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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Causing My Pain/Symptoms?

Spinal pain most commonly results from intervertebral disc displacement(s) and reduction of the disc space ( #1 below drawing) which then compresses posterior elements, neural structures and causes dysfunction of surrounding tissue & muscles. Entrapment of nerve roots can result from this compression and result in radiating pain, numbness & weakness into extremities (neck to shoulder/shoulder blade/arm/hands and low back to buttock/hip/thigh/knee/calf/foot). Often multiple intervertebral levels are involved in the neck and low back region. Also, disc displacements in the neck sometimes protrude into the spinal canal and cause low back symptoms. Thus, thorough evaluation to determine the sources of neck, back and radicular symptoms is crucial to its successful treatment.

How Do You Heal the Source of My Pain/Symptoms?

Successful treatment of these causes of common neck, back and radicular symptoms often requires multiple interventions, and sometimes to both the neck & low back regions. Usually a combination of medications, Physical Therapy treatments, IDD Therapy, work & lifestyle modifications, weight management and daily exercise is needed for successful long term healing of the source. Our Physical Therapy program includes a combination of electrical stimulation, neuromuscular re-education of core muscles, Intervertebral Disc Decompression (IDD), therapeutic exercises & activities, guided imagery, ultrasound, myofascial release, racing, & daily home exercise programs to allow maximal healing and resolution of symptoms. IDD therapy is a highly precise computerized system that allows application of gentle distraction forces to intervertebral segments resulting in 5 to 7 mm. of distraction. This causes an intradiscal pressure drop from +25 mm to -150 mm of mercury and promotes the diffusion of water, oxygen, and nutrients into compressed areas allowing healing with re-hydration of displaced discs and injured tissues.

How Much Treatment is Required?

Often 6 to 10 weeks of therapy is needed for optimal improvements. Usually treatments are scheduled daily (M-F) the first few weeks and are then reduced to 3 times per week for several weeks as symptoms become intermittent. The last few weeks the treatments are scheduled for twice per week as symptoms resolve.

Will the Treatments Help me?

Research indicates that for non-complicated sources of neck and back pain the success rate is 92%. If complicated, with previous surgery, scar tissue or multiple spine levels of injury the success rate is 80%.

What are the Benefits of these Treatments?

  • Very high success rate
  • No surgery is involved.
  • This medical procedure is non-invasive.
  • No recovery period is necessary, unlike surgery.
  • Cost of treatment is minimal compared to the cost of surgery or long term medications.
  • Treatments are painless, comfortable & relaxing
  • Non-strenuous work & exercise can continue during the treatment regimen.

WHAT is the IDD Accu-SPINA System?

The Accu-SPINA System is a unique method that delivers a treatment called IDD Therapy (Intervertebral Disc Decompression). IDD Therapy is the most advanced non-invasive, non-surgical Disc decompression treatment for low back and neck conditions. It is a mechanized pain reduction and healing system that has, after many years of research, been shown to be up to 86% successful in the reduction of neck and low back pain.

HOW Does the IDD Accu-SPINA Work?

The combination of angle of pull and an air bladder create a fulcrum pinpointing treatment to the specific region that needs help. IDD Therapy creates negative pressure between the discs, decreasing the herniation and healing the damaged area. The system supplies alternating decompression followed by a period of partial relaxation. Each session on the Accu-SPINA equipment is approximately an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. The patient comes for 20-30 visits over a 6-7 week period depending on their specific healing plan.

Who Can Benefit From Your Program?

People with the following conditions are ideal candidates for our Program.
  • Cervical (Neck) or Lumbar (Low Back)
    • Herniated discs
    • Bulging discs
    • Spinal stenosis
    • Posterior facet syndrome
    • Radiculopathy
    • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Sciatica
  • Spondylosis
  • Sciatica
  • Entrapped Nerve Roots
  • Acute or chronic neck and back pain

Ayse Lee-Robinson MD will conduct a thorough history, consult and examination to determine if you are a good candidate for our program.

Is Treatment On The IDD Accu-SPINA Safe?

IDD Therapy on The Accu-SPINA System is a safe procedure that can be used on patients with Chronic Back and Neck Pain.

What conditions should not be treated by IDD Accu-SPINA?

Although IDD Therapy on The Accu-SPINA System is an inherently safe procedure that can be used without complications, patients with the following problems or symptoms are usually excluded from using the Accu-SPINA: Pregnancy, Prior lumbar surgical fusion, Metastatic cancer, Compression fracture of lumbar spine below L-1, Pars defect, Spina bifida, Aortic aneurysm, Pelvic or abdominal cancer, Disc space infections, Severe peripheral neuropathy, Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Cognitive dysfunction, Cauda Equina syndrome, Tumors, Osteoid osteoma, Multiple myeloma, Osteosarcoma, Infection, Osteomyelitis, Meningitis, Virus, and HNP (sequestered/free floating or extruded fragment), Severe Osteoporosis, Spondylolysis, Spondylolisthesis (Grade 2 or higher), Vertebral fractures, Unstable post surgical conditions, any kind of surgical hardware, pathological lesions or congenital deformities of the vertebral column that disrupt the integrity of the vertebral and ligamentous structures.

