Radiographic disk height increase after a trial of multimodal spine rehabilitation and vibration traction: a retrospective case series

J Chiropr Med. 2008 Dec;7(4):140-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2008.08.001.


Objective: Although spinal decompression therapy has been touted as an effective treatment of disk pathologies, there is little existing research that specifically uses disk parameters as an outcome measure after a course of spinal decompression therapy. Our study presents multidimensional outcomes after a structured protocol of multimodal chiropractic rehabilitation and uses a radiographic parameter of disk disease as an indication of the effects of a vibration traction decompression-type table.

Clinical features: Patients selected for this retrospective cohort reported a medical history of lumbar herniated or bulging disk verified by previous magnetic resonance imaging/computed tomography, history of paresthesia in one or both lower extremities, pain level reported as a minimum of 8/10, and/or history of sciatica or other radicular pain finding.

Intervention and outcome: A total of 6 patients' outcomes are reported in this study. All patients received a multimodal spinal rehabilitation treatment with vibration traction therapy. Positive and statistically significant outcomes were obtained in radiographic disk height, functional rating index, numeric pain rating, spirometry, and patient height. All patients achieved improved outcomes after treatment.

Conclusion: The multidimensional outcomes reported here were achieved after a structured protocol of multimodal chiropractic rehabilitation. It is unknown which, if any, of these procedures were responsible for the observed improvements.