Tag Archives: disk

Cervical Disk Herniations: Common Questions

drx9000c san francisco
DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

We have been providing natural solutions for cervical disk herniations in San Francisco for over 20 years now in the SF Financial District. We are located in the landmark Embarcadero Center One.

Last month, we discussed the topic of neck pain arising from cervical disk herniations. The focus of this month’s Health Update is common questions that arise from patients suffering from cervical disk derangement.

1. “What can I do to help myself for my herniated disk in my neck?” The mnemonic device “PRICE” stands for Protect, Rest, Ice Compress, and Elevate is a good tool to use in the acute stage of many musculoskeletal conditions.

  • Protect your health by NOT placing yourself in an environment that is likely to harm you, such as playing sports or doing heavy yard work. That is, think about what you do BEFORE you do it and if sharp, radiating pain occurs, STOP and assess the importance of what you are doing. Use the concept, “…don’t pick at your cut.” This means if you want the injury to heal, don’t keep irritating it!
  • Rest is similar. Limit your activities to those that can be done without increasing symptoms, especially radiating pain.
  • Ice – The use of ice reduces swelling/inflammation, which reduces pain and promotes healing. Alternate it every 15-20 minutes (on/off/on/off/on) several times a day. You can also use contrast therapy (Ice/heat/ice/heat/ice) at 10/5/10/5/10 minute intervals to “pump” out the swelling.
  • Compress – The use of a collar worn backwards, if it’s more comfortable that way, can literally “take the load off.” the neck and disks. There are even inflatable collars which are pumped up with air to traction the neck. Other forms of traction will be discussed further.
  • Elevate – The concept of raising the ankle to the height of the heart so swelling can drain out of the ankle is the classic example of “elevation.” In the neck, the traction concept may apply once again.

 

2. “I don’t want to have surgery if I can help it. What can you do as a chiropractor to help me?” This is one of our primary goals, and in fact, the goal of ALL health care providers, even surgeons! Chiropractic offers anti-inflammatory measures: ice, herbal anti-inflammatory agents (ginger, turmeric, bioflavonoid, curcumin, bromelain, Rosemary extract, Boswellia Extract, and more), digestive enzymes taken between meals, muscle relaxant nutrients (valerian root, vitamin D, a B complex, chamomile, magnesium, and others) as well as other non-pharmaceutical options. Treatments consist of manual manipulation, mobilization, traction (for home and office), modalities such as deep tissue laser therapy and low-level laser, electrical stimulation, magnetic field, ultrasound, and others. We also offer nonsurgical cervical decompression with the DRX9000c. Most important is having a “coach” guide you through the stages of healing by first addressing the acute inflammatory stage (first 72 hrs), the proliferative or reparative phase (up to 6-8 weeks), followed by the remodeling phase (8 weeks to 1 or 2 years) and finally, the contraction phase (lifetime – includes the natural shortening of scar tissue). If manual traction reduces neck and arm pain, the use of home traction is very effective. Options include sitting over-the-door traction, laying down versions, and mobile traction collars (discussed previously). Exercises to stretch and strengthen the neck are also very important in reducing neck pain as well as preventing recurrences. If in spite of all the best efforts of this non-surgical care approach should ongoing neurological loss and relentless symptoms continue, we will coordinate care with physiatrists for possible injection therapy and pharmaceuticals, with neurology for further testing (such as EMG/NCV – a nerve test), and/or neuro- or orthopedic surgery – THE LAST RESORT!

            We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule a consultation for cervical disk herniation treatment in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube

Cervical Decompression for C7 Disc Bulge

drx9000c san francisco
DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

We have been providing spinal decompression therapy in San Francisco for over 8 years now. The machine we use is the DRX9000c.

Cervical decompression systems are designed and built to treat bulging and herniated cervical discs without drugs or surgery.

The C7 disc bulge is one of the most common conditions we treat with the DRX9000c. The C7 disc is the disc at the very bottom of the cervical spine in between the C7 and T1 vertebra. The C7 disc will often bulge as an adaption to things like abnormal stresses from poor posture over time, injury (sports, auto accident, repetitive strain) or degenerative disc disease…to name a few.

Typically, a bulging disc in the neck will eventually herniate if left untreated. This is why it’s so important to get the right kind of treatment as soon as the disc bulge is diagnosed.

Cervical disc decompression treats bulging and herniated disc by elongating the spine, re-positioning the disc, enlarging the disc space, and creating a negative pressure, which actually pulls the bulging disc material back to the center of the disc.

The treatment protocol is 20 sessions done as follows:

5 times for 2 weeks, 3 times for 2 weeks, 2 times for 2 weeks.

The sessions are about 50 minutes. You receive cervical decompression for 30 minutes, then 10 minutes of muscle stimulation, then 10 minutes of ice.

Bulging cervical discs at C7 can cause symptoms like arm pain and weakness, loss of grip strength, numbness and tingling in the arm and hand, night pain, and headaches.

Success rates are high with the DRX9000c.

If you have been diagnosed with a bulging or herniated disc in the neck and would like to fined out if you are a candidate for cervical decompression with the DRX9000c we would like to hear from you.

To schedule a complimentary consultation at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube