Tag Archives: surgery

Do Spinal Decompression Results Last?

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Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been providing treatment for herniated discs in San Francisco for over 22 years now.

About 10 years ago we began to incorporate spinal decompression therapy into our herniated disc treatment protocols. The machine we use is the DRX9000.

The DRX9000 is designed and built to treat herniated and bulging lumbar discs naturally. We also have a DRX9000c cervical decompression system. This enables us to treat herniated discs in the neck.

Over the past 10 years we have treated thousands of patients with spinal decompression. Many were scheduled for back or neck  surgery. We are proud to say that the results during this time have been outstanding. Most of the time we are able to achieve favorable outcomes and about half of our decompression patients continue on with some sort of maintenance program.

So…Do spinal decompression results last?

For the most part YES! As long as you do not return back do the unhealthy lifestyle habits that caused the condition to develop in the first place. Most herniated discs develop over time. Some are traumatic or due to sports or auto injuries, but the majority are because of things like poor posture or ergonomics, obesity, stress, bad shoes, poor sleeping habits, etc. Things you have control over.

Once the spine becomes damaged and misaligned it starts to cause abnormal wear and tear on the spinal disc, which can then lead to disc bulging and herniation.

The DRX9000 re-positions the disc, enlarges the disc space, re-hydrates the disc, strengthens the spinal ligaments and muscles, and elongates the spine. Typically the results are permanent, but many that lead active lifestyles wish to be proactive and have a decompression session here and there to help ensure things stay where they are. This is optional and totally up to the patient. Maintenance care visit frequencies range between 4-12 sessions per year.

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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Cervical Spinal Decompression in San Francisco

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DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

The cervical disc decompression machine we own and operate is the DRX9000c. The DRX9000c is fully computerized and has a built-in biofeedback mechanism that senses the herniated disc patient’s response to the treatment and makes adjustments accordingly.

The cervical decompression system is able to target a specific spinal disc in the neck, such as the C5/6 disc because the computer adjusts the angle of pull according to which disc in the neck is being treated.

Many chiropractors, physical therapists, and medical doctors claim to offer spinal decompression, but it is nothing more than a glorified traction machine. Our spinal decompression system which includes the DRX9000 (lumbar machine) and the DRX9000c (cervical machine) costs over $150,000.

So make sure you do your homework.

In addition, just because a chiropractor or medical clinic has a DRX9000 or DRX9000c, it does not mean they know what to do with it. It takes years of clinical experience and operation to learn how to incorporate it into an overall lumbar and cervical disc herniation repair strategy and protocol.

We have performed over 12,000 decompression sessions on thousands of patients. In fact, we were the first to offer the DRX9000c to San Francisco.

So there you go…if you have been diagnosed with a herniated or bulging disc in the neck or feel you may have one and do not want surgery, you may be a candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression to the cervical spine with the DRX9000c.

To find out if you are a candidate for cervical spinal decompression in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation.

PS: We also offer physical therapy and medical case management at our sister clinic Chiro-Medical Group, Inc. a few blocks away.

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 and L5-S1 Disc Herniation

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Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

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

The most common disc to herniate in the lumbar spine is the L5-S1 Disc. The L5-S1 disc is the very last disc in the spine and is positioned between the L5 lumbar vertebrae and the Sacrum in the L5-S1 disc space.

The reason this disc is more prone to disc bulges and herniation is because it takes on more stress than the other spinal discs because it is the last one at the base of the spine.

Because of this,  the majority of the patients we treat with spinal decompression therapy have L5-S1 disc herniations.

For the most part, a disc herniation will develop slowly over time as part of a degenerative process that will include the surrounding bone and ligaments. The disc will lose height, water content and flexibility.

As this process unfolds the outer containment walls of the disc give way to the gelatinous center of the disc which pushes out onto the nerves and spinal cord resulting in pain and dysfunction. Sometimes sciatica develops, which is pain in the leg/s.

In any case, spinal decompression is often able to achieve favorable outcomes even in the worst of cases. A favorable outcome can be anything from avoiding surgery to a complete resolution of the problem. In rare cases disc decompression does nothing to help. Just know…this is the exception and not the rule.

If you have been diagnosed with an L5-Si lumbar disc herniation or any other kind of herniation, disc bulge, degenerative disc disease, or facet syndrome…you may be a candidate for disc decompression with the DRX9000.

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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Spinal Decompression and Failed Back Surgery

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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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Spinal Decompression Maintenance Care

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Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing spinal decompression in San Francisco for around 10 years now. The machine we use is the DRX9000. Prior to this, patients that did not respond favorably to chiropractic care were referred for surgical consultation.

Over the past 10 years we have helped thousands of herniated disc patients return to more normal lives and prevent back surgery.

About half of our spinal decompression patients continue on with maintenance care. They do this because they are happy with the results and wish to maintain them. The frequency of maintenance care varies from once every 3 months to around once per month in advanced cases.

