Decompression machine

I'm looking for feedback from anyone that has tried decompression treatment for herniated disc/sciatica.  Specifically  - sessions on a decompression machine along with related treatments at an office of a trained/qualified spine specialist.  I'm considering this treatment (and the significant financial expense) before going to my last resort which is a microdiscectomy surgery. My other option is to go ahead with the surgery now.  All other options have not worked. 

Thanks for any feedback regarding your experience! 



  • No my insurance isn't covering this. 

  • ArizonaAArizona ArizonaPosts: 191

    I've tried it a couple of tines, from a chiropractor that accepts my insurance.  It didn't help me.

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  • I tried it for a total of 20 treatments. Didn't help one bit.

  • AndyShutzAAndyShutz Lake forest Posts: 14
    I did this ass well a few years back, I had marginal success. I remember reading that there are certain brands or technologies to stay away from. Definitely do as much homework as possible, when you start messing with your backs structure, its serious.
  • I received instant relief of sciatica using an inversion table.  Unfortunately the relief only lasted while inverted.  I used to have to sleep curled in a ball to avoid pain and by two in the morning I just wanted to stretch my legs but that would have triggered nasty pain so I would get up and read hanging upside down for twenty minutes on the inversion table and then go back to bed curled up again.  That was a couple of years ago now.

    I subsequently bought a chiropractic table with pulsing traction, vibration, heat and roller massaging.  I don't know if it has helped as I have also been going to Pilates classes twice a week and am pretty free of pain although I can't lift hardly anything or do any jumping.

    On the point of view of decompression - when I mentioned it to the spine doctor he said that it wasn't proven.  I think he meant that it hadn't been shown that decompression was achieved.  However, decompression is most certainly achieved by our astronaunts who achieve substantial decompression through long term weightlessness (unfortunately also achieving substantial muscle loss leaving them with rather painful back conditions) so decompression IS achievable.  However, I think it must require very frequent and sustained practice to achieve decompression - at least I am trying.  I don't think a few sessions with a chiropractor could help much.

    There are other alternatives besides the chiropractic and inversion tables.  I think the solution is frequent and consistent practice.

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  • LeoBLLeoB Posts: 6
    edited 08/21/2019 - 7:38 PM

    Just a quick update - I ended up going for this treatment for 3 full months, 4 days a week, every week for a total of close to 50 sessions.  My severe pain began improving after about 5 to 6 weeks and was much better by the time I stopped going.  It's been about a year and I haven't had that severe pain anymore fortunately, but still have discomfort/mild pain in my right leg and occasionaly in my back. 

     The worst part is the nerve damage in my right foot which has not gotten better at all in 3 years.  I have some dead nerves in my foot now and there's constant discomfort and driving is no fun at all (since I press the gas pedal with my right foot).  So while I'm grateful for not having any more of that intolerable pain, I really wish there was something I can do to reverse the nerve damange. 

  • Hi LeoB,

    Just to clarify, the treatment you did for 3 months was using an inversion table?  How long did each treatment session last?

  • Actually not an inversion table... it's a decompression machine that's available in certain chiropractor and other treatment offices.  Specifically this one: DRX9000, you can Google it, this site won't let me post a link. 

    Each session is about 20 minutes followed by icing and electric stimulation for about 15-20 minutes more. 

  • Talk to your doctor about the nerve damage .  My understanding is that true nerve damage is irreversible but you may not have true/irreversible nerve damage so your doctor/specialist will be able to tell you what you have.   If it is reversible the most likely course of recommended action will probably be a physical therapy program.

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