Tag Archives: bulging

Spinal Decompression and Failed Back Surgery

decompression therapy san francisco
Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been providing spinal decompression therapy in San Francisco for over 10 years now. During this time we have helped thousands of herniated discs patients return to more normal lives. We have also assisted in preventing hundreds of low back surgeries.

Every now and then a patient that has had previous back surgery presents for spinal decompression treatment. They had the back surgery and either the symptoms got worse or did not improve…or did not improve much.

Unfortunately, if the back surgery was a spinal fusion, there is nothing we can do. Patients with spinal fusion surgeries are permanently disqualified from spinal decompression.

If the surgery was a discectomy, then there is hope. In fact, we have helped dozens of patients over the past 10 years with spinal decompression that have had failed discectomy back surgery.

This is good news for those who may have been told they have no other treatment options for their chronic low back pain or sciatica.

Sure, we may do the treatment and it does not help…but that is not likely.

And the decompression therapy is very safe and gentle.

We also have a team of medical doctors and physical therapists that can participate in the treatment process, increasing the odds of a favorable outcome.

So, yes…if you have failed surgery you still may be a candidate for spinal decompression on the DRX9000.

To find out if you qualify medically please call 415-392-2225 and make an appointment with one of our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Doctors. 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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When Choosing a Spinal Decompression Doctor: Experience Matters!

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing spinal decompression in San Francisco for over 9 years. We have been serving downtown  San Francisco for over 20 years providing natural solutions for cervical and lumbar herniated and bulging discs. We specialize in chronic and severe neck pain,  low back pain and sciatica. The machine we use is the DRX9000 spinal decompression system. Prior to this we had perfected a back and neck pain treatment regimen that included chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, and deep tissue laser therapy.

Spinal disc  decompression gave us a “next step” for disc patients that did not respond to our normal lumbar and cervical disc treatment protocols. Instead of referring for a surgical consultation we could now handle these cases in house. Since then we have performed over 25,000 spinal decompression sessions on thousands of patients and the result have mostly been outstanding.

When it comes to spinal decompression results “experience matters”. There are many decisions to be made from the very start to the finish and then post care and rehab.

A Spinal decompression machine is NOT a commodity like a gallon of milk. Just because a doctor has a DRX9000 or similar machine does not mean they know what to do with it. The DRX9000 is a tool, and like all tools it’s use must be mastered.

Decisions like whether or not to even accept a patient for disc decompression therapy. Where to start as far as pounds of pull? What spinal disc to target? What other therapies to do along with the decompression treatment? How many sessions to do? When to change the angle of pull? Nutritional support to reduce inflammation? What about meditation and relaxation techniques…do they help? Then, the choice of exercises and rehab and whether or not to incorporate acupuncture, physical therapy or chiropractic…what about weight lifting? These are all decisions that are better made with lots of experience and help determine treatment results (or not)…it’s not just about the machine.

Plus, does your spinal decompression doctor have a decompression support blog? Are there spinal decompression patients onsite you can talk to? How many years have they been in business? How many years experience do they have performing cervical and lumbar spinal decompression? It all matters…Big Time!

To find out if you are a candidate for care at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center, please call 415-392-2225 and 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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Cervical Disk Herniations: Common Questions

drx9000c san francisco
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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Neck Pain and Cervical Disk Herniation

 

drx9000c san francisco
DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

We have been providing nonsurgical treatment for herniated disks (also spelled herniated disc with a c) for over 21 years. We currently incorporate cervical spinal decompression with the DRX9000c into our treatment protocols and have had great success with the most difficult of cases. 

Neck pain can arise from many sources. There are ligaments that hold bones to other bones that are non-elastic and very strong. When injured, the term, “sprain” is applied. The muscle and/or its attachment (the tendon) can tear as well, which is called a “strain.” But, what is it that people refer to when they say, “…I slipped a disk in my neck!”?

           

The disks lay between the vertebrae in the front of the spine, and they are part of the primary support and shock absorbing system of our neck and back. There are 6 disks in the neck, 12 in the mid-back and 5 in the low back for a total of 23. The disks in the low back are big, like the vertebral bodies they lie between, and get progressively smaller as they go up the spine towards the head. When we bend our neck forwards, the disk compresses, and opens wider when we look up. It forms a wedge shape when we side bend left or right, and it twists when we rotate or turn the head.

