Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression
decompression therapy is a highly
successful, non-surgical alternative
procedure for relieving low back, neck, and
arm and leg pain. It is an effective
Herniated or bulging
What is Decompression
Decompression Therapy is a
non-surgical procedure that effectively
treats disabling low back, neck, and
radiating leg and arm pain. Decompression
Therapy effectively relieves pain associated
with disc herniation, degenerative discs,
and posterior facet syndromes, due to
decompression of spinal discs and facet
joints which is unloading due to distraction
Decompression Therapy effectively
enhances the healing process and renders
quick, effective and amazing pain relief
that enables most patients to return to a
more active lifestyle.
Research to develop this procedure was
conducted by prominent physicians, engineers
and technicians at major teaching hospitals.
have a herniated disc, multiple herniated
discs, degenerative disc disease, facet
syndrome? Is your doctor suggesting
surgery, pain management, or physical
therapy? Call Dr. John Hood at the
Chiropractic Care Center in Sevierville, TN
for a free consultation about our
non-surgical spinal decompression program.
Spinal decompression is
FDA approved and has been clinically proven
with an 86% success rate with the pain and
symptoms associated with herniated and/or
bulging discs…even after failed surgery.
Research indicates that
the disc is responsible for a significant
number of lumbar/leg pain and neck/arm pain
syndromes. Compression increases internal
disc pressure leading to possible
protrusion, herniation and bulging of disc
therapy in conjunction with the additional
treatment modalities provided in our clinic
can, in most cases, effectively relieve the
pain and disability resulting from disc
injury and degeneration, by repairing
damaged discs and reversing dystrophic
changes in nerves. Spinal decompression
treats the functional and mechanical aspects
of disc caused pain through non-surgical
decompression of spinal discs.
Studies verify the
significant reduction of internal disc
pressures which result in the non-surgical
decompression of the disc and nerve root.
Conventional traction has never demonstrated
a reduction of this internal disc pressure;
on the contrary – many older traction
devices actually increased internal disc
pressure, most likely due to reflex muscle
Our computer controlled
spinal decompression equipment is designed
to apply distraction and decompression to
the patient’s spine without producing reflex
paravertebral muscle contractions.
This is a picture of
the computer screen.
By significantly reducing internal disc
pressure, spinal decompression promotes
retraction of the herniation back into the
disc and promotes intake of fluids, oxygen
and other substances necessary for healing
the disc. This activity stimulates repair
and inhibits leakage of materials from the
nucleus of the disc.
The most recent research
trial sought to correlate clinical success
with MRI evidence of disc repair as a result
of treatment and found that reduction of
disc herniation ranged between 10% and 90%
depending on the number of sessions
performed, while disc annulus healing was
evident in all cases.
The most recent clinical study of 219
patients has shown that spinal decompression
therapy provided nearly immediate resolution
of symptoms for 86% of the participants, and
84% remained pain-free 90 days after the
treatment was finished. See our section on
spinal decompression clinical studies.
MRI picture of disc herniation before
and after decompression.
What Are The Treatments Like?
After lying on the
comfortable spinal decompression bed, you
will be fitted with a support system. The
support system helps to stabilize your body.
The advanced computer system automatically
adjusts to the proper angle of distraction,
an air bladder system acts as a fulcrum for
the angle of pull, allowing us to target the
specific discs that are causing your pain
and symptoms. The distractive forces utilize
a computer controlled logarithmic curve to
avoid reflex responses which would create
muscle spasm. The split table design
decreases friction and allows separation of
Basically, you lay down on the table and
the spinal decompression computer simulates
an anti-gravity effect on your spine that
helps herniated material return toward its
normal position thus reducing pressure and
pain. Patients describe the treatment as a
gentle, painless, intermittent pulling
sensation. Many patients actually fall
asleep during treatment!
Picture of patient being treated lying face
How Long Are Treatments And How Many
Do You Need?
Patients typically undergo
15 to 20 treatment sessions. Each treatment
lasts between 45 and 60 minutes. This, of
course, depends on your individual case and
is determined by thorough pre-treatment
evaluation. Following each session, a cold
pack and electric muscle stimulation is
usually applied to speed the healing
process. It is important to note that many
patients get substantial, immediate relief
after just a few treatments. Some have
significant reduction of pain after just one
session. The really good news is that this
is not something you have to continue to do
for the rest of your life! So it is not a
Decompression Therapy Help My Pain?
each patient is different and no doctor can
guarantee success, the clinical results of
this type of therapy have been shown to be
effective in 86% of patients treated. The
common problems of many back conditions are
damaged discs and poor spinal muscle
control. Our treatment program addresses
both of these core problems. The specially
designed spinal decompression equipment
creates a controlled unloading of the spine
to decrease disc pressure thus increasing
blood and nutrient exchange. This exchange
of fluids is something the damaged disc
desperately needs to help it heal from the
inside out. Muscle strength, control and
endurance can all be improved with our
spinal decompression therapy program that
includes specific controlled spinal
Decompression Treatments Hurt? Is it Safe?
Decompression Therapy treatments are one of
the most gentle and comfortable therapies
available. The treatments utilize FDA
cleared equipment with proven safety and
efficacy. Most patients report a mild sense
of stretch on their back or hips, and often
fall asleep during treatment sessions. The
spinal decompression system is produced by
one of the world’s largest manufacturers of
hospital based therapy and rehabilitation
Decompression Therapy New?
traction therapy has been around for
thousands of years, Spinal Decompression
Therapy is relatively new. Advances in
equipment and procedures have dramatically
improved effectiveness. Spinal
Decompression Therapy is the most
comprehensive program available, allowing
the safe delivery of this previously
hospital based therapy in our office.
