Spinal Decompression & Deep Tissue Laser For Disc Herniations
Posted Mar 03 2010 12:00am
San Francisco Spinal Decompression Doctor Comments:
We have been helping patients with cervical and lumbar disc herniations for 18 years now at Executive Express Chiropractic (formerly Front Street Chiropractic). That's a long time and much has changed as far as what we know about disc herniations and how to treat them.
Up until about 5 years ago, our treatment approach consisted of chiropractic adjustments, cervical or lumbar traction, deep tissue massage, acupuncture, special exercises, ice/heat, and ergonomic and home care modifications.
We actually got very dood results with our treatment and prevented many back and neck surgeries from happening. But there was something missing. There was a sub-set of patients with herniated discs in the neck, or herniated discs in the low back, that just did not respond. Most patients liked the treatment, and knew we were giving it our best shot...but it just didn't help. Many of the patients would feel much better in other areas of their body from what we did...but the cheif complaint from the herniated or bulging disc was still there.
At this point we would refer out for surgical consultation, but about 70% of the patients had already had a surgical consultation...so it was cortisone, pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, back or neck surgery, try something else, or live with the pain...very frustrating.
Well...that all changed about 5 years ago when we purchased our first Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression machine ...a DRX9000 (take the spinal decompression guided tour ) for lumbar disc herniations. We were so pleased with the treatment outcomes that we purchased a DRX9000c cervical decompression machine. In the past 5 years we have halped hundreds of patients with cervical and lumbar disc herniations return to more normal lives with decompression therapy. We now have a next step if chiropractic fails to deliver. Some patients actually choose it as a first step.
But here's the deal...Nonsurgical spinal decompression will not help every single person that does it...just the overwhelming majority of them. At Executive Express Chiropractic we feel we have mastered the set-up and decision making process as far as decompression therapy is concerned...we have become better with time...and our results reflect this.
Now, fast forward to the year 2010, and the new kid on the block is the LiteCure LCT-1000, class IV Deep Tissue Laser . Class IV lasers are much more powerful than the class III cold lasers that have been around for a while. We have actually had a class III laser for many years but did dot use it very often, because frankly...it just didn't seem to do much.
The LiteCure Deep Tissue Laser on the other hand gives immediate pain relief. It penetrates very deep...down into the injured and inflammed tissue layers and stimulates them in the direction of health. Injured cells are much more receptive to the photons of laser light therapy than healthy cells. So the laser treatment goes where it is needed most, which is part of the reason it is so effective.
So now we have the one-two punch of Nonsurgical spinal decompression and therapeutic class IV laser to help manage herniated disc patients. In addition, we incorporate Active Release Techniques (ART), as well as everything else mentioned above.
Sure...some patients will still require surgery (and some are disqualified from even trying it)...because often times there are bone spurs in the spinal canal or spinal foramina that are just beyond the scope of decompression therapy or laser. Or there is too much spinal instability or a previous fusion surgery. But this is rare...at least at our clinic. When you are dealing with a patient base of elderly patients this becomes more common.