Tag Archives: therapy

Treatment for a Bulging Lumbar Disc in San Francisco

herniated disc treatment in San Francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Causing Sciatica

We have been providing treatment for herniated and bulging lumbar discs in San Francisco for over 23 years. 

The spinal discs, which are the ligamentous pads in between the bones have tow primary components:

1. The Nucleus Pulposus, which is the gelatinous center part of the disc that helps give the spine it’s flexibility.

2. The Annulus Fibrosis, which are the strong fibrous circular rings that help contain the nucleus and attach the disc to the vertebrae.

The spinal discs are very strong and can handle tremendous amounts of stress. However, like anything, there are limits. When the annular fibers weaken and give way to the nucleus, which then puts pressure on the delicate spinal cord or nerve roots, we call this a disc bulge or herniation. There are various names for the particular type of bulge or herniation depending on the nature and severity of the problem.

The spinal discs are living tissue so they are also subject to the overall health and integrity of the internal environment,which is for the most part a reflection of the patients lifestyle.

So, for various reasons, many that are unknown (trauma, lifestyle and cumulative physical stress), and some that are unknown, the spinal discs breakdown and bulge or herniate. Typically, the disc will bulge before it herniates in degenerative conditions that develop over time.

Of special note is the fact that much of the population has a bulging or herniated disc and has no symptoms. That’s right…it’s possible to have this and not even know it. Not all cervical or lumbar disc bulges or herniations cause pain and/or dysfunction.

Over the past 23 years, we have helped tens of thousands of patients with herniated and bulging lumbar spinal discs. Our results have been outstanding.

We use a combination of chiropractic, spinal decompression, and physical therapy. We also have medical doctors if needed to help co-manage difficult cases.

A herniated or bulging disc in the lumbar spine can cause low back pain, sciatica or leg pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and even night pain. There is usually associated muscle spasm, swelling, and loss of motion.

If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc (usually by MRI) or suspect you may have one, we would like to meet with you.

To find out if you are a candidate for bulging disc 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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Spinal Decompression in San Francisco For Disc Herniation

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing Spinal Decompression in San Francisco for over 10 years now.

Most of the herniated or bulging disc patients that undergo spinal decompression therapy at our Financial District clinic have had previous chiropractic care. While chiropractic achieves favorable outcomes most of the time with herniated discs…sometimes it just can’t deliver.

The reason for this is that the herniated disc has positioned itself in such a way that it does not respond to the chiropractic adjustments or anything else for that matter. In fact, many are told that the only option is back surgery.

It is for this reason that spinal decompression machines such as the DRX9000 were invented.

Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to treat herniated and bulging discs non-surgically. They do this by enlarging the disc space and creating a negative pressure that pulls the herniated disc fragments back to the center of the disc where they belong…away from the delicate nerve roots and spinal cord.

Spinal decompression systems also elongate the spine which stretches the spinal muscles, ligaments and tendons, breaking up scar tissue formation and muscle spasms, which helps to restore lost motion and function. As motion is restored the injured spinal disc is able to regain lost water content which expands the disc creating a more normal separation between the vertebrae above and the one below. This gives the exiting nerve more room.

And of course, patients also feel better. You can get sore at first, but over time pain levels subside.

Some patients report a complete recovery, some very little, and everything in between. But the overwhelming majority of patients that we treat with the DRX9000 for lumbar or cervical disc herniations are glad they did the treatment..

The treatment process is for 20 sessions over 6 weeks. The sessions are one hour long and we reserve the machine for you. It seems like a lot but it goes by quick. And for the most part patients enjoy being on the machine…many fall asleep during the treatment.

At the end of the treatment you may be able resume chiropractic care. While adjustments did not work before the treatment, they will most likely make sense now with your healthier spine.

Sounds pretty good Huh? Well it is!

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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Leg Numbness?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing nonsurgical treatment for herniated discs in San Francisco for over 20 years. A not so common presentation is that of leg numbness only without low back pain or sciatica. There may or may not be associated leg weakness.

If the leg numbness is new and was brought on by a particular sequence of events such as participating in a  run or walk with a new pair of shoes or doing a new workout or sitting in a new chair for extended periods or even using a new mattress, then there is a good chance you will recover quickly with chiropractic adjustments and therapy.

If your leg numbness is chronic (over 3 months duration) and ongoing, and especially if it is getting worse, you may have a herniated or bulging lumbar disc. This still may respond favorably to conservative chiropractic care or physical therapy.

However, if your leg numbness does not resolve with chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture or even medical care, you should probably have an MRI of the lumbar spine to rule out a herniated disc.

If you do have a herniated disc you may be a candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression on the DRX9000. The DRX9000 is designed and built to treat disc herniations, bulges, stenosis and disc degeneration non-surgically. The treatment is gentle and safe and success rates are high.

Spinal decompression treatment programs are typically 20 sessions spread out over 6-8 weeks. The sessions are 1 hour long and include 30 minutes of decompression, 10 minutes of electrical muscle stimulation and 10 minutes of ice. There is some set-up involved which takes 5-10 minutes.

If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for the DRX9000 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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DRX9000 spinal decompression

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been treating disc herniations in San Francisco for over 21 years. About 8 years ago we began to incorporate nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into the mix.

The DRX9000 spinal decompression system is a computerized machine that is designed and built to treat lumbar disc herniations, bulges, stenosis, facet syndrome, and degenerative disc disease without drugs or surgery. The machine we have cost’s over $150,000 because it also treats disc herniations in the neck. There are much cheaper and less effective machines out there so beware.

