How much does a spinal decompression machine cost to buy?

By Steve Small

Typically, before a salesperson talks about price, they want to tell you all about the features and benefits.

I tend to want to do this (!) because many people focus on cost before they understand who we are helping with spinal decompression, what can be achieved and the ROI.

eg If someone says something costs £100,000, that is a lot of money. But if you can make £500,000 from that investment, then is it?

But in the case of spinal decompression, we don’t tend to publish a price because there are variations around the world due to local taxation, currency, logistics, cost structures and support considerations.

So the answer does vary.

That said, I can give you some figures so that you have an idea of how much a spinal decompression machine costs.

And if you want the price for your country, just email me stephen.small at

I am also going to put a link below to a revenue calculator that you can have a play with.


I’ll do this in four sections and UK, USA, Europe and International.

Just to state, this is for the Accu SPINA which delivers the industry-leading IDD Therapy spinal decompression.

IDD Therapy helped to create the category of targeted spinal decompression. It is the only technology to combine targeted distraction with longitudinal joint mobilisation (through a unique and patented oscillation).

There are other tables out there and I’ll write about the key differences between the Accu SPINA and other machines in another article.


Most clinics purchase their Accu SPINA via a lease. You pay a modest deposit to confirm the order and then roughly speaking, the finance cost is £800 a month.

This is for 60 months and at the end of that, you make a token payment £100 and you own the machine outright.

That asset is yours in the business.

£800 a month is £200 a week.

The average UK treatment price is £70-£80, billed as a 45 minute or one hour treatment.

So with one treatment per day you make a profit.

Five treatments per day is around £7,500 a month revenue. 12 treatments per day is over £15,000 per month.

Revenue calculator link below.

(Note – in this article I am talking purely money. The Accu SPINA is an investment. If you are a business owner and unless you have more money than you know what to do with, you need to know the numbers. For public medicine and outpatient physiotherapy, I will write separately).


Again, most clinics will purchase their Accu SPINA using finance. There is a deposit and then we aim to get the finance to around $1,000 a month for 60 months or $250 a week. You own your Accu SPINA at the end.

In the USA, average treatment prices vary.

I tend to work on an average of $150 per treatment, though it can go up to $200 or more and the lowest is perhaps $100 per treatment.

Five treatments per day generates $15,000 a month (5 x 20 days @ $150), 10 treatments is $30,000 a month.

Many clinics in America have more than one Accu SPINA or even multiple machines. Success builds on success(ful outcomes).


Most clinics will finance their Accu SPINA with a bank loan. They will put down a deposit and aim to get the finance to between Euro800 and Euro1,000 a month.

Similar numbers as above for treatments, price range from Euro60 to Euro90. So again, with a couple of a patients a month, you are making a profit, your ROI is greater than 100%.

Five treatments per day is Euro7-Euro8,000 per month. 10 treatments per day and you double that, ie over Euro100,000 per year.


The international business model depends on the country. A low cost country will tend to have lower operating costs and treatment prices are lower for reasons of affordability.

So a treatment might be $50, sometimes lower. One treatment per day in a 20 day average working month generates $1,000.

Let me know your country and I can give you the price and model.

Steve Small left – Muscat Osteopathy & Wellness Centre, Oman


We know that cash sitting in the bank is losing value (interest rate – inflation rate = negative rate of return).

Some clinics prefer to pay the minimum deposit for the finance. This works and the clinic can then generate the new income stream for the business and be profitable with one treatment per day.

A clinic sitting on some excess cash can of course use some of that to increase the amount of their deposit. This lowers the monthly finance and thus they have greater monthly cash flow.


Below are links to the same revenue model. You don’t need to sign up, you can click the link and go straight to it. I am not hiding this.

A quick explanation how to use it. You can adjust the variables, click the menu bars to bring up the options.

UK £

US $

The variables you want to look at mainly are staff cost and treatment numbers. As you treat more patients, your machine cost per treatment goes down dramatically.

You may have self-employed associates or salaried staff. If you have self-employed associates, I can talk you through how this works in practice, because associates can really benefit from IDD – make more money and fill diary time – but they do not get half of the fee.

