Tag Archives: chiropractor

Pinched Nerve in the Low Back?

pinched nerve treatment san francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Root of Sciatic Nerve

We have been providing treatment for low back pain and sciatica in the SF Bay Area for over 20 years now. We use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, massage, motion extension traction, custom exercises, deep tissue laser therapy, and nonsurgical spinal decompression when indicated. During this time we have helped over 5000 patients with low back pain and related disorders.

A primary cause of low back pain and sciatica is a “Pinched Nerve” in the low back. Pinched nerves are generally caused by herniated or bulging discs in the lumbar spine, most commonly at L5-S1.

Nerve tissue is very sensitive to pressure. In fact, just the weight of a pencil erasure on a nerve can alter it’s ability to function by 60% and cause severe pain and dysfunction.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body…it can be the diameter of a quarter at it’s greatest circumference. Bulging discs, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, and various conditions like “Piriformis Syndrome” can put pressure on the sciatic nerve or nerve roots causing “pinched nerves”.

Typically, a patient will feel various combinations of low back pain, leg pain, numbness, tingling, aching, weakness, and muscle stiffness and spasms that become progressively worse over time. There can also be pinched nerves with no symptoms at all…for a while and then BOOM…when you least expect it lightning strikes. This is fairly common actually, and can be very alarming.

The solution for pinched nerves in the low back depends on the nature and severity of the problem. Conservative chiropractic, massage, laser, and ice are always the first thing we try. That is of course unless the patient is unable to handle it. In rare cases such as this we do laser and ice to try to reduce inflammation and then maybe some muscle stim and light massage.

Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 is also an option in the beginning as it is very safe and gentle. The DRX is designed and built to treat neurovascular compression syndromes such as bulging and herniated lumbar discs. However, the cost is greater than chiropractic as is the time commitment…so typically we try more conservative chiropractic first.

In any case, many chiropractors that have included disc decompression and deep tissue laser therapy into their protocols (such as us) have become “one stop shops” for pinched nerves due to herniated and bulging spinal discs.

If you or someone you know requires treatment for a pinched nerve in San Francisco, please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Low Back Pain Travel Tips: Part 3

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Low Back Pain

Low back pain (LBP) and the discussion of traveling tips will be concluded this month. Please refer to the last 2 months for other great traveling tips. Keep a copy of these in your travel bag!

BE PROACTIVE WITH THE AIRLINES: 1. Get an aisle seat. Request an aisle seat out of “medical necessity.” By stating it this way, the airlines will go out of their way to find you an aisle seat. It is easier to exit the seat in case you have to use the restroom or an emergency occurs. It also allows you to get up and walk around for exercise, which can reduce the irritation of LBP and reduce the chances of blood clots. We can provide a letter to travel with stating that you have LBP, which can help you get special considerations. 2. Request a wheelchair. Make sure the airline knows you would like a wheelchair. They will handle your carry-on, get you through security quicker, and get you to and from the gate in a safe, timely manner. Typically this request is done at the time you make your reservation, but you can also tell a flight attendant prior to landing and they will have it arranged by the time you de-plane at your arrival site. Since there is no way to know how long the security line will be or how long the distance will be between gates or to baggage claim, having a wheel chair pre-arranged is wise. 3. Request a row of seats. Typically, if the plane isn’t full, you can ask for a row of seats that are empty so you can put the arm rests up and spread out, lay down and be much more comfortable. 4. Recline your seat. Depending on your type of low back condition, you may feel most comfortable either in a vertical upright position or reclined position. Some seats, such as in the exit row or last row, do not recline so ask when booking your flight or when you check-in to make sure your seat is adjustable. 5. Stay stretched. Prolonged sitting has many negative effects on muscles, joints, and circulation. Performing stretches from sitting or standing can help a lot, especially on long flights. Ask us to show you some easy-to-perform exercises that can be done in confined spaces! 6. Pre-board. This option allows you to board the plane first and gives you extra time. 7. Handicapped parking sticker. Consider this if walking is challenging for you. We can assist you in this effort and it will allow you to park close to the entrance at the airport. 8. Get a seat assignment. Getting “bumped” is common practice these days due to airlines purposely over-booking. If you do not initially obtain a seat assignment, call the airlines immediately to obtain a seat. Getting bumped can mean a delay for a couple hours up to a couple days!

