Tag Archives: degenerated disc

Degenerative Disc Disease…What Causes It?

treatment for disc disease san francisco
Degenerated Lumbar Spine and Discs

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) for the most part is the result of abnormal wear and tear of the spinal discs in the lumbar and cervical spine. This is usually the result of misalignment’s in the spine.

There is an optimum alignment for the spine. When the spine is in this alignment there are normal stresses on the spinal joints and discs. When the spine is out of alignment the forces on the discs increase. Over time, these abnormal forces wear down the disc prematurely leading to disc degeneration, disc bulges, and disc herniations.

It’s kind of like the alignment of the front end of your car. When your front end is in proper alignment, your tires wear evenly and are better able to express their useful life. If your front end is out of alignment the tires will wear abnormally…same with your spine and vertebral discs.

Many consider spinal and disc degeneration to be part of the normal aging process. I beg to differ. Sure, degenerative disc disease is common…just like heart disease…but it’s not normal.

Our bodies are simply not designed to do the things we ask it to do day in and day out…like sitting in front of a computer for 12 hours a day. Or commuting in a car, train, or bus for many hours per day…or traveling on airplanes all over the place.

Add sports to the mix and mental stress from living in a stressful world (stress causes muscle tension and puts stress on bones and discs), poor posture, bad sleeping habits and ergonomics, and sure…it’s a miracle when you do see a spine in it’s proper alignment.

That is of course unless it’s the spine of a patient that incorporates regular chiropractic adjustments into their lifestyle. Chiropractic adjustments are the counter-balance to the stresses of modern day living and can add useful life to your spinal joints and discs.

So sure…spinal degeneration and disc degeneration are common…but lets not re-define normal. What’s normal is your natural state…not the degenerative state that occurs from man made forces if you just let it happen.

You don’t just continue to drive your car around when you feel it is out of alignment…and you shouldn’t with your spine either.

This is one of the reasons chiropractic is the worlds largest, drug-less, healing profession.

Chiropractic is not just about treating back or neck pain…or knee pain…or carpal tunnel. Sure, it does a  great job treating musculoskeletal injuries…but chiropractic can also extend the useful life of your spine…and your spine is the center of life.

Did you know the brain and spinal cord are the only organ (the spinal cord is an extension of the brain) in the body completely encased by bone? That’s how vital to life the spine is…it protects that which controls all bodily functions.

A healthy spine will go a long way when it comes to expressing life to it’s fullest…and regular chiropractic adjustments should be the main tool in your “healthy spine toolbox”.

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in downtown San Francisco. To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors 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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When to consider Spinal Decompression

We consult with hundreds of herniated disc patients every year at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center. Many choose to move forward with spinal decompression…many decide to wait…or to try something covered by their insurance. That’s right, nonsurgical spinal decompression is not covered by insurance.

drx9000 in san francisco
Lumbar Decompression For Herniated and Bulging Discs

If you have insurance, we can most likely use it to cover re-exams, exercises, ice, heat, muscle stimulation, and some other ancillary charges…but the decompression therapy itself is still considered experimental.

Spinal decompression on the DRX9000 costs about $5000 at our decompression clinic in San Francisco…about the same as a vacation for two to Hawaii.

So you don’t have to be rich. What you do need to have is the desire to get better. And you need to make fixing your back a priority. You need to schedule the rest of your life around the spinal decompression treatment, which usually lasts about 6-8 weeks. One hour sessions 2-4 times per week, with lots of home care and exercises.

Desire to get better in my opinion is the #1 factor (you must also qualify medically). As long as that is there we can work with you on the finances (payment plans, zero interest financing).

Spinal decompression is not a magic bullet. In fact, it’s quite a bit of work. But if you want your life back it’s a small price to pay. And chances are…if you are accepted into our spinal decompression program (we don’t accept everyone) you will achieve a favorable outcome.

If you have been diagnosed with a bulging or herniated disc, or spinal disc degeneration, or spinal stenosis, or facet syndrome…you may be a candidate for the DRX9000.

If you have tried other conventional back pain treatments that have failed to deliver results, such as medical care, physical therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic…you should consider spinal decompression.

Even if you have not tried anything yet…but have been diagnosed with a herniated disc, or any of the conditions above…you can try decompression first.

What you can’t do is try surgical fusion first. If you have any hardware in your spine you are disqualified from spinal decompression. It may be wise to try decompression first…you can always have surgery.

So, whether you have been living with chronic back pain and have tried every treatment under the sun, or have recently been diagnosed with a herniated or bulging disc and want to go right after the best “nonsurgical” herniated disc treatment…spinal decompression just might make sense for you…sooner than later!

To find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression with the DRX9000 at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center…call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

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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 a Permanent Fix?

