Tag Archives: pain

Cervical Decompression with the DRX9000c

drx9000c san francisco
DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

We have been providing treatment in San Francisco for herniated discs in the neck for over 20 years now. About 8 years ago we began to incorporate nonsurgical cervical decompression with the DRX9000c into the mix.

Since then, cervical decompression has become the gold standard for the nonsurgical treatment of neurovascular compression syndromes such as bulging and herniated cervical discs, cervical stenosis, disc degeneration, and facet syndrome.

Often times,  patients are scheduled for risky neck surgery when they decide to try the DRX9000c first at the recommendation of their medical doctor. Other times, we discover the cervical disc herniation when we send an unresponsive chiropractic patient out for an MRI. Some patients find us while conducting their own research for nonsurgical drug-less options for neck pain, which may or may not be radiating into the arms and hands.

Neck pain that radiates into the upper extremities can also lead to weakness up grip strength and disability. It’s best to seek treatment right away before it gets worse.

We have seen miracles at our spinal decompression clinic with the DRX9000c. Most recently,  a dentists that was having to use a wheel chair and could not work, is now walking on his own and reports a 70% recovery at about the half way point.

While cervical decompression is not a Magic Bullet…it is the most advanced technology in the marketplace today for herniated and bulging discs.

Not all patients qualify medically for the DRX9000c. The best thing to do if you feel you are a candidate is to find a spinal decompression doctor near you.

If you live or work near downtown San Francisco you can visit us at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center. Simply call 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation and demonstration of the DRX9000c.  

 

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: How do you know?

herniated disc treatment in San Francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Causing Sciatica

Low back pain (LBP) can be localized and contained to only the low back area or, it can radiate pain down the leg. This distinction is important as the former, LBP only, is often less complicated and carries a more favorable prognosis for complete recovery. In fact, a large part of our history and examination is focused at this differentiation. This weeks’s Health Update is going to look at the different types of leg pain that can occur with different LBP conditions.

            We’ve all heard of the word “sciatica” and it (usually) is loosely used to describe everything from LBP arising from the joints in the back, the sacroiliac joint, from the muscles of the low back as well as a pinched nerve from a ruptured disk. Strictly speaking, the term “sciatica” should ONLY be used when the sciatic nerve is pinched.  The sciatic nerve is made up of five smaller nerves (L4, 5, S1, 2, 3) that arise from the spine and join together to form one large nerve (about the size of our pinky) called the sciatic nerve – like five small rivers merging into one BIG river. Sciatica occurs when any one of the small nerves (L4-S3) or, when the sciatic nerve itself, gets compressed or irritated. This can be, and often is caused from a lumbar disk herniation (the “ruptured disk”), a mis-positioned vertebra (such as a forward slip of the vertebra called “spondylolisthesis”), pressure from an arthritic spur off the spine where the nerve exits (“spinal stenosis”), or, from a tumor near or around the nerve. A term called “pseudosciatica” (a non-disk cause) includes a pinch from the piriformis muscle where the nerve passes through the pelvis (in the “cheek” or, the buttocks), which has been commonly referred to as “wallet sciatica” as sitting on the wallet in the back pocket is often the cause. When this occurs, the term “peripheral neuropathy” is the most accurate term to use. Other “pseudosciatic” causes include referred pain from the facet joints which is described by the patient as a “deep ache” inside the leg, or from a metabolic condition where the nerve is affected such as diabetes and other conditions. Here again, the term, “neuropathy” is the better label when diabetes, hypothyroid, lead poisoning, alcohol toxicity and/or others is the culprit. Direct trauma like a bruise to the buttocks from falling or hitting the nerve during an injection into the buttocks can also trigger “sciatica.”

            The symptoms of sciatica include low back pain, buttocks pain, back of the thigh, calf and/or foot pain and/or numbness-tingling. If the nerve is compressed hard enough, muscle weakness can occur making it hard to stand up on the tip toes creating a limp when walking. In the clinic, we will raise the straight leg and if pinched, sharp pain can occur with as little as 20-30° due to the nerve being stretched as the leg is raised. If pain occurs anywhere between 30 and 70° of elevation of either the same side leg and/or the opposite leg, this constitutes a positive test for sciatica (better termed, “nerve root tension”). When a disk is herniated into the nerve, bending the spine backwards can move the disk away and off the nerve resulting in relief, which is very diagnostic of a herniated disk. Having a patient walk on their toes and then heels and watching for foot drop as well as testing the reflexes, the sensation with a sharp object, and testing the reflexes at the knee and Achilles tendon can give us clues if there is nerve damage. The GOOD NEWS is that chiropractic methods can resolve this problem FREQUENTLY, thus avoiding unnecessary surgery! So, check with us FIRST, before electing for surgery!!!

