Korean J Pain.  2008 Aug;21(2):143-149. 10.3344/kjp.2008.21.2.143.

Effects of Decompression Therapy for the Treatment of a Herniated Lumbar Disc

  • 1KimJun's Orthopaedic and Pain Clinic, Daegu, Korea. anesbud7@hotmail.com


Traction has often been utilized to treat patients with a herniated lumbar disc. Currently, the most advanced type of traction therapy is non-surgical spinal decompression. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of decompression therapy in patients with a herniated lumbar disc based on clinical findings and symptoms. METHODS: Sixty patients with herniated lumbar discs were included in this study. The patients were randomly divided into two groups, a decompression group (n = 30) and a traction group (n = 30). To evaluate the impact of decompression and traction therapy on the herniated disc, the clinical symptoms for each group were evaluated prior to and after treatment using the visual analogue scale (VAS), straight leg raising (SLR), the herniation index, and the disc height. RESULTS: The VAS score was significantly lower in the decompression group (2.0 +/- 0.2) than the traction group (3.9 +/- 0.2) following treatment. In addition, the SLR angle was significantly higher in the decompression group (79 +/- 1.5) than the traction group (63.3 +/- 1.9). The herniation index was significantly lower in the decompression group (217.6 +/- 19.1) than the traction group (259.5 +/- 16.4). Finally, the disc height was not significant differences between pre-treatment and follow-up in two groups. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that decompression therapy for the treatment of patients suffering from a herniated lumbar disc has an effect on the pain, SLR, and herniation indices, not disc heights.


decompression; disc height; herniated disc; herniation index; traction

MeSH Terms

Follow-Up Studies
Intervertebral Disc Displacement
Stress, Psychological
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