Tag Archives: back pain

Spinal Decompression or Physical Therapy?

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Spinal Decompression or Physical Therapy in San Francisco?

We have been providing treatment for herniated discs is San Francisco for over 23 years.

Several times per month we will consult with a herniated disc patient that was told they needed physical therapy for their condition by their doctor. Sometimes this helped a little, but more often than not it made them worse.  WHY?

When a vertebral disc is out of it’s normal position and putting pressure on a nerve, nerve root or the spinal cord, it can cause severe inflammation and muscle spasm (guarding). This is the natural response of the body as it attempts to protect the injured area by limiting motion.

Physical therapy even done by an expert can often times aggravate the herniated disc complex as the body is unable to handle even gentle exercise in it’s inflamed state.

Spinal decompression on the other hand is very safe and gentle and by design seeks to restore the injured disc into a more normal alignment, reducing nerve pressure, muscle spasm and inflammation.

The spinal decompression machine has a built in bio-feedback mechanism that senses the response of the body to the treatment and makes adjustments to the force based on this feedback loop.  This protects the body and allows the process to begin even in the most difficult of cases.

Once the muscles guarding has subsided as well as the inflammation and pain levels, e will slowly increase the intensity and move through the treatment protocol until we achieve the desired outcome. This process usually takes about 6 weeks (20 1 hour sessions).

We incorporate electrical muscle stimulation, ice, deep tissue laser and gentle massage techniques along the way.

In the event that a patient requires physical therapy at the end of the treatment, they are now in a better physical condition to handle it.

We have one of the most advanced physical therapy teams in San Francisco at our primary clinic in San Francisco, Chiro-Medical Group, Inc.  So, in the event that PT is needed, our patients simply walk a few blocks to get treatment.

So, there you go. Be very careful when you are told that you need physical therapy for a herniated disc and you are in a lot of pain.  Consider spinal decompression first. You may not even need PT.

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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Do Spinal Decompression Results Last?

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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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Spinal Decompression Soreness in the Beginning

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Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

It is not unusual for lumbar and cervical spinal decompression patients to get even more sore than they already are temporarily. It’s like that splinter in your finger that is really bugging you. The longer it’s there the deeper it gets into your finger and the harder it becomes to remove. Then, when you finally decide to dig it out it becomes even more sore…temporarily, before it starts feeling better.

There are all kinds of examples and analogies we can use to describe why some people get sore when they start a DRX9000 spinal decompression program. Heck…the treatment IS physical. Just like when you start a new exercise program…good chance you will get sore. Now the more out of shape you are the more potential for soreness.

Depending on where the starting point is with your back or neck pain when we start decompression you may be more prone to soreness in the  beginning.

However…we know this and we try to minimize it by starting off very light and slowly increasing the pounds of force of the pull. We have you wear a back support all day, ice frequently, drink lots of water, take fish oil, eat lots of plant foods, and get plenty of rest. All these things help to reduce inflammation which is the primary source of pain.

As time goes on and you progress through the treatment the pain levels will subside. And usually the pain is not unbearable, it’s just uncomfortable. But like the old saying goes… “No Pain, No Gain”.

Believe me…it’s a small price to pay to reach our treatment objectives like most of our decompression patients do. It’s a process that thankfully usually has a happy ending 🙂

To schedule an appointment at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Clinic 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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Is my Spinal Decompression Therapy Working?

decompression therapy san francisco
Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been providing cervical and lumbar disc decompression therapy in downtown San Francisco for over 8 years now. During this time we have helped thousands of patients with herniated and bulging discs return to more normal lives.

When we first consult with a spinal decompression patient we try to manage the expectations based on the nature and severity of their condition, their age, and our experience with similar cases.

The most important factor is the condition itself. Is there more than one disc herniation? Is there extensive spinal and disc degeneration? Are there any congenital factors like scoliosis or a short leg? Are there other spinal problems or previous micro-surgeries?

In general, the younger the patient is, and the better the overall condition of their health, the higher the odds of a favorable outcome during the typical recommended treatment plan, which is 20-24 sessions.

What happens along the way varies from patient to patient. Sometimes herniated disc patients feel worse at first because the body resists the decompression. The decompression machine (we use the DRX9000) senses this and makes adjustments to the force of the pull but still patients can and do get sore. This is why it is so important to ice frequently, drink lots of water, take fish oil supplements, and eat mostly vegetables and plant foods if possible during treatment, because all of these are “anti-inflammatory” and help reduce pain levels and promote healing.

We always start off slow and increase the intensity as the patient progresses. We look for what we call “signs of life”. Signs of Life can be standing for longer periods with less pain. Sleeping better. Less numbness or tingling. Feeling stronger. Being a little more mobile, etc. Rarely will someone just start feeling 100% better from the start…but it does happen. And when it does we still recommend following through with the treatment protocol.

