About Dr. Ho's Decompression Belt

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff
Published on: Jun 12, 2014

If you recently saw an advertisement or watched an infomercial for Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt, you’re probably wondering if the traction it provides really can help treat your chronic, acute back pain. And if so, does Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt really make the process as easy as it claims?

To put the claims of Dr. Ho’s Compression Belt to the test, and to find out if it’s worth your hard-earned money, we did some in-depth research, and here’s what we found out.

How Dr. Ho's Decompression Belt Claims to Work

Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt, also known as the HoPhysio Belt, is a 2-in-1 decompression belt that claims to provide gentle clinical-grade traction and decompression therapy (hence the “2-in-1” designation), which is claimed to provide relief from chronic, acute back pain resulting from degenerative, herniated, or bulging discs.

In fact, the product’s website claims that this technology has been endorsed by medical professionals for use on patients with upper and lower back pain, which is something we’ll discuss more in the Bottom Line section.

In addition, Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt is also claimed to provide other benefits, such as:

  • Keeps weight off your lower back
  • Stabilizes your lower back and improves posture
  • Strengthens your back and core
  • Stretches lower back muscles
  • Relieves stiffness

After placing Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt around your waist, you’ll then need to attach the pump and inflate it.

Once this occurs, the product’s website claims that the belt will expand vertically, which tractions your lower back while decompressing spinal discs and relaxing the muscles surrounding them.

As such, Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt claims to help you reduce your visits to the doctor, as well as to avoid surgery and overdependence on pain medications.

For the first week, Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt should be used 3-4 times per day, for 20-30 minutes each session, which can be increased if necessary thereafter.

The product’s website claims that it can also be worn under your clothes, which is claimed to allow it to relieve pain wherever you are (including in bed), while also giving you the ability to be more active.

Dr. Ho’s Compression Belt is claimed to be safe for use by anyone, regardless of age or size, although you should always consult with your physician beforehand.

Dr. Ho's Decompression Belt Pricing & Refund Policy

Dr. Ho’s Compression Belt is priced at $179.96, and while it appears that standard shipping is free, this couldn’t be confirmed since a total isn’t provided on the checkout page. However, rush shipping will cost you an additional $34.99.

You can also purchase packages such as:

  • Deluxe Package: $209.94 – Includes DR-HO'S Neck Comforter, Spinal Secrets DVD, and "Relief" Book by Dr. Michael Ho.
  • Ultimate Package: $304.94 – Includes everything found in the Deluxe Package, in addition to DR-HO'S Neck & Shoulder Shiatsu Massager, and Bonus Car Adapter for Shiatsu Massager.

Regardless of which package you choose, Dr. Ho’s Compression Belt is available in 2 sizes:

  • Size A for 25”-41” waists
  • Size B for 42”-55” waists

Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, less S&H charges, as well as a 90-day warranty. In order to initiate the refund process or to file a warranty claim, you’ll need to contact customer service at 877-374-6669.

Keep in mind that during our research, we also found Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt for sale on Amazon.com, Newegg.com, and several other online retailers for as little as $95.

Important note: Since Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt is considered a medical device, you may want to check with your insurance provider to see if they provide coverage for “lumbar support belts.”

What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About Dr. Ho's Decompression Belt?

Overall, it appears that Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt has mixed online reviews, which tend to lean toward the negative side. Some of the most common complaints we encountered included that it is bulky, uncomfortable, and hot (see more about this in the Bottom Line section), and that it doesn’t provide results.

Specifically, many customers stated that if the belt did provide any results, pain reappeared soon after taking it off. In fact, many of these same customers stated that it doesn’t provide any more support or pain-relief than elastic belts, which are much less expensive.

It should also be noted that learning the truth about other customers’ experiences with Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt can be a time-consuming process, since you’ll encounter numerous affiliate websites during your research.

What’s the Bottom Line About Dr. Ho's Decompression Belt?

Now that we’ve outlined all the details surrounding Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt, let’s get to the bottom line: Is it worth your hard-earned money? As with most devices of this type, the answer is that it depends. Here’s why:

First, decompression for back pain, whether applied at home or in a doctor’s office, has not been conclusively shown to work.

