Tag Archives: MRI

Spinal Decompression or Chiropractic?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing chiropractic treatment for herniated discs in San Francisco for over 20 years now. About 8 years ago we began to incorporate nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into our treatment protocols. The results have been outstanding.

So, how do we know if a herniated disc patient needs spinal decompression therapy or chiropractic care? Well…sometimes we don’t…yet!

Often times, a patient with severe low back pain and/or sciatica will present to our clinic and not have had either spinal decompression treatments or chiropractic care. Sometimes they have an MRI and sometimes they don’t.

We need an MRI to know where to apply spinal decompression, but since they are very expensive we don’t want to order one unless we really need it. And we always want to try chiropractic first if possible because chiropractic is much less expensive than spinal decompression and is covered by most insurance…decompression therapy is not.

Here’s a case history of a recent chiropractic, then spinal decompression patient we have been working with:

A 45 year old female presented to our clinic with severe low back pain and sciatica. She has a previous 15 history off on and off low back pain and sciatica but the symptoms have never been this bad. She had also had chiropractic in the past which helped. We decided together to try a month of chiropractic to see if it would help…and it did…a lot…at least for the low back pain…not the sciatica.

At this point we ordered a lumbar MRI which was covered by insurance. And we also satisfied the conservative care first requirements most carriers want to see before a chiropractor orders an MRI.

The MRI revealed a large extruded disc (disc herniation) at L5-S1 on the right which is contacting the nerve roots…OUCH! We are starting a 20 session spinal decompression treatment program today. We are excited because we have had great success with the DRX9000 with cases just like this. The patient is excited as well.

Now, if the low back pain and sciatica would have both resolved with chiropractic care than we would not have ordered the MRI. This happens frequently…more often than not. But if it doesn’t, than we need to go to the next step…which thankfully is not back surgery, it’s spinal decompression with the DRX9000.

So, whether we recommend chiropractic or decompression therapy for a lumbar disc herniation just depends…it depends on all of the above. There are also some patients who have such severe low back pain that we are unable to do chiropractic, but the patient can handle decompression….because it is very gentle…in these instances we order an MRI and move forward with spinal decompression.

The best thing to do if you feel you may have a herniated disc or if you already know, and want to find out if chiropractic or spinal decompression make sense, is to contact a spinal decompression doctor right away…most are chiropractors.

If you need help finding a doctor in your area with a DRX9000 I recommend doing a Google search like this “DRX9000 _________(your area)”. For example: DRX9000 San Francisco.  Let us know if you need help.

If you live or work in the SF Bay Area you can contact our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center at 415-392-2225. Ask for a complimentary consultation. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center.

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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Herniated Disc Symptoms

We have been providing treatment for Herniated Discs in San Francisco for over 20 years.

herniated disc treatment san francisco
Herniated Disc Treatment

The bones (vertebrae) that form your spine are cushioned by small, spongy discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a bulging disc or herniated disc. It may also be called a slipped or ruptured disc.

When a disc herniation is pressing on the spinal cord or nerve roots it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of the body where the nerve travels. A herniated disc in the lower back can cause pain and numbness in the buttock and down the leg. This is called Sciatica.  Sciatica is the most common symptom of a herniated disc in the low back.

If a herniated disc is not pressing on a nerve, you may have a backache or no pain at all. It’s also possible to experience the symptoms of a herniated disc without having one. This can happen with acute injury, say from a whiplash. The nerves in the low back become irritated from the inflammatory response of the trauma. This is called chemical sciatica and is temporary.

Usually what brings a herniated disc patient in to see a doctor is back pain or leg pain (sciatica). The back doctor will then do a series of orthopedic tests and maybe some x-rays to determine if an MRI of the lumbar spine is necessary. MRI is the gold standard diagnostic tool for confirming or ruling out disc herniation.

Herniated disc symptoms can be progressive. It can start out as slight low back pain, but then as the herniation progresses the back pain gets worse, then leg pain or numbness and tingling, or weakness in the leg can develop.

