CF 286: Nonsurgical Decompression & Sugar Substitutes

Today we’re going to talk about Nonsurgical Decompression & Sugar Substitutes

But first, heres that sweet sweet bumper music


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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.

We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow, look down your nose at people kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers.

I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast. I’m so glad you’re spending your time with us learning together.

Chiropractors – I’m hiring at my personal clinic. I need talent, ambition, drive, smart, and easy to get along with associates. If this is you and Amarillo, TX is your speed, send me an email at

If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do.

  • Go to Amazon and check our my book called The Remarkable Truth About Chiropractic: A Unique Journey Into The Research. It’s excellent educational resource for you AND your patients. It saves you time putting talks together or just staying current on research. It’s categorized into sections so the information is easy to find and written in a way that is easy to understand for everyone. It’s on Amazon. That’s the Remarkable Truth About Chiropractic by Jeff Williams.
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You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode 286

Now if you missed last week’s episode, we talked about Neuroplasticity and Chronic Pain & Surgeons Showing Excised Disc Fragments To Postsurgical Patients

Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class.

On the personal end of things…..

Dudes, sisters, and bros…..American Airlines got me home a day late from my visit to Boston this weekend. In short, my daughter got accepted to The Congress of Future Medical Leaders…..or something like that….where they got to listen to Nobel Laureates and movers and shakers. One speaker was a surgeon and an astronaut. Yes, that caliber of speaker.

It was in Boston so we did that, drove to New Hampshire for breakfast one morning. That was something straight from a movie. Good stuff. Got to do the Freedom Trail and I’m a history nerd. That might be something you didn’t know about me but, specifically, the American Revolution and WWII. I think the Civil War was just too ugly all around to be at the top of the list and WWI just never really grabbed me for some reason.

But yeah, anyway, we did it all and loved my first trip to Boston. Loved it A LOT actually. The trip there, American Airlines delayed me a day by making me miss my connecting plane in Dallas. Then did it again on the way home. I was supposed to get home last night. Instead, finally got to an unplanned hotel around 1:30am just to get up and Uber to the airport around 5:45 am this morning, fly home, change clothes and get to work to salvage what I could of this work day.

Luckily I have a great staff that got everyone re-scheduled and super cool and understanding patients. So, that’s all I have time for. I’m cutting it short. Let’s hop into the research.

Item #1


The first on today is called “Restoration of disk height through non-surgical spinal decompression is associated with decreased discogenic low back pain: a retrospective cohort study” by Christian C Apfel, et. al and published in PubMed on July 8th 2010.

Why They Did It

The goal of this study was to determine if changes in LBP, as measured on a verbal rating scale, before and after a 6-week treatment period with non-surgical spinal decompression, correlate with changes in lumbar disc height, as measured on CT scans.

How They Did It


  • A retrospective cohort study of adults with chronic LBP attributed to disc herniation and/or discogenic LBP who underwent a 6-week treatment protocol of motorized non-surgical spinal decompression via the DRX9000 with CT scans before and after treatment.
  • The main outcomes were changes in pain as measured on a verbal rating scale from 0 to 10 during a flexion-extension range of motion evaluation and changes in disc height as measured on CT scans.
  • Paired t-test or linear regression was used as appropriate

What They Found

  • They identified 30 patients with lumbar disc herniation with an average age of 65 years, proper BMI, 21 females and 9 males, and an average duration of LBP of 12.5 weeks.
  • During treatment, low back pain decreased from 6.2 to 1.6 and disc height increased from 7.5 mm to 8.8
  • Increase in disc height and reduction in pain were significantly correlated

Wrap It Up


Non-surgical spinal decompression was associated with a reduction in pain and an increase in disc height.

The correlation of these variables suggests that pain reduction may be mediated, at least in part, through a restoration of disc height.

Item #2

Our last one this week is called, “Sugar Substitutes Don’t Help Weight Control and May Increase Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes, WHO Warns” by Melissa Suran, PhD, MSJ published in JAMA Network on June 14, 2023. Hot potato!

Why They Did It

The study was done to know if sugar substitutes which are often touted for having fewer calories than sugar—or no calories at all—long-term use can aid weight loss or management.

How They Did It

  • The guideline is relevant for children and adults without preexisting diabetes.
  • It applies to artificial and natural sweeteners not classified as sugar—like aspartame, saccharin, stevia, and sucralose—but not sugar alcohols or low-calorie sugars.
  • It also doesn’t apply to medications or hygiene and personal care products, which sometimes contain traces of sugar substitutes for palatability.
  • Thus, nonsugar sweetener use or consumption means consuming foods and beverages containing sugar substitutes or adding them to such products.

  • To inform their recommendation, investigators reviewed 283 studies, including randomized trials, prospective cohort studies, and case-control studies.



What They Found

In adults:

  • Consuming nonsugar sweeteners for short periods of time, about 3 months or less, was associated with lower weight and body mass index.
  • Yet short-term use didn’t improve other indicators of cardiometabolic health, such as glucose or insulin levels.
  • Longer-term use between 6 months and 18 months didn’t appear to affect weight, but data from related trials were difficult to interpret because of the various methodologies.
  • Across prospective cohort studies, including those that followed participants for a decade, higher use of nonsugar sweeteners correlated with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, several cardiovascular diseases—including stroke—and death from any cause.
  • Although using sugar substitutes wasn’t associated with an overall higher risk of cancer, saccharin was linked with bladder cancer in a small number of case-control studies.

In children:

  • Evidence for the health effects of sugar substitutes was limited. Even though children lost weight when sugar-sweetened beverages were replaced with beverages containing sugar substitutes, there was no observable difference in body mass index scores.
  • Moreover, several studies found no significant connections between consuming nonsugar sweeteners and improved health outcomes.

In pregnant individuals:

  • Data were also limited. Whereas higher use of nonsugar sweeteners during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, it’s unclear whether offspring’s weight at birth or later in life was affected.
  • Sugar substitutes didn’t decrease the risk of gestational diabetes, but using such sweeteners during pregnancy may affect some offspring outcomes: maternal consumption was associated with an increased risk of asthma and allergies, as well as reduced cognitive function.

Wrap It Up

When possible, the guideline suggests opting for unsweetened foods and beverages. It also recommends that policy makers focus on reducing consumption of sugar and its  substitutes in infants and young children still forming taste preferences.

Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week.



Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at



Purchase Dr. Williams’s book, a perfect educational tool and chiropractic research reference for the daily practitioner, from the Amazon store TODAY!

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you cant beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots.

When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few.

It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient.

And, if the patient treats preventatively after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health!




Key Point:

At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints….

Thats Chiropractic!


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We cant wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.


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About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (FIANM) and Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Professionals (DABFP) – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger


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