This is because, as with any other treatment, the relief it provides is highly dependent on a number of factors, including what’s causing your back pain, where the injury occurred, how long you’ve had the injury, etc.

To support this, according to this article, “the benefit of [spinal decompression] treatments is not established.” However, the British Medical Journal took it one step further in 2004 when they published that, “Routine physiotherapy seemed to be no more effective than one session of assessment and advice from a physiotherapist.”

As you can see, while the Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt website claims that its technology is endorsed by medical professionals, this doesn’t mean that it’s been proven to work, and you may not experience any pain relief from using it.

Finally, keep in mind that, according to the product’s FAQ, it must be worn over a layer of light clothing. This means that if you venture out into public with it on, you’ll likely want to wear another piece of clothing to conceal it, which could be problematic during the hotter months of the year.

The FAQ also notes that you’ll receive faster and more pronounced results if you wear the belt while laying down, which means that if you’re expecting to receive good results while going about your day, you may be disappointed.

Bottom line: If you’re desperate for non-surgical, non-drug relief from your lower back pain, Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt may provide you with relief.

However, based on the numerous negative customer reviews we read, it’s really a flip of the coin as to whether or not it will effectively work. Instead, you might first try a much less expensive elastic belt and go from there.


Read 39 Dr. Ho's Decompression Belt Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 2.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 9 4 star: 3 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  25
Bottom Line: 31% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 39
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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Not what they promised on TV!

    • Renton, WA,
    • Oct 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I saw an infomercial on TV so I called the number. I was called back by somebody who said was a doctor and was going to ask me some questions if I qualify. I qualified and received the back belt and knee brace. After a couple of months, Medicare sends me a summary of the bill. For the back belt they sell on Dr. HO'S website for $179.00 CERTIFIED MEDICAL SUPPLY INC charged Medicare $1500. And for the knee brace $1190!

    Highway robbery! I called them to return the items but they said I only can return within 30 days.

    Knee brace is too bulky and does not fit at all and the belt does totally nothing for my back! OVERRATED AND OVERPRICED, PRETTY MUCH A SCAM!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 15, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Hi Anna, and thank you for your message.

      DR-HO'S is a Canadian company. We manufacture and supply the DR-HO'S 2-in-1 Back Relief Belt. Customers can choose to purchase it themselves, or for those who have insurance coverage, may go through a Medical Equipment Supplier. These suppliers are third-party companies that purchase the DR-HO'S belt, then sell them to you by billing the cost to your insurance. DR-HO'S is not authorized to bill Medicare, nor any other insurance plans. That means the amount billed to your Medicare plan was not done by DR-HO'S.

      You have also mentioned that the original shipper is named "Certified Medical Supply", which should be a US Durable Medical Equipment Supplier. As such, they would also be the ones that submitted the bill to Medicare, and subsequently to you for the remaining amount. I'm unsure why the amount billed would be $1500, but that was very likely submitted by Certified Med Supply, and not dictated by DR-HO'S. We do not carry a knee brace, so that is not our product. It seems likely that they sent you a brace from another company.

      I hope this explanation has given you clarity on the process, and why DR-HO'S was not involved in any of the billing, and therefore, cannot assist with the return. The best course of action now is to contact Medicare to inquire how much Certified Med Supply had billed your policy, whether or not they were paid by Medicare, and if they were paid, what options you have to get that payment reversed back to your policy.

      As for the fit of the back brace, we encourage you to contact our Customer Care team at 1-877-374-6669 and they can troubleshoot proper fit to help with your back. It's important to have a snug fit for the belt to be able to help with decompression.


  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Works for me

    • Colorado,
    • Oct 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had a herniated disk removed 40 years ago, I am 75. Then the pain started to creep back in about a year ago. I decided to try the Dr. Ho's belt, $25 on eBay for the knock off. I love it with CBD, I got no pain. I put it on in the morning, during coffee for an hour or so, then at night watching TV.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 10, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      We are glad you are getting the relief you need Michael.


