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A chiropractor attending to a man's shoulder.

The Alaska Back Pain

The Alaska Back Pain Protocol Benefits

Get stronger. Walk farther. Sit longer. Work harder. Play longer. Have more fun. Fewer days in bed, or on the couch.

We created the Alaska Back Pain Protocol (ABPP) in 2001 to help Alaskans like you relieve their back pain.

The outcome of this protocol has been beyond our expectations.

To date, we’ve helped over 9,000 Alaskans experience relief with this unique and proprietary protocol.

We know how debilitating back pain can be. Chronic back pain can cause you to feel weakness, depression, and anger. What is even worse, chronic back pain can lead to addictive pain medications and risky surgery. Without proper treatment of this condition, it can lead to a lifetime of constant pain.

It doesn’t have to be this way. As our ABPP has shown thousands of times, you can find relief without the dangers associated with surgery and painkillers.

Here’s how:
The logo of Alaska Back Pain Protocol with a couple doing winter sports.
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Experience fast-acting, long-lasting results with the Alaska Back Pain Protocol.

Get back to your active lifestyle, enjoy time with friends and
family, and experience all Alaska has to offer once again —
without pain. For good.

A woman touching her lower back in pain.
A woman touching her lower back while trying to stand from a couch and feeling pain.

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Back Pain

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Disc Problems

How Does the ABPP Work?

Before you decide on a back pain treatment, you need to know what to expect.

While every patient’s back pain is a little different, we use four-pillar therapies in the Alaska Back Pain Protocol: Massage/Physical Therapy Modalities, IDD (previously DRS), Chiropractic Adjustments, and Rehabilitative Therapy. After years of research and experience, we know that each of these works together to help combat different problems that cause back pain.

Massage Therapy/Physical Therapy Modalities


Massage Therapy helps to reduce muscular tension and reduce scar tissue and other adhesions that are reducing mobility in the lower back area. Physical Therapy modalities reduce inflammation and provide pain relief so that we can work on your back without pain.

IDD System


Formerly the DRS system, the IDD system uses axial and spinal decompression to help stop the pain. This decompression helps to reduce tension in your lumbar spine which could end up causing your nerves to tingle painfully or even your spinal discs to grind against each other. In fact, we often use this system not only to prevent spinal issues but to heal them as well. This includes medical conditions such as degenerative disc disease and herniated discs.

Chiropractic Care


Chiropractic care works with the musculoskeletal system and uses techniques to help reduce inflammation, tenderness, or pain in areas. Adjusting spinal misalignments will also improve the body’s nervous system, which runs through the spine.

Rehabilitative Therapy


Rehabilitative therapy is used to help train your body to function normally again. This could mean helping you to feel less pain or even trying to improve your skeletal structure to make it easier to walk and move around. This includes home exercises throughout the treatment plan, as well as in-office rehab to strengthen up the muscles to ensure long-term relief and prevention of further issues.

Due to the benefits of these four types of therapies, we use them in our exclusive ABPP, which has been helping Alaskans since 2001.

You won’t find this protocol anywhere else.

One reason we continue to be so successful is that we were the first to bring the IDD/DRS system to Alaska, and no one in our great state has more experience using this system.

That’s how we’ve managed to help over 9,000 Alaskans overcome their debilitating back pain. And we can help you.

A person getting massage in the neck in a green color overlay.

FREE One-Hour Massage Certificate


That’s right! Receive a certificate for a free one-hour massage with one of our highly-trained, professional, and licensed massage therapists for use after your first appointment. You can use it yourself, or give it to one of your family or friends for them to use!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the ABPP Used Only for Back Pain?

Back pain is usually caused by some type of strain in the spine. This could be due to problems such as muscle sprains, ligament tears, herniated discs, or nerve conditions, such as arthritis

Back pain ranges in its severity and can result from a few different things, such as:

  • Age
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Improper lifting
  • Infections
  • Tumors
  • Physical injuries

If you’ve injured your back in some way and haven’t allowed this injury to properly heal, it could also end up leading to unbearable chronic pain.

