Spinal Decompression

Advance Health Blog

Spinal Decompression

Chris Goetz - Sunday, February 24, 2013

Non-surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy Is a Breakthrough in Back Pain Treatment

Goetz with CaptionJust under a million spinal surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year. Eighty percent of all Americans will experience back pain in their lifetimes and contribute to the $50 billion spent annually on its treatment.  As patients continually seek more effective treatments that will help eliminate debilitating pain,  non-surgical spinal decompression has emerged as breakthrough in the effective treatment of degenerative disc disease, herniated discs and a number of other back afflictions. It uses computer controlled mechanical traction to relieve the pressure on spinal discs.

Deterioration of the spinal discs is know as degenerative disc disease (DDD). It is characterized by a reduction in the amount of the gelatinous substance at the center of the discs, and by the weakening of the disc's exterior structure. DDD usually occurs gradually and is a common result of aging. A herniated disc results when the nucleus of the disc protrudes out. This puts pressure on the adjacent nerves resulting in pain, numbness or weakness.

It's pressure reducing effect makes non-surgical spinal decompression an excellent treatment for both degenerative disc disease and herniated discs. In addition, non-surgical spinal decompression is an effective treatment for:

  • Sciatica - pain, weakness, or tingling radiating to the extremities
  • Posterior facet syndrome - worn joints in the spine
  • Radiculopathy - injured or diseased spinal nerve roots
  • Back and neck pain

Spinal decompression treatment is comfortable and gentle. A harness is placed around the patient's hips and the patient lays down on the cushioned table portion of the machine. The harness is connected to the machine and the traction motion creates a release of pressure between the vertebra. The on board computer precisely controls the force and angle of the pulling motion, assuring that the treatment is applied the correct disc. The release of pressure also promotes better flow of water, oxygen and nutrients to affected discs and nerves.

The treatment can be highly customized for each patient. A single treatment can last from 30 to 45 minutes. A typical treatment plan will call for 3 to 5 sessions a week for 4 to 7 weeks. Non-surgical spinal decompression can be complimented by other treatments such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound and heat or cold therapy.

Patients that should avoid this treatment are women who are pregnant, those with tumors, bone fractures, or metal implants and surgical hardware placed in their spine or are suffering from osteoporosis.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.

Back and Neck Pain Treatment

Advance Health Blog

Back and Neck Pain Treatment

Chris Goetz - Monday, February 11, 2013

Back and Neck Pain Treatment Should Consider Severity and Cause

Goetz with CaptionMost people are familiar with back and neck pain in their own lives but may be surprised to learn that the two are among the most common reasons for doctor visits, and they are a major cause or disability, lost work and high healthcare costs.  About 80% of adults experience moderate to severe back pain at some time in their lives, and 50% suffer from neck pain.  Back and neck pain can be caused by a variety of conditions ranging from the life threatening, like heart attack or trauma, to the more benign, such as strains and sprains.

The neck and back contain many muscles, bones, nerves and veins.  The most common cause of pain is soft tissue injury to the muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Whiplash, which can be caused be a strike to the head, a fall, or an automobile accident, even a small one, is a type of injury caused by a sudden distorting extension of the neck muscles.  Other common causes are arthritis of the spine, degenerative disc disease and nerves pinched by a herniated disc.

Back and neck pain can lead to other debilitating conditions like stiffness, immobility, decrease of range of motion as well as headaches and pain radiating to other parts of the body.

In some instances back and neck pain is not severe and can be treated at home.  In those cases the methods below may be enough to alleviate the pain until the injury heals.

  • Resting the neck and back, moving them as little as possible followed, after a few days, by light exercise of the affected area.
  • Applying cold, usually from a plastic bag of ice, for 15 minutes every hour.
  • Medication such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

Severe or persistent back and neck pain, or worsening symptoms, should prompt a visit to the doctor’s office.  Also, if the source of the pain cannot be determined a doctor can rule out anything serious.  Often medical history and a physical examination are enough to diagnose the cause of back and neck pain.  If not, there are many tests that can be employed to localize an injury including x-ray, CT scan and MRI.

There are many back and neck pain treatment options available, and which are used depends on the severity and cause of the pain.

  • Massage therapy is among the oldest healing techniques, and still one of the most effective.  There are more than 80 forms of massage for treating different sorts of pains and ailments.
  • Ultrasound uses sound waves to create heat in the affected muscles.  This heat promotes blood flow and loosens muscles.
  • Electric muscle stimulation uses low currents to therapeutically stimulate muscles and nerves.
  • Traction is the use of mechanically created force to stretch and mobilize the spine.  It alleviates pain by stretching muscles that have suffered from spasm.
  • Chiropractic care involves manual therapy and manipulation of the spine.  It is particularly effective for treatment of back and neck pain.
  • Non-surgical spinal decompression is performed with a precision, computer controlled system called the DRX-9000.  It works at relieving pressure on nerves, and repositioning spinal discs to allow rehydration and oxygen and nutrients to be more easily absorbed.
  • Surgery, although considered a last resort, can be extremely effective in reversing back and neck pain.

Since most back and neck pain is caused by sprains or strains, one can expect to recover fully with proper care and treatment.  When dealing with back and neck pain it is important to bear in mind its severity and cause.  A carefully considered treatment plan is the best path to a quick recovery.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.