Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pain may be defined as either an acute or chronic condition that can interfere with an individual’s overall mental state and daily activities such as work, recreation, and relaxation.

Acute Back Pain

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines acute or short-term low back pain as generally lasting from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back or from a disorder such as arthritis. Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues. Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight.1

Chronic Back Pain

The Mayo Clinic defines chronic back pain as “nonspecific” long lasting, recurrent pain usually present for three months or more. Chronic back pain is nonspecific because in most cases the cause is unknown or difficult to pin down.2 The constant presence of chronic pain can not only affect a person’s physical well being, but may also affect a person’s emotional state. Chronic pain does not normally respond to the same treatments used for acute pain. Physical causes of chronic pain and symptoms such as sciatica can often be attributed to degenerative disc disease, herniated/bulging discs, and posterior facet syndrome.

1. “NINDS Back Pain Information.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Last Updated: April 24, 2007. Date Retrieved: May 11, 2007.

2. “Back Pain Guide.” Mayo -Tools for healthier lives. Date Created: May 12, 2006. Date Retrieved: May 11, 2007.

The DRX9000 True Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression System™ provides relief of pain and symptoms associated with herniated discs, bulging or protruding intervertebral discs, degenerative disc disease, posterior facet syndrome, and sciatica. It is a non-surgical and non-invasive therapy. The DRX9000™ works by applying forces to elongate the spine without causing the muscles guarding the spine to contract. This force is referred to as Spinal Decompression. The spinal elongation is maximized when paraspinal muscles, the muscles that guard the spine from injury, are relaxed. When paraspinal muscles relax, the DRX9000 Spinal Decompression forces spread apart the bony vertebra of the spine .

This relieves pressure on nerves and intervertebral discs. Where this spinal elongation occurs, pressure drops within the disc which facilitates movement of fluid, carrying nutrients and oxygen inside the disc.

Furthermore, the reduction in pressure can help draw in herniated disc fluids, reducing the size of the herniation. The technology required to apply spinal decompression therapy is extremely advanced.

The DRX9000 True Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression System™ utilizes high-speed treatment computers to calculate the logarithmic spinal decompression treatment curve for each patient. A servo-motor / servo amplifier takes the logarithmic curve and applies the forces to the patient. The servo-amplifier constantly checks (several thousand times per second) and corrects the servo-motor’s movement. With measurement devices inside the DRX9000™, changes in decompression forces experienced by each patient is monitored.

All of this data is constantly fed back into the treatment computers. The treatment computers continually calculate corrections and ensure the therapy is true to each patient’s logarithmic curve. This constant monitoring, measuring, and correcting process is called a Nested Closed-Loop Feedback System. This methodology is one of the hallmarks of the DRX9000™ technology.

Chiropractor NYC- Manhattan Physical therapy

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spinal Decompression NYC

Spinal decompresion-DRX 9000 NYC-

I read this great article today, It has an interesting point about MRI's and patient care. I want you to comment below.
I find that a MRI can provide important diagnostic information for patients that do not want to have back surgery but wants to get more information about his or her problem.
The more information you have about a specific condition the easier it is to treat.
Before I was a Chiropractor I worked as a MRI lab technician and worked with a Neuro Radiologist.

It is basically like looking into someones body and understanding what is mechanically wrong, Why should a Clinician or a patient get treatment without insight into their condition?
I also feel Digital Radiographs provide valuable information in deciding the appropriate course of treatment.

Pain relievers are helpful for the short term but ignoring your bodys signals is paramount to driving your car with the "check engine light" on and covering the light with black tape.
I work with a MD that is a Pain Management Specialist and often times patient need pain relief from pain relievers like Vicodin, Percoset and other Medicine.
This is not a solution and many patient cannot tolerate the side effects that go along with these medications.
Chiropractor NYC

The Pain May Be Real, but the Scan Is Deceiving
Published: Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 5:08 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 5:08 a.m.
Cheryl Weinstein’s left knee bothered her for years, but when it started clicking and hurting when she straightened it, she told her internist that something was definitely wrong.

Click to enlarge
SEEKING ANSWERS Cheryl Weinstein at the M.R.I. laboratory at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.
Stephanie Kuykendal for The New York Times

It was the start of her medical odyssey, a journey that led her to specialists, physical therapy, Internet searches and, finally, an M.R.I. scan that showed a torn cartilage and convinced her that her only hope for relief was to have surgery to repair it. But in fact, fixing the torn cartilage that was picked up on the scan was not going to solve her problem, which, eventually, she found was caused by arthritis.

Scans — more sensitive and easily available than ever — are increasingly finding abnormalities that may not be the cause of the problem for which they are blamed. It’s an issue particularly for the millions of people who go to doctors’ offices in pain.

The scans are expensive — Medicare and its beneficiaries pay about $750 to $950 for an M.R.I. scan of a knee or back, for example. Many doctors own their own scanners, which can provide an incentive to offer scans to their patients.

And so, in what is often an irresistible feedback loop, patients who are in pain often demand scans hoping to find out what is wrong, doctors are tempted to offer scans to those patients, and then, once a scan is done, it is common for doctors and patients to assume that any abnormalities found are the reason for the pain.

But in many cases it is just not known whether what is seen on a scan is the cause of the pain. The problem is that all too often, no one knows what is normal.

“A patient comes in because he’s in pain,” said Dr. Nelda Wray, a senior research scientist at the Methodist Institute for Technology in Houston. “We see something in a scan, and we assume causation. But we have no idea of the prevalence of the abnormality in routine populations.”

Now, as more and more people have scans for everything from headaches to foot aches, more are left in a medical lurch, or with unnecessary or sometimes even harmful treatments, including surgery.

“Every time we get a new technology that provides insights into structures we didn’t encounter before, we end up saying, ‘Oh, my God, look at all those abnormalities.’ They might be dangerous,” said Dr. David Felson, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Boston University Medical School. “Some are, some aren’t, but it ends up leading to a lot of care that’s unnecessary.”

That was what almost happened with Mrs. Weinstein, an active, athletic 64-year-old who lives in London, N.H. And it was her great fortune to finally visit a surgeon who told her so. He told her bluntly that her pain was caused by arthritis, not the torn cartilage.

No one had told her that before, Mrs. Weinstein said, and looking back on her quest to get a scan and get the ligament fixed, she shook her head in dismay. There’s no surgical procedure short of a knee replacement that will help, and she’s not ready for a knee replacement.

“I feel that I have come full circle,” she said. “I will cope on my own with this knee.”

In fact, Mrs. Weinstein was also lucky because her problem was with her knee. It’s one of only two body parts — the other is the back — where there are good data on abnormalities that turn up in people who feel just fine, indicating that the abnormalities may not be so abnormal after all.

But even the data on knees comes from just one study, and researchers say the problem is far from fixed. It is difficult to conduct scans on people who feel fine — most do not want to spend time in an M.R.I. machine, and CT scans require that people be exposed to radiation. But that leaves patients and doctors in an untenable situation.

“It’s a concern, isn’t it?” Dr. Jarvik said. “We are trying to fix things that shouldn’t be fixed.”

As a rheumatologist, Dr. Felson saw patient after patient with knee pain, many of whom had already had scans. And he was becoming concerned about their findings.

Often, a scan would show that a person with arthritis had a torn meniscus, a ligament that stabilizes the knee. And often the result was surgery — orthopedic surgeons do more meniscus surgery than any other operation. But, Dr. Felson wondered, was the torn ligament an injury causing pain or was the arthritis causing pain and the tear a consequence of arthritis?

That led Dr. Felson and his colleagues to do the first and so far the only large study of knees, asking what is normal. It involved M.R.I. scans on 991 people ages 50 to 90. Some had knee pain, others did not.

On Sept. 11, Dr. Felson and his colleagues published their results in The New England Journal of Medicine: meniscal tears were just as common in people with knee arthritis who did not complain of pain as they were in people with knee arthritis who did have pain. They tended to occur along with arthritis and were a part of the disease process itself. And so repairing the tears would not eliminate the pain.

“The rule is, as you get older, you will get a meniscal tear,” Dr. Felson said. “It’s a function of aging and disease. If you are a 60-year-old guy, the chance that you have a meniscal tear is 40 percent.”

It is a result that paralleled what spine researchers found over the past decade in what is perhaps the best evidence on what shows up on scans of healthy people. “If you’re going to look at a spine, you need to know what that spine might look like in a normal patient,” said Dr. Michael Modic, chairman of the Neurological Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

After Dr. Modic and others scanned hundreds of asymptomatic people, they learned abnormalities were common.

“Somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of people who climb into a scanner will have a herniated disk,” Dr. Modic said. As many as 60 percent of healthy adults with no back pain, he said, have degenerative changes in their spines.

Those findings made Dr. Modic ask: Why do a scan in the first place? There are some who may benefit from surgery, but does it make sense to routinely do scans for nearly everyone with back pain? After all, one-third of herniated disks disappear on their own in six weeks, and two-thirds in six months.

