Back Pain - True Non Surgical Spinal Decompression


 Dr. Cooper has been helping people get well from chronic back pain  for well over 15 years, with Non-Surgical  Spinal Decompression.  It's a game changer.

Advanced degenerative disc disease treatment without surgery. Disc Centers of Plantation have specially designed treatment for spinal stenosis, herniated discs, sciatica, failed back syndrome and other degenerative changes in the spine. 

Contact us today to see if you're a candidate. 

True Non Surgical Spinal Decompression/
an Alternative to Surgery AS SEEN ON TV
Spinal Aid Centers of America

The World's most advanced
non- surgical, drug free procedure
for herniated & degenerative discs
foraminal and spinal stenosis
Free  MRI review.  ($100 value)
Let Your Pain Go!
You don't have to live with debilitating low back pain. Whether you have  sciatica, herniated discs, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, leg weakness (with or without pain), foot drop,  burning, prior fusion, facet syndromes, radiating pain, failed back syndrome(s) or a variety of symptoms related to damaged or degenerative discs, as well as syndromes of the lumbar spine. True Non Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy may benefit you.  

Spinal decompression is FDA cleared and the treatment of the future.

This gentle, True Non Surgical Spinal Decompression therapy can provide long term low back pain relief. However, not everybody is a candidate for this life changing treatment.

When selecting a provider that offers Non Surgical Spinal Decompression, one should be aware, that not all providers use true Spinal Decompression tables. Many providers use that verbiage, but are actually using a traction table. Most providers have little to no advanced training with Spinal Decompression Therapy.

I use a true Decompression Table and I have continual educational training in the treatment of Spinal Decompression Therapy. No other provider in Broward/ Palm Beach can make that claim. You can feel secure that you are in the right place and my goal is to get you well.

What to expect?

You will lie on your back and you will feel a slow gentle stretch in the affected area of your spine.  Some patients describe an immediate pain relief while the machine is on, though this relief does not always last after the treatment session.  Because the decompression table is a gradual stretch over the general affected area of the spine, patients often need several weeks to measure the effectiveness of the treatment.  Sometimes pain is dramatically reduced in as little as one or two treatment.  Typically, 10 to 24 treatments are required.

In a study of 219 patients with herniated discs and degenerative disc disease, 86% who completed the therapy showed immediate improvement and resolution of their symptoms; 92% improved overall; 2% relapsed within 90 days of initial treatment. (1)
How Spinal Decompression works at Coquitlam office.

                                                                Spinal decompression repairs spinal discs


1.  Glonis T, Groteke E. Spinal Decompression. Orth Tech Review 5(6): 36-39; Nov-Dec 2003


In this section we will discuss some of the confusion in the terminology regarding bulging discs, herniated discs, protruding discs, etc. Many times, even doctors use incorrect descriptive terms. We will use some diagrams to help demonstrate our lesson.

The following information is from the North American Spine Society, American Society of Spine Radiology, and American Society of Neuroradiology.

The term 'bulging disc' is and should be used as a descriptive term, not a diagnostic term.


Here is a bird's eye view looking down onto a disc. Notice in the diagram the outer ring, this represents a symmetrical bulging disc. The disc tissue is bulging out around the entire border of the vertebrae. This is a rare finding under MRI and CT scans.

Although 'bulging disc' is a popular term, it is usually not representative of what is really going on at the spinal level. It is used because it is easy to understand. Most people really have a herniated disc.

This again is a broad category, which further breaks down into two more diagnostic terms. This is explained using the following diagrams:


These two diagrams are very accurate in the description (or diagnosis?) of disc herniations. You will commonly find these descriptive terms on your MRI or CT reports from your doctor.

By strict definition, a broad-based herniation involves between 25 and 50% of the disc circumference. A focal herniation involves less than 25% of the disc circumference.

Herniated discs may take the form of protrusion or extrusion based on the shape of the displaced or herniated material. The following diagram illustrates this well:


The above information is designed to clarify the use of these terms. The simple fact is that if you have a herniated disc, the disc material can press on the nerve roots or central nerves running through the central canal where the spinal cord lives. This can produce serious back and leg pain, as well as, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.

Occasionally, the disruption and injury in the annulus fibrosis can be the source of back pain. The outer 1/3 of the annulus fibrosis has a nerve supply, and if the center nuclear materials are migrating through the weakened annulus, this can cause pain.

This condition is sometimes referred to as internal disc disruption. This is very difficult to see on MRI or CT scans and is considered to be the early stages of a herniated disc, although it is still not visible on advanced imaging. This condition responds well to non-surgical spinal decompression, allowing blood, water, and nutrients to enter the disc and begin healing the damaged annulus fibrosis. Please see the diagram below.

This is a side view diagram. The left side is the front of the body and the right side is the back of the body.


Non-surgical spinal decompression can be very effective in treating these difficult conditions. The treatment results in an unloading of the offending disc structures, which in turn creates a negative intradiscal pressure inside the disc.

This facilitates water and nutrient exchange into the disc, thus, allowing the injury to heal. It also can cause a vacuum-like effect, allowing the displaced materials to return to a more centralized position.

