Spinal Decompression In San Antonio
Misconceptions, Misleading Statements, And Outright Fraud Regarding Spinal Decompression
Unfortunately, when spinal decompression first started becoming known for its superior safety and effectiveness for treating disc herniations and disc degeneration, it started a huge flurry of rather ugly competition among the manufacturers of spinal decompression equipment and the doctors who use that equipment.
In the rush to carve out market share, both the manufacturers and the providers resorted to some less than ethical tactics and made some less than truthful marketing claims. For example, the company that makes the DRX9000, the machine that we use, claimed that the original idea for the technology came from NASA, based on their observations of what happened with astronauts in space flight. This "fact" was repeated many times in advertisements and patient information materials by doctors in San Antonio and all over the world (embarrassingly, including us!), until it came to light that it was a complete fabrication by a clever marketing person. This is but one example of the questionable marketing that has been used for spinal decompression. The various unscrupulous advertising that has been done has led to numerous lawsuits and fraud charges being leveled by various regulatory agencies. The silly part is, the vast majority of the fictitious claims had little to do with the actual effectiveness of spinal decompression, they were more "fluff" than anything else.
To further complicate things, there has been much debate over what actually constitutes "spinal decompression". Because all spinal decompression machines are a type of traction machine and are registered as traction devices with the FDA, some "experts" have taken that to mean that they are no different from traction machines that have been on the market for over 50 years. This is simply not the case. Decompression machines have several technological advances over regular traction machines and have proven to have much different effects on the spinal discs (see below for more about this).
Finally, there are some spinal decompression / traction machine manufacturers who deliberately misrepresent the research and how it applies to specific machines. For example, the Chattanooga Company, that makes the Triton DTS Decompression system insists that their machine is exactly the same as decompression machines made wih much more complex components and that cost nearly 10 times as much, and they support this assertion in their sales materials with several research studies. The problem is, nearly all of the research being used by Chattanooga to promote their Triton DTS machine has been done using different machines by different manufacturers. The reseach that has been done using the Triton DTS did show benefits, but the patient improvements were less than what has been seen with other machines. In fact, the results were comparable to what one would expect with a regular traction machine. To make claims regarding the effectiveness of the Triton DTS using research done using other machines is highly questionable at best. (One additional point to make is that many doctors who use the Triton DTS, including some of our San Antonio spinal decompression competitors, are often unknowingly repeating these misleading claims, and are relying on Chattanooga to provide them with truthful marketing materials. The doctors are being mislead themselves and really should not be blamed for this.)
Unfortuately, the ugly tactics that have been used in the decompression market in the race for the almighty dollar has resulted in a cloud of confusion and suspicion in the minds of many patients and doctors alike regarding this form of treatment. We hope to be able to resolve at least some of that confusion and suspicion with the information on our Spinal Decompression In San Antonio page.
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