Spinal Relief Centre of Canada
53 The Links Road, Suite 201
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: (416) 222•3475

Return to Spinal Relief Centre home page
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is VAX-D?

A: VAX-D (Vertebral Axial Decompression) is a patented non-surgical therapy developed for chronic back pain and sciatica. VAX-D is safe and effective without any of the risks associated with surgery, injections, or anesthesia. VAX-D is designed to relieve pressure on the spine that may be causing chronic back pain. It can relieve the pain associated with bulging and herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and sciatica. VAX-D clinics treat over 3,000 patients a day for chronic low back pain.

Q: Who is a candidate for VAX-D?
A: You qualify for VAX-D if

1. You have low back and leg pain, caused by bulging, herniated, and degenerated discs with or without leg pain.
2. Your symptoms have not resolved within four weeks of onset.
3. You have Failed Back Surgery Syndrome without retained surgical hardware.

Q: Who is not eligible for VAX-D treatments?
A: You are not a candidate for VAX-D if:

1. You are pregnant.
2. You have sustained a vertebral fracture less than six months prior to treatment.
3. You have any retained surgical hardware in the back.
4. You suffer from osteoporosis (T Score of -2.5 SD below the mean or lower).
5. You have any rare conditions such as certain spinal infections and pelvic or abdominal cancer.
6. You have any of the following conditions: ankylosing sponylitis, abdominal aortic aneurism, cauda equina syndrome, spondyloslisthesis with bilateral pars defects, severe stenosis, severe scoliosis, and various diseases and fractures of the spine.

Q: What is the treatment protocol?
A: Patients receive an average of 20-30 treatments once daily for five days a week. The VAX-D session lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Q: Will I be able to continue working?
A: Patients are encouraged to remain at work during VAX-D treatments, providing work activities do not aggravate their condition.

Q: Are the effects of VAX-D permanent?
A: In most cases VAX-D therapy has long term results. A four year follow up study showed 52% of back pain patients reported a pain level of 0 at four years, while 86% showed a better than 50% pain reduction. (Robert H. Odell, MD, PhD and Daniel A. Boudreau, DO. VAX-D Reduces Chronic Pain: Four Year Study. Anesthesiology News. March 2003. Vol. 29.)

Q: Can I have VAX-D treatments if I’ve had surgery?
A: Yes, providing you do not still have metal implants or surgical hardware in your back.

Q: What is the cost of a VAX-D treatment?
A: VAX-D treatments are given in a series of 20–30 treatments. Your cost will depend upon your diagnosis and your payment arrangements. We offer a consultation to determine whether VAX-D is right for you. We can provide treatment costs for you at that time.

Q: How do I qualify for treatment?
A: We will evaluate your condition. If you have had X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, please bring them with you.

Q: Is VAX-D traction?
A: No, it is a decompression procedure. VAX-D, short for Vertebral Axial Decompression, produces a vacuum-like effect within the disc, while traction does not. Traction brings the pressure in the discs to only about 40 mm mercury whereas VAX-D brings the pressure within the discs below zero, to as low as -160 mm mercury.

Q: Is VAX-D experimental or investigational?
A: No. The FDA has determined the safety and effectiveness of VAX-D. If it were investigational, VAX-D would not have been given a 510K clearance number for marketing; it would have been given an IDE or investigational number.

Q: Why should I choose VAX-D over other decompression devices?
A: VAX-D is the original decompression device. To this day, VAX-D is the only treatment shown in clinical research to decompress the discs to negative levels. VAX-D was issued a patent by the U.S. Patent Office in 2000 for the logarithmic curve technology, the curve that is essential to achieve negative intradiscal pressures in the disc (Patent Number 6,039,737).