           

The terms, “…a slipped disk, a herniated disk, a ruptured disk, a bulging disk” (and more), all mean something similar, if not exactly the same thing. A central part of the disk is liquid-like and can herniate in any direction. When it does, it can create pain IF it pinches something, or it may be painless if it doesn’t. In fact, since the invention of the CAT scan and MRI, many (“normal”) people have been found  on the scan to have some type of disk “derangement” (alteration of the normal integrity of the disk), with 50%+ showing bulging disk(s) and 21% showing frank herniations WITH NO PAIN AT ALL! So, in the absence of shooting pain down an arm from the neck, or when there is no numbness or weakness in the arm, why order an MRI? It may show bulges or herniations that are not “clinically” important, and may falsely lead a doctor to recommend surgery when it’s not needed.

           

There are “KEY” findings in the history and examination that leads us to the diagnosis of a cervical disk injury. From the history, the disk patient often has arm pain, numbness, and/or muscle weakness that follows a specific pathway, such as numbness to the thumb/index finger (C6 nerve), middle of the hand & 3rd finger (C7) or to the pinky & ring finger (C8). Certain positions, such as looking up, usually irritate the neck and arm, and bending the head forward relieves it. Another unique history and exam finding is if the patient finds relief by putting the arm up and over their head. Similarly, letting the arm hang down is often associated with irritation. Other examination findings unique to a cervical disk injury include reproducing the arm pain by placing the head in certain positions such as bending the head back and to the side simultaneously. Another is compressing the head into the shoulders. When lifting up on the head (traction), relief of arm pain is common. The neurological exam will usually show a reduction of sensation when we gently poke them with a sharp object, and/or they may have weakness when compared to the opposite side.

Often times, patients will present to our San Francisco Back and Neck Pain Center with carpal tunnel like symptoms without neck pain. They end up with a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) when the true cause is a herniated disk in the neck Or, they may have both CTS and a herniated disk in the neck. This is called “Double Crush Syndrome” and is a common diagnosis at our clinic.

           

Chiropractic treatments can be very successful in resolving cervical disk herniation signs and symptoms, and should CERTAINLY be tried before agreeing to a surgical correction. Often, the surgeon will recommend a fusion of 2 or more neck vertebrae, sometimes with a metal plate in the front of the spine. This increases the load on either side of the fusion and can create problems above and below the fusion leading to more surgery down the road.  Trust me, try chiropractic first or cervical decompression with the DRX9000c first. You’ll be glad you did!

           

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.

To schedule a complimentary consultation for cervical herniated disk treatment in San Francisco please 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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When to Consider Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing natural solutions for low back pain and sciatica 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.

Prior to spinal decompression we would have to refer out patients that did not respond to our treatment, which consisted of chiropractic adjustments, myofascial release, deep tissue laser, acupuncture, custom exercises, yoga, and traction. We also consulted our chronic back pain patients on plant based nutrition and meditation.

It sounds like a lot…but sometimes it just was not enough and we would need to refer out for surgical consultation and possible back surgery.

But that was pre-spinal decompression. We still have all the tools at our disposal that we used to have, but we also have the DRX9000 spinal decompression system.

Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to treat neurovascular compression syndromes such as herniated and bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and facet syndrome, without drugs or surgery.

The machine is able to isolate of a specific spinal disc, say L5-S1 (the most commonly treated) and initiate healing. Spinal decompression seeks to enlarge the disc space, elongate the spine, stretch and strengthen the spinal muscles and ligaments, rehydrate the injured disc, and re-position the herniated disc fragments back where they belong and off the spinal cord and nerves. It sounds like a lot, but that’s how it works.

Does it work every time? NO…nothing does…just most of the time.

Even in the unlikely event  nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 fails to deliver you are still left whole and can explore other treatment options. If you have spinal surgery and pieces of disc are cut away or the spine is fused, you are not left whole and may be disqualified from ever trying decompression therapy. This is why we recommend trying the DRX9000 first.

You should consider spinal decompression therapy if you have low back pain, sciatica, leg weakness, chronic back pain, hip pain, and have been diagnosed with a herniated or bulging disc (or other conditions listed above) that are not responding to conventional back pain treatments.

Sure, cortisone injections may make you feel better temporarily…but the long term effects can be deadly with repeated use. Spinal decompression addresses the cause and does it naturally. Those in the know, including medical doctors, physical therapist, and professional athletes are using spinal decompression as a tool to avoid surgery and stay healthy…and you can too.

To find out if you are a candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression in San Francisco, please call 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation. Chances are you will be glad you did 🙂

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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