When Astronauts go into a weightless environment, the discs in the spine begin to swell with fluid. Because the spine normally has a lot of weight on it, in antigravity there is a lack of compression on the spine. This causes the disc to decompress making the spine longer. The spinal cord and nerves do not stretch much and do not adapt well to this change in length of the spine.
As far as space travel and back pain, decompression for several days tend to be too much of a good thing. After a long trip into space, the astronaut can gain a few inches in height. This extreme stretch of the spinal column can cause a lot of back pain.
Bed rest decompresses the spine, but bed rest for more that two days will actually increase low back pain. Besides lengthening the spine substantially, spinal muscles do not get much work while in a weightless environment.
With the DTS Spinal Decompression System, decompression of the spine is achieved by loading the spine in a way that counters the pull of your muscles. This loading causes a degree of decompression of the disc. This slight decompression can sometimes be enough to take pressure off of the nerve. In some patients, decompression treatment causes a negative pressure to develop inside of the disc. This negative pressure may then "draw in" the protruding disc material.
Multiple treatments with gradual decompression for about 30 minutes is the aim of the DTS. Preliminary studies show that the DTS may help patients with back pain through its decompression effects.
So space travel does not cure back pain, but the principles of spinal decompression can be applied here on earth. By decompressing the spine for a few minutes over several weeks, some of the gravity effects on the spine are reversed.
The disc may be moved away from painful nerves while the vertebrae are separated during decompression. The DTS can also have the pull angled in such a way that the loading is applied to particular spinal vertebra. For example, L5/S1. In the patient with a herniated or bulging disc and back or leg pain, the DTS decompression treatment may be a solution.