More likely, treatment  progress is a slow steady progression with occasional setbacks. After-all, the back and neck conditions we are working on took a long time to develop and we are treating them naturally without drugs or surgery…so you feel the changes taking place. And the treatment is physical. The problem itself is physical and so is the solution…so expect to be kind of sore along the way.

Some patients feel better right away and some patients don’t start to feel better until the end…and everything in between. Our advice is to just “stay the course”. Let the treatment process unfold. At our clinic we only accept cases that have an exceptional chance of a favorable outcome. If you are ever concerned along the way that the treatment may not be working than let us know. We can put you in touch with some of our DRX9000 Alumni that went through the same thing.

On your end…make sure you do your home care, wear your back support, ice as much as you can, eat right, and do your exercises once we prescribe them for you. And of course, make all your appointment’s. If you do you increase the odds of success.

If you have any questions or concerns we are always here to help.

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 Treatment with Spinal Decompression

decompression therapy san francisco
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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Is Spinal Decompression Affordable?

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DRX9000 Lumbar Decompression

We heave been providing spinal decompression therapy in San Francisco for 9 years now. We were the first to introduce the DRX9000 and DRX9000c to the SF Bay Area.

Slowly, over the years, more decompression machines began to appear in other back pain clinics. Now that disc decompression is mainstream and there are more machines, the price has come down. Supply and Demand 101.

In reality, the difference in price does not mean much when you consider what you are getting in return…your life back!

For instance, when I purchased my first lumbar decompression machine it costs me $150,000. I ordered the combination unit with the DRX900c so we could treat cervical and lumbar disc herniations. Then I ordered a few more machines because the demand was so great. Our price, depending on the package was between $6000-$12,000. That was 7-8 years ago.

Now, because there are more spinal decompression system’s in San Francisco, and there are quite a few used machines for sale on the secondary market, the price is anywhere from $2500-$5000, depending on how many sessions and the adjunctive therapies. Big difference.

There is something you should know though. It’s possible to have a machine like the DRX9000 and not know how to operate it properly and successfully manage cervical and lumbar disc patients. We were already experts at this so the decompression just made things better. Lots of new doctors purchase the machines and do not get good results. It takes time to master the harnessing process and the control system of the decompression machine.

The more chronic neck and back pain cases you manage the better you become. I am confident that we have performed more spinal decompression sessions than any clinic in the SF Bay Area, so we have lots of experience. It is rare when we do not achieve a favorable outcome. But it can happen.

So…there you go. Disc decompression therapy is a lot cheaper these days than it used to be. It’s still not covered by insurance, but if you have insurance we can use it for re-exams, exercises, ice, and some parts of the treatment to lower your costs.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Doctors 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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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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Spinal Decompression: Back Surgery without the Surgery

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DRX9000 Lumbar Decompression Therapy

We have been providing treatment for bulging and herniated discs in San Francisco for over 20 years now. About 8 years ago we began to incorporate spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into our treatment protocols. Prior to this, we would have to refer out for surgical consultation if the patient did not respond to chiropractic care or physical therapy. There just was not a conservative “next step”…now there is.

Nonsurgical spinal decompression machines are designed and built to treat neurovascular compression syndromes such as herniated and bulging lumbar and cervical discs, without surgery. Spinal decompression therapy can also help conditions such as degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome, and spinal stenosis.

We like to say that spinal decompression is like back surgery without the surgery. The end result is the same…there is no more pressure or less pressure on the spinal nerve structures that are causing the back or neck pain.

Spinal decompression machines such as the DRX9000 are able to enlarge the disc space, elongate the spine, re-position the injured spinal disc (off the nerve and spinal cord), re-hydrate the disc, strengthen the spinal muscles and ligaments, and reduce pain levels.

Does the spinal decompression machine accomplish this every time?

NO…just most of the time. And there are varying levels of outcomes. Some get completely better, some a little better, and most just a lot better than they were.

Do spinal decompression results last?

YES…we have hundreds of patients that still maintain results achieved years ago…but they take care of their spines…and some do ongoing DRX care 4-6 times per year.

Here’s the deal…in my opinion (which is biased of course) you can always do surgery. Why not try spinal decompression first (if you qualify medically)? It’s safe. It’s gentle. And it’s effective. Maybe you don’t need surgery.

And here is something to consider. If you have a fusion surgery or rods or cement or anything permanent done to your spine…you will forever be disqualified from spinal decompression therapy. And that is scary.

To find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression in San Francisco, 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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Considering Spinal Decompression?