SIT WITH SUPPORT: 1. Back Support. Using a special back support (if possible) or even a rolled up towel, pillow, or airline blanket between your back and seat can really help decrease low back pain. A small water bottle (tighten the cap!) is also a good option. The “bottom line” is comfort. If it feels good and relieving, it will be of benefit and help you. 2. Sit “supported.” Sitting with your knees bent at a right angle (90°) pushing your feet into the floor can be relieving and offer good support, especially during take-offs and landings. Also, stretch your legs out straight periodically under the seat ahead of you. You may have to place your briefcase or carry-on behind your legs, in front of your seat to open up the space so you can stretch out. Lastly, drink plenty of water, slip your shoes off at times, get up and walk periodically, carry a note from us for special needs, and most importantly, ENJOY YOUR FLIGHT!!!

            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment for back pain treatment in San Francisco Call 415-392-2225

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Low Back Pain and Sleep – Part 3

chiropractic and sleep-san-francisco, CA
Nothing is more important than a good nights sleep!

For the last 2 months, we’ve discussed the importance of sleep and its effect on low back pain (LBP). Last month, we offered 9 ways to improve sleep quality, and this month we will conclude this topic with 11 more. Sleep deprivation has been called, “…an epidemic” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To achieve and maintain good health, we must ensure restorative sleep!  Here are additional ways to do that (continued from last month):

  1. Avoid snacks at bedtime …especially grains and sugars as these will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you not only wake up but falling back to sleep becomes problematic. Dairy foods can also interrupt sleep.
  2. Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. This will raise your body temperature and cooling off facilitates sleep. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals to your body that “it’s time for bed.”
  3. Keep your feet warm! Consider wearing socks to bed as our feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. Cold feet make falling asleep difficult!
  4. Rest your mind! Stop “brain work” at least 1 hour before bed to give your mind a rest so you can calm down. Don’t think about tomorrow’s schedule or deadlines.
  5. Avoid TV right before bed. TV can be too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly as it disrupts your pineal gland function.
  6. Consider a “sound machine.” Listen to the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to drown out upsetting background noise and soothe you to sleep.
  7. Relaxation reading. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novels, as it makes sleeping a challenge.
  8. Avoid PM caffeine. Studies show that caffeine can stay active in your system long after consumption.
  9. Avoid alcohol. Though drowsiness can occur, many will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. This can prohibit deep sleep, the most restoring sleep (~4th hour).
  10. Exercise regularly! Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep.
  11. Increase your melatonin. If you can’t increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime and absolute complete darkness at night, consider supplementation.

            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors call 415-392-2225. Mention this article for a complimentary consultation. 

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Is Neck Pain from a Herniated Disc or Something Else?

neck pain san francisco
Neck Pain Treatment

Neck pain can arise from many different sources, and the patient’s clinical presentation can be quite similar making it a challenge to diagnose. One of those related, and sometimes co-existing conditions, is called thoracic outlet syndrome, or TOS. Let’s first discuss the anatomy of the neck and the thoracic outlet so we all have a good “picture” in mind of what we’re talking about.

            TOS can arise from either blood vessel compression, nerve compression or both, making the ease of diagnosis difficult. Adding to the challenge, the “pinch” of the structure can occur at more than one place! The nerves and blood vessels can get pinched at the exiting holes in the spine (“neuroforamen”), by tight “scalene” muscles, under the collar bone (clavicle) and/or by a tight pectoralis minor muscle near the arm pit. Hence, the symptoms usually include pain and numbness in the shoulder, arm and hand (usually affecting the 4th & 5th fingers). It’s our job to run different tests to figure out where the primary pinch or pinches are located so we can treat the right area.