  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Dr. Ho's DDS 500 decompression belt...overinflated hype

    • Wyoming,
    • Sep 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have degenerative disc disease, bulging discs in my lumbar, and thoracic spine, among other issues. I had to find a new doctor as mine retired. And she suggested I try this. I was fitted for it, signed for it, then told it's nonrefundable and my insurance MAY not cover it in which case, it will cost me $400! And I still didn't even know if the dumb thing did anything for me or how to use it yet! (I'm really mad about this!)

    I get home and decide to try it the next day while sweeping my floors as this is always a painful experience for me. Firstly, those pathetic plastic brace pad things are about as useful and comfortable as a 2×4 to the head. You can wear them the entire time with the belt! Sure! As long as you want to stand like a toothpick and stay that way for many minutes 4 times a day, thanks! The back one sticks out everywhere supporting, well...absolutely NOTHING! And the front one makes bending the most painful and difficult movement of all! And let's not forget discretion as it claims we can wear it all day and everywhere and no one will ever know. It's as discreet as an elephant in the back of an El Camino! Then the simplicity of putting the $400 joke without a punch line on! Talk about an entire 10-minute drama routine to find that it doesn't give any relief at all. In fact, aside from all the money and trouble and frustration...the only relief found is taking the crummy thing off 15 minutes early because you can't take it anymore!

    NOW what do you do with it? Because you CAN'T return the stupid thing to your doctor's office apparently. So you have this huge bag of crap for $400 to throw on the garbage! Make sure you're able to try something like this before you sign for one or don't agree to it at all! Just saying. Lesson learned!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 1, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Hi Shannon, thank you for reaching out to us about your difficulty with your belt order. From the sounds of this, you got this as a claim through your doctor's office? I'm not familiar with this process, nor the $400 price tag.

      We do sell this belt on our website, and it is available through Medicare. When purchased directly from us, the cost is only $200, and we have a 90-day money-back guarantee (less the cost of shipping), so that you have ample time to see if the belt works for you. We also have a 24-hour helpline to troubleshoot your fit. You can contact them at 1-877-374-6669 and they can assist with your fit to help make it more comfortable. If you are finding that the belt is too uncomfortable with the braces, I would recommend trying it without the brace, and using the pump alone (or wearing it without inflating as a support). I hope you give us an opportunity to help with the fit and comfort of the belt.


  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Biggest scam ever!

    • Topeka, KS,
    • Sep 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I spoke to a Dr. Ho Belt service rep to buy through Medicare, was told my PCP approval wasn't needed, they have doctors on staff who I would be talking to. That never happened...next thing I knew it had been ordered. I asked how their doctor can possibly know my real medical history without my doctor's input, she said that's how it works, their doctors will know by question's I answer...I said if that was Medicare's policy then ok but would prefer my doctor to place order.

    Long story short as possible, belt was sent, was never given an order number, was told it would be on shipping invoice, I demanded an authorization number, anything to refer to, no invoice in box, just belt, pump, some big piece of hard plastic shaped like curvature of back I didn't order, and a video. The belt was stiff, hard edges hurt when sitting down and it put pressure on my bladder causing pain when urinating due to where I had to wear the belt for low lumbar per instructions, I had to have a scan on the bladder, costly, to make sure bladder hadn't been injured. Never felt any relief on the back.

    I spoke to the shipper, got return shipping label after several teeth-gritting phone calls, that "not even going to charge you $199" belt advertised on TV in 11/19 was billed to Medicare for $1500, yes $1500...my portion was $263.

    I was in shock...have made numerous calls since sending it back, each time I was reassured Medicare would be paid back. As of today, 8/26/19, about 9 months later Medicare hasn't been reimbursed as promised! I made a last-ditch effort yesterday only to be told Dr. Ho lives in Canada where the business is, and they can't process anything for Medicare in the USA, funny, they sure did to order it!

    The original shipper, Certified Med Supply isn't in service anymore, rep gave me new number to a different shipper, Bentley Medical, but so far no answer. To start all over as to why Medicare hasn't been paid back. The rep I spoke to at the same phone number that placed the order in 11/19 claimed they couldn't find my name is system...again because they're in Canada and can't service the USA. This is a big rip off...Canada sucking USA Medicare money.

