Tag Archives: relief

Low Back Pain Relief in San Francisco

back pain treatment in san francisco
Low Back Pain

We have been providing treatment for Low Back Pain and Sciatica in Downtown San Francisco for over 22 years now.

Over 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their life. Many will go on to develop chronic low back pain, which is low back pain that persists for over 90 days.

Sciatica, which is pain down the leg or both legs, is also fairly common and can result from the same underlying cause of the low back pain. Some patients have sciatica only or low back pain only or both.

 

Here is a list of the most common causes of low back pain:

  1. Low back sprain or strain.
  2. Vertebral Subluxation (misalignment).
  3. Herniated or Bulging Lumbar Disc.
  4. Spinal Stenosis.
  5. Degenerative Disc Disease.
  6. Facet Syndrome.

The best course of treatment depends on the nature and severity of the underlying problem, your age, your overall health, and if there are any complications such as a short leg, Scoliosis, foot pronation, spinal fusion, etc.

Chiropractic adjustments are your best first choice when it comes to low back pain relief or sciatica relief. Sometimes you will see results after the first visit. Sometimes it takes or longer.

In the event you have a herniated or bulging disc that does not respond to chiropractic adjustments, nonsurgical spinal decompression is a logical next step.

Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to treat herniated and bulging discs naturally and painlessly. The machine we use is the DRX9000.

Often times a combination of chiropractic and spinal decompression works best. We also incorporate spinal rehabilitation, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications into our programs.

So…if you are looking for low back pain relief in San Francisco and would like to learn more about our program, 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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Sciatica Relief with Spinal Decompression

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Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing treatment for sciatica in San Francisco for over 22 years.

Sciatica, which is pain in the leg or legs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve (the largest nerve in the body) can be very painful and can become chronic and debilitating.

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging disc in the low back (lumbar spine). Sciatica has a history of being difficult to treat and surgery is often the unfortunate outcome of a herniated disc diagnoses. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Chiropractic care is probably the best nonsurgical, drug-less treatment for a herniated lumbar disc and sciatica relief. However, some patients will not respond and this is when we consider nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000.

The DRX9000 is designed and built to treat herniated discs without drugs, needles, or surgery. It is fully computerized and is able to reposition the herniated disc back into a more normal alignment and away from the sciatic nerve, nerve roots, and spinal cord.

Spinal decompression machines elongate the spine, enlarge the disc space, strengthen the spinal muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and re-hydrate the disc to promote healing.

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

But here’s the deal. In the event spinal disc decompression fails to deliver desired results, you are still “whole” and can pursue other treatment options, even surgery.

So there you go. If are suffering with sciatica and have been diagnosed with a herniated disc, you should probably find a chiropractor with a spinal decompression machine. Chiropractic and spinal decompression is a potent treatment combination for sciatica relief.

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

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Low Back Pain

We have been providing Low Back Pain Relief in San Francisco for 22 years now.

As stated last month, the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) is REALLY high! In fact, it’s the second most common cause of disability among adults in the United States (US) and a very common reason for lost days at work. The total cost of back pain in the US, including treatment and lost productivity, ranges between $100 billion to $200 billion a year! Is low back pain on the rise, staying the same, or lessening? Let’s take a look!

            In the past two decades, the use of health care services for chronic LBP (that means LBP > 3 months) has substantially increased. When reviewing studies reporting insurance claims information, researchers note a significant increase in the use of spinal injections, surgery, and narcotic prescriptions. There has been an increase in the use of spinal manipulation by chiropractors as well, along with increased physical therapy services and primary care physician driven non-narcotic prescriptions. In general, LBP sufferers who are chronic (vs. acute) are the group using most of these services and incurring the majority of costs. The reported utilization of the above mentioned services was only 3.9% in 1992 compared to 10.2% in 2006, just 11 years later. The question now becomes, why is this? Possible reasons for this increase health care use in chronic LBP sufferers may be: 1) There are simply more people suffering from chronic LBP; 2) More chronic LBP patients are deciding to seek care or treatment where previously they “just accepted and lived with it” and didn’t pursue treatment; or, 3) A combination of these factors. Regardless of which of the above three is most accurate, the most important issue is, what can we do to help chronic back pain sufferers?

