Can a non surgical and pain free treatment “retract” herniated plates, an incessant reason for lower back agony? Lets take a closer look into the possibility of reversing or retracting a herniated disc.
Your spine bones are separated by cushion like pads called discs to protect against friction, pressure and shock . That disc is constantly under positive weight and pressure, even when we are at rest. When this pressure is beyond its capability to withstand, the disc loses its shape and structure leading to disc bulge or disc prolapse or disc herniation as its known. When this disc compresses the spinal nerve it causes back pain and associated symptoms.
Traction and decompression has been used in western and oriental medical practices since long time to relieve the compression and there by improve the symptoms in such cases. However the procedure was often done in an uncontrolled setting and the success rate varied.
Comes VAX-D therapy, an advanced computer monitored treatment that works by alternately stretching and relaxing the lower spine, thereby relieving pressure on structures in the back – discs and vertebral bones – that cause low back pain. The procedure brings down the weight to negative levels by creating a vacuum effect that can withdraw the herniated plate.
Dr.Allan E. Dyer, MD, PhD, who developed VAX-D, maintains that even advanced and extensive disc bulges can be treated and helped with the procedure. An average of 20 sessions are required to create a lasting cure in most cases.
Can Vax-D be combined with conventional physiotherapy?
Many renowned physiatrists who have worked with Vax-D claims a high success rate – between 70% and 80%. However most of them acknowledges that not all patients achieve optimal outcomes. “Younger patients do better. Typically they’re less obese, have less [spinal] degeneration going on and more abdominal strength and better flexibility” says Philippe Chemaly, DO, MPH.
Most physiatrists agree that VAX-D works best as part of a comprehensive treatment approach rather than a singular solution to back pain. Even with VAX-D, there is no substitution for good physical therapy. Physical therapy teaches you techniques to do at home, which add to your long-term outcomes.
How about combining Vax-D with alternative practices like Ayurveda and Chiropractic?
Spinal manipulation and traction has been employed in Ayurveda since centuries in cases of slipped disc or disc prolapse. And Vax-D offers the same in a more controlled and safe setting. So its only rational to believe that it should enhance these treatment approaches.
Ayurveda therapies used in disc bulge and herniation are advanced procedures that combine the benefits of physiotherapy stretches, hot oil compresses, herbal muscle relaxants and anti inflammatory formulations. In addition to relieving spasms and compression, they also improve the strength of abdominal muscles and hip. Treatments also focus on the colon to correct and improve synthesis and absorption of nerve nutrients to help heal and nourish the affected nerves.
“Vax-D when used judiciously can compliment Ayurvedic treatment and bring about lasting results. The procedure can be used in place of traction or spinal manipulation within the Ayurvedic treatment regime in chosen cases and may help avoid surgery in a lot of them” commented Dr.Jayaprakash MD, a world renowned Ayurvedic doctor who has combined Vax-D in his practise.
How safe is Vax-D treatment?
The manufacturer touts VAX-D as safe – “not one single injury has been sustained by a patient.”
The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California lists the following risks: development of sharp, burning, or radiating pain during treatment; stress to the shoulder and rotator cuff muscles; and overstretching of the soft tissues of the back.
As for the potential to experience pain, Dyer says: “The patient participates by holding hand grips. The patient can always let go, a natural reaction if pain is experienced.”
How expensive is Vax-D?
Vax-D treatment is still very expensive compared to other conventional physiotherapy practices and treatments. But if it succeed in offering lasting solutions and help avoid surgical intervention, the charges may not be too high as they are alleged to be.
*A complete course of Vax-D could cost anywhere between Rs.1 to Rs.1.5 lakhs in India.