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Spinal decompression therapy as an alternative modality for management of low back pain and radicular pain caused by lumbar disc herniation or protrusion



Recent studies have suggested that motorized nonsurgical spinal decompression AQ5 can reduce chronic low back pain (LBP) due to lumbar disc herniation or protrusion.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of motorized nonsurgical spinal decompression by the DRX9000 device in the reduction of LBP and radicular pain caused by lumbar disc herniation or protrusion and whether it correlated with MRI changes in disc height or not.

Patients and methods

This study was carried out on 73 patients with chronic LBP attributed to disc protrusion selected from outpatients of rheumatology and rehabilitation clinics at Abdul Latif Jameel Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; these patients were divided into two groups. The first group comprised 39 patients who underwent a 6-week treatment protocol of motorized nonsurgical spinal decompression via the DRX9000, and the other group comprising 34 patients underwent a 6-week physiotherapy with deep heat modalities and ordinary traction; pain assessment using a visual analog scale with MRI was carried out before and after treatment. Paired t-test or linear regression was used, as appropriate, with P less than 0.05 considered to be statistically significant.


The main outcomes were a significant improvement in LBP in both groups using visual analog scale, but radicular pain and disc height using MRI were significantly improved in group 1 compared with group 2.


The study concluded that nonsurgical spinal decompression was associated with a reduction in back pain and radicular pain and with an increase in disc height and can be used as an alternative modality for discogenic LBP.


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Correspondence to Ahmed Ramzy El-Zayat.

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El-Zayat, A.R., Gomah, W. & Aldesouky, A.H. Spinal decompression therapy as an alternative modality for management of low back pain and radicular pain caused by lumbar disc herniation or protrusion. Egypt Rheumatol Rehabil 46, 183–188 (2019).

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