And surgeons use symptoms and a physical examination to identify patients who would be helped by operations. What extra medical help does a scan provide? So Dr. Modic did another study, this time with 250 patients. All had M.R.I. scans when they first arrived complaining of back pain or shooting pains down their leg, which can be caused by a herniated disc pressing on a nerve in the spine. And all had scans again six weeks later. Sixty percent had herniated disks, the scans showed.

Dr. Modic gave the results to only half of the patients and their doctors — the others had no idea what the M.R.I.’s revealed. Dr. Modic knew, though.

In 13 percent of the patients, the second scan showed that the herniated disk had become bigger or a new herniated disk had appeared. In 15 percent, the herniated disk had disappeared. But there was no relationship between the scan findings at six weeks and patients’ symptoms. Some continued to complain of pain even though their herniated disk had disappeared; others said they felt better even though their herniation had grown bigger.

The question, though, was whether it helped the patients and their doctors to know what the M.R.I.’s had found. And the answer, Dr. Modic reported, is that it did not. The patients who knew recovered no faster than those who did not know. However, Dr. Modic said, there was one effect of being told — patients felt worse about themselves when they knew they had a bulging disk.

“If I tell you that you have a degenerated disk, basically I’m telling you you’re ugly,” Dr. Modic said.

Scans, he said, are presurgical tools, not screening tools. A scan can help a surgeon before he or she operates, but it does not help with a diagnosis.

“If a patient has back or leg pain, they should be treated conservatively for at least eight weeks,” Dr. Modic said, meaning that they take pain relievers and go about their normal lives. “Then you should do imaging only if you are going to do surgery.”

That message can be a hard sell, he acknowledged. “A lot of people are driven by wanting to have imaging,” Dr. Modic said. “They are miserable as hell, they can’t work, they can’t sit. We look at you and say, ‘We think you have a herniated disk. We say the natural history is that you will get better. You should go through six to eight weeks of conservative management.’ ”

At the Partners Healthcare System in Boston, spine experts have the same struggle to convince patients that an M.R.I. scan is not necessarily desirable, said Dr. Scott Gazelle, director of radiology there.

“The consensus is that you are a surgical candidate or not based on your history and physical findings, not on imaging findings,” he said.

Dr. Gazelle had a chance last year to test his own convictions. He had the classic symptoms of a herniated disk — shooting pains down his left leg, a numb foot and difficulty walking.

Dr. Gazelle went to see his primary-care doctor but, he said, “I didn’t get an M.R.I.” That decision, he added, “was the right thing to do.”

About three months later, he had recovered on his own.

In 1998, two medical scientists, writing in The Lancet, proposed what sounded like a radical idea. Instead of simply providing patients and their doctors with the results of an X-ray or an M.R.I. scan, he said, radiologists should put the findings in context. For example, they wrote, if a scan showed advanced disk deterioration, the report should say, “Roughly 40 percent of patients with this finding do not have back pain so the finding may be unrelated.”

It is an idea that only would work for back pain, because that is the one area where radiologists have enough data. But it made eminent sense to Dr. Jarvik. “It gives referring physicians some sort of context,” he said.

So, a few years ago, with some trepidation, his radiology group starting including epidemiological data in their reports. “We thought, ‘What’s going to be the reaction among referring physicians?’ ” Dr. Jarvik said. Their fear was that doctors would start choosing other places for M.R.I.’s and that Dr. Jarvik’s group would lose business.

Because of the way the university’s records are kept, it’s hard to know whether the new reporting system had that effect, Dr. Jarvik said. But he was heartened by the responses of some doctors, like Dr. Sohail Mirza, who recently moved to Dartmouth Medical School.

“We often see patients who have already had M.R.I. scans,” Dr. Mirza said. “They are fixated on the abnormality and come to a surgeon to try to get the abnormality fixed. They’ll come in with the report in hand.”

The new sort of report, Dr. Mirza said, was “very helpful information to have when talking to patients and very helpful for patients to help them understand that the abnormalities were not catastrophic findings.”

Others, like Dr. Modic, are hesitant about reporting epidemiology along with a patient’s scan findings.

“It’s an interesting idea,” he said. But, he added: “The problem isn’t what happens after they get their imaging. It’s that they get the imaging in the first place.”

That was what happened with Mrs. Weinstein.

When she started looking up her symptoms on the Internet, she decided she probably had a meniscus tear. “I was very forceful in asking for an M.R.I.,” she said.

And when the scan showed that her meniscus was torn, she went to a surgeon expecting an operation.

He X-rayed her knee and told her she had arthritis. Then, Mrs. Weinstein said, the surgeon looked at her and said, “Let me get this straight. Are you here for a knee replacement?”

She said no, of course not. She skis, she does aerobics, she was nowhere near ready for something so drastic.

Then the surgeon told her that there was no point in repairing her meniscus because that was not her problem. And if he repaired the cartilage, her arthritic bones would just grind it down again.

For now, Mrs. Weinstein says she is finished with her medical odyssey.

“I continue to live with this, whatever they call it, this arthritic knee,” she said.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What is Spinal Decompression?

What is Spinal Decompression?
By Thomas A. Gionis, MD, JD, MBA, MHA, FICS, FRCS, and Eric Groteke, DC, CCIC

The outcome of a clinical study evaluating the effect of nonsurgical intervention on symptoms of spine patients with herniated and degenerative disc disease is presented.

This clinical outcomes study was performed to evaluate the effect of spinal decompression on symptoms and physical findings of patients with herniated and degenerative disc disease. Results showed that 86% of the 219 patients who completed the therapy reported immediate resolution of symptoms, while 84% remained pain-free 90 days post-treatment. Physical examination findings showed improvement in 92% of the 219 patients, and remained intact in 89% of these patients 90 days after treatment. This study shows that disc disease—the most common cause of back pain, which costs the American health care system more than $50 billion annually—can be cost-effectively treated using spinal decompression. The cost for successful non-surgical therapy is less than a tenth of that for surgery. These results show that biotechnological advances of spinal decompression reveal promising results for the future of effective management of patients with disc herniation and degenerative disc diseases. Long-term outcome studies are needed to determine if non-surgical treatment prevents later surgery, or merely delays it.

With the recent advances in biotechnology, spinal decompression has evolved into a cost-effective nonsurgical treatment for herniated and degenerative spinal disc disease, one of the major causes of back pain. This nonsurgical treatment for herniated and degenerative spinal disc disease works on the affected spinal segment by significantly reducing intradiscal pressures.1 Chronic low back pain disability is the most expensive benign condition that is medically treated in industrial countries. It is also the number one cause of disability in persons under age 45. After 45, it is the third leading cause of disability.2 Disc disease costs the health care system more than $50 billion a year.

The intervertebral disc is made up of sheets of fibers that form a fibrocartilaginous structure, which encapsulates the inner mucopolysaccharide gel nucleus. The outer wall and gel act hydrodynamically. The intrinsic pressure of the fluid within the semirigid enclosed outer wall allows hydrodynamic activity, making the intervertebral disc a mechanical structure.3 As a person utilizes various normal ranges of motion, spinal discs deform as a result of pressure changes within the disc.4 The disc deforms, causing nuclear migration and elongation of annular fibers. Osteophytes develop along the junction of vertebral bodies and discs, causing a disease known as spondylosis. This disc narrows from the alteration of the nucleus pulposus, which changes from a gelatinous consistency to a more fibrous nature as the aging process continues. The disc space thins with sclerosis of the cartilaginous end plates and new bone formation around the periphery of the contiguous vertebral surfaces. The altered mechanics place stress on the posterior diarthrodial joints, causing them to lose their normal nuclear fulcrum for movement. With the loss of disc space, the plane of articulation of the facet surface is no longer congruous. This stress results in degenerative arthritis of the articular surfaces.

This is especially important in occupational repetitive injuries, which make up a majority of work-related injuries. When disc degeneration occurs, the layers of the annulus can separate in places and form circumferential tears. Several of these circumferential tears may unite and result in a radial tear where the material may herniate to produce disc herniation or prolapse. Even though a disc herniation may not occur, the annulus produces weakening, circumferential bulging, and loss of intervertebral disc height. As a result, discograms at this stage usually reveal reduced interdiscal pressure.

The early changes that have been identified in the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosis are probably biomechanical and relate to aging. Any additional trauma on these changes can speed up the process of degeneration. When there is a discogenic injury, physical displacement occurs, as well as tissue edema and muscle spasm, which increase the intradiscal pressures and restrict fluid migration.6 Additionally, compression injuries causing an endplate fracture can predispose the disc to degeneration in the future.

The alteration of normal kinetics is the most prevalent cause of lower back pain and disc disruption and thus it is vital to maintain homeostasis in and around the spinal disc; Yong-Hing and Kirkaldy-Willis7 have correlated this degeneration to clinical symptoms. The three clinical stages of spinal degeneration include:

Stage of Dysfunction. There is little pathology and symptoms are subtle or absent. The diagnosis of Lumbalgia and rotatory strain are commonly used.

Stage of Instability. Abnormal movement of the motion segment of instability exists and the patient complains of moderate symptoms with objective findings. Conservative care is used and sometimes surgery is indicated.

Stage of Stabilization. The third phase where there are severe degenerative changes of the disc and facets reduce motion with likely stenosis.