Spinal Decompression Therapy has gained a lot of popularity of late…primarily because of world-wide favorable treatment outcomes. Nonsurgical disc decompression is performed on a machine such as the DRX9000 (lumbar decompression) or the DRX9000c (cervical decompression) systems.

decompression therapy san francisco
Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to treat disc herniations, disc bulges, facet syndrome, disc degeneration, and spinal stenosis. Spinal Decompression treatment enlarges the disc space, re-positions the herniated disc, elongates the spine, strengthens the spinal ligaments, and re-hydrates the disc.

Spinal decompression actually repairs the spinal disc…to the extent repair is possible. There are a lot of variables as far as results are concerned. The patients age, overall  physical condition, complications such as advanced spinal degeneration or scoliosis, the number of herniated or bulging discs that are involved, lifestyle patterns, and adherence to the spinal decompression treatment program.

So, is Spinal Decompression a Permanent Fix?

Sometimes, YES. But what happens most of the time is that decompression patients choose to maintain the positive changes with ongoing maintenance care and exercises. Most decompression patients  come in once per month for decompression therapy…some less, some more. They do it because they do not want the spine to return to it’s previous unhealthy state. And…the price is usually less…and spread out over time.

We have been offering nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 and DRX9000c for over 5 years in the SF Financial District…and we have performed over 10,000 sessions. We think it’s a permanent fix…but we can only base our opinion on our 5 year history.

I don’t think a herniated disc patient should return to the same bad habits that led to the herniated disc in the first place and expect the spinal decompression results to hold.

Our spinal decompression doctors in San Francisco are also lifestyle coaches…they teach patients how to adjust lifestyle variables such as exercise, diet, and rest, that play a big part in chronic back and neck pain…and recovery.

The more a patient puts in…the more they get out…same with all things worthwhile.

We only accept spinal decompression patients that we feel we can help…and that agree to keep their appointments and make adjustments to lifestyle variables that may interfere with treatment objectives.

Disc decompression is kind of like a respirator for the spine and discs. It helps the spine and disc to work together they way the do when they are healthy…which helps to make them healthy.

Is spinal decompression treatment for you?

Maybe. But you have to be ready for change…and ready for work…because the healing can only take place with your participation. Are you ready? If so, we would like to meet you.

Here’s what to do:

If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression to the cervical or lumbar spine at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center…call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

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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 Degenerative Disc Disease Hereditary?

When a back pain patient with degenerative disc disease first sees their own x-rays, they often ask “is that really me…how did that happen?”  The next question is usually “can disc degeneration be hereditary?”  These are both very good questions.

treatment for disc disease san francisco
Disc and Spine Degeneration with Schmorl's nodes

In my opinion, degenerative disc disease is mostly the result of abnormal wear and tear on the spinal discs from misalignment’s (what chiropractors call vertebral subluxations) of the spine.  Just like the tread on a tire wears uneven when the front of a car is out of alignment.  Secondary to vertebral subluxation is an unhealthy lifestyle.

The same poor lifestyle choices that lead to diseases of excess, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, can cause spinal degeneration. After-all, the spine, discs, muscles, ligaments and tendons are all living tissue. Living tissue thrives within the healthy (internal) context created by clean living and plenty of exercise.

I do believe there is a hereditary component to degenerative disc disease.  But at the same time, I think that switch can be turned off with a healthy lifestyle and proper care of the spine with regular exercise and chiropractic adjustments.

Disc degeneration is also progressive. As long as the conditions are in place for spinal degeneration to occur, it will pick up steam and move forward…doing most of it’s damage after age 40.

Can spinal disc degeneration be stopped, slowed, or reversed?

A certain amount of wear and tear to the intervertebral disc is going to happen as we age no matter what we do.  But it my opinion, we can dramatically slow down the degenerative process with proper spinal care and lifestyle modifications…especially diet and exercise. The diet I prefer is a plant based diet, and my best resources are  Dr. John McDougall MD and Jill Nussinow, RD.

If anything, children tend to take on the habits (good and bad) of their parents into adulthood. These habits either steer them in the direction of health or illness…including degenerative disc disease.

My advice…find yourself a good chiropractor that understands nutrition and exercise (not all of them do) that can help you put the brakes on your DDD. If you are willing to make changes for the better, you can live a long, healthy, active life even with advanced disc disease…Really!

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in downtown San Francisco. To schedule a complimentary consultation call 415-392-2225.

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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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Can Spinal Decompression Help Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative Disc Disease is fairly common with aging…along with most other degenerative processes. However, it is possible to slow down the progression of spinal disc degeneration and in some cases actually reverse it with nonsurgical spinal decompression.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

When the bones of the spine lose their proper alignment, the spinal discs which are in between them wear abnormally…just like your tire tread wears abnormally when the front end of your car is out of alignment.

