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Real World Results from Spinal Decompression Therapy

While studies and reports are valuable for determining the efficacy of spinal decompression therapy, they’re not always the best way to connect with potential clients. To healthcare practitioners that work with numbers, statistics, and variables every day, knowing the impact on a population is vital to building trust in the treatment. For patients, sometimes what works best is a story. Behind every spinal decompression therapy machine statistic is a real-world success story. Here’s one:


A 50-year-old woman came to a chiropractic practice seeking relief for neck pain, painful arms, dizziness, and headaches. Her symptoms were getting worse, and she wasn’t able to carry out most activities of daily living on her own. She had already undergone treatments such as drug-based interventions and physiotherapy, but none had been successful in providing lasting relief, let alone healing. The practitioner, having used a spinal decompression therapy machine on other patients, recommended cervical spinal decompression based on several tests.

Prior to Treatment

First, the patient was asked to self-evaluate her pain and disability caused by her condition with the Oswestry Disability Index, a multi-section evaluation that asks the patient questions about their ability to carry out tasks essential to daily living. The patient scored 24 out of 50 points, or 48%, meaning that the pain caused by the condition limits function so much as to be considered severe disability. On a pain scale of ten, she reported level six pain.

Then, the practitioner performed a series of tests to determine the source of her condition. He achieved a positive result from a cervical distraction test, meaning the patient experienced pain relief from a targeted, gentle manipulation of the neck, as well as a positive Dejerine’s Triad test, indicating the presence of nerve compression in the spine.

Reflex testing, an MRI scan, and full cervical x-rays revealed the existence of osteophyte formation in the cervical spine, as well as decreased disc space at C6-7.

Treatment & Results

Based on the findings of the tests, the patient underwent an eight week treatment protocol which included several different treatments including spinal decompression therapy. Her treatment protocol consisted of:

  • Non-surgical spinal decompression
  • Heat therapy, at least ten minutes
  • Ice, at least ten minutes
  • Chiropractic adjustments or CMT as needed
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Home exercises

Her treatment with the spinal decompression therapy machine utilized the HillDT Decompression Table on programs 1 and 2, at a six degree angle and a weight of eight to ten lbs. Each treatment varied from 10 to 15 minutes. Like many non-surgical spinal decompression protocols, she saw minimal results at first, but after 10 regular treatments, her pain dropped from a pain level six on a ten point scale to level zero.

After the turning point about halfway through the treatment protocol, the patient reported decreasing pain and stiffness. She was experiencing no pain and was able to resume many activities of daily living. At the completion of the protocol, she was instructed to continue with daily exercise and stretches, and to strictly limit lifting above the shoulders. The practitioner also recommended spinal decompression maintenance treatment as needed.

Because of her treatment with non-surgical spinal decompression and her adherence to her chiropractor’s instructions, the patient saw incredible improvement, and expressed intent to resume all activities of daily living without assistance within a year.

Want to hear more patient success stories just like this one? Download our case studies to see how healthcare practitioners utilized a spinal decompression therapy machine to help their customers move towards a pain-free life.

Spinal Decompression Therapy Case Studies

Read our case studies to discover how healthcare practitioners used spinal decompression to achieve results for their patients.

Get the Case Studies

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