            The causes of TOS can be many, with one of the obvious being a fractured collar bone or clavicle. Another is from having an extra rib. As there is not a lot of room for an extra structure, this can be a point of compression for some (but doesn’t create TOS in everyone). An overly tight scalene muscle, scar tissue, an extra large muscle and so on can also result in pinching of the nerves and/or blood vessels.

            Purses, backpacks, carrying golf clubs, a mailbag and the like can also cause a pinch. A seat belt injury in a car accident is yet another cause, either from the direct trauma, or later when scar tissue forms in the area.

            Our posture alone (without trauma), such as a slouchy, slumped posture where the shoulders roll forwards can cause TOS and, large breasts and obesity also add to the list of risk factors. Women are affected 3x more than men. Certain jobs where reaching overhead or outwards such as waitresses, carpenters, electricians, increase TOS risk.

            You can depend on us to identify, locate and treat the areas that need attending as chiropractic includes many effective TOS treatment methods. The surgical outcomes are less than impressive so do EVERYTHING else first (a good surgeon will tell you that).

            We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment for neck pain treatment in San Francisco call 415-392-2225.

 

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Spinal Decompression or Chiropractic for a Disc Herniation?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing chiropractic in San Francisco for over 20 years now. About 8 years ago we began to incorporate spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into the mix.

In general, we always want to rule out chiropractic as a first choice for herniated discs in the neck or low back. Spinal decompression is more expensive and time consuming and is not covered by insurance.  Actually, most insurance will cover re-exams, exercises, ice, muscle stimulation, and some of the ancillary services we provide to decompression patients.

If a patient presents with a new condition, even though it appears to be a herniated disc (it’s not hard to tell)…we still want to try conservative chiropractic care first if the patient can tolerate it…and most can because we start out very gentle and easy.

On the other hand…if a patient comes to us and has already tried chiropractic without much success, or we treat them ourselves without any change, say after a few weeks, then we consider decompression therapy and will usually order an MRI.

A few weeks ago we had a 28 year old male present with severe back and leg pain with no apparent cause. He was listing to one side (antalgia) which is common with a lumbar disc herniation, and had all the positive disc findings…another-words chances are he has a herniated disc…we would need MRI to confirm.

Our game plan was to treat with conservative chiropractic for a few weeks and see if we could stabilize him and get him back on track. He really wanted to avoid an MRI and the  time and expense of spinal decompression.

The treatment started out slow with not much change…then after 4 chiropractic adjustments he started to come around, sleep better, stand straighter, feel better, and have hope that chiropractic can help.

As it stands he had to go on a work trip and will be back at the end of the week. This is not ideal so we will see.

I guess the point is this…We always want to try the more conservative, less expensive chiropractic adjustments first when it comes to treating bulging and herniated cervical and lumbar discs. But we have a Plan B if we need it, Nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 or DRX9000c (cervical decompression system).

To find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression in San Francisco, call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Neck Pain: Manipulation vs. Mobilization – What’s Better?

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Neck and Upper Back Manipulation

Does mobilization (MOB) get less, the same, or better results when compared to spinal manipulative therapy (SMT)? To answer this question, let’s first discuss the difference between the two treatment approaches.

             Mobilization (MOB) of the spine can be “technically” defined as a “low velocity, low amplitude” force applied to the tissues of the cervical spine (or any joint of the body, but we’ll focus on the cervical region). This means a slow, rhythmic movement is applied to a joint using various methods such as figure 8, side to side, front to back and /or combinations of any of these movements. In the neck, gentle to firm manual traction or pulling, when applied to the cervical spine, stretches the joint and disk spaces and can be included during MOB. Some consider nonsurgical spinal decompression to be a form of Mobilization. In my opinion decompression therapy is it’s own category.

             Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT) can be defined as a “high velocity, low amplitude” type of force applied to joint which is often accompanied by a audible release or “crack,” which is the release of gas (nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide). Some joints “cavitate” or “crack” while others are less likely to release the gas. This is what a chiropractic adjustment does and is what we do at our San Francisco Chiropractic Clinic.