Spinal decompression has been shown to decompress the disc space, and in the clinical picture of low back pain is distinguishable from conventional spinal traction.8,9 According to the literature, traditional traction has proven to be less effective and biomechanically inadequate to produce optimal therapeutic results.8-11 In fact, one study by Mangion et al concluded that any benefit derived from continuous traction devices was due to enforced immobilization rather than actual traction.10 In another study, Weber compared patients treated with traction to a control group that had simulated traction and demonstrated no significant differences.11 Research confirms that traditional traction does not produce spinal decompression. Instead, decompression, that is, unloading due to distraction and positioning of the intervertebral discs and facet joints of the lumbar spine, has been proven an effective treatment for herniated and degenerative disc disease, by producing and sustaining negative intradiscal pressure in the disc space. In agreement with Nachemon’s findings and Yong-Hing and Kirkaldy-Willis,1 spinal decompression treatment for low back pain intervenes in the natural history of spinal degeneration.7,12 Matthews13 used epidurography to study patients thought to have lumbar disc protrusion. With applied forces of 120 pounds x 20 minutes, he was able to demonstrate that the contrast material was drawn into the disc spaces by osmotic changes. Goldfish14 speculates that the degenerated disc may benefit by lowering intradiscal pressure, affecting the nutritional state of the nucleus pulposus. Ramos and Martin8 showed by precisely directed distraction forces, intradiscal pressure could dramatically drop into a negative range. A study by Onel et al15 reported the positive effects of distraction on the disc with contour changes by computed tomography imaging. High intradiscal pressures associated with both herniated and degenerated discs interfere with the restoration of homeostasis and repair of injured tissue.

Biotechnological advances have fostered the design of Food and Drug Administration-approved ergonomic devices that decompress the intervertebral discs. The biomechanics of these decompression/reduction machines work by decompression at the specific disc level that is diagnosed from finding on a comprehensive physical examination and the appropriate diagnostic imaging studies. The angle of decompression to the affected level causes a negative pressure intradiscally that creates an osmotic pressure gradient for nutrients, water, and blood to flow into the degenerated and/or herniated disc thereby allowing the phases of healing to take place.

This clinical outcomes study, which was performed to evaluate the effect of spinal decompression on symptoms of patients with herniated and degenerative disc disease, showed that 86% of the 219 patients who completed therapy reported immediate resolution of symptoms, and 84% of those remained pain-free 90 days post-treatment. Physical examination findings revealed improvement in 92% of the 219 patients who completed the therapy.

The study group included 229 people, randomly chosen from 500 patients who had symptoms associated with herniated and degenerative disc disease that had been ongoing for at least 4 weeks. Inclusion criteria included pain due to herniated and bulging lumbar discs that is more than 4 weeks old, or persistent pain from degenerated discs not responding to 4 weeks of conservative therapy. All patients had to be available for 4 weeks of treatment protocol, be at least 18 years of age, and have an MRI within 6 months. Those patients who had previous back surgery were excluded. Of note, 73 of the patients had experienced one to three epidural injections prior to this episode of back pain and 22 of those patients had epidurals for their current condition. Measurements were taken before the treatments began and again at week two, four, six, and 90 days post treatment. At each testing point a questionnaire and physical examination were performed without prior documentation present in order to avoid bias. Testing included the Oswetry questionnaire, which was utilized to quantify information related to measurement of symptoms and functional status. Ten categories of questions about everyday activities were asked prior to the first session and again after treatment and 30 days following the last treatment.

Testing also consisted of a modified physical examination, including evaluation of reflexes (normal, sluggish, or absent), gait evaluation, the presence of kyphosis, and a straight leg raising test (radiating pain into the lower back and leg was categorized when raising the leg over 30 degrees or less is considered positive, but if pain remained isolated in the lower back, it was considered negative). Lumbar range of motion was measured with an ergonometer. Limitations ranging from normal to over 15 degrees in flexion and over 10 degrees in rotation and extension were positive findings. The investigator used pinprick and soft touch to determine the presence of gross sensory deficit in the lower extremities.

Of the 229 patients selected, only 10 patients did not complete the treatment protocol. Reasons for noncompletion included transportation issues, family emergencies, scheduling conflicts, lack of motivation, and transient discomfort. The patient protocol provided for 20 treatments of spinal decompression over a 6-week course of therapy. Each session consisted of a 45-minute treatment on the equipment followed by 15 minutes of ice and interferential frequency therapy to consolidate the lumbar paravertebral muscles. The patient regimen included 2 weeks of daily spinal decompression treatment (5 days per week), followed by three sessions per week for 2 weeks, concluding with two sessions per week for the remaining 2 weeks of therapy

On the first day of treatment, the applied pressure was measured as one half of the person’s body weight minus 10 pounds, followed on the second day with one half of the person’s body weight. The pressure placed for the remainder of the 18 sessions was equivalent to one half of the patient’s body weight plus an additional 10 pounds. The angle of treatment was set according to manufacturer’s protocol after identifying a specific lumbar disc correlated with MRI findings. A session would begin with the patient being fitted with a customized lower and upper harness to fit their specific body frame. The patient would step onto a platform located at the base of the equipment, which simultaneously calculated body weight and determined proper treatment pressure. The patient was then lowered into the supine position, where the investigator would align the split of table with the top of the patient’s iliac crest. A pneumatic air pump was used to automatically increase lordosis of the lumbar spine for patient comfort. The patient’s chest harness was attached and tightened to the table. An automatic shoulder support system tightened and affixed the patient’s upper body. A knee pillow was placed to maintain slight flexion of the knees. With use of the previously calculated treatment pressures, spinal decompression was then applied. After treatment, the patient received 15 minutes of interferential frequency (80 to 120 Hz) therapy and cold packs to consolidate paravertebral muscles.

During the initial 2 weeks of treatment, the patients were instructed to wear lumbar support belts and limit activities, and were placed on light duty at work. In addition, they were prescribed a nonsteroidal, to be taken 1 hour before therapy and at bedtime during the first 2 weeks of treatment. After the second week of treatment, medication was decreased and moderate activity was permitted.

Data was collected from 219 patients treated during this clinical study. Study demographics consisted of 79 female and 140 male patients. The patients treated ranged from 24 to 74 years of age (see Table 1). The average weight of the females was 146 pounds and the average weight of the men was 195 pounds. According to the Oswestry Pain Scale, patients reported their symptoms ranging from no pain (0) to severe pain (5).

The patients were further subdivided into six groups:

single lateral herniation 67 cases
single central herniation 22 cases
single lateral herniation
with disc degeneration 32 cases
single central herniation
with disc degeneration. 24 cases
more than 1 herniation
with disc degeneration 17 cases
more than 1 herniation
without disc degeneration 57 cases

According to the self-rated Oswestry Pain Scale, treatment was successful in 86% of the 219 patients included in this study (Table 2, page 39). Treatment success was defined by a reduction in pain to 0 or 1 on the pain scale. The perception of pain was none 0 to occasional 1 without any further need for medication or treatment in 188 patients. These patients reported complete resolution of pain, lumbar range of motion was normalized, and there was recovery of any sensory or motor loss. The remaining 31 patients reported significant pain and disability, despite some improvement in their overall pain and disability score.

Diagnosis MRI
Results on self-rated Oswestry Pain Scale after treatment.
In this study, only patients diagnosed with herniated and degenerative discs with at least a 4-week onset were eligible. Each patient’s diagnosis was confirmed by MRI findings. All selected patients reported 3 to 5 on the pain scale with radiating neuritis into the lower extremities. By the second week of treatment, 77% of patients had a greater than 50% resolution of low back pain. Subsequent orthopedic examinations demonstrated that an increase in spinal range of motion directly correlated with an improvement in straight leg raises and reflex response. Table 2 shows a summary of the subjective findings obtained during this study by category and total results post treatment. After 90 days, only five patients (2%) were found to have relapsed from the initial treatment program.

Percentage of patients that had improved physical exam findings post treatment.
Ninety-two percent of patients with abnormal physical findings improved post-treatment. Ninety days later only 3% of these patients had abnormal findings. Table 3 summarizes the percentage of patients that showed improvement in physician examination findings testing both motor and sensory system function after treatment. Gait improved in 96% of the individuals who started with an abnormal gait, while 96% of those with sluggish reflexes normalized. Sensory perception improved in 93% of the patients, motor limitation diminished in 86%, 89% had a normal straight leg raise test who initially tested abnormal, and 90% showed improvement in their spinal range of motion.

In conclusion, nonsurgical spinal decompression provides a method for physicians to properly apply and direct the decompressive force necessary to effectively treat discogenic disease. With the biotechnological advances of spinal decompression, symptoms were restored by subjective report in 86% of patients previously thought to be surgical candidates and mechanical function was restored in 92% using objective data. Ninety days after treatment only 2% reported pain and 3% relapsed, by physical examination exhibiting motor limitations and decreased spinal range of motion. Our results indicate that in treating 219 patients with MRI-documented disc herniation and degenerative disc diseases, treatment was successful as defined by: pain reduction; reduction in use of pain medications; normalization of range of motion, reflex, and gait; and recovery of sensory or motor loss. Biotechnological advances of spinal decompression indeed reveal promising results for the future of effective management of patients with disc herniation and degenerative disc diseases. The cost for successful nonsurgical therapy is less than a tenth of that for surgery. Long-term outcome studies are needed to determine if nonsurgical treatment prevents later surgery or merely delays it.

