Frequently Asked Questions About VAX-D

VAX-D Therapy offers a first choice, non-interventional therapy for patients with disabling low back pain.  VAX-D Therapy is designed to relieve pressure on structures that may be causing low back and peripheral radicular pain associated with herniated lumbar discs, degenerated disc disease, sciatica nerve compression, and posterior facet syndrome.
It's understandable that you will have many questions about VAX-D. It's always wise to investigate all your options when it comes to you and your family's health. Below are some of the most commonly asked question that we, as VAX-D professionals, hear from our patients.

What is VAX-D and how does it work?
VAX-D stands for Vertebral Axial Decompression.  This is a breakthrough for the treatment of disabling low back pain and sciatica caused by degenerated and herniated disc disease.  VAX-D is a patented technology that gently stretches the spine and decompresses discs. Pressures in the lower lumber spine can be as high as +180 mm of mercury during many common daily activities. VAX-D Treatment is able to reduce the pressure in the lumbar spine down to levels of –180 mm of mercury, allowing fluids and nutrients to re-enter the disc; reducing swelling and relieving the pressure on pinched nerves. In short, VAX-D breaks the cycle of pain caused by bulging and degenerated discs and helps the body heal itself.
This therapy is an inherently safe procedure that is not just aimed at treating symptoms but is designed to alleviate the underlying problems that cause low back pain.  Patients are treated fully clothed and are fitted with a harness that fits around their pelvis as they lie face down on a motorized Table. A Certified VAX-D technician operates the table from a computerized console. Each treatment takes about 45 minutes. Most patients find VAX-D to be comfortable and relief of pain can usually be noticed in the first few sessions.

Will VAX-D Therapy help a slipped disc?
A bulging or "herniated" disc is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "slipped" disc. VAX-D succeeds at treating bulging or herniated discs over 80% of the time.
Patients with multiple herniations can also respond to the treatment.  The table is actually causing decompression up to the level of the tenth thoracic vertebral level.  This allows multiple areas to be decompressed simultaneously.

If I’ve had back surgery, can I still have VAX-D?
Having back surgery does not prevent you from having VAX-D unless you have fixed surgical hardware used to fuse the spine. In fact, clinical studies show that VAX-D provides relief for patients who have had one or more back surgeries.

If I go on VAX-D, how many treatments will I need, and how quickly can I expect to get better?
The number of treatment sessions required depends upon the diagnosis and the overall severity of your condition. One treatment session usually runs 60-90 minutes. The first 45 minutes the patient undergoes decompression on the VAX-D table.  This is followed by approximately fifteen to thirty minutes of therapy consisting of electric stimulation and hot or cold packs.  In most cases the patient will then see the doctor for conservative spinal manipulation therapy.  Research has established that optimum clinical results are achieved with each session consisting of fifteen decompression-relaxation cycles administered once or twice daily.  The total number of treatments averages between 20 and 30 sessions. Some difficult cases may require additional sessions. Relief from pain varies with each individual and their physiology. However, most patients will experience some pain relief within the first few treatments.
Experience has shown that the majority of patients that recover on VAX-D therapy generally remain in remission.  However, we have seen in some individuals whose lifestyle or work environment tends to expose them to higher risk factors or who suffer from severe disc degeneration have found that a maintenance program is beneficial.  In most cases continued conservative care such as chiropractic care has shown effective.  In more severe cases, additional VAX-D sessions in combination with chiropractic care is sometimes needed.  Frequency of the maintenance session usually consists of one or two sessions per month on the VAX-D table.   This offers a measure of protection against disabling exacerbations of their low back pain syndrome.  Patients in this category tend to develop their own rhythm of maintenance visits that keep them free of problems.

Is VAX-D better than surgery?
In most cases, VAX-D is better than surgery. This is due to the fact that surgery physically alters the spine by removing all or part of the problematic disc. Although this can reduce the pressure on the nerve, and relieve the back pain, the surgery tends to place more stress on the healthy discs above and below. Complications from surgery can be severe and may result in debilitating conditions. Clinical studies show that VAX-D is successful in about 8 out of 10 cases.
One of VAX-D Therapy’s most important qualities is that it does no harm.  If it does not help a patient, that is all it does.  It does not make a patient worse.

Are there any reasons that I can’t go on VAX-D?
There are a few individuals that cannot take advantage of this treatment.
These people have conditions such as:
  • Tumors
  • Fractures
  • Advanced Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy or 
  • Certain conditions (diseases) that compromise the structural integrity of the spine and discs. These conditions are present in only a small percentage of the population.

How does VAX-D therapy work to relieve pain and disability?
VAX-D utilizes a patented hand grip method of restraining the upper body while the pelvic harness is secured on the patient and attached to the movable tension meter housing.  The divided table provides for progressive distraction of the spine between the pelvic girdle and the fixed shoulder girdle under controlled parameters determined by the computer logic controlled system.  Decompression is achieved in the patient from the tenth thoracic vertebrae through the lumbar spine to the sacrum.  Changes in intervertebral discs and facet joints of the lumbar spine exert pressure on vital structures resulting in pain, muscle spasm and inflammation.  The VAX-D Decompression table relieves pressure and the factors causing pain through precisely controlled adjustments along the natural anatomical lines of the spinal column.  It does so without applying undesirable twisting or rotational movements to the lumbar spine.

