Monday, February 18, 2019

All About Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal Decompression Therapy involves stretching the spine, using a traction table or similar motorized device, with the goal of relieving back pain and/or leg pain. 
This procedure is called nonsurgicaldecompression therapy (as opposed to surgical spinal decompression, such as laminectomy and microdiscectomy).
This article provides an overview of nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy and its role in treatment of lower back pain and neck pain.

Theory of Spinal Decompression

Spinal decompression devices use the same basic principle of spinal traction that has been offered by chiropractors, osteopaths, and other appropriately trained health professionals for many years.
Both traction and decompression therapy are applied with the goals of relieving pain and promoting an optimal healing environment for bulging, degenerating, or herniated discs.
Spinal decompression is a type of traction therapy applied to the spine in an attempt to bring about several theoretical benefits including:
  • Create a negative intradiscal pressure to promote retraction or repositioning of the herniated or bulging disc material.
  • Create a lower pressure in the disc that will cause an influx of healing nutrients and other substances into the disc

Clinical Evidence

While the fundamental theory of spinal decompression is widely accepted as valid, there is a lack of evidence supporting decompression therapy as being efficacious. Additionally there are some potential risks.
Although some studies that do not include control groups conclude that decompression therapy is efficacious, the few that do generally conclude that mechanized spinal decompression is no better than sham decompression. [Schimmel JJ, et al. European Spine Journal 18(12):1843-50, 2009] Thus, there is insufficient evidence that spinal decompression therapy is as effective, or more effective, than less expensive manual methods in treating back pain or injured herniated discs.
Go to Dr Garrett Bode's website or see our latest press release (Click Here). [Chiropractor oldsmar], Chiropractic Tampa, 33635, Chiropractors Tampa, Bode Chiropractic Accident & Wellness Center, Oldsmar, 33635, Neck Pain, Low Back Pain, Automobile Accidents, Headaches. Link Link

How Spinal Decompression Therapy is Thought to Work

In nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy, the spine is stretched and relaxed intermittently in a controlled manner. The theory is that this process creates a negative intradiscal pressure (pressure within the disc itself), which is thought to have two potential benefits:
  • Pulls the herniated or bulging disc material back into the disc
  • Promotes the passage of healing nutrients, into the disc and fosters a better healing environment.

Spinal Decompression Session

During spinal decompression therapy for the low back (lumbar spine), patients remain clothed and lie on a motorized table, the lower half of which can move.

  • A harness is placed around the hips and is attached to the lower table near the feet.
  • The upper part of the table remains in a fixed position while the lower part, to which the patient is harnessed, slides back and forth to provide the traction and relaxation.
One difference between various decompression therapies is the patient's position on the table:
  • Some older devices place the patient in the prone position on the table, lying face down (e.g. VAX-D)
  • Some newer devices have the patient lying supine, face up (e.g. Spine Med, or DRX9000)
The patient should not feel pain during or after the decompression therapy although they should feel stretch in the spine.

Treatment Series and Costs

Decompression therapy typically consists of a series of 15 to 30 treatments, lasting 30 to 45 minutes each, over a four to six-week period. Sessions are conducted in the practitioner's office.
The cost of each session typically ranges from $100 to $200, which means that a recommended series of treatments will typically cost from $3,000 to $6,000. Although insurance companies might pay for traditional traction, decompression therapy is not usually allowed although they are nearly the same.
Sessions may include additional treatment modalities, such as electric stimulation, ultrasound, and cold and/or heat therapy applied during or after the procedure.
Recommendations may also include drinking up to a half-gallon of water per day, rest, utilizing nutritional supplements, and/or performing exercises at home to improve strength and mobility.
Go to Dr Garrett Bode's website or see our latest press release (Click Here). [Chiropractor oldsmar], Chiropractic Tampa, 33635, Chiropractors Tampa, Bode Chiropractic Accident & Wellness Center, Oldsmar, 33635, Neck Pain, Low Back Pain, Automobile Accidents, Headaches. Link Link

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Physics Behind a Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is the most common injury associated with a car accident. It typically happens when a person gets rear-ended but could be a result of any type of accident. But, although you’ve likely heard of whiplash, do you understand the physics behind a whiplash injury?
Many people assume that whiplash only occurs in severe accidents and if you are just bumped from behind at a stoplight, you have nothing to worry about. This simply is not the case. Whiplash can occur at surprisingly low speeds and cause an unexpected amount of damage.

What Happens When a Car Gets Rear-Ended?

