anyway, none of my doctors have ever recommended it to me so I'm just curious if this stuff really works. I plan on talking to my doctor next week @ my follow-up visit but wanted to get an idea of what my "peers" thought.

Thanks for any advice you can give!
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:09 PM
Location: Houston
687 posts, read 1,940,516 times
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My husband had spinal decompression therapy and it absolutely worked for him.

About 3 years ago he somehow hurt his upper back/neck, but he never did anything about it (he has a very high pain tolerance.) Over time it worsened, until he had difficulty sitting for more than 20 minutes, and had difficulty driving because he couldn't turn his head. He was in constant pain, couldn't sleep well, couldn't eat. It was awful to see him like that, and worse for him to be in that condition.

He finally agreed to try therapeutic massage -- didn't work. Then we went to a neurologist, who took xrays and recommended physical therapy and neck brace. Tried it (10 weeks) - didn't work. He was still in the same amount of pain. The doctor referred us to a neurosurgeon, who of course recommended surgery. To a surgeon, surgery is always the answer. I've seen the statistics on back surgeries -- more than 50% yielded no significant relief from back/neck pain, and an even higher percentage of patients conditions for which they sought surgery were not cured. We decided to seek other options. We tried acupuncture -- didn't work. My poor husband was so miserable, and I felt awful seeing him in constant pain.

By chance, we were chatting with another soccer parent while watching our sons play, and he shared his story about how a chiropractor and the chiropractor's DRX9000 saved his life. We learned that our friend used to play football in college, and was physically active and fit, until one day he hurt his back. When he described his excruciating pain, my husband absolutely understood, because that was his life also. Our friend lived with this horrible pain for 2 years, and considered suicide, even though he has a beautiful family and 2 kids.

We had always thought chiropractors were quacks, because of a congenital predisposition for MDs (all the MDs in the family recommended surgery, or more consultations with other surgeons and neurologists). However, we decided to visit that chiropractor, because our friend was so emphatic about how the chiropractor and that DRX9000 restored his life, plus he was obviously pain-free and happy. The rest is history. The treatment absolutely worked. Three months later, my husband was healthy and pain-free. It really saved us. I think we ended up paying about $3,000 for all the weekly sessions with the DRX9000. We're still skeptical about most chiropractors and their practices, but this one method -- spinal decompression -- worked for us. The money spent was absolutely worth it. He still occasionally gets a twinge in his neck, and will go hang upside down on this contraption that he bought, based on the spinal decompression concept, and he returns to normal pretty soon after.

Living with pain is so horrible. I hope you find a treatment that works for you. Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:11 AM
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I've also suffered from back pain for most of my life, and I've just begun the treatment. So far no lasting results to speak of, but I'm told that most patients respond after a couple of months of treatments. Did you go through with the treatment, foma? Any notable results?
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:10 PM
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No, I didn't. I ended up doing spinal injections and physical therapy. I haven't had a bad flare up since. It's been so long I can't remember the term for the injections but I think they were steroids and my doc had to use an x-ray machine to inject the steroids in the right place on my back.
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:03 PM
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First, you need a detailed written description from a neurologist or neurosurgeon about the exact region of the stenosis and eventual compression of the spinal nerve roots. The doctor should then explain you briefly what can be done.

Basically, a surgeon removes some bone from the spinal vertebra but the problem needs to be treated completely, like all affected nerve roots need to be decompressed otherwise it may not help or help just a bit.
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