    I wouldn't recommend this cheaply made excuse of a back brace to anyone! Pay the money to me or reimburse Medicare! I've reported Dr. Ho to Kansas IG, I'll give them my Medicare number showing order and process of payment to complete my fraud complaint. Sick of scammers, Dr. Ho living in luxury in Canada at USA's expense...Shame on him! This is not a fake review. So glad I found a review site better than FB.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 5, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Hi Sharon,

      Thank you for writing this feedback, and we certainly understand your frustration with the experience you've had. I hope I can provide some additional clarity on this situation, so that you can get a proper resolution.

      As you know, DR-HO'S is a Canadian company. We manufacture and supply the DR-HO'S 2-in-1 Back Relief Belt. Customers can choose to purchase it themselves, or for those who have insurance coverage, may go through a Medical Equipment Supplier. These suppliers are third-party companies that purchase the DR-HO'S belt, then sell them to you by billing the cost to your insurance. DR-HO'S is not authorized to bill Medicare, nor any other insurance plans. That means the amount billed to your Medicare plan was not done by DR-HO'S.

      You have also mentioned that the original shipper is named "Certified Med Supply", which should be a US Durable Medical Equipment Supplier. As such, they would also be the ones that submitted the bill to Medicare, and subsequently to you for the remaining amount. I'm unsure why the amount billed would be $1500, but that was very likely submitted by Certified Med Supply, and not dictated by DR-HO'S.

      I hope this explanation has given you clarity on the process, and why DR-HO'S was not involved in any of the billing, and therefore, cannot assist with the refund of the Medicare charge. The best course of action now is to contact Medicare to inquire how much Certified Med Supply had billed your policy, whether or not they were paid by Medicare, and if they were paid, what options you have to get that payment reversed back to your policy.

      Thank you.


  • 10 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Finally some relief!

    • London, England,
    • May 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    After walking around limping for 6 months with what I was told was hip arthritis, an MRI divulged that I had been suffering from a disc tear between my L4 and L5. This tear was bulging and irritating the sciatic nerve. Sheer misery. I tried my husband's back support belt and it seemed to help. Since he needed it himself I decided to buy my own. My physio mentioned the decompression belt, something that they had started to trial at their department (a large university teaching hospital in central London).

    Upon trying the belt I got instant relief from the pinching misery of sciatica. No electric shocks down to my knee. No more stabbing buttock pain. I like how it can be applied so easily and without struggling compared to my husband's large elastic velcro application. No pulling or stretching. I liked how it could be worn at night. It really got me some much-needed pain-free sleep! I also noticed that my son's local rugby and soccer club have one in their first aid kit. I am very happy with my purchase. It DID work for me.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • May 23, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share the story of your relief Claudia! We are so glad that you are finally getting the pain relief you need!


  • 14 out 15 people found this review helpful

    DO NOT DO IT!

    • New Jersey,
    • May 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Please do not order this thing! Does not work. Paid $84.98 and was told that I had to pay return shipping...I paid return shipping for the belt to be returned one week later. I received a refund of $49.99! When I called to ask why my full refund was not given I was told there were two charges not refundable - one for $19.99 for them to send it out to me and $15.00 because I was making installment payments!

    RIP OFF do NOT do it. Money making scam! Contacting the Better Business Bureau after finished with this review.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • May 2, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Hi Richard, thank you for bringing this experience to our attention. You are correct that you should have been refunded the $15.00 setup fee and I do apologize for the confusion.

      As our return policy states, we provide a full refund of the purchase price, less the price of shipping.

      If you could kindly email kathe@drhonow.com with your full name, order number and contact information, we can pull up your order in the system and refund your difference. We will also be able to advise the Customer Care representative that they should have refunded your installment setup fee. I look forward to hearing from you.