If this situation is corrected in time it is possible to bring the degenerated disc back to life. Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 or other fine decompression systems can help repair a degenerated disc by elongating the spine, enlarging the disc space, re-positioning the injured spinal disc, strengthening the spinal muscles and ligaments, and re-hydrating the spinal disc by re-establishing fluid and nutrient exchange with the blood stream.

It’s also possible that the spinal disc degeneration is so far advanced that even nonsurgical spinal decompression is not able to help it. It’s possible…but not likely. My experience has been that there is usually some sort of positive change…albeit minor.

Lifestyle factors play a big role also in degenerative disc disease. If you are overweight or obese it makes it much harder to slow down disc degeneration. There is just too much constant stress on the joints and discs. High fat diets rich in animal proteins and processed foods tend to cause ongoing inflammation which can contribute to disc degeneration. Smoking, drugs, and alcohol do not help…and poor sleep and work habits make things worse…as does stress.

So Yes, spinal decompression with the DRX9000 can help degenerative disc disease…often times when all else fails. A healthy lifestyle with plenty of clean food, clean air, and exercise will help create the right conditions for decompression to achieve a favorable outcome.

I have seen patients with chronic back pain and sciatica due to long standing disc disease and spinal degeneration return to active lifestyles after only a few months on the DRX9000…amazing.

Will the DRX9000 help your degenerative disc disease? Maybe. You need to find out if you qualify medically first…not all back pain patients do.

To find out if you are a candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center…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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Sciatica Relief with Spinal Decompression

The term Sciatica refers to pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg, that originates in the low back (lumbar spine).  The sciatic nerve originates in the low back and travels through the piriformis muscle in the buttocks, then all the way down the back of the leg.

pinched nerve treatment san francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Root of Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and in some people can be the diameter of a size of a quarter at it’s largest point. It is formed by branches of nerve roots in the lumbar spine that come together to form one large nerve.

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging lumbar disc causing a pinched nerve. Degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis can also cause sciatica. As can Piriformis Syndrome.

Nonsurgical spinal decompression, which isolates on a specific spinal segment, say L5-S1, is in most cases, able to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve by reducing the lumbar disc herniation or bulging disc. The spinal decompression machine we use is the DRX9000.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

The DRX9000 enlarges the disc space which creates a negative pressure inside the disc, which creates a suction type action which repositions the herniated and bulging discs into a more normal position. The DRX9000 also elongates the spine, re-hydrates the disc (which increases disc height), and strengthens the spinal ligaments.

Spinal decompression therapy helps the spine to do what it would if it could…just like a respirator does for the lungs. The DRX9000 is a respirator for the spinal discs.

What this does is help to reduce inflammation and muscle spasm and gives the injured lumbar disc a chance to heal. It also reduces the pressure off the sciatic nerve which is the primary source of sciatica in most people.

Sciatica relief with spinal decompression usually happens within a few sessions. But we don’t want to stop there. We want to work through the entire program to make the sciatica relief permanent. At least that’s the plan.  Outcomes are excellent.

Will spinal decompression with the DRX9000 get rid of your sciatica? Maybe…probably.

It depends on your age, your over-all physical condition, how many disc herniations you have and spinal degeneration. Do you have any complications such as scoliosis or a short leg, etc.

The best thing to do if you are suffering with back pain or sciatica is to find a back pain doctor that has a spinal decompression machine like the DRX9000. There are also other fine decompression systems out there.

To find out if you are a candidate for the DRX9000 at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center, 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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Can Spinal Decompression Help Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spinal column that can cause pressure on the spinal cord, or spinal nerves, by narrowing the opening of the spinal canal or neural foramina, where spinal nerves leave the spinal column. This usually occurs from spinal degeneration, disc degeneration or bulging and herniated discs.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

Chronic inflammation of the spinal ligaments and surrounding soft tissues can also narrow the spinal canal  and nerve channels.

Spinal stenosis typically develops slowly over time and effects one side of the body or the other.

Depending on the age of the patient and the source of the spinal stenosis, surgery may be necessary to remove pressure off the spinal cord or nerves.

If the source of the spinal stenosis is a herniated or bulging disc…back or neck surgery may NOT be necessary. Physical therapy, or cortisone injections may offer relief.

Or,  you can consider nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 (lumbar) or DRX9000c (cervical) decompression machines.

Spinal decompression can increase the size of the spinal canal or nerve channel by reducing the size of the herniated or bulging disc in most cases. Spinal decompression also enlarges the disc space, rehydrates the discs, and elongates the spine, making it stronger and more flexible.

With bony stenosis due to long standing spinal degeneration, disc degeneration, bone spurs, and inflamed and hardened ligaments, spinal decompression outcomes are not as favorable…but are still worth considering.