Thomas A. Gionis, MD, JD, MBA, MHA, FICS, FRCS, is chairman of the American Board of Healthcare Law and Medicine, Chicago; a diplomate professor of surgery, American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons; and a fellow of the International College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons.

Eric Groteke, DC, CCIC, is a chiropractor and is certified in manipulation under anesthesia. He is also a chiropractic insurance consultant, a certified independent chiropractic examiner, and a certified chiropractic insurance consultant. Groteke maintains chiropractic centers in northeastern Pennsylvania, in Stroudsburg, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre.


Eyerman E. MRI evidence of mechanical reduction and repair of the torn annulus disc. International Society of Neuroradiologists; October 1998; Orlando.
Narayan P, Morris IM. A preliminary audit of the management of acute low back pain in the Kettering District. Br J Rheumatol. 1995;34:693-694.
McDevitt C. Proteoglycans of the intervertebral disc. In: Gosh, P, ed. The Biology of the Intervertebral Disc. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press; 1988:151-170.
Bogduk N, Twomey L. Clinical Anatomy of the Lumbar Spine. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1991. Cox JM. Low Back Pain: Mechanism, Diagnosis, and Treatment. 5th ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1990:69-70, 144. Cyriax JH. Textbook of Orthopaedic Medicine: Diagnosis of Soft Tissue Lesions. Vol 1. 8th ed. London: Balliere Tindall; 1982. Nachemson AL. The lumbar spine, an orthopaedic challenge. Spine. 1976;1(1):59-69. Ramos G, Martin W. Effects of vertebral axial decompression on intradiscal pressure. J Neurosurgery. 1994;81:350-353. Shealy CN, Leroy P. New concepts in back pain management: decompression, reduction, and stabilization. In: Weiner R, ed. Pain Management: A Practical Guide for Clinicians. Boca Raton, Fla: St Lucie Press; 1998:239-257.
Pal B, Mangion P, Hossain MA, et al. A controlled trial of continuous lumbar traction in back pain and sciatica. Br J Rheumatol. 1986;25:181-183.
Weber H. Traction therapy in sciatica due to disc prolapse. J Oslo City Hosp. 1973;23(10):167-176. Yong-Hing K, Kirkaldy-Willis WH. The pathophysiology of degenerative disease of the lumbar spine. Orthop Clin North Am. 1983;14:501-503. Matthews J. The effects of spinal traction. Physiotherapy. 1972;58:64-66.
Goldfish G. Lumbar traction. In: Tollison CD, Kriegel M, eds. Inter- disciplinary Rehabilitation of Low Back Pain. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1989.
Onel D, Tuzlaci M, Sari H, Demir K. Computed tomographic investigation of the effect of traction on lumbar disc herniations. Spine. 1989; 14(1):82-90.

Non surgical spinal decompression.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spinal decompression therapy

Spinal Decompression therapy.
Spinal Decompression

Below is from Dr. Eben Davis in SF, I couldn't say it any better so I posted his reply and added a link to his Blog.

I was communicating with a prospective spinal decompression patient yesterday. He had a couple of questions/concerns that are shared by many they are:

1. Doctors that have a nonsurgical spinal decompression machine such as the DRX9000, all seem to say the machine helps just about everybody with a disc herniation. Is this information accurate?

2. Spine Doctors or Chiropractors that do not have a decompression machine have mixed opinions...some go as far as to say they do not work and that decompression treatment is just a waste of money. What am I supposed to think?

I understand, and this has been my experience also. Think about it though...most doctors that have gone as far as purchasing a spinal decompression system, have done a lot of homework before they least I did. I spent a year researching spinal decompression before I bought my first machine.

Then, it sure doesn't take long to start getting some really good results...even with the toughest of cases. So sure...decompression doctors are excited about what they do...and they should be.

Medical doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapist, or anyone else that does not have first hand experience treating patients with non-surgical spinal my opinion, have no idea about the real life changing results that lumbar and cervical spinal decompression is giving thousands of happy patients. They may have an opinion...but what's it really worth?

And...even the doctors that have a DRX9000, and have lots of experience, don't know for sure if it's going to help you...nobody does. You have to do the decompression treatment and adhere to the home care regimen to find out. Everyone knows decompression treatment is safe...unlike many other treatment choices for disc herniations...and that's a big plus.

Here's the deal...something must be going right, because most of the patients that decide to do spinal decompression therapy do so because of direct testimony from patients that have had successful outcomes...they don't have a gun to their heads either...they make educated decisions.

They read information like the stuff I write on this blog, and they talk to people. Enough people have now done treatment on the DRX9000 and DRX9000c, or some other machine that it's easy to find someone to talk to about it.

New Research on spinal decompression supports their decision also. There is a DRX9000 Special Report out that is based on studies done at the Mayo Clinic and John Hopkins Universities. The results are very, very favorable. If you are considering spinal decompression therapy, don't listen to the naysayers...decide for yourself.

OK, So I could not have said this any better.
I have been a Chiropractor for over 10 years, Not every patient that comes into my office needs Spinal decompression. Most patients do great with Chiropractic, Physical therapy and massage.
BUT when a patient tried EVERYTHING, and is considering a surgery that is when we will consider a Non-surgical protocol.
Most patients come in have their MRI's, Their Nerve tests and bottles of Vicodin.
In my NYC Chiropractic office I have a MD on site that evaluates the medication that patients are on.
Once someone starts a Spinal decompression protocol they are encouraged to be diligent about their schedule and home exercises.
Back pain is the second hardest to treat condition, Cancer is first.
This Spinal decompression is not 100% I let patients know this from the beginning. Their are no guarantees but most of the studies done on spinal decompression therapy point to over 80% success rate.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tale of the Tape-Kinesio tape-NYC Certified Kinesio taper

Tale of the Tape

Taping is all the rage on the pro tours. Can it help you too?

You see tape everywhere, on just about every body part, in professional tennis these days. And for good reason: It can prevent injury, support muscles, realign a joint, and relieve pressure on a blister. Tape can even help in the healing process after surgery. But different tapes serve different purposes. According to Kathleen Stroia, P.T., A.T.C., who oversees all medical and health services for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, players have always used tape, but today they have more options than ever before. “There have been a lot of technical advancements in our field in recent years,” she says. One of those advancements is Kinesio tape.

If you see a black stripe running along a shin, or a strip of pink on an abdomen, you’re seeing Kinesio in action. Created by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase, this thin, flexible tape that comes in assorted colors has been used in tennis for a decade. It has become popular in all sports: Lance Armstrong’s team has worn Kinesio during the Tour de France, and beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh won gold wearing it on her shoulder in Beijing. The tape stays on for about three days and can withstand sweat and showers. The makers of Kinesio claim it promotes blood flow and healing when laid on stretched skin. “It’s actually a therapy,” Stroia says. “Whereas conventional tapes are used for support or prevention, Kinesio is woven in a way that when it’s applied, it can stimulate or inhibit muscles, decrease inflammation or scarring after surgery, [support strained muscles], and promote healing.” Though there have been few studies on Kinesio, players laud its powers. “I feel it more when I’m sleeping with it on,” says Robby Ginepri, who uses Kinesio to relieve occasional soreness or tendinitis. “The next morning I feel like my shoulder, or wherever I have [the tape], feels more rested.”

Kinesio isn’t the only tape or taping method the pros use. Physiotherapists also employ conventional and McConnell techniques, among others. Conventional tapings involve wrapping an area with a rigid white cotton tape to support a joint or take pressure off a muscle. Ankle wraps are the most common conventional tapings for the men, says ATP trainer Clay Sniteman, P.T., A.T.C. (He tapes eight to 12 players’ ankles in an average 32-player draw, and more at hard-court events.) The McConnell method, named after Australian physiotherapist Jenny McConnell, uses stiff brown and white tapes to realign joints, usually knees and shoulders.

On the women’s tour, physiotherapists have developed taping methods for injuries specific to tennis, such as a triangular fibrocartilage complex tear. This wrist ailment, which occurs in players with two-handed backhands, develops when the nondominant hand goes into a hyperextended position. To prevent further damage, trainers tape the wrist to limit its range of motion and redirect it so that proper positioning is restored.

Stroia and Sniteman say it’s OK for recreational players to tape an injury themselves, depending on its type, extent, and location. The McConnell method can be used for a knee injury. Kinesio can be applied in reachable areas of the body, like the knee, hip, or abdomen. But Sniteman says rec players should avoid taping their own ankles: “You could be putting your ankle in a bad position.”

Before doing anything with tape, consult a sports medicine professional, such as an orthopedic surgeon, sports physical therapist, or athletic trainer, who can assess the injury and teach proper application. If you want to forgo tape and try a brace instead, consult a professional to make sure you choose one that fits correctly.
Dr. Steven Shoshany is a Certified Kinesio taper in NYC

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Spinal Decompression NYC for Herniated discs

Dr. Shoshany is a chiropractic healthcare specialist with a diverse background. He holds a doctorate degree from Life Chiropractic University. Dr. Shoshany is currently the Clinic Director of Chiropractic New York, specializing in Spinal Disc Decompression. Dr. Shoshany is the only Chiropractor in NYC that holds a Patent for his spinal decompression protocol.Visit website To learn more about Dr. Steven Shoshany and his practice, please click here.

