Studies show that disc disease is the most common cause of back pain, costing Americans more than $65 billion a year. Approximately 700,000 Americans undergo spinal surgery each year, and costs start at around $25,000 and can be over $100,000 for surgically implanted rods or other fusion devices. Insurance companies may not cover all expenses, so patients end up paying for a large chunk of procedures that may give them very little hope of a normal life in the future. A recent 2006 study in the Journal Spine found that the use of implanted hardware in spinal fusion surgeries for low back pain does not improve outcomes and carries an increased risk of complications. Dr. Gary M Franklin, medical director of the Washington Department of Labor and Industry, which funded the study, said: “It was clear that the devices were not benefiting patients.” He added that “the high rate of long-term disability in all patients, regardless of whether or not hardware was used, was of little benefit. This procedure doesn’t do much to help people.” When surgery doesn’t help, it is often diagnosed as Failed Back Surgery Syndrome or FBSS for short, which is an actual diagnosis.
Today, advances in spinal traction have provided promising results for patients with herniated disc and degenerative disc disease. Non-surgical disc decompression is one such increasingly advertised treatment that has brought initial relief to many people with debilitating back pain. However, decompression/traction often only provides temporary results, as gravity will continue to re-compress the structurally weakened disc and injured areas of the spine over time. Subluxation, abnormal spinal angles, and loss of the normal lordotic curves of the spine will gradually collapse with gravity once more. I have received or returned patients who have spent thousands of dollars on decompression therapy only to have their problem and pain return within three to six months. I started calling this Failed Back Decompression Syndrome or FBDS!
It is very important to know that the muscles support and maintain the curves of the spine. Ninety percent of disc problems are caused by postural disruption of the normal lordotic curves of the cervical and lumbar spine. Therefore, without correction of the postural curve with muscle rehabilitation, the effects of decompression/traction will be lost over time and the degenerative process will again advance. To permanently correct the lumbar spine, at least 60% correction of the normal lordotic curve of the cervical spine must be achieved. This is the reason why, for many cases of acute lumbar disc, lumbar disc decompression is performed only during the acute pain episode. Once pain reduction occurs, the patient is decompressed from the cervical spine downward to correct and restore the cervical curve, the original cause. In other words, you should fix the neck with postural rehabilitation and curve correction, to stabilize and enhance the benefits of spinal decompression of the lumbar spine.
The Pettibon Chiropractic Spinal Rejuvenation System goes beyond simple decompression with the Spinal Rejuvenation Table (SRT) that uses whole body vibration (WBV). With increased muscle contractility that occurs with WBV, muscle fatigue occurs 50% faster, allowing spasms and splinting muscles to relax, allowing for faster decompression of the compressed disc and greater pain relief. Essentially, this reduces decompression time from the standard 30 minutes of traditional methods to 15 minutes or less using WBV. Whole Body Vibration was developed over 40 years ago in the Soviet Union to train their Olympic athletes and rehabilitate cosmonauts returning from outer space who commonly suffered from muscle atrophy and bone loss due to zero gravity. With the correct vibrational frequency, WBV has been shown to increase endocrine activity. Growth hormone increased by 361%, testosterone increased by 7%, cortisol, the fat-producing stress hormone, decreased by 32%, blood flow increased by 100%, and back pain decreased by 66%.
Traditional rehab involves performing resistance exercises through a range of motion (ie, weights, machines, bands, etc.), which only work your fast-twitch muscles. Exercising your fast-twitch muscles will make your disc stronger, but it won’t change the structure or eliminate the underlying cause of your disc problem. These muscles will help you carry your groceries better as your spinal structure continues to degenerate and your body becomes ill. The spinal muscles that support the curves of the spine and determine your posture and health are slow-twitch postural muscles. These slow twitch muscles require isometric (sustained resistance) exercise to strengthen and restore postural health. Once the spine is sufficiently decompressed, the specific body weight of the head, shoulders, and hips, uniquely tailored to each patient, are essential parts of a corrective isometric exercise program designed to predictably restore postural alignment. and optimal spinal cord, permanently!
The Pettibon Chiropractic Spine Correction System in conjunction with the Pettibon Spine Rejuvenation Table (SRT), which utilizes whole-body vibration and decompression, is one of the only systems proven, research-based evidence, to achieve predictable disc rehydration, structural correction, with neurological and physiological restoration of health and function, that sticks.
At Gold Coast Chiropractic Center we are dedicated to reaching, teaching and touching as many people as possible, bringing hope and restoring health to those for whom standard medical treatment and ordinary chiropractic care have proven insufficient.