Chiropractors still using bogus back device DRX-9000

Chiropractors, much more so than real medical health professionals, have to invest a lot of effort into practice promotion, and nothing helps promote a practice so much as having an edge. The DRX-9000 back compression machine, a high tech machine for treating back pain, fits the bill: with LED lights, monitors, and a claimed 86% success rate, this ersatz medical device looks like the real thing.


Back pain can be debilitating enough to people that a $4,000 price tag for 20 treatments is not an obstacle, not with a success rate as high as 86%, as the manufacturers claim.

Only the claim isn’t true.

CBC marketplace investigated the devices in early 2010 and found no scientific basis for the claims of success, nor any support for the device being able to work as it should. Health Canada asked the manufacturer to provide evidence for its use. When none was forthcoming, the licence for the DRX-9000 was pulled.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they are no longer in use. While the company can no longer sell the devices, and indeed has gone bust, operators – that is to say, chiropractors – have no obligation to stop using them. The manufacturer is obliged to tell people that they are no longer licensed, but that’s all. In the meantime, chiropractors still tout the benefits of the DRX-9000 and consumers are none the wiser. In fact a lot of consumers will continue to be scammed and end up thousands of dollars poorer, with nothing to show for their money.

This underlines a fundamental failing in the chiropractic industry. Chiropractors operate outside mainstream medicine, yet want to be taken as seriously as real medical health professionals. However, doctors are trained and held to a very high standard, and tightly regulated as to what treatment modalities they can use. Chiropractic simply does not hold itself to a similar standard and does not have the same tradition of respect for evidence based medicine; but then, how could it, when it has failed, over and over again, to provide scientific support for the claims it makes?

The DRX-9000 is another in a long line of chiropractic money making schemes. It’s gone, but you can bet there will be others. When your practice depends on drumming up business by any means, it’s only a matter of time before someone shows up with the next big thing.


67 Responses to “Chiropractors still using bogus back device DRX-9000”

  1. David Says:

    I have had chronic low back issues at L4 and L5. I would throw my back out every one or two years. Severe back spasms would result and I would go to the Chiropractor for adjustments which would clear up the problem. After 5 or 6 cycles of this, I continued to have chronic pain even after treatments took care of the spasms. 9 years ago I had the full treatment cycle with the DRX 9000. Since then I have not thrown my back out once. The treatment helped me avoid surgery and I would recommend this treatment to anyone before opting for surgery. Everyone I know that has had back surgery has had more than one back surgery.

  2. Ma Says:

    DRX2000 saved me from having a major surgery on my back.
    Today, eight years later I still do not need any surgery.
    It worth EVERY penny I paid!

  3. stan Says:

    The Dxr9000 was a success for not only me but also some of my friends and family. It appears that this article was written to try to down play the success. I feel the rate of success is even higher than 86%. I was a truck driver for 20 years and this machine saved me a back surgery

  4. Steve Says:

    Well I can only speak for myself and the Drx 9000 machine was the only thing that help me. But as far as anything goes in the health industry its a hit and miss with just about any kind of treatment concerning the spine. I had my neck fused and it did absolutely nothing for me and now its worse. I had one bad spot that was causing a pinch and pain from my neck to my left hand and fingers. Two doctors recommended fusion which I had done. Now I have 2 areas where its pinching the nerves causing more pain from my neck to both hands now. This is most likely cause by having the stupid fusion in the 1st place … etc. I need a drx 9000 for my neck. How ever I do agree it cost way to much for the treatment.

  5. eve Says:

    I’m suffering from DDD since 1972 (trauma). Had frequent outbreaks and tried avarious physical therapy treatments, steroid shots, etc. – nothing helped. I was told more then once that my only recourse would be a surgery. In 2008 I had absolutely horrible case of sciatica and spent a week in the hospital on heavy drugs. I was bedridden for 4 months, taking 12 Norcos a day. And then someone recommended DRX9000. After 15 treatments (exactly as promised) I started to walk again. I’m on lifetime maintenance program. Yes, it was not cheap (about $5,000), but worth every penny. I do have some backpain often. After all, my whole spine is screwed – 43 years! But nothing really bad, and, most important, no narcotics! And YOU are trying to tell ME, it’s a scam?! I only wish there was more scams like that one.

  6. Ruth Says:

    I had severe lower back pain with electrical bolt-like spasms in legs. Went to both traditional Drs, physical therapy, and chiropractors for over 30 years with only minimal relief. Had back surgery with still only minimal relief. Traditional drs said more back surgery was needed. Moved, and new chiro had DRX9000. Major improvement within a month, totally gone after 1 1/2 yr treatment. Back is like new. Traditional dr was amazed. Slowly starts digressing after 2-3 yrs – one-two treatments every 3-4 years brings it back to new. Chiro only charge regular office visit. No scam. Better than back surgery. Sad you are slamming it.