You can adjust the currency, the settings are defaulted to the £ and the UK and the second link is to the US$ and the USA. You can adjust to Euros or Swiss Francs

We don’t have every currency so wherever you are, you can convert, I look at to convert different currencies.

There are over 2,000 Accu SPINA systems in use globally delivering IDD Therapy spinal decompression.

I will be writing more on what makes the Accu SPINA the leading spinal decompression device, as well as what makes spinal decompression different from traction, how to market your specialism etc

You can email me for the price, just let me know where you are based.

Or you can download a Prospectus which follows up with a treatment provision document clinics tell me they find really useful.

My email is stephen.small at I am based in the UK but work internationally and can get you a quotation wherever you are.

To download the prospectus, go here:

To connect with me on linkedin and see updates – I am here

I hope this helped.

Leominster Osteopaths, Four Years of IDD Therapy Spinal Decompression for Back Pain, Neck Pain and Sciatica

Leominster Osteopaths was the second clinic in the UK to provide IDD Therapy for their patients.

With some great results and an expanding practice, the clinic is attracting patients from far and wide to get relief from chronic disc-related problems.


Stephen Small and Mark Roughley

Stephen Small of Steadfast Clinics is pictured here with Leominster Osteopaths Clinic  Director Mark Roughley.

For more information about IDD Therapy treatment at Leominster Osteopaths, visit

Chronic Back Pain Treatment With IDD Therapy And The History of MRI Scan Usage

This article considers the role of the MRI scan when treating low back pain with IDD Therapy.

Herniated Disc TreatmentIt raises the possibility that early back pain studies conducted without MRI technology were in part flawed since without consideration of the underlying condition, how would it have been possible to create and direct an appropriate treatment regimen?

When back pain and neck pain remains unresolved, clinicians now use MRI scans to help diagnose or confirm the cause of someone’s pain.

As an example, IDD Therapy treatment providers take advantage of MRI scan technology for three reasons.

1/ Rule out contraindications to treatment
2/ Identify the underlying pathology
3/ Confirm the spinal level to be targeted for treatment 

IDD Therapy treatment uses a computer-controlled, cyclic pulling force to distract and mobilise targeted spinal segments in an axial plane.

sds spina treatment lrThe application of distraction forces is safe, however it is essential to ensure there are no contraindications, such as a vertebral fracture or metastasis (cancer).  (A full list is available by contacting Steadfast).

The scan helps to confirm whether IDD Therapy may be appropriate and the most common conditions treated include herniated discs and degenerative disc disease.  The MRI scan helps the clinician to select the level to be treated e.g L5S1 disc and to understand the severity of the condition.

IDD Therapy treatment protocols detail a set of angles which when applied, enable clinicians to distract targeted spinal segments.  Shealy & Bourmeyer 1997(1)  first observed that applying distraction forces at different angles enabled them to open the disc space 5mm-7mm.

Whilst dermatomes and clinical diagnosis help clinicians, without an MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis, it is very difficult for the clinician to be clear in the treatment plan.

Traditional traction had many flaws and the Cochrane Review confirms that traction as a single modality is not effective.

Common use of MRI scan technology developed long after use of traction was dismissed. Whilst traditional traction was never applied scientifically with measured angles, with sufficient force for sufficient time, significantly, traditional traction treatment was never applied with the knowledge of which level and what pathology was being treated.

If you are not aiming, how can you achieve your goal?   It would be like blindfolding an archer and pointing them in the general direction of the target.

So, with IDD Therapy it is, where possible, desirable to have an MRI to determine the condition being treated and then using the SPINA machine tool, to direct treatment to the targeted level.  Of course, if treatment is not responding adjustments can then be made.

The conclusion of the Cocchrane Review is interesting:

“A limitation of this review stems from the scarcity of high quality studies, especially those which distinguish between patients with different symptom patterns (with and without sciatica, with pain of different duration).”

Having spoken to hundreds of clinicians who used traditional traction, I am yet to meet a single one who used any kind of precise methodology in the application of the treatment (irrespective of the tool they were using).

