Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently asked questions about IDD Therapy® disc treatment. If you don’t find an answer to your question, please contact us through the website or call us. We are more than happy to help you on your journey to pain-free living!
Who is a candidate for IDD Therapy?
In most cases patients have had back pain for more than three months. They will have already had standard conservative treatments and feel that their unresolved back pain is continuing to impact negatively on their life. Patients may be taking pain medications and in the extreme, may be considering pain injections and/or surgery.
How does it work?
Distracting vertebral joints relieves pressure on the disc and any pinched nerves (a cause of sciatic pain) while promoting the movement and absorption of fluids and nutrients in the disc space. These fluids and nutrients are essential for disc health.
Whilst distracting the vertebrae the treatment also works tight or stiff muscles and ligaments, helping to get more movement into the joints.
The body has a natural maintenance and healing mechanism. By progressively improving the mobility in a joint, these mechanisms can operate more effectively and help to relieve pain.
How is the treatment administered?
Ergonomic harnesses connect the patient to the Accu-SPINA machine and taking into account the patient’s weight and condition, a distraction force (stretch) is applied to targeted segments of the spine. Pulling forces are gradually increased over the course of treatments as the body becomes conditioned to the treatment. All aspects of IDD Therapy are recorded by the Accu-SPINA machine.
In addition to treatment on the Accu-SPINA machine, patients begin with ten minutes of infrared heat applied to their lower back using new carbon fabric infrared pads worn against the body (Thermedic). These infrared pads help to relieve pain and increase blood flow in the target area. Warming muscles and ligaments helps to make them more supple and this allows a deeper and more comfortable distraction on the machine. After treatment on the Accu-SPINA machine, patients have ten minutes with cold therapy to help prevent any temporary soreness caused by muscles being worked in a new way.
What is the difference between IDD Therapy and traction?
Moreover IDD Therapy has a unique ability to combine distraction with joint mobilization in a longitudinal plane at the point of maximum joint distraction. In simple terms this means that there are two different movements taking place: firstly a stretch along the length of the spine and then at the point of maximum stretch, an undulating movement, which is similar to an accordion opening and closing, is applied. This creates small pressure differentials and works soft tissues.
Is there evidence for the success of treatment?
As the manufacturers of the Accu-SPINA®, we have programmed internationally-recognized research tools into the computer software to enable clinicians to measure, analyze and report ongoing patient outcomes. No other physiotherapeutic device has such ability to measure and monitor the outcomes of treatment.
View the clinical studies page to learn more or visit one of our clinic provider’s pages to see their patient testimonials.
How many treatments will I need?
The exact number of treatments depends on the nature of your condition and how you progress with treatment.
Is IDD Therapy suitable for neck pain?
Yes. The Accu-SPINA machines are equipped for cervical treatment and have a special unit for neck pain. Treatment lasts 25 minutes and is precise, gentle and safe.
How long will the effects of treatment last?
Evidence has shown that people who undergo a course of IDD Therapy treatment can see continued improvement after treatment has finished.
The goal of the IDD Therapy program is to relieve pain and allow segments of the spine to move freely. Improving mobility is essential to enable the body’s natural healing and maintenance mechanisms to operate more efficiently and thus give lasting improvement.
Long term success does not only depend on the nature of the condition being treated but also the patient’s ability to make recommended lifestyle changes such as incorporating exercise into their weekly routine. Whilst some patients will have occasional top up treatment, combining the treatment program with lifestyle changes can help avoid recurrent bouts of back pain.
Will I feel any pain during or after treatment?
The secondary objective of the treatment is for it to be as comfortable as possible. Patients do not typically feel pain during treatment; most are very relaxed and some even go to sleep. Patients can experience temporary soreness following treatment since muscles which have not been used are being worked in a new way. Cold packs are used to relieve soreness which usually passes as treatment develops and the body adapts.
Do I need to do any exercise or activity?
Yes, though nothing too strenuous! The goal of the spinal rehabilitation program is to improve mobility, relieve pain and create a platform for activity. As treatment progresses you will be given gentle exercises to perform and shown how to look after your back properly. Exercise and activity are an important part of long term rehabilitation.
I have had surgery on my back in the past – could I still be a possible candidate for IDD?
Patients who have had surgery can have treatment, provided that the procedure was not within the previous six months (to allow for complete healing) and there are no surgical implants.
Is there an upper age limit to having IDD Therapy?
There is no upper age limit to having IDD Therapy and many mature patients enjoy good outcomes with treatment. Treatment is adjusted according to the condition of the person being treated.
Where is IDD Therapy available?
IDD Therapy treatment is available at a network of clinics in the US and over 1,000 clinics worldwide. Treatment is provided by physiotherapists, osteopaths
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