Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Disc Herniation and Age-Related Degenetation

As we get older, it’s normal for the spongy discs in our spines to degenerate somewhat. It’s just part of the aging process. However, it is not normal for this degenerative cycle to cause pain, and for certain individuals, that’s exactly what happens. Commonly referred to as Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD for short), the shrinking disc can become a chronic source of pain, occasionally leading to issues with mobility and performing normal activities. Unfortunately, there are other causes of disc degeneration that are not related to age; a herniated disc, bone spurs, and osteoarthritis are all precursors to Degenerative Disc Disease and the pain that can come with it. At our office, Living Well Medical in NYC, we help patients who are suffering with disc problems and pain like DDD without surgery.

Among the more common precipitators of premature disc degeneration is a herniated disc. Anyone who has ever suffered from a herniated disc can tell you about the pain, the restrictions it can place on the way you live your life, the frustration. The typical reason that a herniated disc is so painful is nerve compression. In the lower back, the nucleus (the soft center of an intervertebral disc) of a herniated disc has broken through the annulus (the protective outer layer of a spinal disc) and presses up against the sciatic nerve roots leading to inflammation and irritation. In more serious cases, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness may also be experienced. We regularly treat herniated disc at Living Well Medical in NYC, but there are occasionally long-term ramifications like the early onset of disc degeneration as mentioned above. For patients suffering from herniated disc or disc degeneration, we have developed a comprehensive treatment protocol that combines several potent, non-surgical options to ease pain and suffering without surgery.

One of the core components of treatment for most Degenerative Disc Disease sufferers is non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX 9000. This form of back pain treatment focuses on correcting spinal imbalances that result from disc malfunctions like DDD, herniated discs, bulging discs and disc-related spinal stenosis. During a treatment session, patients lie down on a table with a special harness around the waist. The harness connects them to a traction element that can be angled to target different areas of the spine, and a computer-guided program gentle applies a therapeutic stretch to the spine, elongating it and increasing the space between the vertebrae. This helps the disc bring in badly needed fluids and nutrients to repair itself. In addition, if herniation is occurring, the stretches can also help pull the nucleus of a herniated disc back inside the fibrous tissue of the annulus, potentially reducing or even eliminating the nerve compression that often causes pain.

To get the best possible results for our patients, physical therapy, chiropractic, cold laser therapy, and postural corrections might also be part of a treatment program involving spinal decompression. Only after a complete examination can our physicians establish whether or not spinal decompression with the DRX 9000 is right for you. As the NYC chiropractor who has been using the DRX 9000 the longest in the city, Living Well Medical’s Dr. Steven Shoshany can help you make the right decision for treatment.

Using fully digital x-ray and other cutting edge diagnostics right in our office like Nerve Conduction Velocity studies and EMG (electromyography), we have all the tools to find the source of your pain and effectively treat it. Call Living Well Medical in NYC today to find out more at 212-645-8151.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Cervical Pain in NYC: What Makes my Neck Hurt?

Next to back pain, neck pain is one of the principle reasons that people miss work in the United States, but of course, there isn’t just one hard and fast reason for neck pain. Each person’s pain will be different based on factors like lifestyle choices, previous injuries and genetic predispositions; however, one thing all types of neck pain have in common is their overwhelming ability to shut down activity, particularly for cases that are severe or chronic.

At our practice, Living Well Medical in NYC, we regularly treat patients with cervical pain (cervical refers to the uppermost portion of the spine and correlates to the neck in vertebrate mammals such as humans), taking a comprehensive approach that combines a variety of non-surgical techniques for pain relief. Below, you will find a few of many causes of neck pain, each of which will contain possibilities for treatment we make available to our patients.

Degenerative Disc Disease

As we age, the spongy material in between the vertebrae can degrade, reducing its ability to act as a shock absorber. The weakening of the outer wall of the disc, the annulus fibrosus, can also lead to bulging or herniation. Degenerative disc disease is not a painful problem for most people as it is a normal part of aging, but can lead to significant impairment in some circumstances. Symptoms of this condition are numerous and can include neck/back pain, tingling, and weakness, among others.

