Availability of IDD Therapy Disc Treatment on the NHS

At this time IDD Therapy treatment is not yet available on the NHS. It is available privately across a network of physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic clinics. It is anticipated that IDD Therapy will be available through the National Health Service in the future.

IDD Therapy provides a non-invasive treatment solution for patients with chronic back and neck pain. It is primarily associated with treatment of spinal disc issues such as a bulging or herniated disc and related symptoms including sciatica.

Image: The Buckingham Clinic in Glasgow is a leading provider of IDD Therapy

Patients with unresolved back and neck pain take up a lot of time and resource.

Within the NHS framework of care, once physiotherapy has been given, patients with unresolved pain typically move into a cycle of pain management. Most commonly this is through pain medication prescribed by GPs.

When pain persists, options include referral to a pain clinic or in severe cases to a consultant for surgical consideration. Pain clinics offer a number of programmes which vary depending on the location.

However, beyond current physiotherapy and some osteopathy provision, the NHS has very little to offer patients in terms of conservative treatment (ie non-injection/surgical) to treat certain spinal disc problems.

About IDD Therapy

IDD Therapy was developed in the late 1990s in the USA to address the failings of traditional traction and the physical limitations of manual therapy. It works using computer-controlled pulling forces which are directed at specific spinal segments.

By gently decompressing the targeted segment and mobilising the joint, IDD Therapy takes pressure off the disc and improves function and mobility in the affected area.

As part of a programme of care, IDD Therapy aims to relieve pain without drugs or invasive treatments with a goal to improve the quality of life for the patient.

In the NHS, IDD Therapy will be a cost-effective way to treat the causes of certain pain conditions. For GPs and Consultants, IDD Therapy gives a meaningful option to treat the causes of pain beyond pain management whilst freeing up time by taking chronic back pain management out of the GP surgery.  For physiotherapists, IDD Therapy provides a tool to enable them to do more for their patients, beyond the limitations of manual therapy and exercise alone.

When will IDD Therapy be available on the NHS?

It is difficult to say.  It takes time for any treatment to be adopted in public health care. There are many treatments which the NHS must consider and if the NHS invested in every promising treatment then it would waste billions of pounds.

Due consideration must be given to the available evidence and naturally this takes a degree of time and engagement with relevant parties before a treatment is widely adopted..

Private medical clinics are more adaptable to evaluate therapies, invest and adopt once safety and a level of effictiveness have been demonstrated.  Aviva Medical Insurance covers IDD Therapy in its own right as it provides a cost-effective treatment option which can help patients avoid the need for surgery.  Globally there are over 1,000 IDD Therapy treatment providers.

Image: IDD Therapy at Leominster Osteopathic Clinic, Herefordshire

In the UK, IDD Therapy is expanding rapidly in the private sector. As awareness and understanding of the benefits of treatment grows, along with new research to support the efficacy, IDD Therapy will offer the NHS an exciting option to do more for patients with unresolved back or neck pain.

For an analysis of NHS cost-savings from IDD Therapy, please use the Contact Us form requesting – “NHS Report”.

IMPORTANT: Whilst IDD Therapy is a safe and effective treatment for back and neck pain, it is a treatment tool used as part of a programme of care.  Not all patients are suitable for treatment and IDD Therapy is not a cure for all back pain. If you are suffering with back pain, neck pain or sciatica, always consult your supervising clinician for accurate diagnosis and treatment guidance.

To find out if IDD Therapy may be suitable for your contact your nearest IDD Therapy Disc Clinic. Enter your postcode here to check for locations near you Clinic Finder.


Author: Stephen Small heads up the IDD Therapy Disc Clinic network in the UK.  For details about providing IDD Therapy in your hospital or clinic, please use the form on the provider page to receive information.

CPD: If you are a clinician and would like to receive a CPD presentation for your team to learn more about IDD Therapy, please use the Contact Us form on this website to request details. Contact Form