ADVERTISING – Advertorial: DR. WAYNE M. FICHTER: Spinal decompression

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People constantly call us and ask us questions about our spinal decompression program and the effectiveness of the treatment. So when I came across a research study performed in 2017, I thought I would share it.

The following research article, published in the June 15, 2017 edition of Journal of Novel Physiotherapy and Physical Rehabilitation, shows the effectiveness of non-surgical spinal decompression. One of the major factors in non-surgical spinal decompression therapy is the controlled stretch and release. This creates a vacuum within the disc, which naturally draws the bulging disc back into place. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression (NSD) is a relatively new non-surgical treatment for most disc problems. It is the only non-surgical treatment currently available that is able to sufficiently relieve pressure on the disc, thus allowing the body to naturally heal itself. It is by far the least risky treatment offered.

Non-surgical spinal decompression (NSD) is a physiotherapy that is a major improvement on older traction modalities by adding computer technology. Computerized distraction with alternate high and low tensions, an actuator, fixed tower and variable angle repetitively unloads the spinal discs and facets at a specific segmental level without eliciting muscular contraction. NSD has been shown to lower intradiscal pressure. An increase in disc height following decompression has also been noted with improvement in discogenic pain. Indications include bulging or herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome, sciatica, neck pain and lower back pain. NSD is commonly used along with other physiotherapy modalities.

Decompression was followed by superficial cold and low level laser therapy (LLLT). LLLT at 830 nm and 90 mW was applied to the involved levels of the spine and associated myofascial trigger points. Most patients also received chiropractic manipulation (unless there was no palpable spinal joint fixation or asymmetry or if the patient preferred no manual treatments). Home exercises to improve flexibility and strength were recommended. For cervical spine cases the exercises consisted of neck stretches, neck isometrics, and axial retraction (chin tuck). For lumbar spine cases, exercises included knee to chest, pelvic tilt, bridge, crunch, prone extension, prone leg raise, side leg raise, quadruped leg raise, and cat/camel. Patients were instructed to do 5 repetitions on each exercise once per day as tolerated.”

Results: Forty-one cervical spine cases and 168 lumbar spine cases were analyzed. A majority (95 percent of cervical cases and 96 percent of lumbar cases) had improvement. Two cervical cases and three lumbar cases had no change in pain. Zero cervical cases and four lumbar cases had a higher ending pain. Temporary soreness was common following lumbar decompression, which was generally relieved by the subsequent application of cold and LLLT. There were no serious adverse effects.

The results are very similar to what we experience at Natural Spine Solutions. I was happy to see we follow this protocol used in the study almost exactly.

How do you know if you are a candidate for spinal decompression? It all starts with an accurate diagnosis. To determine what treatment is most appropriate for you, a thorough evaluation is needed. A detailed history is taken followed by specific physical examination. We will review any imaging you may have had, or if additional testing is needed as indicated by your exam findings, they would be ordered. Once all of the necessary information is obtained, the doctor will review the findings, diagnosis and treatment options with you.

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Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene, 208-966-4425.

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