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Here you'll find some answers to the frequently asked questions that our patients often have. Either click on the question to go directly to the answer, or simply scroll down the page to browse the question and answers

What causes low back pain?
Low back pain can be caused by a number of factors ranging from traumatic injuries to the natural effects of aging and gravity. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae, which are made of bone. Between each vertebra are liquid filled discs with a durable, yet flexible outer layer of cartilage. These discs function as protective cushions or "shock absorbers" to protect the vertebra, spinal cord and spinal nerves. Many of the problems that cause back pain are the result of herniation and degeneration of the intervertebral disc. Degeneration is due to the process of wear and tear through repetitive trauma or severe trauma that causes deterioration or degenerative changes of the disc. Herniations, protrusions, bulges and extrusions of the disc occur when the inner liquid substance known as the nucleus pulposis pushes outward. This creates a painful distortion and thinning of the disc, resulting in severe pain from the damaged disc itself, and often associated nerve pain or neurological deficit (numbness, weakness, loss of balance) from direct pressure against the spinal cord or adjacent spinal nerve.

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If I undergo Spinal Decompression treatment, how long does it take to see results?
Most patients report a reduction in pain after the first few sessions. Typically, significant improvement is obtained during the second week of treatment. The rate of recovery is usually dependant upon the severity of the condition, and the age and health of the patient, and the patient's compliance to the doctor's recommendations and treatment protocol.

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How long does it take to complete my Spinal Decompression and core rehabilitation treatments?
Each spinal decompression treatment, including pre and post decompression therapy lasts approximately 60-90 minutes. The course of care usually ranges from 20 to 30 spinal decompression therapy visits over a 5-10 week period. This is in conjunction with a custom designed targeted core strengthenging rehabilitation program, started at the doctors discretion typically 2-4 weeks into the decompression phase, and which usually extends an addition 2-4 weeks beyond the completion of the decompression phase of care.

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Is DRX9000 Treatment Covered By My Health Insurance?
The DRX9000 is an elective procedure and IS NOT COVERED by most insurance companies. However, most of the adjunctive procedures that we provide along with the DRX procedure ARE COVERED! Each policy varies in terms of benefits and coverage. Our friendly patient services coordinator provides our patients with a complimentary insurance verification of benefits check.

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Why do some offices claim the DRX "is covered by health insurance"?
Unfortunately, some offices deceive patients to gain their business by making this false claim. A simple web search will quickly and easily clarify the facts that the physicians offices that make this claim are lying. Sadly, they often end up billing their victims for services that were never covered to begin with. This is very unfortunate and we encourage patients to report offices that resort to these types of deceitful marketing tactics.

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Do I qualify for Spinal Decompression treatment?
Only a qualified professional, trained to thoroughly examine your condition and interpret your diagnostic imaging findings, (MRI, CT, X-Ray) can determine if you qualify for our program of care. Proper patient selection is essential to favorable outcomes. The list of Inclusion and Exclusion criteria below are provided as a guideline to determine the primary factors Dr. Bell considers in the patient selection process. Additionally, each case must be evaluated on an individual "face to face" basis in order to address the unique health status of each of our potential patients. If Dr. Bell determines that you cannot be helped by his non-surgical spinal decompression and rehabilitation program, he will review the best medical or alternative options available to you and refer you to the appropriate specialist. Inclusion Criteria: • Pain due to herniated, protruding, bulging or degenerated lumbar discs that is more than four weeks old • Recurrent pain from a failed back surgery that is more than six months old. • Persistent pain from degenerated disc not responding to four weeks of therapy. • Patients available for 5 - 10 weeks of treatment protocol. Exclusion Criteria: • Appliances such as pedicle screws and rods • Pregnancy (2nd & 3rd Trimesters) • Prior lumbar fusion less than six months old • Metastatic cancer • Severe osteoporosis • Spondylolisthesis (unstable) • Compression fracture of lumbar spine below L-1 (recent). • Pars defect • Pathologic aortic aneurysm. • Pelvic or abdominal cancer • Disc space infections • Severe peripheral neuropathy • Hemiplegia, paraplegia, or cognitive dysfunction.

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Are there any side effects to the treatment?
Most patients do not experience any side effects. However, some patients on rare occasions may experience temporary soreness, or occasionally, mild muscle spasms following their decompression therapy session.

