Hope you all enjoyed the holidays and the great weather we’ve had these past few weeks! It is hard to believe that we are at the beginning of a new year again. 2005 went by too fast! I do think that time acceleration gets worse every year we get older. Probably because as we get older we have more things to do or at least, more things we want to do. My trip to Australia and New Zealand was one of those “must do” things that I finally accomplished. Yes, it was a great trip and one of these days I will write up my adventure in more detail and put it on www.drcraigreese.com if you want to read it.
Boulder Spinal Decompression Center
While I was gone you received some information from our office about a new treatment we have available in the office. Boulder Spinal Decompression Center is the name we have given to this separate part of our business and we have a new web site that explains it in more detail: www.boulderdrx.com. The DRX 9000 is a highly sophisticated spinal decompression system. The addition of this table completes a hierarchy of service that we can provide to you. For many spinal problems, the good old Chiropractic adjustment can get you out of pain fast. For more deep seated, chronic problems, Bio Cranial therapy can make changes to the cranium, dura and spine that regular adjustments can’t touch. Lastly, when the spinal discs have degenerated or the pain in your back has not responded to any of the other treatments and surgery is your next option, the DRX 9000 may be the solution.
Lost in Space
Spinal decompression is the only known way on earth to rehydrate your discs and open back up that vertebral joint space. You could hitch a ride on the next Space Shuttle or Branson’s new space ship but that would set you back a few hundred grand at least. Other than being weightless in space, spinal decompression therapy is the only way to rehydrate your discs. The DRX 9000 and the VAX-D are the only true spinal decompression machines that are FDA cleared. The DRX 9000 C, which we have, is the only FDA cleared cervical decompression machine available.
Surgery for years was aimed at removing the disc and sometimes fusing the area. This procedure failed at least 50% of the time within three years. Now they are experimenting with artificial disc replacements because they know that trying to re-establish normal disc height is important. There are also dangers with that procedure and several lawsuits have been brought against the surgeons and manufacturer of the artificial disc implant. Although, sometimes surgery is the only answer, it should be the final answer when everything else that is less invasive has failed. There is no such thing as a simple surgery and recovery is usually tougher and longer than you realize prior to the surgery.
Shot in the Dark
Spinal injections with steroids can sometimes give you instant relief. My experience with patients who get the shot is that if it is going to work, it will work with the first shot. If the pain comes back a few weeks or months later, a second shot will be less effective and the third one will give almost no relief. The steroid is trying to remove the inflammation from the area and to shrink a swollen disc. This removes the pressure on the nerves and makes the pain go away. It does not rehydrate the disc or increase the space between the vertebrae so it will usually become painful again over time.
Sweatin’ to the Oldies
Exercise is vital to spinal stability but it will not reverse a degenerated disc. It does help support the back and if done early enough and consistently, it will probably protect your back from degenerating in the first place. Exercise is part of the long-term stability of any joint in the body, especially the spine. So that is why I try to make all my patients do exercises specifically to strengthen the spine. Water is also vital because we need to keep the body well hydrated to protect the joints and muscles from losing their water content. Most of us who live in the high dry climate of Colorado are boarder-line dehydrated all the time. Remember that dehydration is the balance of water intake and minerals. You must have both to be hydrated.
So in the
evolution of treatment options, when all else fails you may be a candidate
for the DRX 9000. If you or someone you know has been told that surgery is
your only option, the DRX may help. There are certain pre-existing conditions
though that precludes treatment on the table. These are:
Advanced osteoporosis, any metal in the spine, abdominal aortic aneurysm, spinal tumors and/or infections, spinal fusion, recent (less than one year) spinal fractures or surgery, an unstable spondylolisthesis (a slipping forward of the vertebrae due to a separation in the bones at the posterior portion of that vertebrae) and central canal spinal stenosis (narrowing of the canal).
The table does help degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome, disc herniation and possibly disc prolapse, arthritis and lateral canal stenosis. So if you have been diagnosed via MRI or CAT scan to have any of the above problems, we can probably help you. Only a select few will be allowed into the treatment program and that is based on three criteria: Eligible for treatment, committed to the treatment schedule and motivated to get well. We will receive many more requests for treatment than we have space available on the machine. We can only treat about 10 people every 5 weeks and we will only choose the best candidates for the program. We are about to launch a large advertising campaign for the Boulder area residents but we want to give our patients a shot at being on the schedule first. Also, we are going to give you a big discount because you are already a part of our practice. For the month of January only, if you sign up and pay for the program you get a 30% discount off the entire treatment program. Again, this treatment is not for everyone and only the top candidates will be allowed a space.
In addition to all the things we already do in the office we also now have the privilege of sharing our office with The Thermogram Center. Thermography is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that uses the heat patterns of the body to find problem areas that can sometimes be missed by x-ray and other tests. Tirza is currently doing Thermography in the office on Friday’s and weekends by appointment. Check out her information in our reception area or at www.thermogramcenter.com. I have a Fellowship in Thermography and used it in my California office 20 years ago. The technology has come a long way in that time and Tirza’s equipment is state of the art. She is very interested in breast health education and has co-authored a book on the subject. You can find out more about this subject at her web site www.betterbreasthealthforlife.com. Her number is 303-664-1139 for an appointment.
I will be traveling a lot on weekends so to keep my schedule from changing all the time; I am changing my Friday schedule to Wednesday and will be in the office on Monday’s starting at 2 PM. I am always willing to stay late on Monday or Thursday evenings if you need to come later than 6 PM. Just ask the staff for a later appointment and we will accommodate you unless I have a prior obligation.