An x-ray style image of a person touching their neck and lower back while the spine is visible.

Is the ABPP Used Only for Back Pain?

Since the spine is an essential part of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems, pain in other parts of the body often originates in the back. This means that, in some cases, the ABPP can help the pain in other parts of the body. However, we won’t know whether the Alaska Back Pain Protocol will be right for you until we do a comprehensive exam to provide you with a diagnosis and create an evidence-based plan to treat your pain — wherever it is located. 

What is IDD Therapy?

Also known as Intervertebral Disc Decompression, IDD Therapy works to help decompress your spine and its discs. This can help tremendously with problems such as sciatica, degenerative disc disease, and bulging discs. In addition to using special spinal movement techniques, the therapy also sometimes involves massage therapy.


Many of our patients know this system by a different name: DRS. This is the same concept and treatment with a different name. If you’re familiar with DRS therapy, you can rest assured that IDD is the same thing under a different name. 

What Type of Problems Does IDD Therapy Treat?

Aside from common back pain, IDD Therapy treats numerous other problems.

  • Herniated, Bulging, and Protruding Discs
    • Herniated discs are one of the most common causes of back pain and themselves have many potential causes including posture, improper lifting, injury, aging, and sitting for long periods.
  • Leg, Hip, and Arm Pain
    • Since the central nervous system starts in the spine and runs throughout the body, issues in the spine, such as spinal stenosis, can cause leg, hip, and arm pain. IDD therapy can help to relieve any pinched nerves that may be causing this pain by decompressing your spine.

How Does IDD Therapy Work?

A medical machine for back treatment.

IDD Therapy works very simply, using a uniquely designed machine. First, you will be required to lay down on a padded table. This will help to remove pressure from your spine which is present when you’re standing or sitting. After you’re on the table, you will be kept secure with a harness around your hips and upper body.

The IDD machine then works, at the direction of a trained technician, to gently decompress targeted areas of your spine using carefully controlled movements. Since compression causes most back pain, this decompression treatment is extremely beneficial and a big part of our Alaska Back Pain Protocol. 

IDD Therapy does not hurt. In fact, many patients find it to be soothing and relaxing. 

Over time, the therapy will encourage your lumbar system to realign while reducing nerve pain and other similar musculoskeletal problems. The oscillation produced will also encourage the production of a fluid called lactate. This fluid is very important to have in your spine as it will prevent the vertebrae from rubbing against each other.

Massage Therapy in The Alaska Back Pain Protocol

In addition to using special spinal movement techniques, IDD therapy can be combined with Massage Therapy to provide pain relief in the muscles surrounding the spine. This form of chiropractic massage therapy is designed exclusively for our ABPP patients. It will help to reduce swelling, pain, throbbing, and other signs of trauma to the lower back area.  Many studies, such as those conducted by the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, have been done which have proven the helpfulness of massage therapy during spinal decompression treatment.

Some benefits chiropractic massage therapy provides include:

  • Better blood circulation
  • Decreased tension
  • Boosting endorphins in the body
  • Reducing soreness and pain

Surgery vs. IDD Therapy

So, is surgery or IDD Therapy the best choice for you? While results will vary depending on your body’s specific needs, IDD Therapy is often the best choice for many reasons:

  • Surgery Can Mean More Pain and Problems
    • Since surgery is invasive, you’re always taking a risk when going under the knife. Even the most common, minimally invasive surgeries come with risks. And surgery anywhere near or on the spine is rarely minimally invasive.
  • There Might Be Complications with Surgery
    • Complications may include:
      • Problems with anesthesia
      • Nerve damage
      • Infections
      • Reduction in range of motion

The Alaska Back Pain Protocol, which includes IDD therapy, is incredibly safe. It’s a conservative, holistic, and non-invasive treatment that requires no medication, incisions, or needles.

  • IDD Therapy Has a Faster Recovery Time
    • Back surgery usually means a recovery time of one to six months. With IDD Therapy, you can stay active through the treatment. 
  • There is No Age Limit for IDD Therapy
    • Unlike surgery which sometimes comes with an age limit, everyone can use IDD Therapy. Better yet, there’s no need to worry about dangerous age-related complications such as with surgery.