Ayse Lee-Robinson MD will conduct a thorough history, consult and examination to determine if you are a good candidate for our program.

What Is The Difference Between The Accu-SPINA System and Traction?

Traction disperses the pull of weights among the majority of spinal segments reducing the actual amount of pull necessary to create negative pressure within each segment. Traction can also cause the adjacent muscles to spasm placing more pressure on the disc. The Accu-SPINA isolates the specific problem disc by its unique angle of distraction (or pull). It creates a negative pressure within the disc space, which draws fluid, nutrients and oxygen into the disc helping it to heal. The unique method by which it distracts the spinal segments eliminates the reaction of the neighboring muscles so that they do not spasm.

What Happens After a Patient Completes the Program?

Experience has shown that the vast majority of our patients who complete our progam in remission: Pain Free!. However, some individuals whose lifestyle or work environment tend to expose them to higher risk factors, have found that a follow-up or maintenance program offers a measure of protection against disabling exacerbations of their back pain syndrome. Patients in this category usually develop, in consultation with Ayse Lee-Robinson MD, their own rhythm of maintenance visits that keeps them free of problems.

What Can I Do To Help My Recovery?

Attitude is a very important part of healing. Maintaining optimism is important for healing. Complying with the entire program and following through with lifestyle changes, weight management, therapeutic activities, posture improvements, core muscle exercise routine, therapeutic activities programs, and by using good sense in terms of minimizing activities which may cause re-injury.

What About Other Therapies?

Recent studies comparing Accu-SPINA to standard physical therapy including traction, exercise, muscle stimulation, ultrasound, massage, and heat and ice showed IDD Accu-SPINA decompression to be twice as effective in terms of perceived pain reduction, debilitating pain reduction, cumulative strength index and overall outcome.

Did The FDA Approve The IDD Accu-SPINA System?

Yes, the Accu-SPINA has received two (2) FDA approvals as a Class II Medical Device with 510(k) listing: One is for providing decompression to the lower back (lumbar spine) and the other is for providing decompression to the neck (cervical spine). The Accu-SPINA is approved to provide treatment for relief from pain and disability for those patients suffering with low back pain and neck pain associated with herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and posterior facet syndrome.

Have There Been Clinical Trials and Studies Conducted on IDD Therapy and the Accu-SPINA System?

Extensive clinical studies have been conducted to validate IDD Therapy treatment. Thousands of back pain patients have been successfully treated. Nearly a full year practical in-the-field analysis by participating physicians nationwide has been conducted. The following are samples of the published studies:

  • Practical Pain Management Magazine:
C Norman Shealy, MD, PhD reviews the evolution of back pain technology and presents results of a study utilizing differential dynamics rehabilitation [IDD Therapy].Based on author's review of recent study results, inter-vertebral differential dynamic rehabilitation appears to be the current optimal recommendation for most lumbar pain syndromes.

  • America Journal of Pain Management (AJPM) Vol. 15 No. 3 July 2005:
The study is called A Retrospective Clinical Pilot Study: Long-term Effect Analysis of IDD Therapy in Low Back Pain. It was conducted by C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, Nirman Koladia, MD, and Merrill M. Wesemann, MD. The objectives of this study were (i) to produce a follow-up to the Shealy and Borgmeyer Study, (ii) to evaluate long-term benefits of IDD Therapy treatment, and (iii) to determine any benefits of IDD Therapy in comparison to other treatment options. The authors stated: "A direct conclusion that can be drawn from the data is that improvement in pain continues after the treatment sessions are completed.

  • Orthopedic Technology Review:
The study was titled: Surgical Alternatives: Spinal Decompression and conducted by Thomas A. Gionis, MD, JD, MBA, MHA, FICS, FRCS, and Eric Groteke, DC, CCIC. This clinical outcomes study was performed to evaluate the effect of spinal decompression on symptoms and physical findings of patients with herniated and degenerative disc disease. Results showed that 86% of the 219 patients who completed the therapy reported immediate resolution of symptoms, while 84% remained pain-free 90 days post-treatment. Physical examination findings showed improvement in 92% of the 219 patients, and remained intact in 89% of these patients 90 days after treatment.

  • 6-Month IDD Therapy Patient File Review:
Results of 6-month patient file review of patients who had IDD Therapy at Monmouth Advanced Medicine Clinic showed 93.6% of their patients obtained total pain relief on the Accu-SPINA machine.
Emory University is currently conducting a single blind clinical trial and there are many more in the works.

  • Alf Nachemson, MD, PhD; MTG Newsletter, October 1998
Degenerative disc disease can be effectively treated with the Accu-SPINA system because repeated decompression promotes the diffusion of water, oxygen, and nutrients into the vertebral disc area, thereby naturally re-hydrating and rehabilitating degenerated discs. In the case of disc herniation, the negative pressure may induce the retraction of the herniated or bulging disc, leading to relief of pain. Multiple treatment sessions on the machine are required to achieve optimal results.

Who Manufactures The IDD Accu-SPINA System?

North American Medical Corporation (NAM) is the sole manufacturer of IDD Therapy certified medical devices, including the Accu-SPINA system. The Accu-SPINA is the most advanced technology available for IDD and non surgical Disc decompression treatment.