Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Don’t Have Pain- But I have Constant Numbness and Tingling in my Lower Legs. Can Decompression help?

Short answer: Yes. Possibly. The first step with any case we take on is to do a thorough work up to determine where and what the problem is. This usually includes checking range of motion, and doing orthopedic and neurological test specifically for the lumbar spine. This combined with any x-rays, MRI, and CT reports and learning more about the patients exact symptoms and restrictions in daily activities will help us determine our course of action.

We have been able to help more people than we ever thought we could using the Drx 9000Non surgical Decompression treatment. It has truly been a wonderful addition to our Glastonbury practice. To learn more about non surgical treatments for lower back pain visit www.CTBackDr.com

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is spinal decompression only for people in severe pain or can I get treatments for prevention.

Its no secret in my office I do a decompression session with the Drx9000 one time per quarter. I have no back issues but I do it for prevention. It’s a known fact that over tme your discs flatten and lose hydration and your back starts to get degeneration. Doing the decompression helps keep the discs healthy and hydrated preventing arthritis and degeneration.

On top of doing a regular decompression session I of course get adjusted by my chiropractor, Dr. Gill.

So if you are looking to maintain your back or prevent any future back problems call our office at 633-8756. We can tailor a low cost maintenance plan for your spine.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

I have tried everything for my lower back pain, Surgery is my next step...

We recently recieved this email from a patient who was suffering with lower back pain:

Lumbar Spondylolisthesis: Usually involves slippage of the fifth lumbar vertebra over the top of the sacrum
Dear CT Spine and Disc Center, I have Spinal Stenosis and Spondylolisthesis. I have worked with a Chiropractor, done physical therapy and just had my 2nd epideral steroid injection on Tuesday, next step is surgery. Would this DRX program be able to assist me? - Dorie

Dear Dorie, You may be a candidate. As long as the Spondylolisthesis is stable you should be fine. Typically we determine this with a flexion and an extension x-ray (Basically take a picture of your back, then one with you bent forward and one with you bent back). This will show us if it's stable or unstable. An unstable spondylolisthesis will slide quite a bit upon body movement.

If it is unstable, there is no sense in trying to heal it with decompression because the disc may "slip out" again.

The good news is that most Spondylolisthesis' we see are because of degeneration and are stable. If this is the case the spinal decompression may be able to help.

The best thing to do would be to schedule a consultation with Dr Bellinger. Let us know where you may have had xrays or MRI's so we can request those reports. You can call us at 860-633-8756

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Image Source: www.eorthopod.com

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chronic Low Back Pain Is On The Rise…What Are Your Treatment Options?

Chronic Lower Back Pain Is on the RiseA new research study by Dr.Timothy Carey, a Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina reveals that chronic lower back pain may be increasing. This statistic was found in North Carolina and is being extrapolated for the entire USA.

Dr. Carey’s team discovered that the cost of treating chronic low back pain has not only increased, but that patients are simply seeking more services and treatment. Also they found that the number of people who suffer from long term lower back pain is increasing.

According to the study, 3.9 percent of North Carolina residents surveyed in 1992 said that they had debilitating, chronic back pain. That number rose to 10.2 percent by 2006, the researchers said.

Among people reporting ongoing, serious low back pain in 1992, about 73 percent said they had seen a physician, physical therapist or chiropractor at least once during the past year. In 2006, 84 percent said they had done so. However, the average number of health care visits remained the same, at just 19 a year.

The fraction of people with back pain who had ever had back surgery increased only slightly, from 22.3 percent in 1992 to 24.8 percent in 2006. Although the study’s aim was not to determine the cause of lower back pain, they ascertained that obesity and depression do play a role as well.

They point out that the cost of chronic lower back pain is a loss in productivity among workers, to the tune of $100 billion dollars a year. Dr. Carey states that “In one sense, we're all paying for back pain. It ends up being reflected in our health insurance premiums and our Social Security disability costs”

Also, lower back pain causes impairment. The National Health Interview Survey showed that neck and lower back pain increased from 3.2% in 1997 to 8.8% in 2006.

The findings also raise questions as to the effectiveness of current back pain treatments, Carey said. For example, another recent study he participated in showed that exercise remains underutilized as a means of treating chronic back and neck pain, though numerous studies show it can be effective.

A University of Washington health services researcher, Brook Martin, who specializes in studying spinal services, agrees that a doubling of chronic back pain over 14 years raises serious issues about current treatment approaches. "It makes us have to think about how to approach back pain," Martin said. "Chronic care models and clinical protocols and guidelines are not really the standard in treating back pain. This kind of highlights that this might be a real need."

In the February 2009 Issue of Connecticut Magazine, Margaret Farley Steele discusses the latest treatments for chronic lower back pain.

According the National Institutes of Health, lower back pain is the #1 reason why Americans seek medical attention, followed by headaches as the #2 reason.