In a recent interview, Dr. Shoshany talks about the benefits of non-surgical spinal decompression therapy for the treatment of chronic back pain. Listen to his interview and learn how Dr. Shoshany's patients have responded to the treatment protocol, why he chose to incorporate non-surgical spinal decompression therapy and more.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Spinal Decompression: New Hope or Big Hype? A Critical Review

Spinal Decompression: New Hope or Big Hype? A Critical Review
Spinal Decompression in NYC
Back Pain Treatment

Spinal Decompression: Hope or Hype?

No doubt by now you’ve read the ads “New Hope for Disc Pain & Sciatica,” “Miracle Disc Treatment”, “How the Space Age Cracked the Back Pain Code” and the myriad others in the papers. You’ve seen the TV ads or heard spots on the radio all purporting to have the answer to the leading cause of disability in the U.S. – Back pain. The ads speak of back pain relief using space age technology without drugs or surgery for even the worst herniated discs. But is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression (NSSD) or Intervertbral Disc Distraction (IDD therapy) really a “space age” miracle or just hype? These ads appear everyday in the New York Post and the NYC version of the AM paper and New York Metro paper.

Back Pain Facts Derived from the American Chiropractic Association:

•One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.

•Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.

•Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.

•Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.

•Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives. While others report the number to be as high as 90%.

With that many people suffering from back pain and that much money and time being spent on it, its no wonder doctors are eager to find a cure.

Cure for Serious Back Pain is Elusive:

The claims made by spinal decompression physicians are incredible and seem too good to be true. It is well known that for serious back pain — back pain caused by intervertebral disc herniations or “slipped discs”, degenerative disc disease, stenosis, etc – most popular treatments are not effective.

Traditional medicine’s approach of medications, periods of rest, home exercises, steroid injections and eventual surgery fail more times than not. A Scandinavian study published in the December 2001 journal “Spine”, found that a dismal 1 in 6 patients undergoing spinal fusion had an “excellent” result 2 years after surgery. Overall, back surgery is clinically reported to be at best 50% effective and involves tremendous risk. Second or repeat surgeries are common and lead many into long-term pain management centers.

More conservative approaches such as physical therapy, yoga, chiropractic and acupuncture all claim to deal with back pain. Unfortunately, while they are much less risky than drugs or surgery and have been proven to help with common low back problems from strains, poor posture, etc, there are no long-term studies that point to any of them as being successful for curing or relieving pain from more serious conditions such as disc herniations or stenosis.

Dehydration and Breakdown of the Disc is at the Root of Serious Back Pain:
The difficulty seems to be in the nature of the problem itself. The disc is a fibrocartilagenous structure that provides space between the vertebrae or spinal bones to allow nerves to exit freely and communicate with the rest of the body. The discs also act as mini “shock absorbers” dissipating the energy and stress from standing, walking and bending against gravity. The disc must rely on water and nutrients it gets from the body at night while resting to replenish itself.

Injuries to the spine can cause the vertebrae or bones to get stuck not allowing the disc to open up and get replenished at night. Injuries to the disc itself can cause it to leak out much needed water. The result is dehydration and eventual breakdown of the disc, which causes it to bulge outward towards the nerves. If the condition is severe enough, the outer disc layers are actually torn or split open to allow the internal disc material or jelly to protrude outward and contact sensitive nerves.

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression proponents claim to restore water to the disc and reduce disc herniations and/or bulges through the use of a specially made decompression machine, but do these machines really work?

Decompression vs Traction

A review of the many so-called decompression machines on the market reveals some interesting facts. First, most machines commercially available are nothing more than traction machines. Traction has been around along time, but unfortunately has not been proven to decompress the discs to any great degree. No peer-reviewed journal articles exist that conclusively show that the discs are opened up or re-hydrated by simple traction.

There are very few machines that can actually be classified as decompression machines. Spinal decompression therapy has been tested and shown favorable results. A clinical research project was conducted to determine the response of over 200 back pain subjects suffering with disc bulging, herniation and/or degeneration to non-surgical spinal decompression.

Global Proof of Spinal Decompression?
The results were shocking. Over 90% of the subjects reported significant pain relief. Fully 86% of the test subjects reported immediate resolution of their pain following treatment. Further, nearly 90% of the test subjects reported lasting pain relief beyond 90 days. Clinical evidence suggests that these were not isolated findings. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy has been shown in several papers around the globe to provide relief of back pain and leg pain due to disc herniation, bulging disc, degenerative disc disease, stenosis and failed back surgery.

Readers must be cautioned however that the clinical trial and resulting journal article was based on the research done on a specific spinal decompression unit and not merely a traction machine. Traditional traction machines have not been able to show nearly the results that spinal decompression has. However, this has not stopped “traction machine” manufacturers from making claims of 86% success rate for their machines despite their lack of documentation.

Beware of Imposters

Many clinics are popping up claiming to provide spinal decompression therapy, while merely employing traction units using the advertising and marketing materials created by Axiom Worldwide, Inc. a leader in spinal decompression and manufacturer of the DRX9000. Many of these machines use simple electrical winches with a rope to pull on the spine, while others are actually roller massage tables that you lie on as rollers move up and down your back. These are hardly new technology and have been plied by chiropractors and physical therapists for 30 years and more.

Axiom Worldwide, Inc. claims their patented process of “True Spinal Decompression” is unique and has garnered a lions’ share of the decompression market since entering the field in 2001.

DRX9000 Spinal Decompression the Real Deal?

So it would appear that at least in the case of a DRX9000, non-surgical spinal decompression may be the real deal. The medical literature seems to support it and more and more clinical data is coming in anecdotally supporting this new medical procedure.

Questionable Practices
Some prospective patients report some spinal decompression practitioners to be all too eager to put just about anyone with back pain on their machines. A careful review of procedures for Axiom’s DRX9000 indicates several contraindications for treatment including previous back surgery where rods, screws, bolts or wires are used, severe osteoporosis, fracture, tumor and others. These are conditions or situations where spinal decompression is not recommended due to safety concerns. Barring this, the treatment appears safe. The FDA gives clearance to the DRX9000 as a medical device and there are no reported side effects. Obviously, a careful history and examination by a spinal decompression specialist would be in order prior to treatment.

Spinal decompression is gaining popularity making it too hard for some clinics to resist making a quick buck, by employing cheap traction machines operated by ill-trained employees. Worse yet, and making safety a chief concern, is that some clinics that were polled didn’t even bother to have a doctor of any sort perform an exam. Technicians were used to evaluate a patient’s suitability for this treatment that has many potential dangers for the wrong type of patient.

Any prospective patient should be aware of these facts and select the facility that adheres to safety and qualification standards set by the manufacturer have an actual licensed physician perform an examination and are staffed by certified technicians. If a clinic is ready to “sign you up” after only a cursory evaluation, beware. They may be putting their bottom line ahead of your safety.
In my NYC Spinal decompression I use the DRX 9000 which in my opinion combined with the Cox flexion distraction table is the best Spinal decompression treatment available today.

But is Spinal Decompression a “Cure All”?
As for a “cure all” as some of the ads hyping the process lead health care consumers to believe, the answer is an emphatic “no.” Many conditions cannot be treated by spinal decompression and it is not intended for minor back pain that responds quickly to therapy or chiropractic care. But for the millions of people suffering from serious back pain and leg pain associated with disc herniation, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome, sciatica, spinal stenosis, chronic low back pain or failed back surgery, spinal disc decompression therapy using the DRX9000 has been medically proven to be 86% effective.

The Bottom Line: Costs

Costs of spinal decompression programs vary as do all medical procedures from location to location. An average cost for Manhattan and New York City area for spinal decompression range from $4,000 to $7,000. In our NYC Spinal Decompression clinic we utilize the Spine Force for advanced spinal rehab and have found that it helps to increase patient outcomes.
Important points to remember are that claims of “Medicare accepted” or “Work Comp Approved” or other claims of insurance acceptance are deceptive advertising claims. At the present time there are no insurance codes for spinal decompression. That means insurance will not pay specifically for spinal decompression. Some clinics have resorted to these claims to attract new business. Once the patient is in the door they are either notified Medicare will not cover the service or the clinic may be intentionally mis-coding their claims to get paid for something that is not covered. We have had certain insurance policies cover the treatment 100% and others cover for the Physical therapy portion. It is best to contact the office and schedule a no-cost consultation first to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure and we can verify insurance coverage at that point in time.

Some components of a spinal decompression program may be covered by insurance. It all depends on what type of insurance you have and if there are any limitations to certain procedures. Many patients with insurance are fortunate to have their insurance company pay the bulk of their care, but no insurance will pay for everything because of the lack of coding for spinal decompression and because insurance coverage seems to shrink year by year.