DRX9000 spinal decompression is the Rolls Royce of spinal decompression systems. We like the machine because it is very comfortable for the patient while at the same time effective. Most of the patients we treat fall asleep during the treatment.

DRX sessions usually last about an hour or less. It takes a few minutes to set you up and harness you so we can connect you to the machine. You are on the machine for 30 minutes or so. Then, we do 10 minutes of electrical muscle stimulation to teach the spinal muscles to work with the spine in it’s new position, and 10 minutes of ice to reduce muscle spasms, pain, and inflammation. Sometimes we will incorporate deep tissue laser therapy if there is a lot of initial pain and inflammation in the beginning.

The DRX9000 treatment protocol is for 20 sessions over a 6 week period. Sometimes it takes more than this. We incorporate exercises at the halfway point. There is extensive home-care instructions including dietary and nutrition recommendations.

Success rates are very high.

Not all patients are accepted for care. You must qualify for treatment medically.

If you would like 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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How much decompression do you need?

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Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been providing spinal decompression with the DRX9000 and DRX9000c to the San Francisco Financial District for over 8 years now to thousands of patients. One of the most important things we have learned is that everyone responds differently.

Spinal decompression therapy is a tool and it’s not a Magic Bullet…it requires weeks and sometimes months of initial treatment to achieve favorable outcomes. And favorable outcomes are not always a complete resolution of symptoms. Mostly, patients are just a lot better than they were and are happy with the treatment…many avoiding surgery.

Initially, the manufacturers protocol calls for 20 session of decompression, followed by 10 minutes of electronic muscle stimulation and 10 minutes of ice. Usually this is good enough. But in some cases it’s not and we need to do more. Usually, we realize this in the beginning and build more visits into the treatment program. We can always adjust up or down as the treatment unfolds.

Once we start some people begin to feel better immediately…some feel worse. And everything in between. It really does not matter how a patient responds when we start it’s where they end up when we finish.

Decompression therapy is physical and the body needs to adapt to these new forces and to the spine and discs moving into a more normal position. As the treatment progresses and we begin to incorporate exercises into the mixes there is more potential for soreness. in fact, patients tell us they feel much better from less nerve pain but the muscles soreness is still there…kind of like the soreness you get from working out…a good sore.

Then, at the end, depending on how you progressed and the nature and severity of your problem, and your overall health, we may want to do some more DRX session or a combination of chiropractic, exercise and decompression.

Our spinal decompression doctors work with our clinic director to create custom treatment plans based on individual needs. Some DRX9000 patients choose ongoing maintenance care of various frequencies and some just come in when they feel the need. We work together to find what’s best for you.

The first step in the decompression process is to find out if the DRX9000 makes sense for you.  To schedule a complimentary consultation to see if you are a candidate for spinal decompression 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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Pinched Nerve in the Low Back?

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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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Disc Bulges and Herniations: Most of Us Have Them

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Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

Disc Bulges and Disc Herniations are Common. That’s right. If we were to randomly select 100 people off the street and perform a diagnostic MRI to their lumbar spines, 60%+ would reveal disc bulges or disc herniations.

And most would not even have any symptoms or loss of function. But some would have severe low back pain and sciatica and be unable to function normally.

Heck, 80% or more of us will have a bout of severe back pain at least once in our life. And the #1 predisposing factor to chronic back pain is previous back pain. Back pain is epidemic.

Some experts believe discs are becoming injured all the time and the body is repairing these injuries itself. In fact, research suggests that it is best to wait and there is no real advantage to having QUICK low back surgery when it is determined a person has a herniated disc in the low back. It may heal on it’s own and there are nonsurgical treatments now to speed up the process or help initiate the process when the body is unable to.

BUT…just like the immune system is always battling germs and fighting disease (and some still get sick)…in some people the disc herniations do not repair themselves and they DO cause symptoms and loss of function….sometimes severe.  From my studies this occurs about 15% of the time and still amounts to a very large number of people. WHY?

Well…the discs get lodged and displaced in a certain way that puts pressure on the delicate spinal cord and nerve fibers and the body is unable to fix it. Then, the immune system attacks the area as if it were an enemy in a war over and over to prevent further harm (the inflammation process). The muscles go into spasms to protect the injured disc and restrict the motion that the disc needs to take in nutrients and waste products. The chain reaction can be devastating to some. The condition becomes chronic (over 90 days) and continues to degenerate until the nerve pressure can be removed.

Does this require surgery? Maybe…but maybe not!

There is a treatment called nonsurgical spinal decompression that is done on a machine that is designed and built to repair disc bulges and disc herniations in the low back and neck. The disc decompression machine we use in San Francisco is the DRX9000.

Just like a “respirator” helps the lungs to breath until they can do it on their own, a “spinal decompression machine” does the same thing for the spinal discs. The decompression process mimics the natural motion of the spine and helps to unlock the herniated discs and relocate them to a more normal position.

Now this does not happen overnight…it takes 20 one hour visits or more and a lot of effort by the patient and doctor. It is NOT a “magic bullet”. What it IS is the most technologically advanced nonsurgical treatment for herniated and bulging disc available in the marketplace today.

Our Spinal Decompression Clinic in San Francisco has been offering the DRX9000 to herniated disc patients as a surgical alternative for almost 10 years now. We introduced San Francisco to spinal decompression and we have helped thousands and thousands of patients avoid back surgery and return to more normal lives.

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”. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center in the Financial District where we are located.

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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Cervical Disk Herniations: Common Questions

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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.

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