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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > General Surgery & Neurosurgery > Spinal Decompression

Spinal Decompression Cost

How Much Does Spinal Decompression Cost?

average costMedium: Insurance Copays of $200-$2,500high costHigh: Without Insurance $400-$5,000
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Spinal decompression is a procedure designed to relieve pressure on discs and nerves in the back; it can be used to treat herniated discs, pinched nerves in the neck or back, sciatica and other back problems. Spinal decompression uses a computer-controlled table to gently separate the bones of the spine to relieve pressure in the discs.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, spinal decompression typically costs $20 to $200 per visit, and usually requires about 20 to 35 sessions, for a total of $400 to $5,000. For example, the Kansas City Spine Decompression Center charges $20 per session for a total of about $400; the Mitchell Back and Neck Pain Chiropractic Clinic[1] in Oklahoma charges about $65 per session for a total of no more than $1,500. The Kerrville Spine Center in Texas charges a total of about $3,000 for a standard protocol. The cost depends on geographic region and what type of spinal decompression machine is used at the facility; some machines are much more expensive than others, and thus the per-session cost can be higher.
  • Some chiropractors state that spinal decompression is covered by many health insurance plans. For example, Orange County Spinal Decompression[2] in California states that insurance usually covers the procedure, including some plans from Blue Shield, Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare and Humana. The Mitchell Back and Neck Pain Chiropractic Clinic[3] in Oklahoma also states that the procedure usually is covered by insurance. However, it is a good idea to check directly with your insurer.[4] warns that spinal decompression is sometimes incorrectly billed to insurance companies, and that when it is billed under the correct code, most insurance companies will not cover it because they consider it experimental.
  • For patients covered by insurance, typical out-of-pocket costs consist of a percentage of the total treatment cost, usually between 10 percent and 50 percent, or as much as $2,500.
Related articles: Chiropractor, Back Surgery, Laparoscopy, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement

What should be included:
  • Each spinal decompression treatment takes about 30 minutes to an hour. The patient usually lies on a computer-operated spinal decompression machine, and a pelvic harness is put in place to support the lumbar spine. The machine makes tiny adjustments in the position of the back to reduce pressure between the discs.
Additional costs:
  • Some centers charge $100 to $150 or more for an initial consultation.
  • Some chiropractors prefer to see an MRI of the back before starting spinal decompression treatment. See How Much Does an MRI Cost.
  • Some chiropractors offer discounts or limited-time offers. For example, Carney Chiropractic Care[5] in New York sometimes offers a free trial of spinal decompression.
Shopping for spinal decompression:
  • Many chiropractors offer spinal decompression. The American Chiropractic Association[6] offers a chiropractor locator by state.
  • Or, one decompression machine manufacturer,[7] offers a treatment center locator.
  • Spinal decompression treatment is somewhat controversial. Patients on a forum at the doctor-reviewed informational website[8] and a[9] forum report mixed results with spinal decompression; several patients had good results, but some saw no improvement and at least one said treatment made the problem worse.
  • Some patients -- including those who are pregnant, have certain types of cancer, osteoporosis or have had lumbar fusion surgery -- are not good candidates for spinal decompression.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
spinal stenosis
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Helen Polos in Los Angeies, CA.Posted: March 8th, 2016 06:03PM
Insurance: L.A Care
It's taken me since April to get to see a specialist orthopedic surgeon except he does' do surgeries. He showed the X-rays to me and he told me this has to be corrected as soon as possible. I can't keep ignoring it and only trying to rake shots. I NEED TO REFERRED TO AN ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON IN WEST L.A.
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Cervical And Lumbar Decompression
Amount: $6,500.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: P.J. in martinsburg, WV.Posted: March 14th, 2012 07:03AM
Number of Sessions: 20/12Chriropractor/Clinic: AFCC
Insurance: NONE
Decompression was successful on two occasions. I was hit by drunk driver in 2005...I was going to a ortho and neuro surg. I had no relief at all. The solution to my problem according to my Doc's was surgery..injections..meds. After seeking alternative care and finding the proper Doctor with the Decompression table, I went back to my Neiro doc and told him what I was going to do..He laughed...He claimed it would never work, that I had 3 bulging disc's and this required surgery...Now I'm laughing...6 years after Decompression I am still pain free..No surgery needed...I think neuro doc's should be required to have better education on spine care...instead of being so damn quick to recommend surgery.. My friend had neck surgery..She is on anti depress. meds and pain meds for the rest of her life...Now on disability and has no quality of life...Mother of two..can no longer be an active role model in her childrens lives...Our Gov. needs to wake up and stop allowing these unnecessary surgeries...Why should tax payers be stuck with the bill for their ignorance..When surgery is a patients only option..according to them..They should be footing the bill for each patients life they have destroyed by paying for their disability for the rest of their life instead of sticking it to the tax's a no brainer
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