Q: Where can I find the table invented by NASA?
A: Clinics marketing Axiom Worldwide’s DRX 9000™ have claimed that it is a “Revolutionary new Discovery” by NASA and that “NASA Scientists Discover the Cure for Back Pain” and “NASA’s FDA Approved Cure for Back Pain”. Some of their Ads, Websites and literature have claimed that the DRX 9000™ “was developed in part by NASA” or describe their technology as “Inspired by NASA” or “Designed by NASA Engineers”. Sadly, these claims are not true. NASA had nothing to do with the development of the DRX 9000™.
FBI Raids Medical Supply Business
Excerpt from Temporary Injunction Order
Order 3/30/2007
Penalities for Bogus Claims
Oregon Chiro Board press release
Minnesota Chiropractic Board - DRX9000
Maryland Chiropractic Board - DRX9000

Q: Who invented Non-surgical Spinal Decompression?
A: It was developed by Allan Dyer, MD, PhD. When Dr. Dyer found himself debilitated by a herniated disc, his creative intelligence went into high gear. The idea for VAX-D was born, and soon he was able to walk pain-free and has been so for more than 15 years.

Q: Are there any research articles proving the effectiveness of VAX-D?
A: VAX-D has at least ten clinical research studies published in respected peer-reviewed medical journals that validate its effectiveness.

Q: If I undergo VAX-D treatment, how long does it take to see results?
A: Most patients report a reduction in pain after the first few treatment sessions. Typically, significant improvement is obtained by the second week of treatment. The total number of treatment sessions depends on the severity of the problem. In cases where there is considerable damage or injury, it may take up to thirty treatments.

Questions on Conditions
Questions arise on various conditions. In most cases, the doctor will need to determine if VAX-D is indicated or contraindicated. In some cases, the possibility for success may be less than optimal, but if there is a chance, and there are no other safer alternatives, it may still be worth a try. We will give our best opinion as to what your chances will be for success. We will absolutely not treat anyone with medical implants in their spine, but essentially all other conditions will have to be determined by the doctor.

Q: Does VAX-D hurt?
A: Most patients find VAX-D treatment to be comfortable and relaxing. You will undergo a gentle and smooth series of pulls, holds, and releases on the low back. Some patients are so relaxed, they even fall asleep while undergoing treatment.

Q: What do I wear for treatment?
A: Two piece clothing that separates at the waist and can be loosened at the wrists is most comfortable.

Q: Will Medicare pay for VAX-D treatments?
A: No. Medicare has not paid for VAX-D treatments since Medicare issued a statement in 1997 stating the treatment was not reimbursable because it was experimental. In 2005, Medicare issued another statement that they would not pay for any spinal decompression treatments for any manufacturers because it is experimental. However, the FDA determined VAX-D was not experimental and issued a 510K clearance for safety and effectiveness of VAX-D equipment in 1996. In addition, over ten research articles and studies on VAX-D have been published since 1997 in peer reviewed, respected medical journals validating it as an effective non-surgical option for back pain. It is time for Medicare to reevaluate their status.

Q: Will insurance pay for VAX-D treatments?
A: Some may. Some may not. Check with your provider prior to treatment.

Q: Can patients lie on their backs?
A: For more than 400,000 patients treated the usual treatment position was prone (face down). VAX-D hasendorsed the use of a comfortable chest harness that eliminates the need for patients to hold on to handles and the chest harness can be worn by patients lying supine (face up) or prone. Many patients actually prefer that handles. VAX-D offers more options for patient positioning than any other system. Face up or face down, with or without the chest harness, all are endorsed by the manufacturer. There are some experts in this field that believe that during the rest phase in between pull cycles that the herniated disc material can actually be pulled by gravity back down into the disc if the herniation is posterior and the patient is prone on the table. Obviously a supine patient would not have any benefit, if there is any, to gravity repositioning disc material during the rest phase because the direction back into the disc would be up with such a supine patient position. This could be one of the reasons why many clinicians who have other systems along with their original VAX-D system have reported better results with their
VAX-D system.

Q: Are there any side effects to the treatment?
A: Most patients do not experience side effects to the treatment. Sometimes patients may have mild cases of muscle spasm; however, this is usually eliminated with the use of electrostim therapy.

    Copyright © 2006, MediaWest. All Rights Reserved. www.mediawestusa.com