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Fri, Jul 25, 2014

KESTNER: Restoration of spinal function is often possible for chronic cases

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Back pain, pinched nerves and disability linked to spinal degeneration or injury are common problems among people over the age of 30.

It is likely that every reader knows at least one person who has become disabled early in life due to chronic spinal problems.

In many cases of chronic spinal functional issues, restoration of the spinal function is now possible.

Many times a patient will have already had X-rays or MRI when they come to my office. They often have been told that they have arthritis or degeneration in their spine that cannot be treated without surgery.

In some cases patients have been told by other doctors that there is nothing to do but learn to live with the pain.
Often that is simply not true.

Instead of recommending that patients learn to live with their pain I try to help them learn to live without it. That may mean specific types of non-surgical treatment options, possibly new types of training that they have not tried that can alleviate the pain, lifestyle modifications to improve their mobility or alleviate aggravating activities or sometimes even nutritional changes.

Recently a patient was referred to our office by their primary care physician for chronic lower back problems. He was referred to see if he would benefit from our non-surgical spinal disc decompression treatment protocol.

After reviewing his images, and having him undergo a physical examination, it was determined that he was a good candidate for the treatment.

He underwent 20 sessions of spinal disc decompression treatment using the HillDT spinal disc decompression table. We also gave him training in activities to reduce the aggravating factors affecting his spine and improve his core strength and flexibility.

Because the treatment is designed to help restore the spinal disc height and fluid balance he was also directed to take particular nutrients that are helpful in healing connective tissue as well as increase his fluid intake during the treatment series.

At the end of the 10-week series, his back complaints had resolved and his level of functioning was greatly improved. He is taking no medication for his back at this point. He expressed great satisfaction with the treatment.

Obviously every case is unique and some patients are better candidates for treatment such as the HillDT non-surgical spinal decompression therapy than others. In some cases the treatment is not an option.

Several things are common to many of the patients I examine that complain of chronic neck or back pain.

In many cases deconditioning is present. This means the muscles that must maintain posture as well as accomplish movement and activities are weaker than they should be. This happens as a result of overall sedentary lifestyle as well as pain-avoidance behavior after an injury.

After something has happened to injure the spine that causes pain, people naturally avoid doing things the increase the level of pain. This often means they become even more inactive and grow weaker. As they become weaker, the problem becomes more chronic.

Most chronic spinal problems have multiple factors that are aggravating the problem. That is why many efforts to improve chronic neck or back problems are not successful.

The treatments may be helpful in addressing one aspect of the problem, but unless the problem is successfully treated in such a way that all aspects of the condition are addressed, the result will be failure.

In many cases a patient will ask me when they come to my clinic, “Is this a muscle, joint or a nerve problem?” By the time they come to see me the answer is often, “Yes, to all of the above.” Spinal problems rapidly advance to involve muscle, ligament, and nerve tissue.

Successful treatment of chronic spinal problems will usually involve treatment directed to restore spinal joint function, decompressing the spinal discs, alleviating pressure on the spinal nerve roots, restoration of normal flexibility and range of motion of the spine and restoration of normal muscle strength and tone.

This approach takes time, specialized equipment and a thorough understanding of the spine.

This is why so many patients will become frustrated that their usual regimen of taking pain pills, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory medications isn’t working. None of these pills is helpful in accomplishing the steps outlined above. Yet, this is the only treatment that patients often receive.

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back, chiropractic, column, doctor, dr., kestner, mark, pain, spinal, spine, treatment
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