Does Spinal Decompression Work?

Many scientific studies have shown that Spinal Decompression is an effective method for treating back pain. A selection of these studies can be seen below.

Treatment of Low Back Pain by Spinal Decompression and Spinal Exercises

A U.S. based concept of decompression of the spine is introduced to treat back pain as an effective non-surgical, ono-invasive method.  Since the disc is a avascular structure, it doesn’t receive fresh blood and oxygen with every beat of the heart.  It requires ‘diffusion’ created by motion and ‘decompression’ to restore nutrients and enhance healing.

Treatment of an L5/S1 Extruded Disc Herniation using a DRX-9000 Spinal Decompression Unit: A Case Report

Conclusion: DRX-9000 spinal decompression therapy is believed to provide both biochemical and biomechanical alerations to the disc.  The affects of axial spinal decompression therapy on this patient’s case could be objectively quantified through pre-therapy and post-therapy MR imaging.  Spinal decompression applied by means of the DRX-9000 protocol is an effective resource for treating patients passing through various clinicians without significant inter-operator or examiner variability.

Prospective Evaluation of the Efficacy of Spinal Decompression via the DRX9000 for Chronic Low Back Pain

Twenty patients presenting with low back pain averaging approximately 5 years in duration were prospectively enrolled in a 6-week course of
20 motorized spinal decompression treatments via the DRX9000™ (Axiom Worldwide, Tampa, Fla). Two patients withdrew for protocol violations.
For the remaining 18 patients, the baseline median verbal pain intensity score on an 11-point scale (0 = no pain; 10 = worst possible pain)
decreased from 7 (25th to 75th percentile = 5–7) to 0 (25th to 75th percentile = 0–1) at study conclusion at Week 6 (P < .0001). No device related
adverse events occurred. Overall, 16 of 18 patients reported clinically significant pain improvement after noninvasive spinal decompression.

Motorized Spinal Decompression for Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain

Conduct retrospective chart audit to assess outcomes of a random sample of outpatients treated with motorized spinal decompression via the DRX9000 for chronic low back pain lasting more than 12 weeks.
Overall, patients’ pain improved after DRX treatment, requiring fewer analgesics, with better function.

Systematic Literature Review of Spinal Decompression Via Motorized Traction for Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain

The objective of this study was to systematically review the literature to assess the efficacy of nonsurgical spinal decompression achieved with motorized traction for chronic discogenic lumbosacral back pain.

Effectiveness & Safety of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

Prospective, multi-center, phase II, non-randomized, clinical study to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the Axiom Worldwide DRX9000 for active treatment of chronic LBP utilizing a standardized clinical research multimodal protocol.

Clinical Trial Study of a Non-Invasive Decompression System in the Treatment of Lumbosacral Radiculopathies

The DRS has documented the creation of significant segmental spinal distraction decompression.  This creates a negative pressure gradient which is conducive for promoting discal changes…The DRS is the only system that has been shown to create separation within the lumbar vertebrae.  The literature has not shown traction to produce similar results.

Effects of Spinal Decompressor for Lumbar Disc Herniation

We reported a clinical result of a treatment of lumbar disc Herniation (LDH) patients by using a tractio device (DRX9000), which decompresses intervertebral disc with logarithmic-curve traction.  Changes of intervertebral disc on radiogram in healthy persons without hernia at the traction by DRX9000 were reported as well.  Subjects were seven LDH patients (5 women, 2 men).  The mean age was 47 years old (32 – 72)…obvious improvements of symptoms were recognized in VAS values and Japan Orthopedic Association score.  The LDH shrinkage was recognized in three patients of four on the MRI image at the time of completion of the treatment.

AAPM Chart Review

Overall, patients’ pain improved after DRX treatment, requiring frwer analgesics, with better function.
Practice variability exists in how clinics use the DRX 9000.  We didn’t have control groups, making it difficult to know how much of the benefit was
placebo or spontaneous recovery and how much was due to the intervention.  Randomized double-blinded clinical trials are
needed to measure the efficacy of non-surgical spinal decompression systems.

MRI Evidence of Nonsurgical, Mechanical Reduction, Rehydration and Repair of the Herniated Lumbar Disc

The present study was undertaken to determine whether clinical betterment can be correlated directly to improvement in MRI image and whether MRI findings shed any light on the mechanism of improvement.


New advances in technology, focused on spinal decompression, have evolved into effective non-surgical treatment for herniated and degenerative disc disease.  Injured discs can be treated by non-surgically decompressing the affected spinal segment, which significantly reduces intradiscal pressures for healing and recovery.  The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical outcomes of spinal decompression theray for patients suffering from herniated and degenerative disc disease.

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Spinal Decompression Therapy, Part 2


In part 1, Dr. Nusbaum discussed the importance of conducting a thorough consultation and examination prior to non-surgical spinal decompression therapy in order to select the most suitable patients and to deselect those who should not receive the therapy. The benefits of doing this, to the doctor and the patient, are many and undeniable. In part 2, the background to, and methodology of, non-surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy, will be discussed. As well, Dr. Nusbaum will examine the technology for performing this procedure.

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Spinal Decompression, Part 1


Our profession has a wonderful track record for helping Canadians reach a higher level of health, and maintain it naturally. But there is a certain group of patients who do not respond to traditional chiropractic care as well as we’d like them to. Often, these challenging back and neck pain patients are suffering from bulging or herniated discs or advanced degenerating discs. Spinal decompression therapy is one option that has demonstrated a degree of success in many of these cases. By its very nature, it is a procedure that complements our approach, as it is non-invasive, non-surgical, and requires no drugs or medications.

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Non-surgical Spinal Decompression for the Treatment of Chronic Low-back Pain — A Case Report


Excerpt not available.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings after Treatment with a Non-surgical Spinal Decompression System — A Case Report


Charlotte Richmond, PhD, is Director of Clinical Research for NEMA Research, Inc., and CEO of the Biomedical Research and Education Foundation. She is Chairperson of the NEMA Research Institutional Review Board (IRB) and a member of the IRB and the Animal Care Research Committees at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach.

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Management of Low-back Pain with a Non-surgical Decompression System – Case Report


Current evidence-based guidelines recommend conservative treatment for at least two months, and often for much longer, before a surgical option is considered. Surgery is associated with risks, and the outcome in many patients with discogenic back pain is unpredictable.

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US Musculoskeletal Review


Management of Discogenic Low-back Pain with a Non-surgical Decompression System — A Case Report

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Treatment of 94 Outpatients With Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain: A Retrospective Chart Review


Background: This study’s goal was a retrospective chart audit of 100 outpatients with discogenic low back pain (LBP) lasting more than 12 weeks treated with a 2-month course of motorized spinal decompression.

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If you are suffering from back pain and would like to learn more about Spinal Decompression at Back Clinics of Canada, contact us today for a free consultation.