Whether you just recently fell and injured your back, or have been suffering long term with pain in your neck, arms, legs, shoulders or elsewhere, you have options. At Spinal Rehab Associates, we take great pride in providing the finest care to each and every patient. We take the time to educate our patients about our techniques so you will understand how our treatments can help. Three of the most common types of back pain include spinal disc ruptures, acute facet (joint) syndrome as well as spinal stenosis are discussed in detail in this website. We have included information below about the different chiropractic services offered in our Chesterfield and Columbus offices to treat these problems; Cox Flexion Distraction, spinal decompression, infrared light therapy, electric muscle stim, ultrasound, hot and cold therapy, "Repex" range of motion therapy, "Med-X" back strengthening and nutrition.
While we offer this information for your review, we are always pleased to answer any questions you have about our chiropractic services. Please call us at 586-756-7671 or email us at [email protected] if you have any questions!
Our office has provided help to thousands of people who suffer from spinal disc ruptures. A spinal discs can be compared to an onion slice. The onion slice contains several rings that continue to the core. Spinal discs feature wound rings of cartilage that are similar to the rings of an onion slice. The cartilage rings, called "annular rings," wrap around the nucleus of the disc and hold the nucleus in the center of the disc.
Movements such as twisting, bending and lifting can cause excessive torque on the annular rings, causing them to crack and tear. This will cause the nucleus to move and shift, usually backward toward the spinal cord and the nerve roots. If this should happen to the disc in the lower back, patients may experience lower back pain, leg pain, numbness or weakness in the legs. Pain can intensify with sitting, coughing, sneezing or bowel movements. Disc ruptures in the neck can result in neck and arm pain, as well as weakness and numbness in the arm and hand.
Once diagnosed, a treatment plan including Cox flexion distraction, spinal decompression, galvanic current, nutritional supplementation, electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound, light therapy as well as Med-X back strengthening may be recommended.
Acute Facet Syndrome
This type of back pain is the most common condition that is treated in our office. Sharp, stabbing or knifing are the key words used to describe the type of pain this condition creates. Sudden onset is typical and the cause is usually benign. Patients often say "Doc...I just bent over the sink to brush my teeth and I felt a twinge in my lower back".
The spinal joints, called facet joints, can jam against each other triggering an irritation and subsequent inflammation. This is a rapid, progressing process that can lead to disabling back pain within minutes to hours.
What happens during the next 12 hours is critical!
Many patients make the mistake of applying heat and resorting to bed rest. The reality is, this condition requires immediate ice therapy and mobilization of the affected vertebra. At our office, "Pro-Adjuster"...a form of rapid mobilization, "Repex"...a form of slow mobilization, electric muscle stimulus with ice therapy to reduce inflammation, stretching exercises and back bracing are the most common therapies used to treat this condition. Once the patient is 80% improved, the Med-X system of back strengthening may be recommended.
A condition caused by advanced degenerative changes of the spine. Pressures to the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots result in debilitating neck or lower back pain and usually involves the extremities.
The compartment spaces on the inside of the spine become narrow as the spinal discs become thinner. Combine this with ligament thickening and osteoarthritis of the spine, and you get a condition known as spinal stenosis. The structures that occupy these compartment spaces, namely the spinal cord and the spinal nerve roots, become compressed that lead to symptomology.
Creating space in the spinal compartments is the primary challenge the doctor is confronted with. "Pro-Adjuster" rapid mobilization, Cox flexion distraction, automated decompression, "Repex" flexion therapy, muscle stimulus with heat therapy and Med-X back strengthening are the most common techniques recommended for this condition.
Cox Flexion Distraction
It is hard to argue that Cox flexion distraction is the most effective and conservative treatment for spinal disc ruptures and spinal stenosis. This technique was invented by Dr. James Cox of Fort Wayne, Indiana. This technique utilizes level specific, manually delivered spinal decompression.
Unlike most of the advertized decompression therapies you see today, this technique utilizes a hands on approach that allows for spine level specific treatment of the affected disc rupture.
The treatment hand of the doctor is placed on the vertebra above the disc rupture and the operating hand is used to move the table downward, creating flexion of the spine coupled with a joint specific decompression. Unlike automated decompression tables that provide a generalized decompression to the entire lumbar spine, the manually applied Cox flexion distraction technique affords the doctor pin point precision to treat a specific level of disc rupture and spinal stenosis.
After our patients are treated with the Cox method, we recommend 1 or 2 units (15 or 30 minutes) of additional decompression in our extended therapy department. This additional treatment allows for general spinal disc pressure reductions and may reduce the healing time associated with spinal disc ruptures. Each spinal disc case is unique to the individual and a treatment plan will be recommended based on the subjective complaints of the patient and the objective findings of the doctor.
The Pro-Adjuster is the most up to date, technologically advanced equipment available in the chiropractic profession. This technique is painless and utilizes computer analysis to test and treat spinal misalignments using a gentle repetitive mechanical force to help mobilize fixated spinal joints known as facet syndrome.
This treatment utilizes low frequency sound waves to provide a form of deep penetrating heat. Heating pads that are applied to the surface of the body provide only minimal penetration as opposed to the effects of therapeutic ultrasound. This technique is used to treat pain associated with inflammation such as bursitis, tendonitis and muscle spasm.
Electric Muscle Stimulus:
Muscle Stimulus: This therapy utilizes electric current. Electrodes are placed in specific locations on the back and neck and a gentle pulsating wave of electric current is administered to reduce muscle spasm. For the new patient that may be experiencing severe pain, a specific type of electric current will be used after the adjustment to help relieve muscle spasm and pain. For established patients, muscle stimulus should be performed before the chiropractic adjustment to relax spinal muscles thus making the spinal adjustment more effective. This treatment is generally accompanied with a moist heat treatment or ice therapy depending on the diagnosis.
Galvanism is a continuous one directional current of low voltage that is used in acute conditions of sciatica or leg pain. Sciatica is usually the symptomatic result of a spinal disc rupture. Positive galvanism has a sedative effect in that it reduces pain, decreases hemorrhage (bleeding) and reduces inflammation. Negative galvanism increases circulation and reduces pain in chronic conditions.
Infrared and Low Level Laser Light Therapy:
Ultraviolet and Low Level Laser Light Therapy is effective for patients that have symptoms of injured tissue. Light therapy utilizes deep penetrating light waves which stimulate the internal components of the injured tissues cells. The light stimulates the cells to produce a chemical called ATP. This chemical is responsible for cellular regeneration and provides effective tissue rehabilitation without any side effects. This form of therapy is very effective for people who suffer with tendonitis, bursitis, inflammation, swelling, sciatica, headaches and has worked wonders on people with peripheral diabetic neuropathy of the hands and feet.
Med-X Back Strengthening:
This program is designed to strengthen the core musculature of the lower back and abdomen that support the spinal column. These exercises begin when the patient has realized approximately fifty percent improvement both subjectively and objectively, of their lower back problem. To achieve long lasting results, especially for recurring back problems, it is important to implement the following 3 step program namely spinal mobilization followed by spinal decompression and then spinal strengthening!