Continual improvements in the delivery
system and regular updates in protocol keep
spinal decompression in the forefront of
non-invasive disc therapy. Each year over
50,000 patients are treated with spinal
decompression therapy and that number is
For a complete comparison of spinal
decompression with traction and other
surgical options, check out the article
"How does spinal decompression stack up?"
Will My Treatment Program Be?
depends on the complexity and extent of the
treatment and rehabilitation needed, however
we typically treat 4 times a week for 1
month, transitioning from passive to active
treatments as you respond. The treatment is
administered over a reasonable timeframe and
your response is continually evaluated.
Further treatments may be necessary or a
reduced frequency may be recommended at that
The rehabilitative phase
may include additional spinal decompression
treatments coupled with exercises, spinal
manipulation and adjustments to enhance the
results. Most patents are released from
treatments after 6 to 12 weeks.
Spinal Decompression Therapy More Successful
Than Other Treatment Options?
Decompression therapy as practiced in our
clinic is a comprehensive program of the
newest decompression techniques and targeted
“core” stabilization exercises combined with
Biofeedback. In addition, we use other
adjunctive treatments that have proven
effectiveness in back care. It is this
multi-faceted approach that makes our
decompression treatment so effective and is
what sets our procedure apart.
Additionally, discs have
been shown to be a predominate site of pain,
so treating the disc as directly as possible
makes sense. The blending of focused
traction of the site, rehabilitation to the
supporting structures, and overall
strengthening of musculature makes the
treatment unique. Spinal decompression
therapy affects the disc as directly as
For a complete comparison of spinal
decompression with traction and other
surgical options, check out the article
spinal decompression stack up?"
DTS Decompression vs. Surgery:
cases surgery is necessary, more often
it is not necessary.
Increased danger from anesthetic.
Increased danger from possible
Prolonged recovery time after back
surgery is generally 6-8 weeks.
6-8 weeks of rehabilitation and physical
therapy at 3 to 5 times per week.
rate of successful results.
insurance patient’s cost for surgery is
often over $25,000.
with insurance, patient’s share of
surgical cost is often over $4,000 to
of acute or chronic (long term) low back
pain and /or associated leg pain or
numbness, generally within 4 weeks.
Successful in over 75% to 85% of
return to work.
Non-invasive and extremely safe.
effective treatment. Usually about $65
per treatment and less than $1,500 total
and it is covered by insurance.
Why the Need for Exercises and Other
with the damage in the disc, we also need to
treat the supporting spinal muscles. A
complete program targeting the function of
the stabilization muscles of the spine is a
vital part of spinal decompression therapy.
Heat, muscle stimulation, and ultrasonic
therapy can offer additional benefits for
inflammation and spasm reduction. Our goal
is to not only to help heal the disc but
enhance muscle control and support of the
low back. A gradual breakdown of the
foundational support of your back is what
puts undue stresses on the discs and leads
to disc degeneration, pain and loss of
function. Our program of spinal exercise
and adjunctive therapies will assist in
rehabilitating these structures.
Pain Go Away For Good?
it is difficult to predict the future,
experience has shown that most patients do
find long-term relief or effective
management of their pain when they complete
the entire recommended program of
treatments. Regular home exercise and
periodic visits to our clinic will help in
maintaining your spinal health and reduce
the probability of reoccurrence. As with
any comprehensive rehabilitation program,
your continued home care exercises and
discretion in some daily activities is the
key to long-term relief.
Will it Cost?
varies depending on your condition and the
extent of care needed. (See above for
comparison with cost of surgery.) We
promise to only do those procedures
necessary for your fullest recovery. You
always have the choice as to the extent of
care. Our staff will review all costs,
payment options and insurance coverage
before treatment begins. We want to help
and we believe finances shouldn’t stand in
the way of your good health.
Does Triton DTS Differ from Other Spinal
office uses Trition DTS spinal decompression
equipment from The Chattanooga Group, which
has become the gold standard for spinal
For a detailed comparison as well as our
reasoning for choosing this table, refer to
the section below
How Does Spinal Decompression
With the wide spectrum of
back and neck pain treatment options and
slight variations of treatment types, it is
difficult to determine which will work for
you and why. The following sections will
answer many of your lingering questions.
How is Spinal Decompression
different from traction?
Traction is a simple
static force that is put on the patient’s
body with the intent of unloading the body's
joints, muscles and other structures. For
example, hanging upside-down is a common
method to put the spine into traction.
Rather than one's body weight putting stress
on the spine, which is what happens when
standing erect; the body weight is working
to unload the spine.
Various forms of traction
have been around for over 1000 years;
however, pain relief has been inconsistent
and short-lived until now. In fact, several
clinical studies have shown ordinary
traction to be an ineffective form of back
and neck pain relief. The reason is
unexpected, but pretty simple. Our bodies
react to the static unloading of the spine
by contracting, or squeezing, the muscles
surrounding the spine. Rather than
achieving the desired effect of unloading
the spine, the pressure on the spine is
actually increased, thus increasing
intradiscal pressure. This does NOT allow
the discs to re-hydrate and heal, which is
what ultimately yields pain relief.
Spinal Decompression, on
the other hand, is a modified, updated form
of traction. Computer technology is used to
control variations in the unloading of the
spine, effectively avoiding the body's
muscle contraction response. Notice in the
figure below that the traction tension is
varied over time according to the graph.
The doctor can control how many progressive
tension steps are experienced by the patient
before reaching the maximum tension. The
doctor also has complete control over how
long the tensions are held steady and how
often they are repeated through the
tension is varied over time.