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Chiropractic Patient Information

A letter from the Doctor

Dr Martinez: On Lumber Decompression

Thank you for inquiring about Lumbar Decompression therapy. The enclosed material covers some of the commonly asked questions most patients have concerning Internal Disc Decompression (IDD) Therapy. In the many years that I have been employing this procedure, my need to refer out for low back surgery has decreased from an average of 15 cases per year to only 1-3 per year.

As a pre-surgical application, the goal is reduction and or elimination of the disc bulge. Unlike simple traction, the design of the ABS System allows the physician to target specific levels of the lumbar spine. The ABS System utilizes decompression to reduce pressure within the spinal disc(s). Reducing the pressure within the disc creates a vacuum effect which results in the re-hydration of the disc. The vacuum effect also increases diffusion into the disc thus increasing nutrition to the disc and joints. Furthermore, decompression mechanically reduces the irritation of the facet joints and other structures and disrupts and orients adhesions. The most clinically significant outcome of IDD Therapy is that the clinical trials have demonstrated that as the disc is distracted, the tears in the annulus are brought into alignment and eventually demonstrate repair on post-MRI studies.

You might find it interesting to note that IDD Therapy may also be appropriate for post surgical rehabilitation provided that no fusion has been done to the level of involvement. As a post-surgical application, the goal is to disrupt adhesions that may have been present prior to the surgery but certainly those that have formed as a direct result of the surgery. We have had very good results with the classic “failed back surgery’ patient.

Treatment with the Decompression System is coupled with specific manual manipulation to the area of involvement that does not utilize or induce any torsion to the lower back. This allows for further disruption of adhesions and restoration of normal motion dynamics to the joint complex. In conjunction with a physical therapy program designed to re-pattern the pelvic muscles, hip extensors and hip flexors, we have developed a program that is extremely effective at eliminating lower back pain resulting from mechanical causes.

While there are a multitude of causes of mechanical lower back pain, our program has had the most success with Lateral Focal Disc Protrusions and Degenerative Joint Disease without lateral or central canal recess stenosis from osteophytes. With this focus group, we have achieved our highest success rates of 90%. Our Success rates at dealing with central disc protrusions and broad based disc bulges are in the order of 50%.

As an alternative to physical therapy and even possibly surgery, I ask that you instead consider IDD Therapy. The procedure is covered by most insurance plans and I am contracted with nearly all insurance panels. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly.


Xavier Martinez, D.C.

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