Anatomy of the Spine
The spine, or vertebral column, is composed of a series of 26 bones. The vertebrae are divided into groups as follows: 7 cervical vertebrae in the neck area, followed by 12 thorasic vertebrae in the middle of the back. Next are 5 lumbar vertebrae in the lower back, followed by the sacrum and the coccyx (tail bone). The vertebral column is designed to enclose and protect the spinal cord and the nerves. As the nerves branch off the spinal cord, they exit the vertebral column and form the peripheral nerves that innervate the body.
Between the vertebrae are intervertebral discs that form strong joints, permit the various movements of the spine, and act as shock absorbers. The disc together with the vertebra above and below it. Comprise one spinal motion segment. In addition to protecting the spinal cord and the nerves, the spine (or vertebral column) is a strong, flexible rod that allows us to bend forward, backward, and sideways. The entire vertebral column is protected and stabilized by the ligaments (strong fibrous bands) and muscles of the back.
Types of back pain:
Acute Back Pain:
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines acute or short-term low back pain as generally lasting from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back or from a disorder such as arthritis. Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues. Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inablilty to stand straight.
Chronic Back Pain:
The Mayo Clinic defines chronic back pain as "nonspecific" long lasting, recurrent pain usually present for three months or more. Chronic back pain is nonspecific because in most cases the cause is unknown or difficult to pin point. The constant presence of chronic pain can not only affect a person's physical well being, but may also affect a person's emotional state. Chronic pain does not normally respond to the same treatments used for acute pain.
Causes of Back Pain:
Most people go through life with poor postural habits that over time create unnecessary stress on the discs, joints, and muscles of the back. The unnecessary stress speeds up the degenerative process of the spine. Occupations that include frequently carrying heavy loads, being required to work while bent over, or having to work in awkward positions puts you at a higher risk for having a low back injury. To understand how these physical stresses contribute to back pain, it is important to understand the intervertebral disc in more detail.
In their function as shock absorbers, the intervertebral discs are designed to allow movement and withstand the compressive loads transmitted through the spine.
In the center of the disc is a gel-like substance called the nucleus pulposus. There are several rings of tough fibrous tissue surrounding the nucleus called the annulus fibrosus. Compressive loads to the spine are distributed by the nucleus pulposus to the annulus fibrosus. The annulus is the principle load bearing structure of the disc. The annulus fibrosus will be able to withstand the compressive loads as long as the forces are adequately distributed by the nucleus. Any impairment in the structures of the intervertebral disc will comprise its ability o withstand compressive loads and will ultimately cause the disc to fail.
The discs in the lumbar spine are subjected to greater compressive loads than the other discs of the spine; especially the discs between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae, the 5th vertebrae and the sacrum. If the supporting structures that protect the spine become injured or weakened, the pressure in the nucleus pulposus may push on the wall of the annulus fibrosus. When this occurs, the nucleus pulposus may push on the wall of the annulus fibrosus (bulging disc), or may itself protrude (herniated disc) through the annulus fibrosus, toward the spinal cord and nerves. The pressure exerted on the spinal cord or nerves may cause considerable pain. For instance, when the roots of the sciatic nerve are irritated, the pain can radiate down the buttocks, the back of the thigh, through the calf, and occasionally into the foot. This is called sciatica.
These are some conditions that may often be treated non-surgically.
(also referred to as a protruding or extruded disc) is a condition where a portion of the gel-like center of the disc has migrated through the layers of the annulus fibrosus. This can cause mechanical pressure on the neighboring structures and trigger chemical reactions resulting in pain and inflammation. These changes will often irritate the nerves, producing numbness or tingling in the legs or feet. Left untreated, this condition may result in life-changing pain and physical disability.
Degenerative disc disease:
is a state of dehydration and deterioration marked by the gradual erosion of the discs ability to distribute and resist mechanical loads. As discs deteriorate, they become more prone to injury from physical stress. Degenerative disc disease may also play a contributing role in conditions such as disc bulges, disc herniations, and stenosis.
Facet syndrome: Facets are the posterior joints of the spine that aid in keeping the vertebrae aligned. Facet syndrome can result from injury or degeneration of the disc and is characterized by pain, stiffness, an inflammation. The pain generally increases with motion and is relieved by rest.
is a condition often associated with a herniated or ruptured disc. When the injured disc compresses one of the spinal nerves leading to the sciatic nerve, it can produce a shock-like pain that travels through the buttocks and down one leg to below the knee. Tingling and numbness are common in this condition. Sciatica can occur suddenly, or develop gradually. The pain and symptoms of sciatica can be intensified by coughing, sneezing, or sitting in the same position for prolonged periods of time.
The Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression System According To The Manufacturer
What is the DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression System?
The DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression System is designed to provide pain relief for compressive and degenerative injuries for the spine. The DRX9000 has given patients relief from back pain has allowed them to resume the activities they love.
The DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression System provides relief of pain and symptoms associated with herniated discs, bulging discs, or protruding intervertebral discs, degenerative disc disease, posterior facet syndrome, spinal stenosis, and sciatica. The therapy is non-invasive and non-surgical.
The theory behind spinal decompression is a process whereby forces are applied to the spine in a manner that maximizes spinal elongation. Spinal elongation is maximized when praspinal muscles, the muscles that guard the spine from injury, are relaxed. When paraspinal muscles relax, applied spinal decompressive forces spread apart the bony vertebra of the spine. This relieves pressure on nerves and intervertebral discs. Where this spinal elongation occurs, pressure drops within the disc which facilitates movement of fluid, carrying nutrients and oxygen inside the disc. Additionally, the reduction in pressure can help draw in herniated disc fluids, reducing the size of the herniation.
How is spinal decompression with the DRX9000 different than traditional traction devices?
Both spinal decompression and traction involve applying forces to the spine in an attempt to elongate it and relieve pressure on the nerves and intervertebral discs. Traction devices apply distractive forces to the spine in a continuous fashion, and increase the amount of force applied linearly. Traction has been used for a long time with very little documented clinical efficacy.
DRX9000 spinal decompression involves application of forces logarithmically to elongate the spine without causing the muscles that guard the spine to contract. The technology required to apply spinal decompressive forces precisely is very advanced. The evolution of spinal decompression have been going on since 2001.
How does the DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression System work?
The DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression System utilizes high-speed treatment computers to calculate the logarithmic spinal decompression treatment curve for each patient. A servo-motor / servo amplifier ("servo-motion system") takes the logarithmic curve and applies the forces to the patient. The servo-amplifier constantly checks (several times per second) and corrects the servo-motor's movement making application of spinal decompressive forces extremely precise. Highly accurate measurement devices inside the DRX9000 monitor changes in decompressive force experienced by each patient.
All of this data is constantly fed back into the treatment computers. The treatment computers constantly calculate corrections and ensure the therapy is true to each patient's logarithmic curve. The constant monitoring, measuring, and correcting process is called a Nested Closed-Loop Feedback System. This methodology is one of the hallmarks of the DRX technology.
What can I expect during the DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression treatment?
During each treatment session the patient relaxes comfortably on a heavily-padded bed. After being secured into position by an upper and lower body harness, the patient can completely relax by watching a DVD, listen to music, or simply take a nap. Each session is divided into 18-phases where spinal decompressive forces alternate between a maximum and minimum therapeutic level. The cycling forces in this manner appear to create a pumping action that stimulates the natural processes responsible for nourishing the intervertebral disc.
Who are the best candidates for DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression treatment?
Patients that will benefit most from the DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression System are those diagnosed with herniated discs, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, or facet syndrome.