Tag Archives: herniations

Disc Bulges and Herniations: Most of Us Have Them

decompression therapy san francisco
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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Spinal Decompression or Chiropractic for a Disc Herniation?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing chiropractic in San Francisco for over 20 years now. About 8 years ago we began to incorporate spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into the mix.

In general, we always want to rule out chiropractic as a first choice for herniated discs in the neck or low back. Spinal decompression is more expensive and time consuming and is not covered by insurance.  Actually, most insurance will cover re-exams, exercises, ice, muscle stimulation, and some of the ancillary services we provide to decompression patients.

If a patient presents with a new condition, even though it appears to be a herniated disc (it’s not hard to tell)…we still want to try conservative chiropractic care first if the patient can tolerate it…and most can because we start out very gentle and easy.

On the other hand…if a patient comes to us and has already tried chiropractic without much success, or we treat them ourselves without any change, say after a few weeks, then we consider decompression therapy and will usually order an MRI.

A few weeks ago we had a 28 year old male present with severe back and leg pain with no apparent cause. He was listing to one side (antalgia) which is common with a lumbar disc herniation, and had all the positive disc findings…another-words chances are he has a herniated disc…we would need MRI to confirm.

Our game plan was to treat with conservative chiropractic for a few weeks and see if we could stabilize him and get him back on track. He really wanted to avoid an MRI and the  time and expense of spinal decompression.

The treatment started out slow with not much change…then after 4 chiropractic adjustments he started to come around, sleep better, stand straighter, feel better, and have hope that chiropractic can help.

As it stands he had to go on a work trip and will be back at the end of the week. This is not ideal so we will see.

I guess the point is this…We always want to try the more conservative, less expensive chiropractic adjustments first when it comes to treating bulging and herniated cervical and lumbar discs. But we have a Plan B if we need it, Nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 or DRX9000c (cervical decompression system).

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.

More Posts - Website

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