Much like Laser eye surgery or cosmetic surgery, spinal decompression although valid and helpful, is still considered an elective procedure and “too new” to be issued an insurance code. Cost is generally not the best criteria to make a medical decision on. A loaf of bread is pretty much the same no matter where you buy it.

But for a serious problem like a disc herniation, consumers should make their final decision based on:

Which doctor is best qualified to handle their problem
What is their educational background?
How many years of experience do they have?
How long have they performed spinal decompression
How many patients with similar conditions to yours have they successfully treated?
Are they a specialist dedicated to disc disorders and spinal decompression or are they merely jumping on a lucrative band wagon putting a traction device into an empty room in their clinic?
How’s your rapport with the doctor and staff?
Are they accessible and easy to ask questions?
You are more likely to be satisfied with the best possible service and the most qualified specialist rather than take a chance on a lesser clinic that may not have the requisite experience to handle your unique disc problem and therefore charge under the market rate for the service. Just like everything else in life, you get what you pay for.

In summary, claims of “New Hope for Disc Pain” or “Space Age Miracle Sciatica Treatment” may very well be true. With the advances in technology derived from computer medical technology at least one company, Axiom Worldwide, has put their money where their mouth is and proven their machine to work. With FDA clearance, an 86% success rate and no reported side-effects, DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression treatment provided by a qualified spinal decompression specialist is well worth a try for back pain and leg pain sufferers who haven’t been able to find relief anywhere else and wish to avoid surgery.

Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 69-116.

Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985; 11: 1-98.

Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD, Summer 1994.

Thomas A. Gionis, MD, JD, MBA, MHA, FICS, FRCS, Eric Groteke, DC, CCIC, Spinal Decompression, Orthopedic Technology Review Nov/Dec 2003, Vol. 5, No. 6

Friday, September 26, 2008

Spinal decompression NYC, Herniated disc specialist

Dr. Steven Shoshany- Spinal Decompression Specialist
When someone has a MRI that confirms the presence of multiple disc herniations, What are their options?
I am a big advocate of avoiding surgery unless it absolutely necessary.There is a time and place for back surgery but If you have a contained disc herniations (this means it is not extruded) Spinal decompression therapy is a fanastic treatment option.
Recent studies are listed below.
The first study, is an IRB-approved, prospective multi-center phase II, non-randomized pilot study authored by Dr. John Leslie of the Mayo Clinic and others. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the DRX9000 in treating chronic LBP [lower back pain]. A greater than 50% reduction in pain score was observed after two weeks of treatment and upon completion of the entire six week protocol an amazing success rate of 88.9% was documented. Improvement of Oswestry scores and a decreased consumption of adjunctive pain medication was also noted. The second study, is retrospective data which included lumbar spine CT scans before and after patients were treated on the DRX9000 that demonstrates possible morphological changes associated with treatment. The authors conclude, “A significant reduction in chronic LBP after non-invasive spinal decompression correlated with an increase in disc height.”
Dr. Steven Shoshany

Saturday, September 20, 2008


This is a recent candid shot of NYC Chiropractor reviewing charts.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kinesio taping for herniated discs

This past weekend I completed Kinesio taping levels 1 and 2 seminars.
I have been using Kinesio tape in my Manhattan practice for 5 years on everything from ankle sprain/strains to knee pain. I learned about a new taping for herniated discs that I am going to to apply to my herniated disc protocol.
As part of the spinal decompression protocol patients are wearing a supportive brace for 3 hours after their visits to limit forward bending keep the abdomen close to the spine.
The Kinesio tape can be worn under the brace, and muscles like quadratas lumborum and the sacrospinalis or the (sacral Multifidi) that are facilitated can be taped.
The purpose of the taping is to:
Assist in education of weakened muscles, helps reduce muscle fatigue, reduces cramping,reduces pain inflammation and edema.
The four major functions and effects of Kinesio taping are to
Normalize muscle function
Improve lymphatic and blood flow
Reduce pain
Correct joint malalignment and improve propioception

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Living Well Medical- A full service spinal decompression clinic

Chronic back pain, Sciaitica, Herniated and bulging discs all respond well to spinal decompression treatment. I posted this recent video to highlight my new office in Manhattan NYC.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What is Spinal decompression therapy?


What Is Decompression Therapy?
Decompression Therapy, or otherwise known as spinal decompression therapy, is the non-surgical neck and lower back pain remedy. Generally, back pains are caused by degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, spinal stenosis or other disc deformities.

With spinal decompression therapy, the patient avoids surgery and only undergoes several therapy sessions. Most patients attest to instant back pain relief even after the first decompresion therapy session.

Common Back Pain Remedies
Almost everyone has experienced back pain at one time or another. It was said, that back pain comes in 2nd to headache as the most common neurological disorder in the U.S.

Because of its prevalence, people resorted to various back pain remedies. Some remedies are really effective, others just make their conditions much worse. Some of the most common remedies to alleviate back pain are:

Acupuncture - treatment is cheap but some people dread the idea of needles puncturing their skin.
Taking in vitamin D, B12 or magnesium - this remedy is more of preventive in nature. If the patient suffers severe lower back pain, this remedy may help in some ways but it will not completely remove the problematic back pain.
Yoga - this back pain remedy is excellent for those that are still flexible and have the time to attend regular sessions spanning at least 6 months. It is not for the sickly, weakly, elderly types.
Massage therapy - undergoing a massage therapy is very soothing and stress-releasing. But for severe back problems and under untrained therapists, it may aggravate the problem and it may worsen the condition.
Surgery - not everyone wants to go under the knife and it could also be very expensive and, at times, debilitating.
Spinal decompression therapy - a patient is firmly placed on a secured but padded spinal decompression table. The table then slowly adjusts the vertebrae causing the back pain problem. Immediate relief is often experienced by the patient. It is safe, effortless and painless way to remedy back pain problems.

Spinal Decompression Is Non-Surgical
Traditionally, people treat back disorders with oral medication, physical therapy, exercises and spinal surgery. With the latest development in technology and cutting-edge device, spinal decompression is the best option that allows you to say goodbye to your back pain and avoid the need for that debilitating surgery.

A spinal decompression table program provides a non-invasive treatment option for most chronic back pain problems and allows patients to become active & healthy individuals again.
DRX 9000
NYC Chiropractor,spinal decompression specialist,Herniated disc, slipped disc, pinched nerve

What is a Pinched nerve? Pinched nerve NYC
What is a pinched nerve? In our NYC integrated medical center we utilize spinal decompression therapy, physical therapy and medical care to not only alleviate signs and symptoms but correct the problem without surgery.

A pinched nerve is a nerve with pressure applied to it. In the spine, a pinched nerve is usually caused by a herniated disk or herniated disc pressing on it.

Symptoms of a pinched nerve are:

prickly sensation
stabbing sensation
burning sensation

Pinched nerves in the spine tend to happen in the neck and low back as these are the areas that do the most moving, and often refer pain down the leg or arm. Pinched nerves can be brought on by hard physical work and injury.

Sciatica is a symptom, characterized by pain down one leg, and brought about when the largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve, is irritated.
What is Sciatica and what are the symptoms?

Pain, numbness and/or weakness down the leg are the main symptoms of sciatica.

Sciatic pain is generally most noticeable as pain that radiates from the buttock area down the leg. Pain is usually on one side of the body, not both. Initially, sciatic pain is mild and grows in intensity - sometimes to unbearable levels - over time. There is usually little or no pain in the low back (although sciatica originates in the low back).

Nerve pain, such as a mild ache, and/or sharp, burning, tingling or electrical sensations, is caused by irritation to the sciatic nerve.

Worsening of symptoms may be brought about by coughing, sneezing, laughing and similar reflexive actions. Sciatica symptoms also tend to become worse if you sit for long periods of time. This is due to the pressure sitting puts on the nerve, which irritates it. Symptoms of sciatica also may worsen after long periods of lying on the irritated area, and after long periods of walking.

Numbness or weakness of the leg or foot is another symptom of sciatica. Should weakness of the leg or foot get progressively worse, and/or if there is a loss of control or feeling of the bowels or bladder, you may have a serious condition called cauda equina syndrome. Seek medical attention immediately.

