Tag Archives: SF

Spinal Decompression or Back Surgery for a Herniated Disc?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing spinal decompression therapy in San Francisco for over 10 years now.

Many herniated disc patients are told they need back surgery. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. How do they know for sure?

Well, welcome to the life of a spinal decompression doctor. This is what we are dealing with every day. I would like to give you my take on the situation.

In my opinion, a herniated disc patient should NOT rush to have back surgery. Because once they do, in many cases, the will be permanently disqualified from ever trying nonsurgical spinal decompression.

In addition, many herniated discs will repair naturally in time. In fact, they say that more people than not are actually walking around with bulging and herniated discs and do not even know they have them…and never will. Not all patients with a herniated disc in the low back experience low back pain or sciatica.

That’s right, the majority of lumbar disc herniations do not even cause symptoms.

But in certain cases, the disc is herniated in such a way that the body is unable to re-position it naturally or heal it such that it does not interfere with a person’s life. In situations like this conservative chiropractic care can be very effective.

There is however a subset of all herniated and bulging disc patients that do not respond to chiropractic, drugs, cortisone, physical therapy or anything for that matter. Some of these patients are suffering daily with sever low back pain and sciatica. many are unable to sleep and end up taking various kinds of medications day in and day out. Life is miserable.

These are the type of back pain patients that have a tendency to want to have surgery…they will try anything. In my clinical experience this type of patient represents about 10-15% of all herniated disc patients and is still a lot of people.

These are the perfect candidates for spinal decompression. The machine we use is the DRX9000 but there are many fine decompression systems out there.

Unless it is a medical emergency (rare) or you are disqualified from decompression therapy (rare), I recommend a course of spinal decompression to see if a patient will respond. Disc decompression is very safe and gentle. It takes about 6 weeks (20 sessions) to work through the protocol and make a determination if the treatment was successful.

If the DRX9000 does not achieve a favorable outcome and desired result you are still whole and able to pursue all other treatment options including back surgery.

If you have a spinal fusion you can never try decompression. So, why not try decompression first?

So there you go…that’s my 2 cents for what it’s worth. I have helped hundreds of herniated disc patients avoid surgery…the next one could be YOU!

To find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. Ask 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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Sciatica Treatment in San Francisco

sciatica treatment in san francisco
Sciatica Treatment in SF

We have been providing natural sciatica relief in San Francisco for over 20 years.  We use a combination of chiropractic, spinal decompression, massage, exercise, and deep tissue laser therapy to achieve favorable outcomes in the majority of sciatica cases.

The primary cause of sciatica (leg pain) is a “pinched nerve” in the lumbar spine. The majority of pinched nerves are the result of bulging or herniated lumbar discs. There are other causes of pinched nerves, like degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome. Piriformis Syndrome, spinal and foraminal stenosis, and vertebral subluxations (misalignment’s).

Sciatica may or may not be accompanied by low back pain.

Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 in conjunction with chiropractic or as a stand alone treatment is a very effective sciatica treatment and often provides instant relief. There is also a chance it can cause an increase in symptoms…temporarily. After-all, the treatment is physical, albeit gentle.

If we accept your case there is a very good chance we will achieve favorable results. We do not accept all cases…only those we feel we can help.

Sciatica can be very painful and debilitating and can persist as long as the underlying cause remains. Back surgery is usually not necessary in our opinion in most cases. We recently wrote about this on our  other blog (Low Back Surgery or Chiropractic: Study).

To find out if you are a candidate for sciatica treatment in San Francisco please 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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Low Back Pain Treatment

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Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been providing low back pain treatment in San Francisco for over 20 years in the Financial District. We use a combination of chiropractic, deep tissue laser therapy, massage, exercise, and spinal decompression with the DRX9000.

Most of the time spinal decompression is not necessary, but when it is, it’s nice to have onsite.

The most common causes of low back pain are subluxations (misalignment’s) in the lumbar spine, sacrum and pelvis, bulging and herniated lumbar discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and Piriformis Syndrome. There are others but they are rare.

When it comes to low back pain treatment it can be a little tricky. Sometimes patients get better right away and sometimes it takes a while. It depends on the patients age, level of spinal degeneration, any complications, and the nature and severity of the underlying cause of the back pain (which can be difficult to identify).