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How does Spinal Decompression separate each vertebra and allow for decompression at a specific level?
Our Spinal Decompression DRX machines use advanced technology in the form of medically engineered computer software and computer controlled servomotors, combined with the finest engineered decompression tower and table to apply "disc focused" decompression forces to specific segments and discs of the spine. This decompression technique utilizes a logarithmic pulling curve that creates and sustains a precise negative pressure within the targeted disc for a pre-programmed length of time. Research has caused medical experts to believe this negative pressure creates a vacuum effect that draws in nutrients and fluids to promote the repair of injured discs and surrounding tissues. This vacuum effect has also been shown to aid in the retraction or "suction" of escaped cushioning fluid-gel from the herniated or protruding discs.

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Is there any risk to the patient during treatment on the DRX9000 or DRX9000C?
Patients who qualify as candidates for our program have minimal to no risks of injury. Certain medical conditions may require specific adjustments to the individual's treatment protocol, which are discussed before treatment begins. Our DRX Spinal Decompression machines employ "patient control stop switches" (a requirement of the FDA) for both the patient and the operator for immediate termination of the decompression treatment at any time during treatment.

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How does Spinal Decompression treatment differ from ordinary spinal traction?
Traction can be helpful for reducing, but not reversing pressure within the disc. As a result, traditional traction cannot address the source of most disc problems. DRX True Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression creates a negative pressure or suction effect inside the disc. This effect pulls back the herniated or protruding inner disc material toward the center of the disc where it belongs. This negative pressure also restores the flow of oxygen, water and nutrients back into the disc allowing the outer bands or layers of the injured discs to be repaired and healed. According to medical research, traction and inversion tables, can only reduce the pressure within the disc to about +30 mmHg. This positive pressure prevents retraction of herniated disc material and cannot draw additional oxygen or healing elements into the disc. Relief obtained, if any, is temporary and must be repeated regularly, since the disc is never healed. Simple traction also often triggers the body's normal stretching reflex response, causing painful muscle spasms that worsen the pain or even further compress damaged discs in the affected area. Computerized Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression, however, has been clinically proven to reverse the intradiscal pressure (pressure measured within the disc) to between a -150 to -200 mmHg. This is the only way herniated, bulging or extruded inner disc material can be drawn back into the center of the disc, allowing the outer ligamentous bands to be repaired and healed. It is also the only way fresh oxygen, water, and healing elements can be drawn back into the disc safely and effectively, allowing the disc become healthy once again.

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Can Spinal Decompression be used for patients that have had spinal surgery?
While each patient who has suffered from a failed back or neck surgery must be evaluated on a case by case basis, if there has been a recent surgery (within 6 months), recent fusion (within 9 months), or metallic plates, cages, screws, or other hardware implanted,(ie. cord stimulator) our decompression program would be contraindicated. However, in most cases our DRX Spinal Decompression treatment is not contraindicated for patients that have had spinal surgery. In fact many patients have found success with our program of care even after their spine surgery has failed. This includes percutaneous or laser microdiscectomy, laminectomy, laminotomy, foraminotomy, intradiscal electrothermal therapy or annuloplasty (IDET), and radiofrequency neurotomy (RFN).

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Who is a candidate for our DRX Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression and Target Focused Core Rehabilitation Program?
Candidates for our program of care include the following: 1] Someone you know who is suffering from severe lower back pain, leg pain, or neck pain due to a herniated or degenerated disc or discs. 2] Someone you know who has been told they need surgery, but wishes to avoid it. 3] Someone you know who has been told there is nothing more that can be done to relieve their pain, and they are relying on potentially dangerous medication for minimal relief, and would like a non-surgical, non-drug solution to their pain. 4] Someone you know who has failed to significantly respond to conservative options (medications, physical therapy, bed rest, exercise, injections, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, etc.) who still has severe pain and wants a highly effective, long lasting, proven and safe solution to their pain. That someone could be you or someone you know. If you or someone you know and care for is suffering from chronic and severe low back pain, sciatica, or neck pain, please call our offices today for a convenient time and date where Dr. Bell can provide you with the information and advanced professional care you need to finally get out of pain, and get your life back!

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