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There has been much information in the media about the merits of spinal decompression.  In order to appreciate the merits of the this technology, you must first understand the condition it treats.

Spinal decompression is form of computerized mechanical traction that puts negative pressure on each disc, to alleviate the pressure on nerves and the associated pain that accompanies disc herniation, protrusion or prolapse.

When a disc is herniated, the disc material is no longer contained and moves from its place between each vertebra into the space occupied by the sensitive nerves. When the nerves become compressed or irritated, the patient experiences serious pain that often goes down a leg to the foot. Often, this pain resists even the strongest of pain medications. Many times, the condition warrants the use of highly addictive medications, opiates such as morphine, to mask the pain long enough to give the patient some relief. Long term however, the risk for addiction increases, while the source of the pain is untreated. In the absence of progress, the patient may be fast-tracked to surgery.

Surgery attempts to treat the condition by shaving the bulging part of the disc to decompress the nerves. While this can relieve pain in the short term, the long term consequences of spinal surgey are, all too often, problematic.

Spinal decompression, as the name says, can decompress the nerve without surgery. This eliminates the source of the pain, therefore eliminating the need for risky spinal surgery and the subsequent months of post-surgical down time.

The 3D ActiveTrac is an innovative technology that has received FDA clearance as a safe treatment for low back pain.

The 3D ActiveTrak uses computerized mechanical traction combined with spinal decompression to treat various spinal conditions, including: herniated, prolapsed or bulging discs, sciatica, pinched nerve, whiplash injury and degenerative changes in the spine . It is being hailed as a state of the art alternative to invasive and risky back surgery.

It should be noted that not all patients are good candidates for the3D ActiveTrak. Your chiropractor will evaluate each patient independently.

The 3D ActiveTrak uses computerized mechanical traction to slowly and gently elongate the spine to increase the intervertebral disc spaces, decompressing nerve roots. As it is computer-controlled, the process is precise which both allows for precise repetition in subsequent treatments and eliminates the risk for additional injury.

The treatment usually takes two to three weeks of repeated sessions 2 to 3 times per week, and then 2-3 weeks of 2 sessions/week.

After just one treatment on the 3D ActiveTrak, patients have reported less pain and more mobility. In several clinical trials, 86% of the test subjects reported immediate resolution of their pain following treatment. Of those 86%, 90% reported lasting pain relief beyond 90 days. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy has been studied and discussed in several academic and industry papers.

Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD, Summer 1994.
Thomas A. Gionis, MD, JD, MBA, MHA, FICS, FRCS, Eric Groteke, DC, CCIC, Spinal Decompression, Orthopedic Technology Review Nov/Dec 2003, Vol. 5, No. 6