If VAX-D works so well, how come I haven’t heard more about it?
VAX-D is a relatively new medical procedure in the United States. The therapy has worked for thousands of patients, and thousands of patients per day continue to benefit from the treatment. The awareness of VAX-D is growing every day, as physicians and healthcare providers learn about VAX-D and the phenomenal results it has achieved in numerous clinical studies. As a result, VAX-D is now becoming a standard of care for chronic low back pain.

How is VAX-D different from traction or the other treatment claiming to decompress the spine?
Although traction devices can stretch the lower back, they have not demonstrated the ability to decompress the lumbar discs and spinal nerves. Traction tables have a small electric wench that attaches to the head of the table. A rope and pulley are then attached to either a cervical device or lumbar belts. Either static or intermittent traction modes can be chosen, but neither have been shown to reduce intradiscal pressure and decompress the discs and nerves.
VAX-D Therapy has been proven as an effective therapy in several separate and distinct clinical settings.  In one study, radiological research was carried out in which fluoroscopic videos of patients with a myelogram were recorded while patients were undergoing VAX-D therapy.  Distraction of intervertebral lumbar spaces was observed on VAX-D Therapy, and the filling defect of a myelogram from a herniated disc was decreased.  Records were obtained showing a myelogram displacement, from a herniated disc at L4-5, change from a convex image of a disc bulge to a concave image, created by decompressing the intradiscal space during VAX-D Therapy.
The greatest amount of intervertebral distraction and subsequent spinal decompression is achieved at the L4-5 and L5-S1 disc space and decreases gradually toward the upper lumbar and lower thoracic levels of the spinal column. 
Treatment begins with a VAX-D technician fitting you with a special lumbar belt.  Then you lie down on the table and take hold of the handles at the head of the table.  The tech then attaches the strap from the lumbar belt to the foot of the table.    During a treatment, the bottom half of the VAX-D table gently glides apart from the top half.  Because the lumbar belt you are wearing is attached at the bottom, you will feel a very strong but painless force pull on your lower spine.  This is the decompression part of the treatment, and it dramatically reduces the pressure inside the center of your injured disc.  After sixty seconds, the lower half of the table glides back home again.  This allows your lower back to relax for sixty seconds.  Then the lower half glides away again and after another sixty seconds of decompression, it returns home for another sixty seconds of relaxation.  These alternating cycles of decompression and relaxation continue for thirty to forty five minutes.  The patented design of the table allows the patient to let go of the special hand grips at any time during the course of the treatment.  This helps the patient to be more relaxed and causes less muscle spasms or guarding during the treatment.  If spasms do occur, the tension meter recognizes this and releases pressure until the muscles relax and then it begins to pull again.  In situations where the patient is unable to hold onto the hand pads due to shoulder injuries, a special shoulder harness is used to distract the spine. 
The key to success of VAX-D treatments, and what makes VAX-D altogether different from traction or the flexion/distraction treatments done by physical therapist and chiropractors, is the extraordinarily low pressure that is created within the injured disc.  Normally, even when you are lying down and resting, the pressure within each one of your discs is approximately 75 mm of mercury.   Upon standing this pressure can rise to as much as 180 mm of Hg.  (“mm” of mercury is simply the way scientists measure the amount of pressure inside the disc.)
During VAX-D, treatments are able to reduce the pressure in the lumbar spine down to levels of –180 mm of mercury, allowing fluids and nutrients to re-enter the disc; reducing swelling and relieving the pressure on pinched nerves.  This is a very low pressure.  Traction and distraction devices cannot achieve this.  This is important because this is what allows the magic of VAX-D to take place.
Intradiscal pressure measurements on patients undergoing VAX-D therapy have shown that the extent of decompression measured in mm of Hg follows an inverse relationship to the tension applied to the pelvic belt during therapy.  The amount of decompression generated by the VAX-D table is computer controlled and guided by the use of a tension meter.  The technician can also change this by simply changing the working air pressure.
Remember, while there are veins and arteries in the vertebrae around your discs, there is no blood getting from them into the discs.  However, the extremely low, negative pressure created within the disc during a VAX-D treatment works like a vacuum, and that vacuum allows three things to happen.  First, much of the bulging or herniated material is pulled back into the center of the disc.  Second, the torn or ruptured annulus fibers are pulled together and realigned for the first time.  Third and just as important, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are sucked into the disc from the blood supply in the surrounding vertebrae. 
This is vital to the healing process, and it’s actually what makes VAX-D such a clinical breakthrough.  The disc is nourished, the nucleus pulposus is pulled back to the center of the disc and the bulge is eliminated, the annulus fibers are realigned and heal, and you, the patient, are no longer in pain.

Why should I consider VAX-D Therapy?
VAX-D is the original patented, non-surgical treatment for low back pain and the only treatment that delivers VAX-D’s patented decompression curve, resulting in a success rate of over 80% in most cases.
VAX-D Therapy has been proven safe and effective in numerous clinical studies. Other so-called ‘decompression treatments’ simply do not have published clinical studies proving they can lower intradiscal pressure.
VAX-D Therapy is non-invasive and without the risks and complications associated with surgery, injections and anesthesia. VAX-D is painless and most patients can remain at light duty work while taking treatment. VAX-D is also easy and convenient. 

How can I find out more about VAX-D therapy?
We welcome your questions and offer free consultations twice per week.  Please call us at 237-2273 to make an appointment.  At that time we will schedule an initial exam to assess your condition.  If you are a candidate for VAX-D therapy, a treatment program will be prescribed to suit your needs.
We are committed to better health and serving you.  Call us today at  337-237-2273.