WARNING:   If you have weakness or numbness in both legs, along with loss of bladder function, seek medical care right away. This could be a sign of a rare but serious problem called cauda equina syndrome. 

If you feel you may have a herniated disc in the neck or low back it’s best to visit your spine doctor right away. A chiropractor is a good place to start.

To find out if you are a candidate for herniated disc treatment in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. Mention the 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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Spinal Decompression Therapy in San Francisco

We have been providing spinal decompression therapy in San Francisco for about 8 years now. The machine we use is the DRX9000, which treats the lumbar spine. We also have a DRX9000c cervical decompression system.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

In addition to the DRX9000 systems, we also  incorporate chiropractic adjustments by hand or with an instrument, deep tissue therapeutic laser, massage, core exercises, stretches, and lifestyle modifications as needed.

Our typical spinal decompression patient will have single or multiple level bulging or herniated discs which are evident on MRI. There is often times associated spinal and disc degeneration. Usually, the patient has already tried other forms of back or neck pain treatments such as cortisone, physical therapy, acupuncture, or even failed back surgery.

It is also not unusual for our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Clinic to be the first place a herniated disc patient comes for help. We have an MRI facility directly across the street from our Embarcadero Center location, so we are able to order MRI and have the findings within 24 hours.

The treatment protocol for spinal decompression is anywhere from 18-30 sessions depending on the nature and severity of the neck or low back condition. We are usually able to start right away and the sessions are about an hour long.

Insurance does not cover spinal decompression, but they will often cover some of the ancillary charges such as chiropractic, massage, ice/heat, exercises and exams.  We have payment plans for those that need help.

If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc or a bulging disc and are not finding the relief you need, you may be a candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 or DRX9000c.

If you live or work near downtown San Francisco we would love to meet with you to discuss your treatment options. If you have an MRI please bring it with you. If not, we can order one if necessary.

To schedule a complimentary consultation at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center, call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post. 

 

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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When should you have an MRI of the Neck?

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Cervical disc bulge on MRI

We have been treating cervical disc herniations at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Clinic since 1992. Most of the time we are the ones to refer a patient out for a cervical MRI, which is the gold standard diagnostic tool for herniated discs. And this is usually after the neck pain patient has had extensive medical evaluations. Go figure?

Almost every patient we refer for a cervical MRI turns out to have either disc bulges, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, or cervical disc herniations.

Our spinal decompression doctors are highly trained in examination procedures so they are able to zero in on herniated discs in the neck and back.

Here’s the deal though…Even though we may suspect a herniated disc in the cervical spine, it does not automatically mean we refer out for MRI. It depends on many factors…such as the patients age, over-all physical condition, and presenting symptoms…and functional impairment.

The reason for this is because many times even though a patient has bulging or herniated discs, they still may respond favorably to a short course of conservative chiropractic, exercise, and therapy.

However…if the condition is acute and severe, we will refer right away.

When one of our spinal decompression doctors in San Francisco refers for an MRI of the cervical spine, we have the films and report sent to us. Why? Because we have a next step at our clinic…Nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000c.

drx9000c san francisco
DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

The DRX9000c is designed and built to treat cervical disc herniations, bulges, degeneration, stenosis, and facet syndrome.

So first we try gentle chiropractic, exercise, massage, and physical therapy. If there is no response we order and MRI of the neck. If there are positive findings we may recommend cervical disc decompression with the DRX9000c or refer out to an orthopedic surgeon (rare).

So maybe you need an MRI of the neck…maybe you don’t.

My recommendation is to find yourself a chiropractor that has a cervical spinal decompression machine and lots of experience using it. Chances are they will have a good relationship with a diagnostic facility and can prescribe an MRI if indicated.

If you live or work near downtown San Francisco you can visit our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center. To schedule a complimentary consultation call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post.

We also have a list of recommended spinal decompression doctors around the US. If you need help locating a doctor send an email to ebendavis@yahoo.com

 Check-out this video: Spinal Decompression Review: Cervical

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.

More Posts - Website

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