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Spinal Decompression Frequently Asked Questions

What is Spinal Decompression Traction Therapy?

Spinal Decompression Traction Therapy is a non-surgical, comfortable traction therapy for the relief of back and leg pain or neck and arm pain. During this procedure, by cycling through distraction and relaxation phases and by proper positioning, a spinal disc can be isolated and placed under negative pressure, causing a vacuum effect within it.

What can this vacuum effect do?


The vacuum effect accomplishes two things. From a mechanical standpoint, disc material that has protruded or herniated outside the normal confines of the disc can be pulled back within the disc by the vacuum created within the disc. Also, the vacuum within the disc stimulates in growth of blood supply, secondarily stimulating a healing response. This results in pain reduction and proper healing at the injured site.

What machine is used for this purpose?

There are a number of spinal Decompression machines presently used in the United States. After significant research, Hopkins Clinic for Physical Medicine has chosen to use the Triton DTS machine manufactured by Chattanooga, Inc., the premier manufacturer of physical therapy machines.

Who can benefit from Spinal Decompression Traction Therapy?


Spinal Decompression Traction Therapy is designed to unload the spinal disc. Any back pain or neck pain caused in whole or in part by a damaged disc may be helped by spinal Decompression Traction Therapy. These conditions include herniated, protruding or bulging discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica or radiculopathy (pinched nerves).

Are there conditions where Spinal Decompression is not indicated?

Spinal Decompression Traction Therapy is usually not recommended for pregnant women, or patients who have severe osteoporosis, severe obesity or severe nerve damage. It is not recommended for patients over 70. However, every patient is evaluated on an individual basis.  Spinal surgery with instrumentation (screws and metal plates or “cages”) is also contraindicated.  Surgery to the discs without fusion or fusion using bony replacement is not contraindicated.

How often do I take treatment sessions? How long does each session last?

Each session includes Decompression Traction Therapy takes about 10-15 minutes. Spinal Decompression is usually performed 3-5 times a week for 15-20 sessions maximum depending on the patient’s condition and needs determined by the doctor.

I have had spinal surgery, but continue to have pain. Can I try Spinal Decompression Traction Therapy?

Spinal Decompression Traction Therapy can help people with back pain after failed spinal surgery. It can be performed in most patients who have not been left with an unstable spine after surgery.

How can I be scheduled for Spinal Decompression Traction Therapy?

Simply call our office at 703-663-8808 and tell the receptionist that you are interested in Decompression Traction Therapy.  An initial consultation can usually be scheduled within 48 hours.


Spinal Decompression Frequently Asked Questions in Vienna | (703) 663-8808