Preliminary Data a Boon for New Spinal Decompression

Two pilot studies show that a new non-surgical spinal decompression treatment has a beneficial effect on lower back pain, and that it seems to benefit the morphology of the spine by increasing disc height. One study, authored by Dr. John Leslie of the Mayo Clinic and others, found that clinical use of a spinal decompression system led to an 88.9 percent reduction in pain scores over the course of six weeks, as well as improvement in Oswestry disability scores and a drop in consumption of pain medications.

In the other study, CT scans of the lumbar spine were taken of patients before and after treatment on a spinal decompression system. They showed possible beneficial anatomical changes associated with the treatment.

Dr. Christian Apfel, lead author and associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative care at the University of California at San Francisco, says, "A significant reduction in chronic LBP [lower back pain] after non-invasive spinal decompression correlated with an increase in disc height." Control groups to determine the placebo effect and the extent of spontaneous improvement were not included in the Leslie study.

Thus, to gather definitive data on the effectiveness of a spinal decompression system, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind studies must be undertaken - and for longer periods of time. This study was partially funded by Axiom Worldwide. A similar controlled, randomized trial is called for to prove that an increase in disc height leads to pain amelioration.


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