Studies that date back to the 1940s report an immediate improvement in a joint’s range of motion occurs when the joint cavitates. Many people instinctively stretch their own neck to the point of gas release, which typically, “…feels good.” This can become a habit and usually is not a big problem. However, in some cases, it can lead to joint hypermobility and ligament laxity.  As a rule, if only a gentle stretch is required to produce the cavitation/crack, it’s typically “safe” verses the person who uses higher levels of force by grabbing their own head and twisting it beyond the normal tissue stretch boundaries. The later is more likely to result in damage to the ligaments (tissue that strongly holds bone to bone) and therefore, should be avoided.  Since SMT is usually applied in a very specific location (where the joint is fixated or “stuck”, or, partially displaced), it’s obviously BEST to utilize chiropractic,  as we chiropractors do this many times a day (for years or even decades) and we know where to apply it and can judge the amount of force to utilize, especially the neck where there are many delicate structures.

            Back to the question: Which is better, MOB or SMT? Or, are they equals in the quest of rid of neck pain? A recent study of over 100 patients with “mechanical neck pain” (strain/sprain)  showed that those who received SMT had a significantly better response than the MOB group as measured by a pain scale, a disability scale and 2 tests that measure function! So, the next time you ask the question, “….do you have to crack my neck?,” the answer should be “yes, if you want to achieve the quickest response.” However, if there is sharp pain during the “set-up” of the manipulation or adjustment, modifications in the technique are appropriate or, a different method should be considered.

            We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your health-care services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Special Note: When SMT fails to deliver results, spinal decompression therapy should be considered as a treatment option for back and neck pain secondary to herniated and bulging discs.

To schedule an appointment with one of our Back and Neck Pain Experts in San Francisco, call 415-392-2225.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Is it Low Back or Hip Pain?

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Back Pain

When patients present with low back pain, it is not uncommon for pain to arise from areas other than the low back, such as the hip. There are many tissues in the low back and hip region that are susceptible to injury with have overlapping pain pathways that often make it challenging to isolate the truly injured area. Hip pain can present in many different ways.

When considering the anatomy of the low back (lumbar spine) and hip, and the nerves that innervate the hip come from the low back, it’s no wonder that differentiating between the two conditions is often difficult. Complaints may include the inside, outside, front or back of the thigh, the knee, the buttocks, the sacroiliac joint, or the low back and yet, the hip may truly be the pain generator with any of these presentations. To make diagnosis even more complex, the hip pain patient may present one day with what appears to be sciatic nerve pain (that is, pain shooting down the back of the leg to the knee if mild or, to the foot if more severe) but the next time, with only groin pain. When pain radiates down a leg, the almost automatic impression by both the patient and the health care provider is, “…it’s a pinched nerve.” But again, it could be the hip and NOT a pinched nerve that is creating the leg pain pattern. Throwing yet another wrench in the works is the fact that a patient can have more than one condition at the same time. So, they truly MAY simultaneously have BOTH a low back problem AND a hip problem. In fact, its actually unusual to x-ray the low back of a hip pain patient without seeing some low back condition(s) like degenerative disk disease, osteoarthritis (spurs off the vertebrae), or combination of these. So, how do we differentiate between hip vs. low back pain when it is common for both low back and hip pain to often coincide?