Your spinal decompression doctor will usually have a good idea of what you need from how you respond to the initial intensive care, which is 20 visits over a 6 week period.

As far as what to expect from decompression therapy…some report a complete resolution of their low back pain or sciatica. A small minority report no change at all. And everyone else reports they are much better than they were and glad they did the treatment.

Sure, some patients do not respond to decompression…it’s just the way it is. But you know what? They are still whole and can pursue other treatment options.

If you have surgery you may be disqualified from decompression…so why not try spinal decompression first?

To find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression in San Francisco 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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Pinched Nerve in the Neck?

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DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

Have you been told you have a Pinched Nerve in the Neck? Or, do you just feel like you have one? What is a pinched nerve anyway?

Well, a pinched nerve in the neck is a term used to describe the pressure or trapping of a cervical nerve root mostly from a bulging or herniated cervical disc. Degenerative disc disease, vertebral subluxatons, and facet syndrome can also cause pinched nerves.

Nerves are very delicate and sensitive to any kind of pressure. Famous research studies from the University of Colorado demonstrated that just the weight of a pencil erasure on a nerve can interfere with the transmission of the nerve impulse by 60%.

When nerves become irritated it can cause severe pain and dysfunction. The nerves that exit from the bones in the neck travel down the arm and into the hand. When these nerves become pinched, stretched or irritated it can cause neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, and hand pain. Now this does not mean if you have a pinched nerve you will have all these symptoms, heck you might not have any symptoms at first…these are just some of the symptoms that can present from nerve pressure in the neck.

You may also experience numbness and tingling in the arms or hands, weakness of grip, night pain, and swelling in the hands and fingers. Some patients even get headaches.

The symptoms in the hand can mimic those of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).  In fact, you can have a herniated or bulging disc in the neck and be experiencing the signs and symptoms of CTS without any neck pain at all. This can lead to a misdiagnoses and unfortunately, unnecessary carpal tunnel surgery.

A chiropractor or orthopedic doctor that specializes in the neck, arms, and hands is your best bet for pinched nerve treatment. They will most likely order cervical x-rays and a cervical MRI…maybe even a nerve conduction test of the upper extremities.

Once a determination and diagnosis is made of the underlying condition, most likely a herniated disc in the neck, then treatment will commence.

Chiropractic care is probably what we would recommend first as it is very safe, gentle and effective. If chiropractic fails to deliver results we can try nonsurgical cervical decompression with the DRX9000c, a machine designed and built to treat pinched nerves resulting from herniated and bulging discs. We would not recommend rushing into neck  surgery unless it is an emergency (most are not). If chiropractic and spinal decompression fail to deliver a favorable outcome you are still whole and can pursue other treatment options, including surgery.

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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Low Back Pain? Things Not To Do

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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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Cervical Decompression or Neck Surgery?

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DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

We have been providing treatment for cervical disc herniations in San Francisco for over 20 years now. About 8 years ago or so we began to incorporate cervical decompression with the DRX9000c into the mix. Since then we believe we have helped prevent many neck surgeries.

How many times have you heard, “I have a pinched nerve in my neck and have to have surgery.” Though there certainly are cases where surgical intervention is required, surgery should ONLY be considered after ALL non-surgical treatment approaches have been tried first (and failed). It is alarming how many cases of cervical radiculopathy (i.e., “pinched nerve”) end up being surgically treated with NO trial of non-surgical care. Hence, the focus of this month’s article will look at research (“MEDICAL EVIDENCE”) that clearly states neck surgery DOES NOT improve the long term outcomes of patients with chronic neck pain.

Chronic neck pain (CNP) is, by definition, neck pain that has been present for a minimum of three months. This category of neck pain is very well represented, as many neck pain sufferers have had neck pain, “…for years” or, at least longer than three months. Depending on the intensity of pain and it’s effect on daily function, many patients with CNP often ask their primary care provider, “…is there anything surgically that can be done?” The desire for a “quick fix” is often the focus of those suffering with neck pain. Unfortunately, according to recent studies, there may not be a “quick fix” or, at least surgery is NOT the answer. The December 2012 issue of The European Spine Journal reports that spine surgery did NOT improve outcomes for patients with CNP. Moreover, they pointed to other studies that showed some VERY STRONG REASONS NOT to have spine surgery unless everything else has failed. One of the reasons was a higher hospital readmission rate after spine surgery. Another reported that most studies on surgical vs. conservative [non-surgical] care showed a high risk of bias, suggesting the research on surgical intervention was biased in the research approach used. They further reported, “The benefit of surgery over conservative care is not clearly demonstrated.” It is important to point out that the research analyzed studies that included patients with and without radiculopathy (radiating arm pain from a pinched nerve), and myelopathy (those with pinching of the spinal cord creating pain, numbness, weakness in the legs, and/or bowel / bladder dysfunction).