At Living Well Medical in NYC, we bring together a number of non-surgical treatment options for patients suffering with degenerative disc disease. Often that will include non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000, cold laser therapy (which can help encourage faster healing), physical therapy and gentle chiropractic treatments.

Herniated Disc

Spinal discs that develop a tear in the fibrous tissue that surrounds the gel-like center sometimes spill some of their contents out, causing pressure on the sciatic nerve. This can occur in any of the spinal discs, but the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) discs are particularly susceptible. Herniated discs are not always painful, but compression of the nerve roots in the spine associated with disc herniation can be debilitating, causing severe lower back pain, leg pain, and muscle weakness.

For many of our patients, the DRX9000 non-surgical spinal decompression system has proven to be an effective alternative to the surgeries that are often prescribed by traditional medical doctors. Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 is a gentle stretching of the spine that is guided by a computer system. By adjust the angle of the stretch and the force, important nutrients can reach the discs, promoting healing and relieving pain.

Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve is a broader term for any nerve impingement or irritation as a result of compression. A pinched nerve can be the result of a herniated disc, a bulging disc, facet joint syndrome, or a muscular issue like piriformis syndrome, to name a few. Pain from pinched nerves is often acute, sometimes described as a stabbing pain or a burning sensation. Weakness, numbness and tingling often accompany a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve in the neck can produce an effect called ‘referred pain,’ meaning a patient is experiencing pain in a part of the body that is adjacent to or distant from the actual site of injury. That’s one of the reasons that an extensive evaluation is necessary to pinpoint the actual site of the injury.

Treatment for a pinched nerve will depend on the specific type, but may include elements of non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000, manual therapy, physical therapy, cryotherapy and cold laser treatment.

Neck pain can be a serious problem without effective treatment. At Living Well Medical in NYC, we can help stop the pain without surgery. If cervical pain has taken control of your life, give us a call at 212-645-8151 to make an appointment.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Repairing a Herniated Disc without Surgery in NYC

If you are suffering with severe back pain and have been diagnosed with a herniated disc (sometimes called a prolapsed disc), you may be considering surgery as a solution. However, at our practice, Living Well Medical in NYC, we take an integrative approach that can stop pain without the need for back/spine surgery. Using chiropractic care and non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000, pain from conditions like pinched nerves and herniated discs can feel like themselves again.

In many cases, when no other forms of treatment have been effective, discs in the lower back (lumbar discs) or neck (cervical discs) respond favorably to chiropractic, non-surgical spinal decompression or a combination of both. So many of the people we see have been everywhere, tried everything and found little or no relief. They have tried pain medication regimens, muscle relaxants, even spinal injections through pain management and are still in agony. They have exhausted the options that conventional medicine has presented them. But, of course, back surgery for a herniated disc can be a terrifying prospect, so they come to our NYC office in search of an alternative.

Chiropractic adjustment seeks to root out spinal misalignments that can be the cause of pain. A herniated disc will in many cases respond to manual therapy like chiropractic, but it’s true that a small percentage will not find relief. For these patients a combination of non-surgical spinal decompression and adjustment can help ease the pain in their neck or lower back.

Non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 is a huge technological advancement in the field of treatment of conditions like herniated or bulging disc, pinched nerves, and degenerative disc disease without having to go under the knife. This computer-guided machine puts patients in a harness that helps direct a precise amount of force at the specific intervertebral disc that has bulged, herniated or otherwise failed in its function. Over the course of a treatment, the machine goes through a stretching phase followed by a period of semi-relaxation. The stretching helps increase the space between the vertebrae, stretch ligaments, and elongate the spine. In addition, the DRX9000 monitors biofeedback to determine if muscle guarding is occurring so that it can reduce the amount of stretching.

Over the course of a typical spinal decompression treatment cycle, these stretches help to create negative pressure inside of a disc which can pull herniated or bulging disc material back into its proper position, relieving nerve compression and pain in the process.

It’s true that non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 is not a panacea for back pain. There are a number of other factors to be addressed like lifestyle choices, exercise training and overall wellness. However, it’s also true that non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 gives patients hope for back and neck pain relief without surgery.

For patients still in pain because of a herniated or bulging disc, Living Well Medical in NYC wants to help you. Call us today at 212-645-8151 or visit our website at Living Well Medical.