Let’s start with a simple scenario. Someone is stopped at a stoplight on a city street. A car approaches behind them and slows down; however, because they are on their cell phone, they fail to stop completely in time. The two cars collide at approximately 15 miles per hour. Since the first car is at rest, presumably with the brakes on, it resists the impact. However, that resting car still absorbs 15 miles per hour worth of force.
So, what happens when your vehicle absorbs that amount of force?
When impact occurs, the seats of the first car jolt forward suddenly and with more force than you might expect. Of course, the seats aren’t the only things moving; the torsos of the driver and passengers also jolt forward. The heads of the driver and passengers, however, do not move with their bodies at the same speed. This is what causes the whiplash action.
You may not have known it, but the headrests in your car are not just for comfort; they’re another of your vehicle’s safety features. The headrest lessens the severity of the impact.

The Movement of the Spine in a Rear-End Collision

Normally, the head initiates most spinal movement. The movements of the neck in the cervical spine primarily consist of rotating and looking up and down. When a car gets rear-ended, however, your body moves beneath the spine rather than the head initiating the action. This unnatural movement causes an abnormally high amount of strain to be put on the spine, causing whiplash injury.
This abnormal movement can cause more damage than you might expect. Common damage includes neck stiffness and soreness, but also nerve pain. And, depending on the amount of damage done, you may feel pain immediately, or it could be days or months before the effects of the impact set in. The only way to immediately know the amount of damage done to your body is to have a doctor or chiropractor examine you. Doctors can give a good initial estimate of the damage, but consider seeing a chiropractor who specializes in whiplash injury.

What to Do If You Are in a Car Accident

Most people know the steps you should take if you are involved in a car accident. Check the damage done to people and the cars, call the police, exchange information, and file an insurance claim. However, many people forget that not all injuries are noticeable at first glance. Many people think they are okay while their body is in shock, shielding them from any awareness that they may have suffered bodily damage. Once this shock effect wears away, however, the pain will eventually set in. Getting checked out immediately can make whiplash injuries easier to connect to the car accident. This is especially important in the event of an insurance claim. Often, when whiplash injuries are left undiagnosed, insurers resist covering the injury once symptoms finally appear. It is important to understand the physics of whiplash injury and know how to take proper care if it happens to you.
Go to Dr Garrett Bode's website or see our latest press release (Click Here). [Chiropractor oldsmar], Chiropractic Tampa, 33635, Chiropractors Tampa, Bode Chiropractic Accident & Wellness Center, Oldsmar, 33635, Neck Pain, Low Back Pain, Automobile Accidents, Headaches. Link Link

Relationship Between Headaches and Neck Pain Characteristics With Neck Muscle Strength



The purpose of this study was to assess the correlations between neck muscle strength and pain features, such as neck-related disability, neck pain frequency and intensity, and headache frequency in women with headache.


Seventy women with migraine between 18 and 55 years of age diagnosed according to International Headache Society criteria were assessed. Participants provided clinical information regarding neck pain and headache. The Neck Disability Index was used to assess neck-related disability, and neck muscle strength was assessed via maximum voluntary contraction during flexion, extension, and lateral flexion with a handheld dynamometer. The correlation was verified with Spearman’s correlation coefficient (ρ). Multiple linear regression was performed to verify whether the clinical variables could predict the strength of neck muscles. All calculations were performed adopting a level of significance of 0.05.


Neck extensor strength was negatively correlated with all clinical variables (ρrange = –.24 to –.32, p < .05); lateral flexor strength was negatively correlated with headache frequency, neck pain intensity, and neck-related disability (ρrange = –.27 to –.39, p < .05); and flexor strength also correlated negatively with neck pain intensity and related disability (ρr = –.26 to –.29, p < .05). Headache frequency and neck pain intensity were identified as significant predictors of the strength variability in extension (R2 = 0.16, p < .05) and in lateral flexion (R2 = 0.18, p< .05).


For the women with migraine in this study, correlations of headache and neck pain with neck muscle strength features were weakly to moderately negative. Headache frequency and neck pain intensity may influence a small proportion of the strength variability in extension and lateral flexion.