Invariably it was, “we’d try a bit of traction and see what happened.”  Since they would not know the nature of the condition they were treating, how could they apply a method other than pull and hope?

This quite frankly is useless and we can ask it is any wonder that outcomes in clinics were so poor?!

The other benefit of the scan is to be able to see the size of a disc herniation or the degree of degeneration.  It is extremely difficult to structure a randomised controlled trial with a one-size fits all approach for back pain. 

IDD Therapy has a growing body of evidence to support it and more will be needed to help develop and refine treatment programmes.

Anecdotally, clinicians will confirm that larger disc herniations require more time for treatment than small bulges, whilst degenerative discs tend to require more treatments before improvements can be felt.

The use of the MRI scan is thus a key tool to enable clinicians to target and treat chronic low back pain more effectively.

For a summary of the differences between IDD Therapy Spinal Decompression and traditional traction, please use the form below.

(1) Shealy CN and Borgmeyer V. Decompression, Reduction, and Stabilization of the Lumbar Spine: A Cost-Effective Treatment for Lumbosacral Pain. American Journal of Pain Management. 1997. 7:63-65.

Author: Stephen Small

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How do herniated discs occur and what are the best treatment options?

“Ouch….I’ve slipped a disc!” 

Low back pain affects over 80% of the population at some point in their lives and it’s the second most popular reason for visiting the GP after the common cold. It comes in many guises but a herniated or ‘slipped’ disc is one of the easiest things to succumb to and is one of the most difficult types of back pain to relieve. 

This article examines the ways in which herniated discs can occur and explains the treatment options available to help patients get back to their usual daily activities.

Contrary to popular belief, slipped discs are not just common to people who do manual work involving heavy lifting: many office-based workers succumb to disc problems as a result of sitting in one position for too long, putting pressure on the disc walls so that they weaken over time.

The spine is made up of 24 individual bones called vertebrae which are stacked on top of each Herniated Disc MRI scan - Pre IDD Therapy. Discs are the protective circular pads of connective tissue in between – the ‘padding’ which acts as shock absorbers, protecting the spine when we run or jump.

We cause small weaknesses in our spine all day long with prolonged sitting or standing in certain positions, for example at workstations or hunched over the ironing board.

The intervertebral discs are unlike other parts of the body in the sense that they have a limited nerve supply.

Very often we are not aware of the discs being under strain until the accumulation of months or years of stress has reached a point where small tears form in the outer disc wall. These tears can result in several months of nagging discomfort.

As a defence-mechanism against further damage, the body will often react to this situation with muscle spasm or at the very least, ‘muscle guarding’ which is when the long muscles of the spine tighten up. This causes compression of the discs and a lack of mobility in the spine. 

If this situation prevails, the tears can very often become worse and allow the inner jelly like part of the disc – the nucleus – to herniate outwards. This is referred to as a herniated, bulging or ‘slipped’ disc.

Disc problems can also cause pain in other areas of the body, the most common of which is sciatica, a grinding pain which travels down the length of the leg.  Sciatica can be caused by the bulging part of the disc squashes the nerve root next to the disc or when chemicals from a prolapsed disc irritate the nerve endings.  

Neck pain, headaches or numbness in the foot can also be a sign of a damaged disc. So, what are your options for treatment?

Your first port of call should always be a good osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor who will have experience in treating disc-related problems. With this type of manual therapy in most cases you should see a marked improvement in your condition in 6-8 weeks.

At the same time, if you are in so much pain that you can’t sleep then your GP can prescribe you painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory medicines which can be taken alongside physical treatment.

If you see no real sign of improvement after eight weeks of manual therapy, it would be advisable to get an MRI scan of your spine to confirm the possible causes of your pain and the location (level) of the spine affected.

If a disc problem is identified, a programme of treatment including IDD Therapy non-surgical spinal decompression may be recommended.

IDD Therapy is a computer-controlled mechanical treatment used by clinicians to gently and safely relieve pressure on specific discs, alleviate muscle spasm and increase mobility in the spine.
decompression[1]As part of the IDD Therapy programme, patients undergo a course of core-strengthening exercise to help them maintain their healthy spine.

