(DTS) Spinal Decompression Therapy
Phase I: The Treatment Begins
DTS Spinal Decompression Therapy is performed on a specifically designed table in either a face up or face down position. Clinical consideration and your comfort are used in deciding which position will be best for you. We may begin in one position but in later sessions it may be necessary to change positions. You will remain fully dressed during the treatment though we recommend wearing loose fitting clothes, and removal of your belt and objects from your pockets. You will be comfortably positioned on the table and fitted with a wrap-around harness. This restraint is what allows the unloading of the spine and discs by the traction motor. Your position on the table, the harness, and the angle of the gentle distraction allows for accurate and focused treatment to the affected disk. Once comfortable on the DTS the computer controlled traction device is programmed to deliver a gentle stretching force to the spinal vertebra. This force is delivered directly to the harness system. The DTS system applies the gentle force then releases it approximately every minute throughout the session. The total treatment time is usually less than 18 minutes and often just ten minutes. Most patients report simply feeling a subtle and gentle stretching at their lower back or around their hips. Since DTS is a comfort-based procedure, patients usually report a sense of relief and relaxation during the session. Many patients even fall to sleep.
Hydrating/ Nourishing the Discs
The gentle stretching and relaxing of the spine fosters a phenomenon called "imbibition." In the simplest of terms, this is the way a normal disc gets nutrition. This pumping action promotes nutrition in take into the discs, something often lost in damaged and degenerative disc conditions. In healthy discs, hydrating occurs naturally with daily motions and body positions and accounts for the increase of disc thickness in the morning and decrease at night. A disc with fewer nutrients and hydration, is more likely to become injured and painful. Stretching, or tractioning the spine in a controlled, comfortable manner can help re-establish a more normal hydration and nourishment. This can re-supply the disc with nutrients and blood contact that help the disc heal from the inside out. Also the dramatic decrease of pressure in the disc (decompression) can foster the drawing in of a bulge and help take the pressure off a "pinched" spinal nerve.
Re-establish Structural Support
Although most patients report dramatic reduction of their pain within as few as five treatments, an injured spinal disc needs to heal. This is why we urge you to be regular with your prescribed treatments and office visits. Research shows to completely heal some discs a regular program of home exercises, prescribed by Dr. Milnes will need to be followed. Spinal disc structures can take months to heal. Even though your pain may be gone, you must stay on the treatment plan in order to keep your spine healthy.
As you become more mobile and more able to return to your normal lifestyle, your increased activity is what your spine needs most. Now you will be hydrating your spine naturally, like people with healthy discs. Movement is life, and your spine depends on the muscle activity to support your spine, and create fluid movement to and from the discs.
Phase II: Stabilization of Structure
Pain is Under Control: Rehabilitate the Structures Supporting the Disc.
Most patients feel significant pain reduction in as few as five DTS Therapy Treatments. That however does not mean the healing process is complete, or that pain won't return.
During Phase II of your DTS Therapy treatments, our office will prescribe a series of rehabilitative measures in order to more fully heal your discs, and keep the pain from returning. Most low back pain sufferers have two compounding problems that have contributed to their disc injury and limited their natural healing abilities.
- Decreases Spine Flexibility
- Poor Muscle Control
A program of focused rehabilitative exercise may begin during or after your DTS Therapy course of treatment. Our rehabilitation program involves several clinically effective, yet simple pain-free activities. This allows you to monitor and control spinal motion and re-claim proper spinal movement patterns. Strengthening the muscles that support the spine, and regaining endurance in them, is also vital for spine health.
All the body systems must work in concert for optimum health so nutritional and lifestyle advice may be given as well as an at-home exercise program. We cannot over emphasis the importance of at-home exercises. What you do at home is integral to the overall success we have. Studies show consistent stabilization and endurance exercises control back pain and reduce injury. At what point you start the exercise program is a function of your pain and overall progress based on our findings.
Phase III: Support of Muscular System
During Phase III, we'll structure an in-office and at-home based exercise program that will help bring your spine back to health. This exercise program may include resistance training and other "core" exercises. Regular and consistent home-based exercise is one of the keys to long-term relief. We have found through experience the simple home-based exercises we prescribe are most effective. Introduction to the low tech movement exercises you can do to speed the healing process are one of the most important parts of the DTS Therapy System.