            As we’ve discussed in the past, an anti-inflammatory diet, exercise within YOUR personal tolerance level, not smoking, getting enough sleep, and obtaining chiropractic adjustments every two weeks are well documented methods of “controlling” chronic LBP (as there really ISN’T a “cure” in many cases). You may be surprised to hear that maintenance care has good literature support for controlling chronic LBP. In the 8/15/11 issue of SPINE (Vol. 36, No. 18, pp1427-1437), two Medical Doctors (MDs) penned the article, “Does Maintained Spinal Manipulation Therapy for Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain Result in Better Long-Term Outcomes?” Here, they took 60 patients with chronic LBP (cLBP) and randomly assigned them into one of three groups: 1) 12 treatments of sham (fake) SMT (spinal manipulation) have over a one month period; 2) 12 treatments, over a one month period but no treatment for the following nine months; or 3) 12 treatments for one month AND then SMT every two weeks for the following nine months. To measure the differences between the three groups, they measured pain, disability, generic health status, and back-specific patient satisfaction at baseline, 1-, 4-, 7-, and 10-month time intervals. They found only the patients in the second and third groups experienced significantly lower pain and disability scores vs. the first group after the first month of treatments (at three times a week). BUT, only the third group showed more improvement at the 10-month evaluation. Also, by the tenth month, the pain and disability scores returned back to nearly the initial baseline/initial level in group two. The authors concluded that, “To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance SM after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.” Other studies have reported fewer medical tests, lower costs, fewer doctor visits, less work absenteeism, and a higher quality of life when maintenance chiropractic visits are utilized. The question is, WHEN will insurance companies and general practitioners start RECOMMENDING chiropractic maintenance care for chronic LBP patients?

                        We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for back pain, we would be honored to render our services.

For Low Back Pain Relief 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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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 Relief

back pain treatment in san francisco
Low Back Pain

Low back pain can often times be hard to diagnose and treat. It is not uncommon for doctors to think they know the underlying cause of a patient’s back pain or sciatica, only to find out later that they were wrong.

This is why we always advise against rushing into back surgery unless it is a medical emergency, because your doctor might just be wrong about what you think they are about to fix.

In our opinion it is always best to try natural solutions for low back pain first…treatments like chiropractic care or nonsurgical spinal decompression.  In the event the treatments do not deliver favorable outcomes you are still whole and can pursue other treatment options. If you rush into surgery you may be permanently disqualified from ever being able to try spinal decompression. And surgery is NOT reversible.

Chiropractic adjustments and low tech exercises have a very high success rate and patient satisfaction rate when it comes to low back pain. In fact, Consumer Reports ranks chiropractic #1 for back pain relief. But, chiropractic will not help all cases of back pain. Sometimes when the cause of the back pain is a herniated or bulging disc, chiropractic may even worsen the problem. This is when we turn to nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000.

The DRX9000 is designed and built to treat low back pain and sciatica due to herniated and bulging spinal discs. The DRX can also help degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and Piriformis Syndrome. The success rates are very high.

So, if you have been suffering with low back pain or sciatica and have been unable to find relief, you may want to see if you are a candidate for disc decompression therapy.

To find out if you are a candidate for Low Back Pain Relief in San Francisco at our 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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Low Back Pain? Things Not To Do

back pain treatment in san francisco
Low Back Pain


Here is a partial list of things “Not To Do” if you have low back pain or sciatica:

STAY STILL: You’ve heard, “…don’t do that – you’ll get a bad back!” There is something to be said about being careful, but one can be too cautious as well. In order to determine how much activity vs. rest is appropriate, you have to gradually increase your activities by keeping track of how you feel both during and after an activity. If you do notice pain, it may be “safe” to continue depending on the type and intensity of the pain. In general, a sharp, knife-like pain is a warning sign that you should STOP what you’re doing, while an ache is not. Until you’re comfortable about which type of pain is “safe,” start out with the premise, “…if in doubt, stop.” If the recovery time is short (within minutes to hours), then no “harm” was done. If it takes days to recover, you overdid it. Think of a cut on your skin – if you pick at it too soon, it will re-bleed, but if you are careful, you can do a lot of things safely without “re-bleeding.” Talk to us about the proper way to bend, lift, pull, push, and perform any activity that you frequently have to do that often presents problems. There is usually a way to do that activity more safely!