In February of 2008, the Neck Pain Task Force published overwhelming evidence that research supports the use of cervical spinal manipulation in the treatment of both acute and chronic neck pain with or without radiculopathy. Bronfort published similar findings in 2010 in a large UK based study that looked at the published evidence supporting different types of treatment for various conditions. They found cervical spine manipulation was effective for neck pain of ANY duration (acute or chronic). Chiropractic utilizes manipulation, manual traction, mobilization, muscle release techniques, home cervical traction, exercise, as well as a multitude of physiotherapy modalities when managing patients with CNP. Given the overwhelming research evidence that surgical intervention for CNP is NOT any better than non-surgical care, the greater amount of negative side-effects, and the obviously long recovery time post-surgically, chiropractic treatment of anyone suffering from CNP should be tried FIRST.

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.

If you are considering neck surgery than you owe it to yourself to find out more about cervical disc decompression with the DRX9000c.

 To schedule an appointment with one of our Cervical Decompression Doctors 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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Low Back Pain Treatment with Spinal Decompression

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Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

Low Back Pain is not always easy to treat. In fact, it’s source can often be very mysterious.

Heck, even when the source seems to be identified and confirmed by MRI to be a herniated or bulging disc, still, more often than not, doctors tell patients that their best bet is back surgery.

This is why patients with low back pain or sciatica often suffer for years (that don’t want surgery)…all the while trying many different forms of back pain treatments from physical therapy, cortisone injections, muscle relaxers and pain pills, acupuncture, and chiropractic. Nothing seems to help much.

Well…it was the scenario described above that let to the invention of nonsurgical spinal decompression with machines like the DRX9000. Spinal decompression has been around for about 10 years now. We purchased our first machine 8 years ago. Prior to this we would refer out all our herniated lumbar disc patients that did not respond to chiropractic, acupuncture, or physical therapy. Some had surgery, but most would just choose to live with the pain.

That was then and this is now. Fast forward to 2013 and we have thousands of spinal decompression patients that we have successfully treated. Many were scheduled for surgery but decided to give decompression a shot first. Why not? Disc decompression is safe, gentle, and does not involve needles or knifes. Either it works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t you are still whole and able to pursue other treatment options.

Once you have low back surgery, depending on the type, you may be permanently disqualified from ever trying spinal decompression. That’s right…back surgery is permanent and cannot be UN-done. I can’t tell you how many patient’s over the years that I have met with that wish they never had the back surgery. To me, this is reason enough to consider disc decompression first. You can always have back surgery. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true.

If you would like 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. 

 

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 for Multi-Level Disc Herniations

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DRX9000 Lumbar Decompression

We have been providing spinal decompression therapy in San Francisco for 9 years now.  The most common symptoms we treat are low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, numbness and tingling, due to herniated or bulging discs in the low back and neck. During this time we have performed almost 20,000 spinal decompression treatments on the DRX9000, the disc decompression system we introduced to San Francisco.

It is not uncommon for prospective spinal decompression patients to present with disc herniations or disc bulges at multiple spinal levels. What happens is, the spine tries to adapt to the first herniation and it just becomes too much for the other spinal discs to handle, and over time they break down and herniate.All the discs are connected and are part of your spinal structure. This becomes a problem when you present to an orthpedic surgeon because they often times have trouble pin pointing which disc is the primary source of the pain and dysfunction. Heck…if you have say three spinal levels of disc herniations, whet are they going to do, operate on all of them? Maybe…but I would not do this if it were me.

This is one of the reasons nonsurgical spinal decompression makes so much sense for multi-level disc herniations. First of all the treatment is drug-less and does not involve surgery. Nothing is cut out. If you remove part of a spinal disc you remove part of your spinal structure. This can make the problem even worse…because the other parts of the spine have to compensate for the loss of structure by absorbing more stresses, predisposing them to disc degeneration, bulges and herniations.

Decompression machines such as the DRX9000 are able to isolate on specific disc herniations one at a time and seek to repair them naturally.

Disc decompression therapy elongates the spine, enlarges the disc space, re-positions the injured disc, rehydrates the disc, strengthens the spinal ligaments, and helps replace the surrounding scar tissue with healthier, more pliable, more normally functioning muscle tissue.

More often than not, patients that present with symptoms such as severe low back pain, sciatica, numbness, tingling, night pain, and many of the other symptoms associated with lumbar and cervical disc bulges and herniations, achieve favorable outcomes and ovoid risky surgery.

Does spinal decompression work every time? NO…just most of the time.

But here’s the deal…If spinal disc decompression fails to deliver results you are still whole and can explore other options. If you have surgery…especially multi-level disc surgery and fusion, you will never be able to try spinal decompression…you will be permanently disqualified. OUCH!

My Advice: Try spinal decompression first. The worse thing that can happen (in the unlikely event that spinal decompression fails to deliver) is you will be out some time and money. But you will still be whole and can explore other treatment options.

To schedule an appointment at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Clinic please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

 Serving local 94111 for over 20 years

 

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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