Sheppard Spine and Sports Clinic is proud to use the SpineMED System, which is a specialized spinal decompression procedure. Below is more information about spinal decompression and this special, non-surgical and drug-free procedure.
About Spinal Decompression
Spinal discs as we age are prone to injury and degeneration, as they are compressed and twisted through our daily activities. As the disc breaks down, the nucleus loses hydration. This reduces the height of the disc and creates the possibility of acute and chronic disc problems, such as facet syndrome and stenosis. Also, the degeneration of the discs causes the coating to become more brittle. It can be more likely to crack and tear, which can cause a herniated disc. A herniated disc leads to serious pain and complications.
Damaged spinal discs rarely heal because they are under pressure constantly, even when you are resting. It is understood that the best way to improve a disc’s condition is to decompress it. This reduces the intradiscal pressures, and promotes healing.
Spinal decompression reduces intradiscal pressure and increases the osmotic diffusion of fluids and nutrients throughout the discs. This allows the body to help the discs to heal and regenerate.
Why We Use SpineMED for Spinal Decompression Procedures
SpineMED enhances patient comfort during spinal decompression when compared to traditional traction devices that use nylon harnesses. It has been designed to target spinal segments that have been damaged, and decompress discs to promote the natural healing abilities of your body.
SpineMED is commonly used to help with the following conditions:
- Pain caused by herniated or bulging discs that lasts longer than four weeks.
- Recurring pain that lasts longer than six months from a failed back surgery.
- Regular pain from degenerating discs that have not responded to four weeks of traditional therapy.
- Mechanical, lower back pain
Advantages of the SpineMED System
Sheppard Spine and Sports Clinic has chosen to use the SpineMED system for spinal decompression therapies because of the following features. Patients at this clinic can be confident that they are being treated with one of the most advanced spinal decompression systems available.
Advanced Computer Controls To Counteract Reflex Contractions
To achieve proper spinal compression, it is important to distract the spine and not have spasms or reflex muscle contractions. Many patients, especially those with serious, acute, spinal conditions, experience a natural ‘guarding’ reflex when they are put under traction. A recent meta-analysis of several clinical trials determined that few patients show positive results on low back pain from traditional traction used for spinal decompression.
Also, traditional traction has never shown the ability to reduce intradiscal pressures into the desired negative range. In fact, leading spine researchers have concluded that when traditional traction is used and back muscles contract, disc pressures in the spine actually increase.
The SpineMED computer controlled, biofeedback system adjusts forces at a rate of 20 milliseconds, compared to the human neurological response of 50 milliseconds, or 50 times per second. Older spinal decompression devices that use nylon strap systems and pelvic harnesses are unable to react and adjust tension at such a high speed. The load sensors and motors are supposed to adjust forces in under a second on traditional systems. But the actual reaction time is longer because the force is absorbed and dispensed through the pulleys, harness system, traction box and nylon webbing.
The ability to almost immediately sense/adjust tensions is a major difference that sets the SpineMED Decompression System apart from conventional traction systems.
Reduced Force Requirements
The SpineMED system eliminates outdated harnesses, and has a fraction of the force needed with older spinal decompression devices. For instance, the average protocol for a patient who weighs 200 lbs on SpineMED is 60 lb of force. This is compared with more than 110 lbs on previous devices. This improves patient comfort and tolerance of the device, while reducing risks of any negative side effects. Clinical trials have shown that geriatric and frail patients are good candidates for this system because of the reduced forces with the SpineMED system.
Increased Patient Suitability
The ability of this spinal decompression device to achieve excellent results with lower forces increases the number of patients who can use it. SpineMED is often a good choice for patients who are acute to sub-acute, as well as frail and geriatric patients. Pelvic restraints on this device can secure patients comfortably from 70 to 500 lbs.
Sessions Are Repeatable
The comfort and ease of use of the SpineMED system mean that patients will be able to use it repeatedly without complications or discomfort. The pelvic restraint systems will secure the pelvis comfortably, without the need of uncomfortable nylon harnesses. Direct capture offers a comfortable, secure and repeatable setup. It eliminates the slippage and inconvenience of the nylon harness on older spinal decompression systems.
A typical SpineMED protocol features 20-25 sessions that are each approximately 30 minutes. There are three to five sessions per week over a four to six week period. Decompression procedures are done with you being fully clothed, and is entirely safe and free of pain. In fact, it is not unusual for patients to fall asleep during treatment. Each session builds on the last, and you will be able to substantially reduce your pain and improve function as you progress through your SpineMED program.