Kendall, F., McCreary, E., & Provance, P. (1993). Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.
Wheeless' Book of Orthopaedics. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from Duke Orthopaedics Web site:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

NYC spinal decompression NYC

NYC Spinal decompression NYC

Solution for Herniated disc without surgery
as seen on
Spinal decompression is proving to be a great last resort before surgery. The procedure may also help with failed back surgeries. According to two recent studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, back surgery is often not necessary for back pain, Spinal Decompression and non-surgical treatments can relieve some of the suffering. Neurosurgeon Wilco C. Peul, MD, head of the spine intervention study group at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, led a study of 283 patients with confirmed cases of severe sciatica. The study found that 95 percent reported recovery after one year, whether or not they had surgery. “Americans have back surgery Dr. Steven Shoshany, Spinal Decompression Specialist twice as much as people in other countries,” said Dr. Shoshany. “1.5 million disc operations are done worldwide each year, but surprisingly many of these operations do not need to happen. Non-surgical treatments have been proven to be just as effective.” Spinal decompression causes a decompression to the spine that sucks the disc material back into the disc and brings fresh blood flow to the area, while helping with the healing process. An exam and MRI will determine the level of treatment for each patient and Dr. Shoshany said patients are usually back to their daily activities within two to three weeks after treatment. "What's interesting is that more and more studies point to the fact that back surgery should be a last resort when all other methods have failed," said Dr. Shoshany. “For anyone considering surgery to get rid of back pain, this is a healthy alternative treatment they may want to consider.” Spinal Decompression is FDA cleared and a well-documented treatment; it is a safe and effective treatment for herniated discs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Solution for herniated discs

Solution for Herniated disc without surgery
as seen on
Spinal decompression is proving to be a great last resort before surgery. The procedure may also help with failed back surgeries. According to two recent studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, back surgery is often not necessary for back pain, Spinal Decompression and non-surgical treatments can relieve some of the suffering. Neurosurgeon Wilco C. Peul, MD, head of the spine intervention study group at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, led a study of 283 patients with confirmed cases of severe sciatica. The study found that 95 percent reported recovery after one year, whether or not they had surgery. “Americans have back surgery Dr. Steven Shoshany, Spinal Decompression Specialist twice as much as people in other countries,” said Dr. Shoshany. “1.5 million disc operations are done worldwide each year, but surprisingly many of these operations do not need to happen. Non-surgical treatments have been proven to be just as effective.” Spinal decompression causes a decompression to the spine that sucks the disc material back into the disc and brings fresh blood flow to the area, while helping with the healing process. An exam and MRI will determine the level of treatment for each patient and Dr. Shoshany said patients are usually back to their daily activities within two to three weeks after treatment. "What's interesting is that more and more studies point to the fact that back surgery should be a last resort when all other methods have failed," said Dr. Shoshany. “For anyone considering surgery to get rid of back pain, this is a healthy alternative treatment they may want to consider.” Spinal Decompression is FDA cleared and a well-documented treatment; it is a safe and effective treatment for herniated discs.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Make Back Pain Disappear Without Drugs or Scalpel

Make Back Pain Disappear Without Drugs or Scalpel
Spinal Decompression Is a Magical Cure for Some People

reprinted from Daily Health News, November 1, 2007

Luckily I've never suffered a serious bout of back pain -- and staying strong in the hope I won't have problems like that is one reason I am so committed to fitness. Even so, though, the truth is that most of us (80% by some estimates) will have back pain at some time or another -- whether from over-exertion, injury or simply a result of the aging process. Chronic back pain is frustrating, not only because of how badly it hurts but also because it can be difficult to cure. It is the fifth most common reason for doctor visits.

A particularly common cause of such pain is a herniated disk, also referred to colloquially as a "slipped disk." For a long time, the usual mainstream medical solutions were surgery, physical therapy and/or pain medication, all of which take a long time and may not work for everyone. So I was very interested to learn about a non-surgical, non-invasive treatment for herniated disks called spinal decompression.

Visualize the disks in your back as being like hard donuts filled with a jelly-like material in the center. With age, the strong fibrous cartilage (the donut) can weaken, allowing the jelly-like material (nucleus pulposus) to bulge, which in and of itself is not painful. But more seriously, with a herniated disk the hard tissue has actually torn or ruptured, causing this material to ooze and press on spinal nerves. This causes pain that can range from mild to horrible.


One of the first devices used for spinal decompression was approved by the FDA in 1995. Because spinal decompression requires special expertise and pricey equipment, few chiropractors have offered this treatment -- but numbers are growing as training and better insurance reimbursement becomes more commonplace, I was told by Steven Shoshany, DC, a New York City-based chiropractor who specializes in spinal decompression.

Here's how it works: The patient lies on a comfortable table made specifically for this purpose, comfortably strapped down with a pelvis and torso harness that resembles a girdle. Calling it a "high-tech traction device," Dr. Shoshany explained how it works. "Slowly and comfortably, almost imperceptibly, the machine creates traction by pulling and holding for one minute. Then, intermittently, it releases. It is believed that this creates a negative pressure, or a vacuum within the disk, which then draws back the herniated-disk material which was displaced." With less pressure inside the disk, and thus less on the spinal nerves, pain often decreases or might even disappear -- sometimes instantaneously. To "fix the hold," however, numerous sessions may be required.

This technique also allows nutrient-rich fluid to go to the area where there is less pressure, stimulating the healing process. Most patients either sleep or watch a DVD during the treatment, Dr. Shoshany told me. Each session takes about 30 minutes and a typical treatment program may take between 20 to 30 sessions.

Critics contend that there are no long-range, well-designed studies looking at efficacy over time, but there has been some research on the treatment and the results are promising. In one study published in 2001 in Neurological Research, researchers reported that a spinal decompression therapy called VAX-D produced a success rate of 68.4%, compared with 0% for a placebo therapy in treatment of chronic low back pain. Another study from a team of researchers at the University of Illinois and Rome found a 71% success rate for treatment of herniated disk and other causes of low back pain, with "success" defined as a reduction in pain to 0 or 1 on a scale of 0 to 5.


Dr. Shoshany noted that some people get much more benefit from spinal decompression than others, and it is not an option for everyone. "It's not a good choice for a person who has metal implants in the spine," he warned. It's better for people with a single-disk herniation than those who have herniation in several or all of them. Also, people who are morbidly obese and/or who smoke likely won't find much relief from spinal decompression either.

The procedure is thought to be safe, though there is no hard science supporting its efficacy. If you do decide to seek out this somewhat unconventional form of treatment, it's safest and best to do so with the oversight of your orthopedic surgeon, who can help you ascertain whether it might work in your case. For more information on spinal decompression, go to


Steven Shoshany, DC, a New York City-based chiropractor who specializes in spinal decompression. He can be reached through his Web site,


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Spinal decompression therapy More and more patients are learning the benefits of spinal decompression therapy. Just the other day I saw a commercial on cable on Channel 35 in Manhattan for Manhattan Spine. This was a nice infomercial educating patients about the benefits of this treatment. I believe the title of the program is "Back pain Breakthrough"courtesy of National Spine Centers. The spinal decompression protocols utilize the DRX 9000 and a Rehabilitative method.I offer this fantastic treatment in my Manhattan herniated disc treatment facility. The doctor in the video is Dr. Crespo, he is a MD that adopted the DRX 9000 spinal decompression protocol into his approach. Dr. Crespo even calls his program the Crespo method. If you are searching for a comprehensive herniated disc treatment in Manhattan consider treatment at Living well medical this is my newest and most comprehensive facility to date. We have a MD onsite his name is Dr. Arnold Blank he specializes in Pain Management for the past 20 years and is a expert in non-surgical pain relief methods and utilizes both traditional medical approaches and alternative pain relief methods. This recent addition to our practice allows us to more effectivelty deal with patients that are in pain. Our Physical therapy department utilizes the newest and most technologically advanced equipment. Like the Spine Force, Power Plate, Cold laser therapy. Of course we offer Chiropractic care, Medical massage and acupuncture.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Herniated disc nyc

Spinal decompression NYC
Herniated disc treatment NYC

Herniated Disc -
What is a herniated disc?
The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in your back are cushioned by small, spongy discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a herniated disc. It may also be called a slipped or ruptured disc.

You can have a herniated disc in any part of your spine. But most herniated discs affect the lower back (lumbar spine). Some happen in the neck (cervical spine) and, more rarely, in the upper back (thoracic spine). This topic focuses mainly on the lower back.
What causes a herniated disc?
A herniated disc may be caused by:
• Wear and tear of the disc. As you age, your discs dry out and aren't as flexible.
• Injury to the spine. This may cause tiny tears or cracks in the hard outer layer of the disc. When this happens, the gel inside the disc can be forced out through the tears or cracks in the outer layer of the disc. This causes the disc to bulge, break open, or break into pieces.
What are the symptoms?
When a herniated disc presses on nerve roots, it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of the body where the nerve travels. A herniated disc in the lower back can cause pain and numbness in the buttock and down the leg. This is called sciatica (say "sy-AT-ih-kuh"). Sciatica is the most common symptom of a herniated disc in the low back.
If a herniated disc is not pressing on a nerve, you may have a backache or no pain at all.
If you have weakness or numbness in both legs, along with loss of bladder or bowel control, seek medical care right away. This could be a sign of a rare but serious problem called cauda equina syndrome.
How is a herniated disc diagnosed?
Your doctor may diagnose a herniated disc by asking questions about your symptoms and examining you. If your symptoms clearly point to a herniated disc, you may not need tests.
Sometimes a doctor will do tests such as an MRI or a CT scan to confirm a herniated disc or rule out other health problems.
How is it treated?
Symptoms from a herniated disc usually get better in a few weeks or months. To help you recover:
• Rest if you have severe pain. Otherwise, stay active. Walking and other light activity may help.
• Use ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 15 minutes, 3 times a day. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin. Heat relieves pain for some people, but you should wait 2 or 3 days after an injury to use it.
• Do the exercises that your doctor or physical therapist suggests. These will help keep your back muscles strong and prevent another injury.
• Ask your doctor about medicine to treat your symptoms. Medicine won't cure a herniated disc, but it may help with pain and swelling.
Usually a herniated disc will heal on its own over time. About half of people with a herniated disc get better within 1 month, and most are better after 6 months.1 Only about 1 person in 10 still has enough pain after 6 weeks to think about surgery.2
Be patient, and stick with your treatment. If your symptoms don't get better in a few months, you may want to talk to your doctor about surgery.
Can a herniated disc be prevented?
After you have hurt your back, you are more likely to have back problems in the future. To help keep your back healthy:
• Protect your back when you lift. For example, lift with your legs, not your back. Don't bend forward at the waist when you lift. Bend your knees and squat.
• Use good posture. When you stand or walk, keep your shoulders back and down, your chin back, and your belly in. This will help support your lower back.
• Get regular exercise.
• Stay at a healthy weight. This may reduce the load on your lower back.
• Don't smoke. Smoking increases the risk of a disc injury
Herniated Disc - Cause
A herniated disc usually is caused by wear and tear of the disc (also called disc degeneration). As we age, our vertebral discs lose some of the fluid that helps them maintain flexibility. A herniated disc also may result from injuries to the spine, which may cause tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer (annulus or capsule) of the disc. The jellylike material inside the disc (nucleus) may be forced out through the tears or cracks in the capsule, which causes the disc to bulge, break open (rupture), or break into fragments. See an illustration of a herniated disc .
Injury to the disc can occur from:
• A sudden heavy strain or increased pressure to the lower back. Sometimes a sudden twisting movement or even a sneeze will force some of the nucleus (the material inside the disc) out through the disc's outer layer (annulus or capsule).
• Activities that are done over and over again that may stress the lower back, including poor lifting habits, prolonged exposure to vibration, or sports-related injuries