Over time, this treatment allows collagen, one of the body's healing proteins, to form. Collagen can then repair the cracks and fissures in the annulus fibrosis. In addition, the inner matrix material of the disc becomes healthier with the exchange of water and nutrients. Spinal stabilization rehab exercises should follow a common sense spinal decompression therapy program.


Anatomy of the spine


The intervertebral discs are located between each vertebrae in the spinal column. Of the vertebrae, there are 7 cervical (neck), 12 thoracic (mid-back) and 5 lumbar (low back) discs. The discs make up approximately 1/3 of the spinal column. They have three main functions: (1) "Absorb shock" from everyday wear and tear. (2) Allow movement of our spinal column. (3) Separate the vertebrae.

The intervertebral disc is actually a type of cartilaginous joint. Discs consist of an outer layer, annulus fibrosis, and an inner nucleus pulposus, which is a soft, jelly-like, substance. The disc is made up of proteins called collagen and proteoglycans that attract water. Normally, discs compress when pressure is put on them and decompress when the pressure is relieved. These discs do not have a blood supply; therefore, they exchange nutrients by a process called "imbibition". Imagine a sponge filled with water; when that sponge is compressed, the water is forced out of the sponge. When the compressive force is removed, the water is "sucked" back into the sponge. This is precisely how discs stay healthy and functional. Diseased discs can lead to degenerative disc disease that can then lead to: arthritis, herniated discs, bulging discs, facet syndromes, sciatica and spinal stenosis.


A herniation describes an abnormal condition of an intervertebral disc. Some refer to this condition as a "slipped", "ruptured", or "blown" disc. Most of the time it is not known what caused the disc to herniate, but it is thought to occur from repetitive stress due to occupation, poor spinal posture, and/or natural processes of aging and/or trauma.

A herniation begins when the inner nucleus pulposus bulges through the annulus fibrosis, causing a bulging or protruding disc. This bulge may push on a spinal nerve. This interferes with the natural blood supply to the nerve roots and sets up a condition known as intraneural edema. Basically, the nerve root microcirculation is compressed and can progress to the point where the nucleus begins to leak out of the disc. At this point the body begins to fight back by launching an autoimmune response to the disc material (nucleus pulposus). The reaction of this defense mechanism causes severe inflammation and progressive deterioration of the nerve root. If the herniation is located in the cervical spine (neck), the symptoms can range from neck pain, with or without arm pain, to numbness and tingling. Muscle weakness can be common as well. If the herniated disc is located in the lumbar spine (low back), the symptoms can range from low back pain, with or without leg pain, to numbness and tingling. Muscle weakness is also common. This type of pain and/or numbness in the legs or arms is referred to as a "radiculopathy". This happens because the nerves that exit your spinal cord innervate ("attach to") the skin in your arms and legs. They are responsible for sensation and for movement of the muscles in your arms and legs. They are also responsible for the reflexive movements as well. This is the reason some individuals with these conditions experience extremity (leg/arm) pain / numbness / tingling and/or weakness when they have a herniated or bulging disc. Be aware that, some individuals with herniated discs may report arm or leg pain only, with minimal neck or low back pain.

This pain is most commonly experienced at the outside of the thigh, the lower leg and/or the foot. Shooting pain that radiates down the leg is a common experience with herniated discs. Patients commonly report an electric shock type of symptom. This is the medical word for abnormal sensations such as tingling, numbness, weakness or "pins and needles". These symptoms may be the result of a herniated disc and may be experienced in the same regions as painful sensations.
Signals from the brain may be interrupted due to nerve irritation. This can cause muscle weakness, usually of the ankle. Nerve irritation can be tested by examining the reflexes of the knee and ankle.These symptoms are important because they may be a sign of Cauda Equina syndrome. This condition is possibly caused by a herniated disc. This is a medical emergency! You must see a medical doctor immediately if you have problems urinating, having bowel movements, or if you have numbness around your genitals. All of these symptoms are likely caused by irritation to one of the nerves as a result from a herniated disc.


Spinal stenosis (narrowing) is a common condition that affects many adults 50 yrs old and older. This occurs when the spinal canal, containing the nerve roots and spinal cord, becomes constricted or compressed. This can lead to a number of problems, depending on which nerves are affected. In general, lumbar spinal stenosis can cause cramping, pain or numbness in the legs, back; a loss of sensation in the extremities; and sometimes, in rare cases, problems with bladder or bowel function. In general, spinal narrowing is caused by osteoarthritis, or "wear and tear" arthritis, of the spinal column. This results in a "pinching" of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots.

People suffering from spinal stenosis may have trouble walking any significant distance, and usually must sit or lean forward over a grocery cart, countertop or assistive device such as a walker.


Typically, a person with spinal stenosis complains about developing tremendous pain in the legs or calves and lower back after walking. Pain occurs more quickly when walking up hills. This is usually very reproducible and is almost immediately relieved by sitting down or leaning over. When the spine is flexed forward, more space is available for the spinal cord, causing a reduction in symptoms.