During our history, we often ask the question, “…what activities make your pain worse?” If the patient replies that weight bearing activities like standing, walking, getting up from sitting, etc., provoke the pain (and they point to the front or side of the hip), a hip related diagnosis is favored but, it STILL may be arising from the low back or both! If they say, “…crossing my right leg over the other hurts in my groin,” that’s getting more hip pain specific as hip rotation is frequently lost before the forward flexion motion. When we ask the hip pain patient to point to the area of greatest discomfort, they usually point to the front of the hip or groin, and less often to the inner and/or anterior thigh or knee. Non-weight bearing positions like sitting or lying are almost always immediately pain relieving. When there is arthritis in the hip, motion loss is often reported and may include a shorter walking stride and pain usually gets worse the longer these patients are on their feet. Initiating motion often hurts, sometimes even in bed when rolling over. During the chiropractic examination, with the patient lying on the back with the knee and hip both bent 90˚, moving the bent knee outwards or inwards will almost always reproduce hip/groin area pain. Pulling on or, applying traction to the affected leg usually, “…feels good.” Knee & ankle reflexes and sensation are normal but muscle strength may be weak due to pain. Bending the low back into different positions does not reproduce pain if the pain is only coming from the hip. Though challenging sometimes, we are well trained to be able to differentiate between hip and low back pain and will treat both areas when it is appropriate. This is the case more often than not.

            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Is Maintenance Chiropractic for Chronic Low Back Pain Effective?

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Back Pain

When people think of chiropractic, they immediately think of low back pain and are often surprised to find out that chiropractic can benefit many conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, rotator cuff tears, as well as hip, knee, and ankle conditions.  There is also research support for manipulation (a key component of chiropractic) and its role in managing “somatovisceral” related conditions such as pneumonia, dizziness, stage 1 hypertension, PMS, asthma, colic, and bed wetting.

Research clearly shows that chiropractic manipulation out performs other forms of treatment for acute, subacute and chronic low back pain. But, the question remains, can “maintenance chiropractic” PREVENT problems down the road? Ironically, two medical doctors in August of 2011 published an article in a leading medical journal (SPINE) entitled, “Does maintained spinal manipulation therapy for chronic nonspecific low back pain result in better long-term outcome?” The study’s objective was to determine if treating chronic low back pain patients (pain >6 months) after a course of 12 treatments in the first month would do better, the same or worse if treatments were continued at 2-week intervals for an additional 9 months. They compared 3 groups of patients: 1.) 12 treatments of “sham” (placebo) manipulation over a 1-month period. 2.) 12 treatment of “real” spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) for 1 month but no treatments for the subsequent 9 months. 3.) The same as #2 but with treatments every 2 weeks over the next 9 months. To determine the differences between these 3 groups, the authors measured pain and disability scores (using questionnaires), generic health status (questionnaire), and back-specific patient satisfaction (questionnaire) at 1, 4, 7 and 10-month intervals.

The results showed that groups 2 (SMT for 1 month only) and 3 (SMT for 1 month + every 2 weeks for 9 months) had significantly lower pain and disability scores than the 1st group (sham/placebo group) at the end of the 1st month or, 12 visits. However, only group 3 (treatments were continued for 9 months at 2 week intervals) showed more improvement in pain and disability scores at 10 months. Equally important, the scores for the non-maintained group 2 patients returned to near their pre-treatment levels by month 10!

The authors concluded that not only is spinal manipulative therapy effective for chronic low back pain, but more importantly, REGULAR ADJUSTMENTS EVERY 2 WEEKS after the initial course of concentrated care (3x/week for 4 weeks) was needed, “…to obtain long-term benefit,” suggesting that, “…maintenance SM after the initial intensive manipulative therapy,” is appropriate care to obtain long-term results.

This study FINALLY supports the recommendations made by chiropractors for many years –regular adjustments are beneficial to obtain a higher quality of life, less pain and less disability!

            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors, call 415-392-2225. Mention this low back pain article for a complimentary consultation and office tour.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Can cervical decompression help prevent neck surgery?

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DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

We have been treating neck pain in San Francisco for over 20 years now. About 7 years ago we began to include nonsurgical cervical decompression into our treatment protocols. The machine we use is the DRX9000c.

As chiropractors, when it comes to treating neck and back pain, we are always looking to achieve a favorable outcome with our hands…and for the most part this is what happens. However, there are times when “hands-on” does not work…or it doesn’t work good enough…or the patient is so sore and inflamed you can’t even lay your hands on them…what now…NECK SURGERY?

Well…that was our thought process 7 years ago. Now things are different…different because we have a next step…cervical decompression with the DRX9000c.

