Dr. Steven Thain, DC, is pretty excited. Thain practices at of DISC Centers of America – Bellevue. He’s one of the country’s leading practitioners of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression (NSSD), a highly successful technique for treating back and neck pain arising from spinal disc issues. He’s excited because the US Food and Drug Administration has just cleared an advancement to the therapy for neck patients, and Thain is one of the very first practitioners to offer the improved treatment.
And the first patient he’s offering it to is his Mom.
“With NSSD there is a feature called oscillation,” he says. “The computer follows an algorithm where it goes to a peak point of pulling and then gently oscillates at peak pull until it relaxes to half that pressure, and then goes back up to a full pressure. That gentle oscillation at the peak pull pressure in the algorithm creates a magnification of the disc pumping.”
It’s this “pumping” action that ultimately reduces pressure on the disc and offers relief to the patient.
Until this month, the oscillation feature was available for use in the lower back, but not the neck. Now it has passed the quality assurance process of the appropriate government agencies.
Thain, as a member of the International Medical Advisory Board for spinal decompression, is the first in Washington – and one of the first two offices in America – to get the release of this feature.
While NSSD has a high success rate, Thain says there have always been some patients who reach a plateau with the treatment. Although they experience relief, there’s still room for improvement. The oscillation feature, he says, can make a huge difference for those patients.
“I’m really excited because I already have a list of patients in my head. People who got to a certain point where you’re just wondering, ‘could I have got them to that next level if I had this?’
“So I’m just excited to be bringing this out. This is a procedure that could be life-changing for them,” he says.
One of those patients is Thain’s own mother. She has been dealing with degenerative arthritis, and has already benefited from NSSD. Thain has been wondering if oscillation can help her feel even better.
“So we’ll get her up here and do some more sessions with her to see if I can help her a little bit more,” he says.