            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back 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 an appointment for sciatica 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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Spinal Decompression Therapy in San Francisco

We have been providing spinal decompression therapy in San Francisco for about 8 years now. The machine we use is the DRX9000, which treats the lumbar spine. We also have a DRX9000c cervical decompression system.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

In addition to the DRX9000 systems, we also  incorporate chiropractic adjustments by hand or with an instrument, deep tissue therapeutic laser, massage, core exercises, stretches, and lifestyle modifications as needed.

Our typical spinal decompression patient will have single or multiple level bulging or herniated discs which are evident on MRI. There is often times associated spinal and disc degeneration. Usually, the patient has already tried other forms of back or neck pain treatments such as cortisone, physical therapy, acupuncture, or even failed back surgery.

It is also not unusual for our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Clinic to be the first place a herniated disc patient comes for help. We have an MRI facility directly across the street from our Embarcadero Center location, so we are able to order MRI and have the findings within 24 hours.

The treatment protocol for spinal decompression is anywhere from 18-30 sessions depending on the nature and severity of the neck or low back condition. We are usually able to start right away and the sessions are about an hour long.

Insurance does not cover spinal decompression, but they will often cover some of the ancillary charges such as chiropractic, massage, ice/heat, exercises and exams.  We have payment plans for those that need help.

If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc or a bulging disc and are not finding the relief you need, you may be a candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 or DRX9000c.

If you live or work near downtown San Francisco we would love to meet with you to discuss your treatment options. If you have an MRI please bring it with you. If not, we can order one if necessary.

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

 

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 Deep Tissue Laser Therapy for Herniated Discs

decompression therapy san francisco
Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been providing treatment for herniated discs in San Francisco for 20 years now. About 7 years ago we began to incorporate nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into the mix. A few years later we added cold laser therapy, and more recently, Class IV Deep Tissue Laser Therapy.

Both spinal decompression and deep tissue laser therapy are considered major advancements in the nonsurgical treatment of herniated and bulging discs. We often use both together to achieve favorable outcomes…even with the most difficult of cases.

Classic herniated disc symptoms such as sciatica, low back pain, leg pain, numbness and tingling, leg weakness, arm pain, loss of grip strength, neck pain, and numbness and tingling in the arms and hands, all, more often than not,  respond favorably to decompression therapy and therapeutic pain laser or both.

The spinal decompression we use to treat disc herniations in the neck is the DRX9000c. It is actually connected to the DRX9000. The deep tissue laser we use is the LiteCure LCT-1000. A state-of-the-art medical device that is taking the world by storm.

The beauty of these technologies is they can be used on most people. They are very gentle and safe. Even when a patient is unable to handle exercise, chiropractic, or physical therapy…they can always handle laser, and often handle spinal decompression.

What this does is enable us to initiate treatment right away so we can start lowering pain and inflammation levels…often times when nothing is working…even pain medications.

Spinal decompression and deep tissue therapeutic laser with the LCT-1000 may just be the answer you are looking for.

If you live or work near downtown San Francisco you can visit us. If you don’t, I recommend you do a Google search for DRX9000, DRX9000c (if cervical) and LiteCure Deep Tissue Laser, in your area. Example “DRX9000 San Francisco”.

If you would like a complimentary consultation at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center…please call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post. 

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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Low Back Pain & Patient Education

Eben Davis Chiropractor
Back Pain Talk San Francisco

Patient education is a very important aspect of caring for our patients. In fact, it can be one of the most important aspects of care. For example, when patients present with a brand new injury and pain levels are off the map, it’s quite common for that acute suffering patient to inappropriately think that, “I’m going to die… this hurts so much!” Hence, one of the very first things we do as chiropractors is to determine what structures are generating the pain so we can tell you!

Once you have an understanding of where the pain is coming from and why it hurts so bad, then you can be reassured that it’s not life threatening or dangerous. Also, at this acute point of time, the patient often unknowingly puts heat on the back, often for hours. This is the WORST thing you can do as the area is already swollen and putting heat on a swollen area draws more blood and fluids into the area.  It’s literally like throwing gas on a fire. So, receiving proper information from us such as, put ice on the area for 15-20 minutes on and off several times in a row to “PUMP” the swelling out of the area will make complete sense.

