Internal disc decompression

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 for the relief of lower back pain.

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

IDD Therapy is an approach for the relief of multiple lower back syndromes, including:

Herniated or bulging discs

Degenerative disc disease

Posterior facet syndrome


Acute or chronic back pain

IDD Therapy is non-surgical and non-invasive. 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. Each procedure is performed with a proprietary intervertebral decompression device and is performed by a certified clinician. 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.

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).

According to the manufacturer, IDD therapy 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. The IDD device is manufactured by North American Medical Corporation.

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