Image: A motorized traction system helps relieve back pains (Photo courtesy of Excite Medical).
A non-surgical motorized traction system provides a novel modality for the management of patients suffering from incapacitating low back pain and sciatica.
The Excite Medical (Tampa, FL, USA) DRX9000 system is designed to apply spinal decompressive forces to both compressive and degenerative injuries of the spine via motorized traction, in order to relieve the pain associated with herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, posterior facet syndrome, and radicular pain. The system provides accurately controlled logarithmic distraction tensions that relax and confuse paraspinal muscles, allowing decompression of the intervertebral spinal disc space.
The treatment computer constantly updates an amplifier controlling a servo-motor to immediately and safely apply forces as input by qualified healthcare personnel on the user interface. Load-cell feedback is utilized to further verify and adjust tensile forces, allowing for variations in patient posture and outside forces so that continuous and smooth tension is experienced by the patient. A built-in safety switch held by the patient allows him at any time and for any reason to quickly pause any tensile forces; the patient safety switch is monitored and executed by two redundant systems.
A free-floating lower body mattress allows the inter-discal segments of the lumbar spine to decompress at their own rate. As tension is cycled, the lower body can extend independent of the upper body, which is held in place via a textile restraining harness. The treatment bed and textile harness allow patients to experience complete relaxation, and require no conscious exertion on their part. This, in turn, helps encourage paraspinal muscle relaxation from both a physical and psychological standpoint, and is a key to spinal decompression.
“DRX treatment has proved to be a leading technology for the non-surgical and drug-free treatment of chronic lower back pain, like that due to herniated disc, bulging disc, and degenerative disc disease,” said Saleem Musallam, founder and president of Excite Medical. “In today’s health-conscious climate, patients suffering with back pain, neck pain, sciatica, and other disc related conditions are looking for a drug-free, pain-free, non-surgical treatment option.”
Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy involves stretching the spine, using a traction table or similar motorized device to create a negative intra-discal pressure that promotes retraction or repositioning of the herniated or bulging disc material. The resulting lower pressure in the disc space also causes an influx of healing nutrients and other substances.