So cervical decompression can help prevent neck surgery?

YES!

I have actually had patients (many of them) that were scheduled for neck surgery, that decided to put it off and try spinal decompression first. Why?…to avoid neck surgery if possible. Did it work? YES…more often than not.

Here’s the deal…the DRX9000c is NOT a Magic Bullet. What it is is the most advanced medical technology available (that I know of)  for the nonsurgical treatment of neurovascular compression syndromes in the neck. Conditions such as herniated and bulging cervical discs, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome, and degenerative disc disease.

But it doesn’t work every time…just most of the time…and if you ask me…that’s a good enough reason to try it…as long as you qualify medically…not everyone does.

So yes…cervical decompression can help prevent neck surgery…absolutely…that’s one of our primary goals…and it’s why herniated and bulging disc patients seek us out.

Listen…you can always have neck surgery. But if you have any kind of cervical fusion surgery you will never be able to try nonsurgical cervical decompression…and that is a bummer.

I have had patients cry in my office when I told them this. I have had herniated disc patients with neck fusion say they would have the screws removed and come back. They were stuck and living out a nightmare. heck…at least try spinal decompression first (if you qualify).

It’s what I would do…and it’s also what I would have a loved one do. In fact…a close family member went through spinal decompression at my clinic and still had to have low back surgery…it was that bad. But at least she knows she tried.

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Doctors, call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation and demonstration of the DRX9000c.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Severe Back Pain Relief Options

If you are suffering with severe back pain, you are not alone.  80% of us, at some point in our lives with suffer an episode of back pain. For the most part, back pain symptoms will go away on their own. But does this mean the underlying source of the back pain went away also? Maybe…maybe not.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

As a San Francisco Chiropractor and back pain specialist for almost 20 years, I have studied tens of thousands of x-rays of the spine, MRI’s, and CAT Scans.

Back pain patients are often shocked when they see what their spine looks like on the inside. They will say “Is that me…how did that happen?” when I point out things like  spinal degeneration, bone spurs,  and degenerated spinal discs.

Is it the spinal degeneration or the disc degeneration that causes the back pain? Sometimes. If you have long standing spinal misalignment’s and chronic inflammation associated with those misalignment’s…the inflammation can result in ongoing back pain and muscle spasms. Chiropractors call this a vertebral subluxation complex.

Degenerative disc disease can also lead to disc bulges and disc herniations which can put direct pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves leading to severe back pain, sciatica, and disability.

Back pain can often times be hard to diagnose. I have had patients with back pain and sciatica that also had normal x-rays and MRI findings. How can this be?

Good question…I believe there is a mental component to back pain in some people…and I have had excellent success working with hypnosis and bio-feedback with certain severe back pain patients.

Acupuncture can also remove interference from energy channel blockages that are not detectable on x-ray.

Chiropractic is the treatment of choice for chronic back pain and severe back pain relief. If the pain in the back is severe, the treatment must be very gentle and done in conjunction with inflammation reducing therapies such as ice, deep tissue laser, and massage.

Spinal  decompression therapy is an excellent choice for chronic back pain and sciatica secondary to a herniated disc or a bulging disc…but it may not make sense for severe back pain if it is new and acute. Your spinal decompression doctor will most likely want to get your back pain levels under control first.

Many chiropractors that specialize in herniated discs incorporate chiropractic, spinal decompression, laser therapy, massage, and exercise into their treatment protocols. Some even provide acupuncture and physical medicine.

My advice…find a chiropractor that does it all.  This way you have options.

You also want a chiropractor that will refer for medical second opinions and medical care when indicated…this is very important for severe back pain relief.

So…what should your next step be if you are looking for a spinal decompression doctor in your area? I would Google “spinal decompression”  or “spinal disc decompression”. You can also email me at ebendavis@yahoo.com and I will help you find a decompression doctor.

If your severe back pain is accompanied by loss of bladder function or came on suddenly and you feel sharp pain in the kidneys, you should go to the emergency room.

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in San Francisco.

 

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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