Freqently Asked Questions
Here are the common questions and answers about VAX-D. Please write to us if you have questions that are not answered here.
What is VAX-D
Vertebral Axial Decompression, or VAX-D for short, offers a first choice noninvasive therapy for patients with disabling low back pain. Advances in medical technology have led to the development of the VAX-D Table.
VAX-D applies clinically proven principles to relieve pressure on vital structures of the lumbar spine that may be causing low back pain and peripheral pain associated with herniated lumbar discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, nerve compression and posterior facet syndrome. VAX-D is non-surgical and is an inherently safe procedure that is not just aimed at treating symptoms but is designed to alleviate the underlying problems that cause low back pain.
How does VAX-D work to relieve pain and disability?
VAX-D utilizes a patented hand grip method of restraining the upper body while the pelvic harness is secured on the patient and attached to the moveable tensionometer housing. The divided table provides for progressive distraction of the spine under controlled parameters determined by the computer logic controlled system. Decompression is achieved in the patient from the tenth thoracic vertebra through the lumbar spine to the sacrum. Changes in Intervertebral discs and facet joints of the lumbar spine exert pressures on vital structures resulting in pain, muscle spasms and inflammation. The VAX-D Table relieves pressure and the factors causing pain through precisely controlled adjustments along the natural anatomical lines of the spinal column. it does so without applying undesirable twisting or rotational movements to the lumbar spine.
Is there any evidence that proves there is decompression of interdiscal space during VAX-D?
Yes! VAX-D has been proven to be equivalent to surgery in decompressing the lumbar spine in both clinical and major hospital studies and is not experimental. Radiological research studies were carried out in which fluoroscopic videos of patients with a myelogram were recorded while patients were undergoing VAX-D. Distraction of intervertebral lumbar spaces was observed on VAX-D, and the filling defect of a myelogram from a herniated disc was decreased. Films were obtained showing a myelogram displacement from a herniated disc at L4-5 change from a convex image of disc bulge to a concave image, created by decompressing the intradiscal space during VAX-D.
Where is decompression of the spine the greatest?
The greatest amount of intervertebral distraction and subsequent spinal decompression is achieved at the L4-5 disc space and decreases gradually toward the upper and lower levels of the spinal column. Intradiscal pressure measurements on patients undergoing VAX-D have shown that the extent of decompression in this area is in the negative 150 mm Hg. range. The relationship between the amount of tension applied and the changes in the intradiscal pressure follows a polynomial equation, with the threshold level being where the intradiscal pressure changes from a positive pressure to negative pressure. This relationship and the precise control provided by the VAX-D Table enables the VAX-D Technician to provide the maximum decompression to the level of the spine lumber.
What conditions will VAX-D help to improve?
The majority of patients with herniated discs at one or more levels, with or without sciatic involvement, achieve remission of disabling symptoms sufficient to return to functional levels of activities with a course of VAX-D. Most patients with degenerated discs also experience relief of pain and disability with a course of treatment but many require a maintenance program to remain in remission. Posterior facet syndrome readily responds to VAX-D. A recent study of over nine hundred patients showed VAX-D to be successful in 75% of cases.
What is the cost of VAX-D and will my insurance cover it?
VAX-D is covered by most insurance policies either in part or in full. TLC Medical Group can arrange a finance plan to cover any portion of the treatment that is not covered by your insurance carrier.
If you compare the cost of VAX-D to surgery you will find that VAX-D Is less than 20% of the cost. This huge saving does not include other costs that accompany the surgery such as prolonged physical rehabilitation. These savings are appreciated by our patients as well as their insurance companies.
How many treatments will be needed for my condition?
Most patients with low back pain syndrome achieve relief while undergoing treatment and require an average of one session per day, five days a week, for six weeks. This comes to a total of approximately thirty sessions to attain remission of debilitating symptoms.
The actual number of sessions depends on the severity of the patient’s underlying condition. For example, patients with herniated discs generally respond within twenty to forty sessions while patients with degenerated discs often achieve significant relief with the same number of sessions but may need ongoing treatment at regular intervals to remain pain free.
On the other hand, patients with posterior facet syndrome usually achieve complete remission with fewer than twenty sessions. The more severe the patient’s overall condition the greater the number of sessions that may be required.
Are follow-up VAX-D sessions necessary?
Experience has shown the majority of patients that recover on VAX-D generally remain in remission. However, some individuals whose lifestyle or work environment tends to expose them to higher risk factors or who suffer from severe disc degeneration have found that a maintenance program, consisting of one or two treatment sessions per month on the VAX-D Table, offers a measure of protection against disabling exacerbations of their low back pain. Patients in this category tend to develop their own rhythm of maintenance visits that keep them relatively free of pain.
Can VAX-D be used after spinal surgery?
VAX-D has been used as a follow-up treatment for patients that continue to complain of post-surgical low back pain. This is especially true in those patients that have more than one level of herniation in which only the major segment was removed.
If VAX-D works so well, why haven't I heard about it?
The VAX-D Table is an FDA licensed medical device and the treatment has worked on thousands of patients. VAX-D is too new to have become a household name. In addition, many family doctors are unaware of VAX-D and its effectiveness for the treatment of serious low back pain. This lack of awareness is changing. More and more physicians and health care providers are learning about VAX-D and the phenomenal results it has achieved in the various clinical studies. Furthermore, VAX-D received its own insurance code on January 1, 1999. The awareness of VAX-D seems to increase everyday and we expect VAX-D to be the standard of care for serious low back pain in the not too distant future.