Diagnosis of a herniated disc (either neck or low back) can be made from a thorough physical examination including a detailed history, orthopedic and/or neurological evaluation. Some disc patients will present with an antalgic gait (lean away from the side of the disc lesion), extremity pain/numbness/tingling (abnormal sensation) in addition to neck or low back pain. Muscle weakness may be present in the more chronic cases as well as areflexia ("loss of reflex"). X-rays can be helpful in identifying degenerative changes of the vertebra, but MRI's are the "gold standard" to identify the exact nature of the lesion. When the disc is herniated in the lumbar spine (low back), and it is compressing the spinal nerve roots causing pain and numbness down the buttocks, thigh and leg, it is often referred to as sciatica.



Traditional treatments for herniated disc includes physical/chiropractic adjustments, epidural Injections, surgery and pain killers such as non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID's).

Please keep in mind that NSAID's have an inherent risk of gastrointestinal (GI) ("stomach" and "intestinal") disorders such as: perforation, ulceration and hemorrhages. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that it has been conservatively estimated that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur every year in the United States, and conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 Americans are hospitalized every year due to NSAID related GI complications. The number of deaths reported in the same study due to AIDS was 16,685. In addition to gastrointestinal disorders, drugs such as VIOXX have been known to cause serious cardiovascular (CV) events such as: heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. There have been similar complaints from other NSAID's such as: Bextra and Celebrex.



Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression treats the root cause of the diseased or pathological disc based on the anatomical and physiological principles of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression.

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression relieves pressure from the disc, which, in turn, relieves pressure from the nerve. "Nerve root flossing"

Research has shown that Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression creates a negative pressure within the disc causing a "vacuum effect". This vacuum effect can "suck" the disc material back inside, thus relieving the pressure from the nerve.

According to the FDA 510k papers, the definition of decompression is "unloading due to distraction and positioning", and additionally, "unweighting due to distraction and positioning". This is important because the "unloading" of the injured area creates positive changes in the microcirculation of the disc and nerve roots.

Therefore, Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression for herniated discs is based on the following principles.

  • Decompression of the involved disc creates a negative intradiscal ("within the disc") pressure which, in turn, creates
  • a vacuum effect which reduces ("sucks in") the size of the herniation, and which then takes pressure off the involved nerve root
  • Reduction or elimination of extremity (leg/arm) pain and/or numbness, while at the same time
  • The pumping motions, due to Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression, called, "imbibition", allows nutrients to be exchanged at the level of the disc and inflammation around the nerve root to be dispersed resulting in reduction or elimination of low back pain.


When pressure builds up inside the disc, it causes bulging of the jelly-like disc material. With increasing or prolonged pressure, it often leads to a disc rupture or herniation which spills out the disc material.

The bulging or spilled disc material is what puts pressure on the nerves and other structures that cause pain. This pain can travel into the buttocks and down the legs or into the toes. It can cause numbness and also lead to dysfunction.

Decompression relieves pain by creating a vacuum type suction which reverses the high pressure inside the disc (high intra-discal pressure) and draws the bulging or herniated material back into the disc. This procedure is called non-surgical spinal decompression and has a high success rate in patients with herniated discs. This is truly a medical breakthrough.

The gentle distractive forces of the True Non Surgical Spinal Decompression therapy create a decompression of the spine with unloading due to distraction and proper positioning, to improve blood flow and nutrient exchange to the injured area.

It is essential for both the staff and the patient to work toward the same objective when utilizing Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy.  Spinal Decompression Therapy has a goal; and it is important that each patient understand both the objective and method that will be used to attain this goal. This will prevent any confusion and give clear expectations for the patient.

Patients are treated fully clothed and are fitted with a pelvic harness that fits around their pelvis as well as a thoracic harness as they lie face up on a computer controlled table. The doctor operates the table from a computerized console, where a customized treatment protocol is entered into the computer. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes. The average treatment protocol is approximately 20 to 25 treatments within a six to eight week period of time, depending on the individual's case.

A complete program targeting the function of the stabilization muscles is a vital part of True Non Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy. Adjustments, Core strengthening and adjunctive therapies such as ice, heat, interferential stimulation, Myofascial/Neuromuscular work and ultrasound can assist in rehabilitation of these structures. Our goal is to not only help heal the disc, but to also enhance muscular control and support of the back.

Drinking at least 1/2 ounce of water per pound per day will enhance the re-hydration process within the discs. Your physician will also recommend some nutritional supplements that will aid in the healing process.

Although there is no procedure that is 100% successful, non-surgical spinal decompression therapy has a high success rate with full compliance on the part of the patient. Your doctor will recommend that you refrain from certain activities and that you engage in a certain rehabilitation program either during or after your therapy. If you adhere to your prescribed therapy, you will enhance your chances of success.

Regular home exercise and periodic visits to our office will help in maintaining your spinal health and reduce the probability of reoccurrence. Most patients find long-term relief or effective management of their pain when they complete the entire program of treatments utilizing the True Non Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy.

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