Go to Dr Garrett Bode's website or see our latest press release (Click Here). [Chiropractor oldsmar], Chiropractic Tampa, 33635, Chiropractors Tampa, Bode Chiropractic Accident & Wellness Center, Oldsmar, 33635, Neck Pain, Low Back Pain, Automobile Accidents, Headaches. Link Link

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Cervical Radiculopathy a Case Study


Case # 4842: The patient is a 54 year-old female who experienced severe cervical spine pain and severe right upper extremity pain, numbness, and tingling resulting from lifting objects in her home. Patient has been diagnosed by primary physician and emergency room physicians as cervical radiculopathy. Medication was rendered consisting of Vicodin with mild relief. Patient presented to Batson Chiropractic with complaints of cervical spine pain, pain into the upper bilateral shoulder and scapular region with pain radiating to the right shoulder, right upper extremity region 8/10 in severity. Patient described numbness, tingling, and pain throughout the entire right upper extremity region extending into the hand and fingers consisting of the first, second, and third digits. Patient describes cervical crepitus, pain in all ranges of motion, muscle spasm and tension into the shoulders bilaterally, loss of strength of the right upper extremity region as well as pain into the right shoulder and scapula region.
Physical Examination: reveals a 54 year-old female, presenting with pain to the cervical spine and right upper extremity. Patient presents with positive orthopedic and neurological findings consistent with the diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy.
X-ray Examination: consisted of static A-P, Lateral, Flexion, Extension views of the cervical spine revealing loss of cervical lordosis with mild kyphosis of the lower cervical region measuring 34 cm, gross anterior head translation measuring 45 mm as measured from the anterior superior endplate of C7 to a perpendicular plum line from the anterior aspect of the C1 tubercle, C5 zygapophysis angle of 37 degrees, C2 angle of -30 degrees, and C1 angle of 22 degrees, degenerative joint and disc disease with disc space thinning C5-C6 with large osteophytic formation and vacuum phenomenon, milder vertebral and disc degeneration at the C4-C5, and C6-C7 segmental levels with mild osteophytic formation. Facet sclerosis noted at multiple levels. Flexion-extension views of the cervical region revealed subluxation: C0 in flexion, C1 flexion, C2 flexion, C6 flexion, C3 extension, C4 extension, C5 extension, C6 extension.
MRI examination: revealed mild atlantodental joint degeneration, minimal posterior disc bulge at C3-C4 right of midline, mild circumferential disc annual bulge C4-C5 with mild impression upon the thecal sac without evidence of spinal cord impingement or neuroforaminal or canal stenosis. C5-C6 revealed degeneration of the intervertebral disc with circumferential annular bulging approximately 3.5 mm posteriorly. There was effacement of the CSF space and slight flattening of the surface of the cord by the bulging disc annulus without evidence of cord compression. Moderate bilateral neuroforaminal narrowing due to the bulging of the intervertebral disc and adjacent posterolateral uncovertebral joint osteophytes. There was impingement of the C6 nerve root bilaterally. C6-C7 disc degeneration with eccentric right posterolateral annual bulging of approximately 2 mm. Moderate to marked right neuroforaminal narrowing due to the posterolateral soft disc protrusion with possible impingement of the right C7 nerve root and foramen.
Patient received twenty therapeutic chiropractic treatment sessions as outlined above and twelve cervical traction sessions over a nine week period of time. Patient responded to chiropractic procedures with positive outcome, experiencing complete resolution of all subjective symptomatology, normal findings of all objective findings, marked improvements in post radiographic findings. Patient returned to normal daily living status with mild restrictions.
Post static lateral radiographic findings after nine weeks of care demonstrated improvements in line analysis as: C1 angle 16 degrees (prior 22 degrees), C2 angle -17 degrees (prior -30 degrees), C5 zygapophysis angle 34 degrees (prior 37 degrees), lordosis angle -58 degrees (prior -34 degrees), measurement of anterior head translation of 16 mm (prior 45 mm).
Conclusion: Patient responded to chiropractic spinal care with complete resolution of cervical radiculopathy, and all subjective symptomatology. Resolution and restoration of proper objective findings are demonstrated by examination and post radiographic findings. Continued care was recommended for further structural spinal restoration.

Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

Whiplash is an injury to the neck muscles from rapid forward and backward motion of the neck caused by a trauma (eg, a car accident). It can cause acute (short-term) neck pain as well as restricted movement in your neck.
How Does a Chiropractor Diagnose a Whiplash Injury?
The chiropractor evaluates your spine as a whole—even if you go to the chiropractor complaining of neck pain following a trauma. He or she will examine the entire spine because other regions of the spine may be affected (not just your neck).
The chiropractor identifies any areas of restricted joint motion, intervertebral disc injury, muscle spasm, and ligament injury. He or she may use a technique called motion and static palpation—diagnostic techniques that involve touch. Your chiropractor will also feel for tenderness, tightness, and how well your spinal jointsmove.
Whiplash illustration showing hyperextension and hyperflexionWhiplash is an injury often affecting the soft tissues of the cervical spine. Sudden and rapid backward (hyperextension) and forward (hyperflexion) of the head and neck can cause acute pain.He or she will also analyze how you walk and take note of your posture and spinal alignment. These details will help the chiropractor understand your body's mechanics and how your spine works, helping with the diagnosis process.
In addition to the chiropractor’s evaluation of your spine, he or she may order an x-ray or an MRI of your spine to evaluate any degenerative changes that may have existed before your whiplash injury. The diagnostic images and results of your physical and neurological evaluation are compared to develop the best treatment plan.
Stages of Whiplash Treatment 
Soon after whiplash occurs—in the acute phase—the chiropractor will work on reducing neck inflammation using various therapy modalities (eg, ultrasound). He or she may also use gentle stretching and manual therapy techniques (eg, muscle energy therapy, a type of stretching).
The chiropractor may also recommend you apply an ice pack on your neck and/or a light neck support to use for a short period of time. As your neck becomes less inflamed and the pain decreases, your chiropractor will perform gentle spinal manipulation or other chiropractic techniques to restore normal motion to your neck's facet joints.
Chiropractic Whiplash Treatments
Your treatment plan depends on the severity of your whiplash injury. The most common chiropractic technique is spinal manipulation. Some spinal manipulation techniques commonly used are:
  • Flexion-distraction technique: This hands-on technique is a gentle, non-thrusting type of spinal manipulation to help treat herniated discs with or without arm pain. Your whiplash injury may have aggravated a bulging or herniated disc. The chiropractor uses a slow pumping action on the disc instead of direct force to the spine.
  • Instrument-assisted manipulation: This technique is another non-thrusting technique chiropractors often use. Using a specialized hand-held instrument, the chiropractor applies force without thrusting into the spine. This type of manipulation is useful for older patients who have a degenerative joint syndrome.
  • Specific spinal manipulation: The chiropractor identifies spinal joints that are restricted or show abnormal motion (called subluxations). Using this technique, he or she will help restore motion to the joint with a gentle thrusting technique. This gentle thrusting stretches soft tissue and stimulates the nervous system to restore normal motion to the spine.
In addition to spinal manipulation, the chiropractor may also use manual therapy to treat injured soft tissues (eg, ligaments and muscles). Some examples of manual therapies your chiropractor may use are:
  • Instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy: Your chiropractor may use the Graston technique, which is an instrument-assisted technique used to treat injured soft tissues. He or she will perform gentle repeated strokes using the instrument over the injured area.
  • Manual joint stretching and resistance techniques: An example of a manual joint therapy is muscle energy therapy.
  • Therapeutic massage: The chiropractor may perform therapeutic massage to ease muscle tension in your neck.
  • Trigger point therapy: Your chiropractor will identify specific hypertonic (tight), painful points of a muscle by putting direct pressure (using his or her fingers) on these specific points to alleviate muscle tension.
Your chiropractor may also use other therapies to help reduce neck inflammation caused by whiplash. Examples of other therapies your chiropractor may use are:
  • Interferential electrical stimulation: This technique uses a low frequency electrical current to help stimulate muscles, which can ultimately reduce inflammation.
  • Ultrasound: By increasing blood circulation, ultrasound can help decrease muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain in your neck. Ultrasound does this by sending sound waves deep into muscle tissues. This creates a gentle heat that increases circulation.
Chiropractors look at the whole person—not just the painful problem. They view neck pain as unique to each patient, so they don’t just focus on your neck pain. They emphasize prevention as the key to good long-term health. In addition to these treatments, your chiropractor may also prescribe therapeutic exercises to help restore normal motion in your spine and reduce whiplash symptoms.
Using these chiropractic techniques, a chiropractor will help you increase your daily activities. He or she will work hard to address any mechanical (how the spine moves) or neurological (nerve-related) causes of your whiplash.

Treatment of Adult Neck Pain Not Due to Whiplash

“WHIPLASH, A SOFT TISSUE INJURY TO THE NECK, is also called neck sprain or neck strain. It is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck, usually because of sudden extension and flexion,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

Approximately two-thirds of people involved in motor vehicle accidents develop symptoms of whiplash. The symptoms usually do not develop until two to 48 hours after the injury. Whiplash can also occur from falls, sports injuries, work injuries and other incidents.

Patients with whiplash injury may complain of pain and stiffness in the neck, extending into the shoulders and arms, upper back and even the upper chest. Two-thirds of patients suffer with headaches, especially at the base of the skull. Patients may also experience dizziness, difficulty swallowing, nausea and even blurred vision after injury, but these symptoms tend to resolve quickly.