Spinal Decompression treatment has been proven to be an effective treatment for Herniated disc.
Visit for Spinal decompression treatment in Manhattan.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spinal decompression Manhattan NYC-Herniated disc Center

Spinal decompression Manhattan NYC-Herniated disc Center
Many patients with back pain, leg pain, or weakness of the lower extremity muscles are diagnosed with a herniated disc. When a disc herniation occurs, the cushion that sits between the spinal vertebra is pushed outside its normal position. A herniated disc would not be a problem if it weren't for the spinal nerves that are very close to the edge of these spinal discs.
What is the spinal disc?
The spinal disc is a soft cushion that sits between each vertabrae of the spine. This spinal disc becomes more rigid with age. In a young individual, the disc is soft and elastic, but like so many other structures in the body, the disc gradually looses its elasticity and is more vulnerable to injury. In fact, even in individuals as young as 30, MRIs show evidence of disc deterioration in about 30% of people.

What happens with a 'herniated disc'?
As the spinal disc becomes less elastic, it can rupture. When the disc ruptures, a portion of the spinal disc pushes outside its normal boundary--this is called a herniated disc. When a herniated disc bulges out from between the vertebrae, the spinal nerves and spinal cord can become pinched. There is normally a little extra space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, but if enough of the herniated disc is pushed out of place, then these structures may be compressed.

What causes symptoms of a herniated disc?
When the herniated disc ruptures and pushes out, the nerves may become pinched. A herniated disc may occur suddenly in an event such as a fall or an accident, or may occur gradually with repetitive straining of the spine. Often people who experience a herniated disc already have spinal stenosis, a problem that causes narrowing of the space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves. When a herniated disc occurs, the space for the nerves is further diminished, and irritation of the nerve results.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
When the spinal cord or spinal nerves become compressed, they don't work properly. This means that abnormal signals may get passed from the compressed nerves, or signals may not get passed at all. Common symptoms of a herniated disc include:

Electric Shock Pain
Pressure on the nerve can cause abnormal sensations, commonly experienced as electric shock pains. When the compression occurs in the cervical (neck) region, the shocks go down your arms, when the compression is in the lumbar (low back) region, the shocks go down your legs.

Tingling & Numbness
Patients often have abnormal sensations such as tingling, numbness, or pins and needles. These symptoms may be experienced in the same region as painful electric shock sensations.

Muscle Weakness
Because of the nerve irritation, signals from the brain may be interrupted causing muscle weakness. Nerve irritation can also be tested by examining reflexes.

Bowel or Bladder Problems
These symptoms are important because it may be a sign of cauda equina syndrome, a possible condition resulting from a herniated disc. This is a medical emergency, and your should see your doctor immediately if you have problems urinating, having bowel movements, or if you have numbness around your genitals.
All of these symptoms are due to the irritation of the nerve from the herniated disc. By interfering with the pathway by which signals are sent from your brain out to your extremities and back to the brain, all of these symptoms can be caused by a herniated disc pressing against the nerves.

How is the diagnosis of a herniated disc made?
Most often, your physician can make the diagnosis of a herniated disc by physical examination. By testing sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes, your physician can often establish the diagnosis of a herniated disc.

An MRI is commonly used to aid in making the diagnosis of a herniated disc. It is very important that patients understand that the MRI is only useful when used in conjunction with examination findings. It is normal for a MRI of the lumbar spine to have abnormalities, especially as people age. Patients in their 20s may begin to have signs of disc wear, and this type of wear would be expected on MRIs of patients in their 40s and 50s. This is the reason that your physician may not be concerned with some MRI findings noted by the radiologist.

Making the diagnosis of a herniated disc, and coming up with a treatment plan depends on the symptoms experienced by the patient, the physical examination findings, and the x-ray and MRI results. Only once this information is put together can a reasonable treatment plan be considered.
I begin by reading a patients MRI to determine if a patient is a candidate for Non-surgical spinal decompression.
Spinal Decompression therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for symptoms associated with herniated disc.
I include with my spinal decompression therapy protocol
Cold laser therapy, SpineForce 3D Rehab, Custom made orthotics and most recently Oxygen therapy.
Before you start a spinal decompression therapy program make sure that a comprehensive and intergrated approach is available.I currently work with a Medical doctor that specializes in Pain management and a doctor of Physical therapy.
This recent additions allow me to deliver a superior spinal decompression protocol.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Herniated disc treatment

So you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc. What now? I always recommend that patients educate themselves and understand the anatomy and physiology (how things work) of the area. Spinal decompression specialist Dr. Steven Shoshany. Herniated disc treatment in NYC
There are several different classifications of disc herniations. I have them posted on my website
In layman's terms, a disc herniation occurs when the inside of the intervertebral disc (nucleus pulposus) tears its way through the posterior outer portion of the disc (annulus fibrosus) and invades the space where the delicate neural structures reside (i.e., the anterior epidural space). The presents of this nuclear material in the anterior epidural space may irritate these neural structures, which in turn may cause the patient to suffer severe back and/or leg pain. some of the more common classification of herniation.

The term 'Disc Herniation' (or 'disc prolapse' as they use in Europe) is a broad and general term that includes three specific types of disc lesions, which are classified based on the degree of disc disruption and posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL). The three main classifications of disc herniation are Protrusion (aka: contained herniation or sub-ligamentous herniation), Extrusion (aka: non-contained herniation, or trans-ligamentous herniation) and Sequestration (aka: free fragment). General Information and Confusion:

In 1934 the syndrome of "disc herniation" was born when Mixter and Barr first proclaimed that a posterior rupture of the intervertebral disc that allowed nuclear material to escape and compressed the adjacent spinal nerve root(s) was a common cause of back and leg pain - sciatica (125). For nearly 70 years this assertion has held true without much challenge(170).

However, modern research as demonstrated that the relationship between disc herniation and its often associated sciatica are a far more complex and bewildering phenomenon than once realized. For example, since the invent of MRI, we have learned that some patients have disc herniation on MRI, yet have no pain at. And, visa versa, some patients have terrible back and leg pain, yet have no disc herniation! Moreover, when post MRI is performed on some patients that once suffered disc herniation induced back and leg pain, the herniation is still there, yet the patient is gone. Conversely, some patients who fail to recover from back and leg pain, demonstrate a disappearance of the once prominent disc herniation.

Other ironies of disc herniation have been discovered as well. For example, we have learned from the work of Karppinen et al. that the size and severity of disc herniation do NOT correlate with the degree of patient pain, disability, or suffering (170). That is, small disc herniations and even disc bulges may causes just as much pain and disability as massive disc herniations and even extrusion.

Another strange irony is the fact that smaller, less complete, and innocent looking disc herniations (i.e., contained herniations, protrusions and/or disc bulges) are usually more difficult to treat and respond less favorably to decompressive surgery (discectomy) than do the larger and more advanced disc extrusions and sequestrations. (50) Moreover, symptomatic contained herniations have a poorer prognosis for recovery than do the larger more complete disc extrusions and sequestrations do. (50) And, to further cloud the water, we now know that sciatica (a horrible burning lower limb pain associated with disc herniation) is not always causes by the direct pressure from a herniated disc. That is, it can be caused from nuclear material "leaking" from the back of the disc onto the adjacent nerve roots, i.e., chemical radiculopathy(3,4) and/or from chemical and pressure irritation of the posterior intradiscal nerve fiber, i.e., the sinuvertebral nerves, which is called discogenic sciatica.
Spinal decompression has been proven to be a effective treatment for herniated discs.