There is indeed some mathematical logic behind why the DDS 500, Double and MAX are so effective. When worn properly for the suggested amount of time, the distractive force can have amazing effects on decompressing the cervical and lumbar region of the spine. This can lead to significant pain relief and the creation of an optimal healing environment in which damaged discs may rehydrate and recover.
The DDS 500, Double and MAX are constructed of dozens of vertical air chambers that expand vertically as they are inflated once the brace is on the patient. As they expand vertically they create lift against the torso and/or body of the neck thus stretching/decompressing/distracting the lumbar spine and or cervical spine.
While many patients, MDs, PTs, DCs and other professionals swear by the decompression effectiveness of the DDS bracing, some may ask what is the science behind the DDS braces…particularly as it relates to spinal decompression? To get some clarification we asked Dr. Mark Baxter, a decompression physician who has been practicing in Las Vegas, NV for over 20 years to give us his insight.
Baxter continues, “If this sounds unbelievable, consider this: Fire departments use lift bags filled with compressed air to lift cars and trucks weighing a few tons in order to extricate trapped victims. And they use the same techniques to lift collapsed building walls and other items that lay on top of trapped victims. Relatively low air pressure can lift a surprising amount of weight as long as it is applied to a large surface area.”
In the case of the patient with the 40 inch circumference, the total surface area may seem small when compared to a collapsed wall or overturned truck, but when compared to the total surface area of the average human being, the ratio is quite significant and the results are seen in X-ray and MRI images and felt in the form of pain relief by those who wear the brace.
According to in-house testing conducted by the creators/engineers and manufacturers of the DDS 500, Double and MAX; when inflated to 14 psi, one air chamber in a DDS 500 brace creates 2.7 lbs of distraction force and 3.6 lbs of distraction force in the Double. In the MAX one air chamber creates about 3 lbs of distraction force. Using these numbers multiplied by the number of vertical air chambers in the various sizes of each brace, the DDS 500 can create from just shy of 61 lbs to just under 111 lbs of distraction force. The Double can create from 68.78 lbs to 133.94 lbs, and the DDS MAX (which is a one-size-fits-most device) has a distractive force of 24.32 lbs. The chart below illustrates exactly much distractive force each brace type produces in each size.
Not all spinal braces are created equal, especially if spinal distraction is desired. The word distraction as it relates to the human spinal column is very similar with the word decompression. Both are terms used to describe the act of external forces separating the spine in an effort to allow discs and other connective tissues to move off impinged nerves with the goal of significantly reducing or eliminating pain.
While most traditional braces simply cinch tight around the patients’ torso to immobilize the area which can assist with the pain, decompression braces such as the DDS 500, DDS Double and the DDS MAX collar target the cause of the pain and work to achieve relief via decompression. This happens when prolapsed, bulging or herniated discs are able to distract off impinged nerves and begin to rehydrate within their respective intervertebral disc spaces.
Sounds good in theory right? But exactly how much distractive force does the 500, the Double and the MAX offer? Actually, quite a lot.