As you can see, surgery often has more side effects and can worsen back pain. IDD Therapy has been proven to help heal most patients in a natural way. While the results of treatment will depend on the severity of your pain, IDD Therapy will usually help to relieve it.

Is IDD Therapy Safe to Use?

IDD Therapy is extremely safe to use. It was developed with the help of the best neurosurgeons in the world and is FDA-approved. Because of this, you can rest assured that this therapy is safe to use on all types of musculoskeletal issues.

The Benefits of Using IDD Therapy

There are quite a few benefits that come with using IDD Therapy.

  • It’s a Non-Surgical Solution
  • It’s Non-Invasive
  • It Reduces Pain
  • It Promotes Healing
  • The Treatments are Conveniently Short
  • It Has a 92% Success Rate
  • It Can Stop Depression Due to Pain
  • It Incorporates Advanced Technology

Things to Keep in Mind Before Using IDD Therapy

There Will Be a Little Soreness in the Beginning
While IDD Therapy will not cause excruciating pain, it might make you feel a little sore. This is because the discs in your spine that are compressed are being realigned and fixed, which can cause slight soreness in the beginning sessions of the therapy.
You’ll Need to Have a Few Sessions Done
While IDD Therapy works well, it does require you to have a few sessions done. Ideally, you should have about five sessions completed before you start to feel significant results. This requires patience, but the end result is well worth it.
There Will Be Noises
When many patients hear the IDD Therapy table moving, they become a bit concerned over the noises the machine makes. These noises are completely normal and usually stop after the first minute or two of the therapy. Rest assured that there will always be a professional with you, so if you’re concerned about something, they will be there to help you right away.
You Might Be Required to Use Cold or Heat Therapy
Sometimes, you might be asked to use cold or heat therapy at home after your session. This will help to prevent slight soreness after your first few visits. It will also encourage your lumbar system to heal faster.
You’ll Need to Stay Active
Because this therapy is trying to heal your spine and get it to work properly again, it’s important you stay active. This will help train your spine to be flexible and mobile again during your rehabilitation. You ideally should do very simple activities such as gentle stretching, moving your spine against an exercise ball, or even just walking.
You Need to Inform Your IDD Therapist if You’ve Had Previous Back Surgery
While you can use IDD Therapy if you’ve had previous back surgery, you still need to inform your therapist. Sometimes, if you have back implants, it could make it a little difficult for the therapy to work well. Because of this, your therapist will come up with a unique plan for your needs.

What Evidence is There That IDD Therapy Actually Works?

There is plenty of evidence that proves IDD Therapy works for those who suffer from back pain. Aside from the 92% of patients who found relief after a few sessions, there is also MRI evidence.

After comparing MRI scans before and after treatment, patients saw significant results after using IDD Therapy. For instance, bulging discs were fixed, and spinal cord stenosis was healed. These changes could clearly be seen in the MRI scans.

In addition, many prestigious medical journals, such as the European Musculoskeletal Review and the American Journal of Pain Management, found that spinal decompression treatments, such as IDD Therapy, are beneficial.

IDD Therapy is an excellent way to help heal not only back pain, but many other forms of musculoskeletal pain as well. It’s also a very safe and non-invasive option for pain relief. IDD Therapy also helps to give you long-lasting results, unlike back surgery, which means your pain and the problem causing it will be completely healed. This is why it’s an excellent choice if you suffer from back pain or other musculoskeletal issues.

The Bottom Line

The Alaska Back Pain Protocol

By using these four different treatment modalities in the ABPP, we’ve created a quick, effective, and safe way to relieve your back pain.

This combination has transformed thousands of Alaskans’ lives for the better, and there’s nothing we want more.

Since Better Health Chiropractic was the first to bring DRS/IDD Therapy to Alaska, we have the most experience with this transformative technology. This means you’ll be in the best hands when you come to us with back pain.

