IDD therapy



by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit




IDD (Internal Disc Decompression) therapy is a treatment modality for the relief of lower back pain.

Uncontrolled studies have shown up to an 86% response rate. Currently IDD is available at multiple centers across the country.

The device consists of a motorized table with a special harness that applies a controlled amount of traction and relaxation to a patient. The table is designed so that specific lumbar segments can be targeted. Most models also administer heat and vibration.

IDD Therapy has been used for:

1. Herniated or bulging discs

2. Degenerative disc disease

3. Posterior facet syndrome

4. Sciatica

5. Acute or chronic back pain



The advantages of IDD Therapy are that it is non-surgical, non-invasive, and typically does not involve pain medications. The treatment is generally safe and painless in selected patients. The course of therapy includes approximately 20 treatment sessions and is completed in about 35 days. The treatment sessions are brief, lasting approximately 30 minutes. Low back muscles are heated prior to treatment and cooled with ice packs after treatments. Anecdotal evidence suggests that combining IDD with epidural injections and a graduated exercise program may be very effective for patients with refractory low back disorders.

It is not indicated for patients who have had fusions, who are pregnant, and who have severe osteoporosis. It is also a modality that appears to complement other therapies and can successfully be integrated into a comprehensive back care program.

The theory behind IDD is this:

Lumbar vertebrae (L1, L2, L3, L4 or L5) and distract the vertebrae surrounding an injured disc 5 to 7 millimeters. The 25 to 30 minute treatment provides static, intermittent, and cycling forces on structures that may be causing low back pain.

During treatment, intradiscal pressure is dropped from a positive 25 millimeters mercury to a negative 150 millimeters mercury. This negative pressure promotes the diffusion of water, oxygen, and nutrients into the vertebral disc area, thereby re-hydrating the degenerated disc. Repeated decompression promotes retraction of a herniated nucleus pulposus (the elastic core of the intervertebral disc).

Current claims for IDD therapy are that it can:

1. reduce pressure on the vertebral joints

2. promote retraction of herniated discs

3. promote self healing and rehabilitation of damaged discs

While the bulk of the data so far is uncontrolled, IDD is worth a try in patients who have failed other measures and for whom surgery is the next step. It seems to be particularly effective in patients who are generally active. The IDD device is manufactured by North American Medical Corporation.





Get more information about IDD therapy and related issues as well as...


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