Also, did you know that 2/3rds of our body’s weight is above the waist? That means, when a 150# person bends over, they are “lifting” 100#! That’s one of several reasons why bending over can be so dangerous. To “fix” that, squat by bending the knees keeping the back straight and keep objects that you might be lifting close to your body as that weight literally weighs 10x more when your arms are straight and you’re lifting. When you can’t squat and have to bend over, bend the knees, arch your back (literally “stick your butt out”), and bend over at your hip joints – DON’T use your back. You’ll need to practice that one a few times before it’s fully understood.

As your back pain improves, we will review these important self-help approaches and add new “tricks of the trade” like certain stretches, some strengthening and perhaps some balance exercises.  Did you know that your thigh muscles shrink just by sleeping overnight?  It’s true!  When you wake up in the morning, your thigh muscles are smaller than when you went to bed. Well, this same muscle shrinkage (technically called “atrophy”) occurs in the lower back and hips, so strengthening exercises are REALLY IMPORTANT! Just think, if your muscles shrink overnight just from laying in bed, what about when you might have been told to use bed rest for several days or more? There potentially is a lot of muscle shrinkage and weakness that can occur in a relatively short amount of time and therefore, strengthening exercises also need to be taught in order to regain your strength so you can more safely do your activities.

Now what about back pain prevention? What methods to you think will help us NOT get low back pain? That’s right – managing weight! If your BMI (body mass index or, the ratio between your height and weight) is >25, you need to trim down a bit (or more). Go on line and SEARCH BMI, and pick one of many “BMI Calculators” to figure out your BMI. So, what do chiropractors know about weight loss?  Did you know the chiropractic college curriculum includes more nutritional courses than most medical schools? We will help you find a way to lose weight – whether its calorie restriction, a special diet like no/low salt, gluten-free, or a diabetes-specific diet. Another prevention trick for the low back (actually, whole body!) is to STAY FIT! Make aerobic exercise and even a light weight lifting program part or your daily ritual. Other methods help too, so come in and let us guide you in this journey to better health!

            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your health-care services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back 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 back pain and spinal decompression assessment with a San Francisco Spinal Decompression Doctor 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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Can Spinal Decompression Help Lumbar Stenosis?

We have been helping patients with lumbar stenosis at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center since 1994.

lumbar stenosis treatment san francisco
Sost Tissue and Bony Lumbar Stenosis

Lumbar Stenosis by definition means that there is a physical obstruction in either the spinal canal where the spinal cord is, or in the nerve channel (foramina) where the nerve roots exit before they make the journey out to the body. The latter is referred to as Foraminal Stenosis.

What happens is the bulging disc or spinal degeneration narrows the canal and puts pressure on the spinal cord or nerve root. This can lead to symptoms such as sciatica, numbness or tingling in the legs, leg weakness, night pain, foot drop, and back pain.

There are two basic causes of lumbar stenosis:

1. Bony stenosis from spinal and disc degeneration (includes spinal ligament degeneration and calcification).

2. Soft tissue stenosis from bulging and herniated discs and well as inflamed ligaments and soft tissues.

Spinal decompression like the DRX9000 work best if the cause of your lumbar stenosis is a bulging disc or a herniated disc. However, spinal decompression can also help bony stenosis as well.

Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to enlarge the disc space, elongate the spine, strengthen the spinal ligaments, re-position the injured disc, and create a negative pressure which help to re-establish nutrient exchange between the spinal disc, the surrounding tissues, and the blood stream.

To the extent the above is possible, depending on the level of severity, your age, and any complications, various stages of healing can take place…all the way to complete recovery.

Some stenosis patients only have a single disc herniation…but it is a big one…putting pressure right on a spinal nerve…most commonly at L5-S1. Well…this kind of case stands a really good chance at a complete recovery..especially if the patient is young without much spinal decay. If the herniation was small the chances would be even better.

Some patients have multiple levels of involvement, with disc herniations at several spinal levels, along with disc and spinal degeneration, enlarged ligaments from calcium deposits and inflammation, and bone spurs. A case like this is much more difficult to treat…but still there is much potential for improvement.

The DRX9000 can pump life into an unhealthy, degenerated spine and bring herniated and bulging discs back to life. Once a spine starts to regain lost motion and the discs re-hydrate…anything is possible.

It’s also possible to have a patient present with bony stenosis that is beyond help. There is just so much spinal degeneration and the disc are completely calcified. It;s possible…but this is rare. It’s mostly seen in the elderly.

So…can spinal decompression with the DRX9000 help you? Maybe.

I would certainly find out more about spinal decompression before I considered back surgery. Heck…you can always have back surgery if decompression fails. But even if spinal decompression does not help you are still left whole. Nothing cut-out. No cement. No metal.

It’s worth a shot.

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

 

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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