  7. Rose Says:

    I had 20 treatments on DRX 9000 about 10 years ago at my chiropractors office. I had tried years of physio, traction, anti-inflammatories and ‘living with it’. After 10 treatments I noticed significant improvement, that was the corner turner for me. After 20 treatments I was pain free totally. I went back about 5 years ago for a 10 treatment tuneup and have had a one other treatment at some point in the last 10 years. I am finally to the point where I could probably use another tuneup but I don’t ever plan to go back to where I was 10 years ago. The treatment cost me $4000 – about the same as a week all inclusive in Mexico for my husband and myself. I am happy I stayed home and spent my money wisely on the DRX 9000 treatments. I have never looked back.


  8. john medina Says:

    the DRX machine is a godsend. I couldn’t walk before the use of this machine now I have ZERO pain for 5 years no Oh CANADA you bunch of idiots. Maybe some day you will listen to the people not your money making Drs. This machine I great if you have the correct problem not if you have another type of back problem

  9. MK Says:

    According to “doc” and evidenced based procedures in modern or alternative medicine it should all be a scam. Why do doctors call their business of medicine a “practice” because of hard researched evidence in what they do for people?? Hmmmm, 99% of medicine, other than emergency treatment, is considered totally unecessary and we are one of the most unhealthy countries (USA), why is that “Doc?” If drugs or surgery “cure” disease why do patients have to keep filling prescriptions?? Why is there a diagnosis called FBSS (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome) & the NIH shows that since the 1990’s back surgery success rates continue to decline at alarming rates, but coincidentally more surgeons are graduating from medical school and are practicing surgeons.

  10. Vince Zaworski Says:

    Traction always has and always will work. The DRX machine is just a more efficient traction machine. Of course the companies that want us to be hooked on pills or the doctors who do nothing but back surgeries don’t want this to be true. But it is. I had 2 herniated discs. I was in chronic pain for years and had episodes so severe that my left leg was in complete muscle spasm for days. I knew nothing about spinal decompression and had no hope of avoiding surgery, but I figured it was worth a try. Well, it worked! I have been pain free for over a decade. I maintain my back health with core strengthening excercises, stretching, and using an inversion table. I suppose I’m wrong and the surgeons are right. Then why is it that every single person I know who has had back surgery still suffering while I’m in great shape?

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  12. John B Says:

    The person who wrote this article doesn’t have a clue. Before learning about the DRX 9000 I had two back surgeries one in 2005 and one in 2008 I was 27 and 30. It was recommended that I get a laminectomy discectomy and both times in the same place L4 L5. Surgery has put my health in jeopardy I have severe degeneration and now have other herniated discs at other levels. I have used the DRX 9000 and this machine absolutely works. “Doctors are held to a high standard”. Ok surgeons want to cut you and doctors want to prescribe meds not to treat the cause but the symptoms. I used to be in top physical shape thanks to Neurosurgeons and myself not being informed or knowing about the DRX in 2005 this can never be me again. The DRX though has given my life back and I can do some exercise and some is better than none and most importantly I am pain free. I will never ever recommend surgery.

  13. Annette Duckering Says:

    I have had neck and back surgery. My lower back injury is so bad that the surgeon said he could not tell where the pain was coming from or what to fix. I have had DRX9000 treatments and it was the only treatment that helped me. I don’t want to lose the ability to walk and would like to continue more treatments. But sadly I have no savings left and insurance for senior citizens does not cover the treatments. It is not a hoax chiropractors don’t want to lose the manipulation skills on the back which pays their practice. If you can not be manipulated by rough movement why can’t the gentle accurate movement of the DRX9000 be used. Time to move to the future of medicine and healing. Where is a practice located in Western Wa state that has one?

  14. michael robinson Says:

    did nothing for my spinal stenosis. Waste of money.
    Did not get the results was lead to believe would happen.

  15. John Palma Says:

    The DRX 9000 has saved me from a debilitating back surgery and a lifetime of pain management about 10 years ago. I was told that I had no choice but to have back surgery to correct a bulging disk. I still work and scuba dive regularly. You can bet that any bad press about this back decompression treatment comes from doctors and surgeons.

  16. Sheri Says:

    Worked for me! Been 7 years now and I am healed!
    (Now of course I don’t shovel snow or go bowling every weekend. I must be smart and careful with me lower back. I was very VERY BAD OFF!) but I have been able to live a lively life, dancing etc- even been bowling lol. Maybe it’s all in my head- but the drx9000 healed me! That and God :-)))

  17. Ro Morgan Says:

    I began back decompression treatments four weeks ago, through my chiropractor. It was found that my 5th disc
    was flat. He said I could try decompression or have surgery.
    I have four weeks left on the treatments. I am paying for
    them myself, and so far IT IS REALLY WORTH IT. I was
    in so much pain that I could barely walk for a year and three
    weeks. I feel so much better that it is like a miracle. I really
    thought I would be in pain for the rest of my life. In four more weeks I’ll be dancing!