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Spinal Decompression or Chiropractic?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing chiropractic treatment for herniated discs in San Francisco for over 20 years now. About 8 years ago we began to incorporate nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into our treatment protocols. The results have been outstanding.

So, how do we know if a herniated disc patient needs spinal decompression therapy or chiropractic care? Well…sometimes we don’t…yet!

Often times, a patient with severe low back pain and/or sciatica will present to our clinic and not have had either spinal decompression treatments or chiropractic care. Sometimes they have an MRI and sometimes they don’t.

We need an MRI to know where to apply spinal decompression, but since they are very expensive we don’t want to order one unless we really need it. And we always want to try chiropractic first if possible because chiropractic is much less expensive than spinal decompression and is covered by most insurance…decompression therapy is not.

Here’s a case history of a recent chiropractic, then spinal decompression patient we have been working with:

A 45 year old female presented to our clinic with severe low back pain and sciatica. She has a previous 15 history off on and off low back pain and sciatica but the symptoms have never been this bad. She had also had chiropractic in the past which helped. We decided together to try a month of chiropractic to see if it would help…and it did…a lot…at least for the low back pain…not the sciatica.

At this point we ordered a lumbar MRI which was covered by insurance. And we also satisfied the conservative care first requirements most carriers want to see before a chiropractor orders an MRI.

The MRI revealed a large extruded disc (disc herniation) at L5-S1 on the right which is contacting the nerve roots…OUCH! We are starting a 20 session spinal decompression treatment program today. We are excited because we have had great success with the DRX9000 with cases just like this. The patient is excited as well.

Now, if the low back pain and sciatica would have both resolved with chiropractic care than we would not have ordered the MRI. This happens frequently…more often than not. But if it doesn’t, than we need to go to the next step…which thankfully is not back surgery, it’s spinal decompression with the DRX9000.

So, whether we recommend chiropractic or decompression therapy for a lumbar disc herniation just depends…it depends on all of the above. There are also some patients who have such severe low back pain that we are unable to do chiropractic, but the patient can handle decompression….because it is very gentle…in these instances we order an MRI and move forward with spinal decompression.

The best thing to do if you feel you may have a herniated disc or if you already know, and want to find out if chiropractic or spinal decompression make sense, is to contact a spinal decompression doctor right away…most are chiropractors.

If you need help finding a doctor in your area with a DRX9000 I recommend doing a Google search like this “DRX9000 _________(your area)”. For example: DRX9000 San Francisco.  Let us know if you need help.

If you live or work in the SF Bay Area you can contact our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center at 415-392-2225. Ask for a complimentary consultation. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center.

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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