In principle, VAX-D works by alternately stretching and relaxing the spine, thereby relieving pressure on structures in the back (the “cushion” disks and vertebral bones) that cause lower back pain.
During a VAX-D treatment session for the lower back, the patient lies face down on a computerized “split” table, and has a pelvic harness around the hips. The patient’s arms extend forward, and his/her hands grasp two patient-operated handgrips. As treatment begins, the table separates in two, creating a stretch in the patient’s lower back. If at any point in the session the patient experiences discomfort, releasing the handgrips will immediately halt the treatment. A single session typically lasts 45 minutes.
Allan E. Dyer, MD, PhD, who developed VAX-D, explains how the treatment “fixes” herniated disks, a frequent cause of lower back pain. “Your bones are separated by a cushion. That cushion is always under positive pressure, even at rest. VAX-D lowers that pressure to negative levels by creating a partial vacuum that can retract the disk. Even a large, protruding disk can be retracted where it’s supposed to be,” Dyer says. Dyer also recommends that patients undergo 20 treatment sessions for optimal results.