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Spinal Decompression

A 50 year old female presented in my office with the chief complaints of: neck pain, dizziness, headache and painful arms, which have been worsening. Her past treatments have included medication and physiotherapy. The significant examination findings before and after treatment were as follows.

Before Treatment

Her pain scale was 6 of 10 and her Oswestry Index Questionnaire score was 24 of 50. All cervical ROM were within normal limits except extension with significant bilateral trigger point pain in the cervical spine. She had a positive cervical distraction test and positive Triad of Dejerene test. Reflex testing included: triceps (rt) grade 2, triceps (lt) grade 1, biceps (b) grade 1 and brachioradialis (b) grade 1. Sensory (2 point discrimination): C7 (lt) decreased, T1 (rt) decreased, T2 (rt) decreased. Motor strength was within normal limits. She presented with an MRI which revealed: C6-7 broad based disc protrusion, mild central canal stenosis and dorsal osteophyte formation. A full series of cervical x-rays were taken which revealed: decreased disc space at C6-7, C6 posterior inferior osteophyte and C7 posterior superior osteophye formation.


After Treatment

Oswestry Index Questionnaire score was 7 of 50, Reflex: All reflexes grade 2. Sensory: within normal limits. Motor: All within normal limits. Cervical ROM: All within normal limits. Treatment: An 8 week treatment protocol included: heat (10 minutes minimum), axial non-surgical spinal decompression using the Hill DT Decompression table, ice (10 minutes minimum), chiropractic adjustments or CMT (as needed), nutritional supplements, and home exercises. Spinal decompression protocol varied from 10 to 15 minutes, using programs 2 and 1, at a 6 degree angle (which created the best results) and weight of 8 to 10 lbs. Her symptoms continued with minimal changes until the 10th treatment when her pain dropped instantaneously to 0 of 10

with decreasing stiffness thereafter.


This patient was discharged with stretches and exercise to be done daily and strict

adherence to limited lifting above the shoulders for the next year. Increasing

weight without developing pain was encouraged. Spinal decompression maintenance

treatment is recommended if needed. Her progress, although limited during the

first half of the treatment, significantly improved in the later half, indicating the

complexity of the condition. At discharge, this patient was experiencing no pain and had

resumed most of her activities of daily living with the intent of resuming all activities

within a few years as strength increases. Her outcome was increased as a result of the

Hill DT Spinal Decompression table, the treatment plan and the patient’s dedication and

strict adherence to the protocol guidelines.


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