  • 16 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Unsatisfied customer

    • Florida,
    • Apr 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchase one of Dr. Ho Belt and I also received one as a gift, so I decided that I didn't need two. So I decided to send the belt back that I purchase because it was never used and I have been given the runaround. I have left messages with the customer service voicemail because their phone message states to leave a message and they will get with me. No one has ever called me back. They advertise that if you are not satisfied with their product you can get and receive a refund when you return the belt. Well, my 90 days are up for a refund and no one is helping me. I wish that I never purchased this belt because it has been nothing but a headache.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 9, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Hi Natasha, I'm sorry to hear you had issues getting in touch with our company. Our customer care team can be reached at 1-877-374-6669.

      I looked up your file and see that it has been noted that you are returning your belt for a refund. I'm glad to see that we finally connected and that you are able to return your belt.


  • 21 out 21 people found this review helpful

    Made my back worse

    • Springfield, MA,
    • Mar 31, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This belt actually made my back worse. Wore it one day for 10 hours driving and I have new pains I didn't have before. Feels like I pulled my back out all over again. I suppose it's possible that I overinflated it, but isn't that supposed to be the way it is?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 5, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Hi Craig, we would be happy to speak with you to help troubleshoot how to best use the belt for your back pain. We do not recommend wearing it inflated for more than 1 hour. In addition, we could assist with the best option for inflation for you. Please reach out at 1-877-374-6669.


  • 32 out 34 people found this review helpful

    Would not recommend

    • North Carolina,
    • Mar 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I WOULD NOT recommend this device!

    I had one of these after my operations, lack of a better word, it’s a joke! It does not work like they claim, very uncomfortable. It leaks down, and did I mention VERY UNCOMFORTABLE?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 5, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Hi Kev, we are sorry to hear you had issues with your belt. Decompression technology is meant to help stretch and support your back. In our instructions, we suggest only wearing it inflated for no more than an hour. The rest of the time it can be worn as a regular support belt. If you need help troubleshooting how to use the belt, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-877-374-6669.


  • 57 out 63 people found this review helpful

    Not for use if got arthritis

    • New York,
    • Mar 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Really Dr. Ho? Best technology you can come up with is a pump? Did you steal that idea from your kid's bicycle? So anyone who has arthritis in the hand, wrist or arm joint pains, cannot use your product, which in turn is the majority of the older population...40+ and up!

    If that's your best idea for a back pain reliever belt, then you're no real doctor. Get back to the drawing board, and put a bit more thought into the technology into your product.

    BTW, your products are way overpriced. Which could only mean you're a greedy scammer.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Mar 14, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Hello Lady Love. Decompression technology has been used by professionals for many years to help with back issues. Many people who suffer from arthritis in joints like the wrist or hands prefer to use our Pain Therapy Systems. The combination of TENS and EMS help to reduce swelling and alleviate pain and tension.


  • 32 out 41 people found this review helpful

    Works for me!

    • Kearney, MO,
    • Mar 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    As a long-time sufferer of osteoarthritic pain, I have tried a lot of things to relieve the pain. I have tried pain-relieving drugs. They DO work, but there are side-effects. I have tried regular chiropractic care, and that helps A LOT.

    Then I found Dr. Ho's 2-in-1 Back Relief Belt. WOW! I felt a little relief after the first time I inflated the belt, by my experience is after I got used to it, it worked better and better each time. I supplement my use of the belt with regular chiropractic care.

    I have been diagnosed with severe degenerative osteoarthritis, so Medicare now covers most of what I try for pain relief. My chiropractor accepts Medicare Assignment, accepting what Medicare pays him as full payment. Medicare paid the cost of this belt, so there was NOTHING out of pocket. I found the claims about this belt to be ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

    My results were NOT miraculous, but after the 3rd and the 4th and the 5th treatment using the belt, I have less trouble getting around. I know the results are not imagined, because my chiropractor has noticed an improvement. Like he said, I had nothing to lose by TRYING the belt. So I tried it, and now my chiropractic adjustments take less than 20 minutes!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Mar 5, 2019

      Company Response from DR-HO'S

      Hi Tommy, we are happy to hear that you are getting the relief you need to help you get around!


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