According to Marshall, 45 percent to 85 percent of people who suffer a whiplash injury have the symptoms five years after the accident, and 82 percent had a straightening or reversal of their cervical curvature.2 "Many authors regard a straightening or reversal of the normally lordotic curvature to be one of the most significant changes of a whiplash injury.” 

“The initial injury is due to damage of cervical muscles, ligaments, disks, blood vessels and nerves. The actual injury to soft tissues happens so rapidly that normal protective muscle reflexes cannot respond in time to decrease or prevent the injury,” according to a 2006 case report in the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association.

The Diagnosis

To diagnose whiplash, a DC must first take a thorough history of the injury and the patient’s previous medical history. Pre-existing conditions, such as arthritis, may increase the severity of the whiplash. The DC should give the patient an in-depth physical examination with concentration on the neuromusculoskeletal system.

Similar to asking about whiplash injuries from motor vehicle accidents, DCs should ask the patient questions that reveal the details of a sports-related incident. DCs must ask patients with vehicular accident injuries, “Where was the impact from? Were you moving at the time? Did you have a seatbelt on? What type of seatbelt? Were you braced for impact? Did you hit anything in the vehicle?” says Dr. Alan Sokoloff, team chiropractor for the Baltimore Ravens. “You have to do the same for sport-related neck injuries, too,” he says.

Dr. Sokoloff explains that he “encounters doctors that say, ‘I do not treat sports injuries,’ but if you are treating injuries from auto accidents and really dig into the mechanism of the injury with all of its details, it’s pretty much the same.”

Advanced Imaging

In some cases, advanced imaging may be necessary to make a proper diagnosis. A cervical CT scan is ordered if a DC suspects cervical spine trauma, such as a vertebral fracture, if the patient complains of paresthesia of the hands, if the patient is unconscious or has severe pain together with neurological deficits, explains Jerrold Simon, DC, president of the ACA Rehab Council.

“A cervical MRI is ordered when the whiplash patient complains of neck pain with radicular symptoms, such as a tingling sensation radiating down the arms or if there is suspected cervical spine trauma and the clinical findings suggest ligamentous damage. A cervical MRI may be ordered as a follow-up to normal cervical CT scan if the above symptoms are present,” says Dr. Simon.


In treating whiplash injury, patients should be reminded to stay active, unless immobilization is necessary due to serious injury. “A cervical foam collar may be needed during the first few days following the incident if the cervical trauma is severe. However, in general, cervical collars are not recommended,” says Dr. Simon.

Immediately after the whiplash injury, Dr. Simon applies an ice compress to the posterior para-cervical spine musculature for about 10 minutes on a periodic basis. Ice compresses are generally only used for the first 48 hours after an injury.

In addition, chiropractic care is beneficial. A retroactive study by Woodward et al. published in Injurydemonstrated that chiropractic treatment benefited 26 of 28 patients suffering from chronic whiplash syndrome.5 Chiropractic care in this study included spinal manipulation, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching and cryotherapy [ice-pack therapy].

A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine to increase range of motion, while also enhancing movement of the adjoining muscles. This will eventually eliminate pain, soreness and stiffness and allow a patient to painlessly turn and tilt the head. In addition to adjustments, a treatment plan of mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises may speed up the recovery process.

“Cervical rehabilitation procedures should be considered after the initial pain and inflammation have substantially subsided,” says Dr. Simon. “Then a functional capacity evaluation with focal attention to the cervical spine should be performed to assess the magnitude and degree of upper spinal functional deficiency.”

Following this test, a DC can decide if the patient should receive a treatment of isometric cervical flexion, extension and lateral flexion against resistance exercises, a proprioceptive rocker board, wobble board and/or gym ball exercises and vibration therapy.

“Every person is different, and everyone’s ability to heal is different, so how we treat patients is very individualized,” says Dr. Sokoloff. “We will use modalities initially, if indicated. We will use soft-tissue techniques, if indicated. We will usually use a chiropractic adjustment, if indicated. But the one procedure we always use is progressive rehabilitative exercises, in office and home recommendations.”

Home recommendations include proper computer and phone ergonomics, range-of-motion exercises and icing, to name a few.

“Treatment plans that do not hold the patient responsible for helping themselves cheat everyone,” says Dr. Sokoloff. “The more a patient is informed about home icing instructions, home exercise and activity of daily living modifications, the better the outcomes are for everyone.”