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Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing treatment for herniated discs in San Francisco for over 20 years now. For the past 8 years we have included nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into the mix.

Prior to spinal decompression therapy we would be unable to help certain herniated disc patients. After-all…chiropractic, which is a wonderful form of treatment for most cases, just can’t help certain disc patients. My guess is that up to 20% of the patients that suffer with a herniated or bulging cervical or lumbar disc, simply will not respond to chiropractic care, physical therapy, medications, acupuncture, or exercise. They need something more.

Before spinal decompression we would refer most of these patients for back or neck surgery consultations. Some would have surgery, but most would just live with the pain. These are the first patients we treated when we purchased our first DRX9000 8 years ago.

Now things are different. The DRX9000 becomes our “next step” if chiropractic fails to deliver results with herniated and bulging disc patients. We also have a DRX9000c to treat cervical disc herniations.

Sometimes the DRX9000 or DRX9000c can actually help make chiropractic adjustments work. The spinal decompression process is able to reduce inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms , which allow a patient to tolerate chiropractic. And the combination of chiropractic adjustments and spinal decompression can be much more powerful than either one alone.

Don’t get me wrong…spinal decompression IS NOT a magic wand. What it is is the most advanced form of nonsurgical treatment in the marketplace today for neurovascular compression syndromes such as herniated discs, bulging discs, facet syndrome, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease.

Does spinal decompression therapy with the DRX9000 work every time?

NO…nothing does.  Just most of the time.

But here’s the deal. Spinal decompression is very safe. If it does not help you are still whole and can explore other treatment options. If you have fusion surgery you cannot UN-do it. You will be forever disqualified from ever trying spinal decompression.

TIP: Try spinal decompression first…you can always have surgery!

To schedule a complimentary consultation with a spinal decompression doctor in San Francisco, call 415-392-2225 and 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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Is it Low Back or Hip Pain?

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Back Pain

When patients present with low back pain, it is not uncommon for pain to arise from areas other than the low back, such as the hip. There are many tissues in the low back and hip region that are susceptible to injury with have overlapping pain pathways that often make it challenging to isolate the truly injured area. Hip pain can present in many different ways.

When considering the anatomy of the low back (lumbar spine) and hip, and the nerves that innervate the hip come from the low back, it’s no wonder that differentiating between the two conditions is often difficult. Complaints may include the inside, outside, front or back of the thigh, the knee, the buttocks, the sacroiliac joint, or the low back and yet, the hip may truly be the pain generator with any of these presentations. To make diagnosis even more complex, the hip pain patient may present one day with what appears to be sciatic nerve pain (that is, pain shooting down the back of the leg to the knee if mild or, to the foot if more severe) but the next time, with only groin pain. When pain radiates down a leg, the almost automatic impression by both the patient and the health care provider is, “…it’s a pinched nerve.” But again, it could be the hip and NOT a pinched nerve that is creating the leg pain pattern. Throwing yet another wrench in the works is the fact that a patient can have more than one condition at the same time. So, they truly MAY simultaneously have BOTH a low back problem AND a hip problem. In fact, its actually unusual to x-ray the low back of a hip pain patient without seeing some low back condition(s) like degenerative disk disease, osteoarthritis (spurs off the vertebrae), or combination of these. So, how do we differentiate between hip vs. low back pain when it is common for both low back and hip pain to often coincide?

During our history, we often ask the question, “…what activities make your pain worse?” If the patient replies that weight bearing activities like standing, walking, getting up from sitting, etc., provoke the pain (and they point to the front or side of the hip), a hip related diagnosis is favored but, it STILL may be arising from the low back or both! If they say, “…crossing my right leg over the other hurts in my groin,” that’s getting more hip pain specific as hip rotation is frequently lost before the forward flexion motion. When we ask the hip pain patient to point to the area of greatest discomfort, they usually point to the front of the hip or groin, and less often to the inner and/or anterior thigh or knee. Non-weight bearing positions like sitting or lying are almost always immediately pain relieving. When there is arthritis in the hip, motion loss is often reported and may include a shorter walking stride and pain usually gets worse the longer these patients are on their feet. Initiating motion often hurts, sometimes even in bed when rolling over. During the chiropractic examination, with the patient lying on the back with the knee and hip both bent 90˚, moving the bent knee outwards or inwards will almost always reproduce hip/groin area pain. Pulling on or, applying traction to the affected leg usually, “…feels good.” Knee & ankle reflexes and sensation are normal but muscle strength may be weak due to pain. Bending the low back into different positions does not reproduce pain if the pain is only coming from the hip. Though challenging sometimes, we are well trained to be able to differentiate between hip and low back pain and will treat both areas when it is appropriate. This is the case more often than not.

            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 with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors 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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