In a small number of cases, patients with severe disc damage/degeneration may require invasive treatments including injections and/or surgery. Also, in rare circumstances, the patient may require immediate surgery, for example, when the bowel and bladder function is affected.

There are different types of surgery for a herniated disc, the most common is the microdiscectomy where fragments of the disc may be cut away.

Another common type of spinal surgery is the lumbar fusion where the vertebrae surrounding a disc are fused together.

Thus, there are now several treatment options available to patients with herniated discs and indeed, a wider array of effective non-surgical options allowing more patients to avoid invasive procedures.

For information about treatment options at Spine Plus or any other IDD Therapy providers, please use the form below.

Robert Shanks BSc (Hons) Ost
Clinical Director
Spine Plus
Spine Plus is a group of multidisciplinary clinics in London and Essex.

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IDD Therapy Spinal Decompression of Targeted Intervertebral Discs

This article examines the physics and mechanics of how IDD Therapy Spinal Decompression is able to distract and mobilise specfic segments of the spine and thus decompress a targeted intervertebral disc.

Traditional traction has been outmoded for a number of years and one of the shortcomings of traction was the inability to focus and control forces at specifc spinal levels.

The four goals of IDD Therapy spinal decompression are to:

  1. Release pressure on nerves
  2. Improve Disc Health
  3. Re-educate soft tissues
  4. Re-align spinal structures

IDD Therapy treatment is applied by distracting and mobilising targeted spinal segments at precisely measured angles, using high distraction forces which incorporate joint mobilisation in a longitudinal plane.

Controlled forces are high enough to comfortably stretch the paraspinal tissues, open and create pressure differentials in the disc space and are applied for sufficient time to have a therapeutic effect.

Ergonomic pelvic and thoracic harnesses secure the patient to the bed and a computer controlled cyclic distraction force is applied.  Treatment is delivered by CE & FDA cleared Class II SPINA devices.  All aspects of treatment and outcomes are recorded as part of a commitment to evidence-based medicine.

Decompression of a Targeted Spinal Segment.Vector Diagram Showing Application of Forces at Varying Angles

In order to decompress a targeted level, engineers applied the principles of vector forces from physics to the spine.  They observed that by focussing a controlled distraction force at a specific angle, they could open targeted spinal segments by between 5mm -7mm1.

As the angle which a pulling force makes with the horizontal increases, the component of force in the horizontal direction (Fx) decreases and the vertical component of force (Fy) increases.

This causes the relative direction of the pulling force to change and therefore the focus point of application of the pulling force to move progressively along the x-axis.

Measured changes in the angle of applied pulling force enable clinicians to focus and direct distraction forces accurately to injured spinal segments.

Sinusoidal distraction force:  This patented waveform replaces linear pulling forces allowing greater comfort and application of higher distraction forces of up to half body weight plus 5-10kgs.


Longer treatment duration:  Twenty-five minute treatment during which time joints are distracted for 13 times to a high tension, whilst soft tissues are worked and remain under constant tension.

Joint Mobilisation:  The sinusoidal waveform allows for the application of oscillatory forces to mobilise the joint in a longitudinal, rather than anterior-posterior plane at the point when the joint is distracted.

Low frequency    Mid Frequency  High Frequency     Low Amplitude     High Amplitude

The sum of the parts:  Improved harnessing secures the pelvis, measured angle of distraction, computer controlled sinusoidal waveform, cyclical distraction and patient remains completely relaxed for 25 minutes.

Low Back Pain Treatment Programme


In order to decompress (take pressure off) a joint, it is necessary to distract it in the opposite direction to the compressive force.  Where a joint has become stiff and immobile, gentle mobilisation at the point of distraction helps to improve mobility in the joint and allow the natural mechanisms which keep joints healthy to operate freely.

IDD Therapy Spinal Decompression applies new technology to physical laws to enable clinicians to distract and mobilise targeted spinal segments as part of a complete programme of care, including manual therapy and exercise rehabilitation.

Author: Stephen Small

1 Shealy N, Leroy P: New Concepts in Back Pain Management. AJPM (1) 20:239241 1998 

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