SURGERY IS A “QUICK FIX”: Though in some cases this may inevitably be the end result for your back condition, most of the time, it is not needed. As a rule, don’t jump to a surgical option too soon. It’s tempting to view surgery as a “quick fix,” but non-surgical care at least for 4-6 weeks and maybe several months is usually the best approach. As the old saying goes, you can’t “un-do” a surgery, so wait. UNLESS there are certain warning signs such as: a) bowel or bladder weakness &/or, b) progressive neurological losses (worsening weakness in the leg). If there are no “surgical indicators” meaning, no instability, no radiating leg pain, and only low back pain that is non-specific and hard to isolate what is generating the pain, DO NOT have surgery as the chances of improvement following surgery drops off dramatically in this group. There are guidelines that we all should follow and they all support non-surgical care initially for 4-6 weeks. Chiropractic is one of the best options cited in these guidelines because it’s less costly, involves less time lost from work, and chiropractic carries the highest patient satisfaction. If chiropractic fails to deliver then there is nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000.


DON’T STRETCH – IT’S HARMFUL: You may have heard or read that stretching can actually increase or worsen your time if you’re a runner, reduce your ability to lift heavy weight (if you’re a weight lifter), or cycle as fast.  Though this seems obviously silly, there IS a growing body of evidence that has found this TO BE TRUE! HOWEVER, it appears (at least at present), that is applies primarily to static, long hold stretching and NOT to dynamic exercising like jumping jacks, toy-soldier like high kicks, or core stabilization. Moreover, no study YET has found a negative effect for non-athletic competitive activities or for low back pain specifically. A good general rule is, if you feel better after exercising, or in this case stretching, it’s probably better for you than not. Also, as stated last month, there is a “right vs. wrong” time to exercise and WAY to exercise. For example, when LBP occurs in flexion but reduces in extension, there is plenty of evidence published that performing exercises INTO the direction of pain relief is VERY helpful. So until you hear differently, KEEP ON STRETCHING, but follow our advice!  


            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 a complimentary consultation for low back pain relief in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. 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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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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Sciatica Relief with Spinal Decompression

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Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been treating Sciatica in the San Francisco Financial District for over 20 years now. Most of the time, chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy will bring low back pain and sciatica under control. However, about 10-15% of the time it wont.

Sciatica is mostly caused by pinched nerves in the lumbar spine due to herniated and bulging discs. But sometimes the discs are trapped, injured, and lodged into place and it is beyond the scope of chiropractic or physical therapy…what now?

Well…up until about 10 years ago we would need to refer out for surgical consultation and possibly back surgery. That is when we decided to purchase our first DRX9000 lumbar spinal decompression system.  We did extensive research on decompression machines and chose the DRX9000 because it was the best. The DRX9000 is designed and built for maximum results and patient comfort. Sure, it was the most expensive machine on the market, but you get what you pay for.

Anyway, we now have a “next step” for low back pain and sciatica patients that do not respond to conventional therapies. The DRX9000 actually targets the specific spinal level where the disc bulge or herniation is and over the course of about 20-24 visits rehabilitates and restores the injured disc to the extent healing is possible. That’s right…this is NOT magic and there are limitations to matter. But still…in the overwhelming majority of all cases the patients are satisfied with the outcomes and many choose ongoing maintenance care (optional).

So, if you are looking for sciatica relief in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. Ask for a complimentary consultation with one of our spinal decompression doctors.

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!

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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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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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