See what over 9,000 other Alaskans have already experienced by contacting us today! Experience the Alaska Back Pain Protocol and get back to what’s important — without back pain.

A chiropractor taking care of a patient.

Articles by our founder, Dr. Brent Wells:

Back pain:

  1. Axial Back Pain: The Most Common Low Back Pain | by Brent Wells | Medium
  2. 12 Best Back Strengthening Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain – LifeHack
  3. How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain Using These 13 Tips – LifeHack
  4. 12 Causes of Lower Right Back Pain (And How to Relieve It) – LifeHack
  5. 7 Best Lower Back Stretches for Relieving Pain – LifeHack
  6. Backpacks and Back Pain: How to Decrease the Risks – Dr. Axe
  7. 17 Expert-Reviewed Home Remedies for Backaches | Organic Facts
  8. 11 Ways to Boost Back Strength | Organic Facts
  9. Bone Spur: Causes & Symptoms | Organic Facts
  10. 10 Health Benefits of Chiropractic Care | Credihealth
  11. Can Stress Cause Back Pain?
  12. Common Injuries in Cycling: Six Ways to Prevent and Treat Them
  13. How Chiropractic Care Can Help With Pain Management – ActiveBeat – Your Daily Dose of Health Headlines
  14. The Best Yoga Poses for Back Pain – BookYogaRetreats.com
  15. Flying with Back Pain – Keeping Your Back Healthy During Plane Travel – Amateur Traveler
  16. Positive Health Online | Article – 5 Strategies to Stop Herniated Disc Pain (Especially at Night!)
  17. Positive Health Online | Article – Amazing Facts about Your Back – Who Knew?
  18. Positive Health Online | Article – 9 Signs Your Spine is Out of Alignment; Have You Considered #8?
  19. Positive Health Online | Article – Which is Better: Heat or Ice for a Pinched Nerve?
  20. 6 Worst Things That Causes Sciatica to Flare Up
  21. Positive Health Online | Article – C1 and C2 Vertebrae Misalignment Symptoms
  22. Positive Health Online | Article – The Alaska Back Pain Protocol – Who’s It For and How Does It Work?
  23. Positive Health Online | Article – 9 Secrets to Get Sciatic Nerve to Stop Hurting
  24. Exercises to Effectively Eliminate Back Pain – KT Tape
  25. Chronic Back Pain: Alternative Treatments to Alleviate the Pain – Morning Lazziness
  26. 6 Tips to Relieve Neck and Back Pain While Traveling
  27. The Link Between Bad Posture And Back Pain: Ways You Can Correct Your Posture
  28. Essential Ways To Prevent Common Cycling Injuries
  29. Natural Ways to Fight Fibromyalgia – Ask the Experts – Pain Resource
  30. Understanding the Importance of Posture During Pregnancy by Dr Brent Wells — Your Zen Mama
  31. Fibromyalgia and Migraine: Things You Need to Know
  32. Ways to Stop Work-Related Back Pain – WELCOA
  33. Endoscopic Surgery: When Is Surgery Needed for Lower Back Pain
  34. A Gluten-Free Diet Can Be A Solution to Back Pain
  35. 5 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain While Playing Your Guitar
  36. Some Medical Facts for Your Chronic Lower Back Pain That You Should Never Ever Ignore
  37. 4 Exercises That Will Ease Your Back Pain Drastically
  38. How Chiropractic Care Can Help Manage Chronic Pain | The Health Sessions
  39. Work from Home Advice for Moms with Back Pain Chiropractor Brent Wells
  40. Chiropractic Tips to Avoid Yard Work Back Ache – Red Hot Mamas
  41. What is the Connection Between Obesity and Lower Back Pain?
  42. Preventing Back Pain: Tips to Promoting a Healthy Spine | National Spine Health Foundation
  43. Chiropractic Tips to Avoid Yard Work Back Ache – Red Hot Mamas
  44. Chiropractor Tips on How to Manage Back Pain While Traveling
  45. How to Fix Neck and Back Pain While Breastfeeding – Mom After Baby
  46. Common Causes of Back Pain in Pregnancy Dr Wells Chiropractor
  47. When to visit a chiropractor for low back pain – BetterHealth Alaska
  48. 6 ways to prevent back pain through self-care – When They Get Older
  49. Effective Ways to Eliminate Postpartum Back Pain By: Dr. Brent Wells D – Mom Culture®
  50. How to Know When It’s Time to See a Chiropractor? by Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. | Dr. Doug Green
  51. 5 Ways to Set Yourself Up to Avoid Back Pain While Traveling
  52. The Most Effective Ways to Alleviate Lower Back Pain
  54. Physical Therapy as a Treatment for Lower Back Pain
  55. 5 Tips To Improve Posture and Reduce Back Pain With Meditation
  56. Back Pain at Work | HCP.MD
  57. Understanding How Back Pain Is Connected With Depression by Brent Wells, DC
  58. Mobile Apps for Back Pain You Should Be Using in 2019 – Mindful Pathways
  59. How to Avoid a Stiff Neck and Back Pain During Your Flight: A Guest Post by Chiropractor Brent Wells
  60. Activities That Can Cause Back Pain During the Holidays | Core Physical Medicine
  62. A Healthy Weight for a Healthy Back | Dr. Cobi
  63. Dr. Brent Wells, Author at Juke Gyms
  64. What Does Chiropractic Treatment for Back Pain Involve (Guest Post) — Carolina Birth and Wellness-Blog
  65. How Acupuncture Appears To Help Back Pain | YOU Massage Therapy Blog
  66. Simple exercises that you can do in your office to ease back pain – Well One