So, we take all the information we have and formulate a treatment plan. A typical treatment plan at our SF back pain center is 10 visits or so over a 3-4 week period. We will use spinal adjustments, massage, stretching, ice, and home/work modifications to achieve favorable outcomes in the majority of cases. If low back pain or sciatica persists we may want to order an MRI of the lumbar spine to quantify the problem and rule out herniated or bulging disc pathology.

Our next step is spinal decompression with the DRX9000. This is typically 20 sessions over 6-8 weeks. The sessions are one hour long and include muscle stimulation and ice…laser if needed. The cost is $3500. Sure, it’s expensive but we have helped over 2000 patients with the DRX9000 and most are happy they did the treatment. It’s all about quality of life. Decompression therapy is safe, gentle and highly effective.

If you are looking for low back pain treatment in San Francisco you should give us a call. Ask for a complimentary consultation and tour of the DRX9000.

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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Do Spinal Decompression Results Last?

decompression therapy san francisco
Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been providing spinal decompression therapy in downtown San Francisco for 9 years now. During this time we have helped thousands of patients with cervical and lumbar disc herniations, bulging discs, and related disorders, return to more normal lives.

Because we have treated so many cases over an extended period of time, we know that for the most part, spinal decompression results are long lasting.

Depending on the nature and severity of the individual neck or back pain patient’s condition when we started, their overall health and lifestyle, occupation, and initial treatment outcome, we may recommend ongoing maintenance care to improve the odds of the results lasting. Most decompression patients are happy to do this if it means the results will last longer, which they will.

The treatment frequency for maintenance care on the DRX9000 is anywhere from 2 times per month in the beginning to once every couple of months ongoing. In addition, there are exercises, stretches, home care, and nutritional recommendations to help patients maintain results.

Some patients choose to move into chiropractic, yoga, Pilates, or physical therapy for ongoing support. This is good, but none of these do what the spinal decompression machine can do. If you really want the decompression results to last you should probably continue with some sort of maintenance care. You can play around with the frequency until you find an interval that works best for you. Of course, we help you with this process.

For those that do not do maintenance, the results seem to hold up well…just not as good. So, to get the most out of your decompression, YES, we recommend some sort of maintenance plan, and we will make it affordable for you.

To schedule a consultation to see if you are a candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression in San Francisco, call 415-392-2225.

Dr. Eben Davis

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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Cervical Disk Herniations: Common Questions

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DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

We have been providing natural solutions for cervical disk herniations in San Francisco for over 20 years now in the SF Financial District. We are located in the landmark Embarcadero Center One.

Last month, we discussed the topic of neck pain arising from cervical disk herniations. The focus of this month’s Health Update is common questions that arise from patients suffering from cervical disk derangement.

1. “What can I do to help myself for my herniated disk in my neck?” The mnemonic device “PRICE” stands for Protect, Rest, Ice Compress, and Elevate is a good tool to use in the acute stage of many musculoskeletal conditions.

  • Protect your health by NOT placing yourself in an environment that is likely to harm you, such as playing sports or doing heavy yard work. That is, think about what you do BEFORE you do it and if sharp, radiating pain occurs, STOP and assess the importance of what you are doing. Use the concept, “…don’t pick at your cut.” This means if you want the injury to heal, don’t keep irritating it!
  • Rest is similar. Limit your activities to those that can be done without increasing symptoms, especially radiating pain.
  • Ice – The use of ice reduces swelling/inflammation, which reduces pain and promotes healing. Alternate it every 15-20 minutes (on/off/on/off/on) several times a day. You can also use contrast therapy (Ice/heat/ice/heat/ice) at 10/5/10/5/10 minute intervals to “pump” out the swelling.
  • Compress – The use of a collar worn backwards, if it’s more comfortable that way, can literally “take the load off.” the neck and disks. There are even inflatable collars which are pumped up with air to traction the neck. Other forms of traction will be discussed further.
  • Elevate – The concept of raising the ankle to the height of the heart so swelling can drain out of the ankle is the classic example of “elevation.” In the neck, the traction concept may apply once again.