Spinal decompression machines act as a respirator for injured spines. The pumping action of spinal decompression therapy on an injured spinal segment helps the spine to do what it would if it could. Decompression when done for an extended period of time…say 2-3 months, will often offer enough relief to consider the treatment effective.

Bottom Line: Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 or DRX9000c should be considered by all patients who are searching for a nonsurgical solution to their cervical or lumbar spinal stenosis.

To find out if you are a candidate for care at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center 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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San Francisco Spinal Decompression Review

Every week at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center we profile a back or neck pain patient that has achieved outstanding results with spinal decompression therapy on the DRX9000. Nonsurgical spinal decompression is often able to repair disc herniations, bulging discs, or degenerated discs, when all else fails. Check-out the video:

San Francisco Spinal Decompression review

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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San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center News

We have been helping chronic back and neck pain patients in downtown San Francisco for almost 20 years now. About 6 years ago we decided to incorporate non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into our treatment protocols…and the results have been outstanding.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

Recently, our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center performed it’s 10,000th spinal disc decompression treatment on the DRX9000.  Here is an excerpt from our recent  SF Spinal Decompression press release announcing this milestone:

Dr. Eben Davis, founder of Executive Express Chiropractic and Spinal Decompression in downtown San Francisco recently performed spinal decompression treatment number 10,000.

Non-surgical spinal decompression is performed on a computerized machine that is designed and built to treat conditions such as herniated and bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and facet syndrome. The machines that are used at San Francisco Spinal Decompression are the DRX9000 lumbar decompression system, and the DRX9000c cervical decompression system.

Many chronic back and neck pain sufferers feel they have nowhere to turn when they are diagnosed with a herniated or bulging spinal disc. Some disc patients are told they need back surgery, or they just need to learn to live in pain. A herniated disc in the lumbar spine can lead to sciatica, or pain down the leg, weakness, and severe back pain and disability.

Herniated discs in the neck can cause pain down the arm, weakness of grip, night pain, and severe headaches.

So, we are excited and our disc herniation treatment with the DRX9000 and DRX9000c is thriving. You learn a lot treating this many back and neck pain patients with spinal decompression…it’s an art.

If you live or work near the  San Francisco Financial District, and are suffering with low back or neck pain that will not go away…or have been diagnosed with a herniated disc in the cervical or lumbar spine…you may be a candidate for spinal disc decompression therapy.

Some of the conditions that non-surgical spinal decompression treats are:

  • Cervical and Lumbar Disc Herniations
  • Cervical and Lumbar Disc Bulges
  • Cervical and Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Cervical or Lumbar Facet Syndrome
  • Degenerative Disc Disease

To schedule an appointment at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center…call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post to receive a complimentary consultation. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center.

Reviews and directions to Spinal Decompression in San Francisco

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 many spinal decompression treatments do you need?

We have been providing nonsurgical spinal decompression treatment in San Francisco for over 6 years now. During this time we have helped hundreds…maybe thousands of chronic back and neck pain patients return to more normal lifestyles. While disc decompression therapy is not a magic bullet…it is the most advanced form of drug-less, non-surgical treatment for neck pain, back pain and sciatica.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

Many back and neck pain patients we consult with are surprised to learn that spinal decompression treatment can last several months and require up to 30+ sessions…16-20 sessions is usually the minimum.  The spinal decompression machine we use is the DRX9000, which is designed and built to treat disc herniations, disc bulges, degenerative disc disease, and facet syndrome.

How many spinal decompression sessions you need will depend on your age, your over-all health, the condition of your spine, and any complications such as a scoliosis or a short leg. Also…do you have only one disc herniation or are there disc herniations at multiple spinal levels? Are you overweight? Are you deconditioned? Do you smoke? All of this must be considered.

Once we determine if you are a good candidate for decompression therapy we will come up with a game plan. We may only use the DRX9000…or we may incorporate deep tissue laser, massage, or chiropractic into the treatment protocol.

After the decompression treatments begin and we see how you respond to them…we can make adjustments as far as ancillary therapies and visit count. There is no cook book for herniated disc treatment…everyone responds differently…but within a certain range.

Sure, we have done more than 30 DRX9000 sessions a few times. But this is the exception and not the rule.

We have also done only 10 decompression sessions for complete resolution. But this was on a 19 year old disc patient in perfect health that had suffered a single disc herniation surfing.

So anyway…how many spinal decompression sessions you need, and what else you need to go along with it will be determined by our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Doctors…that’s their job.

If you do not live or work near the San Francisco Financial District, please see our list of the Best Spinal Decompression Doctors in the US.

To schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation at our downtown San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post.

Directions to San Francisco Spinal Decompression Clinic

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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