In her article Steele talks with many medical professionals about the different treatments available for chronic lower back pain, including:

  • Having a neurostimulator implanted in the abdomen that provides a low wattage electrical stimulation through leads to the lower back area (lumbar spine). Dr.Loyd Saberski, of the Pain Treatment Centers of New Haven explains that the “burden is on the patient” when it comes to finding relief. Dr.Saberski also notes that anemia and depression also need to be treated. He also treats with physical therapy, and nutrition among more common treatments such as pain injections.
  • At the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicene Center in Trumbull CT, Dr. Gerald Girasole offers Physical Therapy and non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. He states that if patients don’t find relief, they are referred out for a lumbar MRI and surgery is considered
  • Dr. Edward Hargus, a pain management specialist in Norwich states that most patients that experience Low Back Pain will get better in 6-8 weeks. He states that “ I see bigger and bigger back operations and poorer results all the time” He further states that stress can aggravate a chronic pain problem.
  • Dr. Matthew Bellinger, a chiropractor in Glastonbury uses non surgical spinal decompression at the CT Spine and Disc Center. These treatments take 4-6 weeks and help to rehydrate the discs in the lumbar spine.

The Chronic Pain Cycle Involves Bouts of Anxiety and DepressionSteele goes on to reveal that with all these different treatment approaches the state of Connecticut received a “B” grade in regards to pain policies set by the University of Wisconsin’s Pain and Policy Studies Group. “The researchers examined how well a state restricted unlawful use of medications while making them available for patients needing them, and they looked for pain-management training guidelines.

With the advent of technology new treatments for lower back pain are coming out everyday. Yes, chronic lower back pain is a real problem, one that we must continue to research everyday.


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Friday, February 13, 2009

Non Surgical Spinal Decompression - How is this different from the Traction I tried?

Non surgical spinal decompression is very different from lumbar traction. In fact, I get asked this question all the time at CT Spine and Disc Center. Traction is basically a stretching of your spine. Decompression creates a vacuum effect in the spine. It has a traction component to it so it stretches your spine slightly opening up the nerve holes but it also suctions the discs back in place. Over a sequence of treatments the disc is then able to stay in place keeping the spinal canal and nerve canals free of interference. In our office we use the Drx9000 and with this protocol a patient wears an upper and a lower harness. This effectively takes the muscles out of the equation, so we can focus on the disc level.

Traction for the Lumbar Spine will stretch the lower back and provide temporary pain reliefYou see, traction will often give some short term relief but soon after treatment gravity takes hold again and the spine squishes back to where it was.

Also, when traction pulls its often a straight linear pull that may cuase the muscles to spasm and prevent the adequate stretch. Whereas, decompression pulls in a cyclical fashion (pull and relax, pull and relax). In addition there is a feedback mechanism which can detect muscle spasm. If there is spasm the machine relaxes the pull; when the muscles relax it can pull again.

The Drx 9000 Non Surgical Spinal Decompression
Because of these features the Drx9000 Spinal Decompression device will pull at much more force then traction but because it keeps the muscles and ligaments relaxed, not only will it feel comfortable it is able to create decompression or in others words suction the disc back into place. To find out if you qualify for spinal decompression call (860) 633-8756.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Friday, February 6, 2009

Oh, My Aching…Leg?

Eliminate Back And Leg Pain With Spinal Decompression And Advanced Chiropractic Care
Certain low back conditions give rise to more than just low back pain. For example, leg pain can be more intense than low back pain, even though the cause of the leg pain is coming from the low back. When this happens, many patients complain that they have “sciatica,” which refers to radiating pain that starts in the low back and extends down into the leg. When the intensity of leg pain is worse than the low back, it can make patients wonder, “…where is my problem really coming from?”

To understand this better, a short “anatomy lesson” is appropriate. The spine can be divided into two halves, front and back. The structures in the front half include the larger, heavier bones called vertebral bodies and the shock absorbing cushions that lie between the vertebral bodies called the intervertebral disks. The disk is like a jelly donut where the center is liquid-like and the outer portion is a tough, criss-cross pattern cartilage arranged like the rings on a tree stump. There are also ligaments that hold the vertebrae and disks tightly together. The back half of the spine includes the spinal cord, nerve roots, as well as the small joints of the back called facet joints. Every movable joint has a joint capsule that helps lubricate the joint and limits the amount of movement, along with surrounding ligaments. The larger, heavier vertebral bodies and shock absorbing disks carry the majority of the weight (approximately 80%) while the smaller facet joints carry much less weight (only 20%) but are more responsible for guiding the movements of our back.

When leg pain is present, it can be caused by either a pinched nerve, or, an inflamed facet joint.

When a nerve is pinched, the cause is usually from the intervertebral disk where the jelly-like center leaks out and presses on the nerve that goes down the leg, commonly referred to as a “herniated disk with sciatica.” This type of pain is quite specific, easy to describe and often extends below the knee to the ankle or foot. It can include muscle weakness, numbness in certain areas of the leg, and bending forward increases low back and leg pain while bending backwards reduces the leg pain (and sometimes the LBP).

When a facet joint capsule tears (technically, called a “sprain”), the pain is “referred” down the leg in a generalized, non-specific manner, usually described as a “deep ache,” often hard to describe and usually does not go below the level of the knee. Here, it feels better to bend forward and worse to bend backwards, of which neither movement changes or affects the leg in a specific way. Disk related leg pain carries a potential for surgery if all non-surgical approaches fail, while facet joint referred leg pain rarely requires invasive treatments or surgery.

The good news is that both of these sources of low back and leg pain are very treatable with DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression or Chiropractic care! The important point to remember is that obtaining prompt treatment, when symptoms first appear is best – as waiting and hoping it will subside on its own often results in a longer treatment course and is less satisfying for all concerned.




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