 

2. “I don’t want to have surgery if I can help it. What can you do as a chiropractor to help me?” This is one of our primary goals, and in fact, the goal of ALL health care providers, even surgeons! Chiropractic offers anti-inflammatory measures: ice, herbal anti-inflammatory agents (ginger, turmeric, bioflavonoid, curcumin, bromelain, Rosemary extract, Boswellia Extract, and more), digestive enzymes taken between meals, muscle relaxant nutrients (valerian root, vitamin D, a B complex, chamomile, magnesium, and others) as well as other non-pharmaceutical options. Treatments consist of manual manipulation, mobilization, traction (for home and office), modalities such as deep tissue laser therapy and low-level laser, electrical stimulation, magnetic field, ultrasound, and others. We also offer nonsurgical cervical decompression with the DRX9000c. Most important is having a “coach” guide you through the stages of healing by first addressing the acute inflammatory stage (first 72 hrs), the proliferative or reparative phase (up to 6-8 weeks), followed by the remodeling phase (8 weeks to 1 or 2 years) and finally, the contraction phase (lifetime – includes the natural shortening of scar tissue). If manual traction reduces neck and arm pain, the use of home traction is very effective. Options include sitting over-the-door traction, laying down versions, and mobile traction collars (discussed previously). Exercises to stretch and strengthen the neck are also very important in reducing neck pain as well as preventing recurrences. If in spite of all the best efforts of this non-surgical care approach should ongoing neurological loss and relentless symptoms continue, we will coordinate care with physiatrists for possible injection therapy and pharmaceuticals, with neurology for further testing (such as EMG/NCV – a nerve test), and/or neuro- or orthopedic surgery – THE LAST RESORT!

            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 a consultation for cervical disk herniation treatment 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

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Low Back Pain Travel Tips

Low back pain (LBP) is a common complaint when it comes to traveling, whether it’s in a car, bus, train or airplane. Traveling is hard on our joints, muscles and nerves for many reasons. Traveling requires us to do something our bodies are not used to, such as prolonged sitting in a cramped area. Remember the last time you had the middle seat on a plane? Also, unless you have a very unique exercise routine, injuries commonly occur from hoisting carry-ons into overhead bins or yanking them off the baggage claim belt. This month’s article will offer tips about traveling and things you can do to minimize risk of irritating or creating LBP. Bon voyage!

Luggage Wisdom

Lifting (in preferential order of lowering the risk of LBP injury):

a)      Ask for help if you know your carry-on is too heavy for you to place into the overhead bin safely. There are many kind co-travelers who will jump at the chance to facilitate (especially if you ask them nicely). If that fails, most flight attendants will be happy to help if they know you are struggling with LBP (be honest with yourself; now is NOT the time to be in denial of your back issue!)

b)      When it is possible, try to ship your heavy items ahead of time. It’s not only good for your back, but it’s often cheaper than the cost many airlines charge per bag! If you do this, all you need is a small carry-on that can easily fit under the seat in front of you.

c)      Why NOT simply check a bag, especially heavy items? You still have to be careful removing it from the luggage carousel, but again, ASK FOR HELP!

d)      Try a backpack. It sure beats slinging a heavy briefcase over only one shoulder, which should be reserved for a light hand bag only.

e)      If no one comes to help, and you end up having to complete this often unpleasant task yourself, think before you lift. Break the lift into small movements or actions. For example, when placing your carry-on into an overhead bin, keep the luggage close to your body since the farther away from your body you hold the bag, the heavier it becomes to your lower back (up to 10x the load!). Try this method: 1st lift the bag to the arm of the seat that lies below the overhead bin; next lift it to the top of the seat back top; and then (the hard part), squat down, arch your low back, grip the bag, and in a smooth continuous movement, raise the bag up and onto the edge of the overhead bin. At that point, wiggle it in the rest of the way. Another important point about lifting is to try to avoid twisting, ESPECIALLY if combined with bending. A bend / twist combination is often the cause of a low back injury. Try to pivot your feet to move your body to avoid your back from twisting.

            There are MANY other traveling tips that we have not yet discussed. Look forward to next month’s Health Update for LBP for more!

            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 low 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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