Many times when people with back pain enter the office they invariably ask if the big machine in that room can help them. I always respond with “it depends on what is causing your back pain”. Not everyone can be treated on the DRX9000 and not everyone should be treated on the DRX9000 – regardless of what ad you may have seen online or in the paper. I usually explain to the patient that someone has to have a real bad back issue before we consider putting them on the machine.
What is a “really bad back issue” that requires the DRX9000? The first condition we always discuss is a lower back disc injury. Disc bulges and herniations may be a reason someone can be treated on the DRX9000. It is important to assess if the disc is actually causing the lower back or leg pain. Recent studies have shown that positive disc findings on MRI have a high degree of NOT causing back or leg pain. A thorough history and examination can determine if the disc in question is actually causing the pain. If it is not, then we do not treat it symptomatically, we may prescribe some exercises to keep that disc from one day causing pain.
Should it be identified that the disc in question is causing the pain, then we need to look further into the patient’s symptoms. Do they have any stenosis, and if so what is the cause? As discussed in a previous article, stenosis is just the closing in of a hole; in this definition the hole that the nerve enters and exits. That could be the sciatic nerve or other spinal nerves. If there is stenosis is it boney or soft tissue? Boney stenosis is self-explanatory; for some reason a bone is impinging on the hole that the nerve transverses through. In this case we do not proceed further with DRX9000 treatment. If it is soft tissue, such as the disc or an adjacent ligament, then spinal decompression treatment is very much indicated.
We follow this process with all lower back injuries to see if they could be treated with the DRX9000. Other injuries that could be helped are facet arthrosis/arthritis (joints that connect one vertebrae to the other that are injured or inflamed) and some forms of scoliosis that cause back pain.
There are true contraindications for spinal decompression which include surgery within the last 6 months, metal implants, mesh and other hardware. We generally do not treat anyone with the DRX9000 if they have boney central canal stenosis because they have poor outcomes.
Back to the first question, who can be helped with the DRX9000? Someone who may suffer with any of the above issues without the contraindications; in these cases we will consider DRX9000 as a viable treatment option. If someone cannot be treated with spinal decompression, we do offer other treatment options and therapies that have excellent out comes; again depending on the results of the full analysis.
Until Next Time,