  1. COMPANY MD December13/January14
  2. Q&A With A Chiropractor: Here’s What You Can Expect On Your First Chiropractic Visit
  3. Common Injuries in Cycling: Six Ways to Prevent and Treat Them
  4. Essential Oils for Sciatica Pain and How to Use Them
  5. 7 Sciatica Stretches to Help Prevent Lower Back Pain
  6. Five Surprising Ways You Might Be Worsening Your Sciatica
  7. Sciatic Nerve Pain Causes, Symptoms and Relief – HeartMD Institute
  8. Essential Ways To Prevent Common Cycling Injuries
  9. Exercises to Stretch and Strengthen Your Back While Pregnant – BabyHopes
  10. Why & How to Maintain Good Posture During Pregnancy • The Koala Mom
  11. Yoga for Nerve Pain
  12. Understanding the Importance of Posture During Pregnancy by Dr Brent Wells — Your Zen Mama
  13. Mental Health Is Just as Important as Physical Health: Chiropractor’s Perspective
  14. Stay Pain Free While Traveling {Helpful Tips}
  15. A Chinese Medicine Approach to Sciatica – DAO Labs
  16. How to Treat and Prevent Sciatica for Runners – Runnin’ for Sweets
  17. Sleeping with Sciatica – DOs and DON’Ts – The Health Science Journal
  18. CrossFit Injuries: Back Pain & Sciatica
  19. How foam rolling can relieve sciatica pain – Pulseroll
  20. How Chiropractic Care Can Help Manage Chronic Pain | The Health Sessions
  21. Lower Back Pain Archives | National Spine Health Foundation
  22. Natural Ways to Get Rid of Pregnancy Pains and Aches – Hey, Milestone
  23. Pelvic Tilt and Lower Back Pain
  25. Telltale Signs Your Lower Back Pain May Be Serious – iPain Foundation
  26. Benefits of a Chiropractor for Travel
  27. Benefits of Chiropractic Care on Weight Loss
  28. The Most Effective Ways to Alleviate Lower Back Pain
  29. Dr. Robin Peterson, Chiropractor in Baywood-Los Osos | Patient Reviews | HealthSoul
  30. Reasons Why Pregnant Women Should Visit a Chiropractor – Mumberry
  31. 20 Amazing Benefits of Chiropractic Care: Quick Adjustments
  32. 5 Lower Back Stretches to Reduce Pain and Build Strength – Beachside Community Acupuncture
  33. Editorial Board – Scoliosis