Kinesio Tape: Not just for superstar athletes!

I love using the tape with my patients. Ever since I introduced Kinesio Taping at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ in January of this year, I’ve been seeing excellent results. All sorts of conditions have been getting better faster than ever since we added this to the practice.

Serena Williams using Kinesio Tape, just like patietns at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ

Tennis Superstar Serena Willams, sporting Kinesio Tape on both legs.

It’s great to take something that works for so many elite athletes and use it to help my patients get out of pain and hold their adjustments longer.

Kerry Walsh uses Kinesio Taping, just like we do here at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ

Olympian Kerry Walsh diving to make a shot. Notice the Kinesio Tape on her right shoulder.

Kinesio Taping was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in 1979 and is being used by the world’s top professional athletes such as Serena Williams, Lance Armstrong and David Beckham. College teams, like the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, use Kinesio taping with their players to treat injuries and enhance performance.

Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Cycling Team use Kinesio Tape, just like we do at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ

Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Cycling Team in 2001. Notice the orange Kinesio Tape on two different rider's knees.

It seems that everywhere you look competitive athletes can be seen wearing colorful pieces of tape on a shoulder or elbows or knees, even the Olympics. But for all the college and pro players using the tape, there are many more “regular folks” who have discovered just how useful Kinesio taping is to them.

David Beckham wearing Kinesio Tape, a technique used by The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ

Soccer Superstar David Beckham showing off his... hot pink kinesio tape.

If you are interested in finding out more about Kinesio Taping, visit our website or call the office Taping, call us for an appointment.


Invest in your own health

Recently a new patient came to me with lower back pain that radiated into the leg. He had been battling the problem for three years and it was gradually getting worse. After examining him and looking at his X-rays and his MRI report, I knew two things. First, if he didn’t get this problem taken care of he would end up needing a risky surgery on his lower back. The second thing I knew was that I could help him before it got that bad.

The only problem was his insurance coverage wasn’t great and he was going to have to be responsible for part of the cost of his care. I try to keep my fees affordable but he wanted to know if I could guarantee my results. Sadly, there are no guarantees with health care. All any doctor can do is provide the very best service possible and do what he believes is the right thing for the patient.

What I could guarantee was that doing nothing to deal with a growing problem would be a poor choice. He was concerned that pain was going to prevent him from being able to do his job, and with money so tight he didn’t want to spend anything on his health. But the truth was that if he didn’t “invest” in his health it would cost him not only much more money but also potentially his job and the quality of his life with his family.

In this case, the patient and I both felt very strongly that the treatment I recommended was his best choice. We gave him a reasonable payment option and he has chosen to begin spinal decompression therapy. I expect that his ROI (return on investment) will be excellent.

My concern is for others with problems like my patient. Insurance costs are climbing and coverage is more limited with each passing year. But in the end, ignoring your health will become the most costly investment you didn’t make.

Is surgery the only answer when competitive athletes get hurt?

The other day was Sunday or “Football Day” as it is referred to by many of my friends. I watched a bit and caught the wrap up Monday before making it into the office. Several players, including Michael Vick, were hurt during the day and had to leave the games.*

Injuries really aren’t surprising considering how rough competition can get. Even at a college or high school level, sports are violent and players get hurt. The consequence of these injuries may stop an athlete from participating in any competition and the pain can be felt for the rest of their life.

The big question is. “What do competitive athletes do when they get hurt?” The pressure to get back into the game is immense. Often they are faced with the choice of losing their place on the team or undergoing some type of risky surgery.

It made me think about my own experience and that of several other chiropractors who were high school and college athletes. After potentially career ending injuries of different types we were all offered surgery as a cure but chose to undergo chiropractic care, recovered fully and got back to playing that same season. (Unlike surgery, where the recovery time and subsequent rehab often makes an injury “season-ending.”)

Over the past 25 years of practice here at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ we’ve helped many injured athletes. We’ve also kept many of our younger athletes injury free with good support programs, exercise regimens and regular chiropractic adjustments. And if you’re a golfer, we have specific and extensive experience in Golf fitness, with 2 Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Professionals and a PGA Golf Pro on staff.

So get out there and play safe. And if you do suffer an injury, think about giving us a call before you consider more radical treatments like surgery. We may be able to get you back in the game before it’s too late.


*By the way, Vick’s injury was a concussion, which thankfully the NFL is finally taking seriously. (Even Madden 12 Football is taking them seriously, with concussions resulting in the player being sidelined for the rest of the game, no exceptions. If you don’t play Madden, then you can learn all about it from this article by Alan Schwarz (no relation!) in the NY Times.

What do you think about Peyton Manning’s Spinal Fusion Surgery?

If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve probably heard that the Indianapolis Colts’ Quarterback, Peyton Manning, just had surgery for the 3rd time on his neck. He had the disc between two cervical vertebrae removed and replaced with a shaved piece of his own hip to fuse the two spinal bones together. The procedure will leave him with a permanent area of pain in his hip and potentially some loss of motion in his neck, but it might allow him to continue playing football. (Having just signed a 5-year, $90 million dollar contract, let’s hope so!)

As a chiropractor who works with neck and disc injuries, I wonder if there was another way to treat this injury. I have helped many people with herniated discs in their neck.  While Peyton Manning is not my typical patient, there have been several professional athletes who have chosen to use spinal decompression therapy as an alternative to surgery and have extended their carriers as a result.

It is my hope that Peyton recovers and is able to return to his place with the Colts.  However, considering this is his 3rd attempt to fix his neck and after seeing so many disc injuries in my own practice, I fear that his future is anything but certain.

Looking for Spinal Decompression Therapy? Talk to The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ!

I recently had a patient referred to me by another chiropractor. The patient was suffering arm and shoulder pain due to several badly herniated discs in his neck. Pain from this type of problem can be severe and have significant effects on day-to-day life.

The doctor referred him to us because of our “Discforce” spinal decompression therapy table, something that very few other chiropractic offices in Bergen County, NJ have. This state-of-the-art equipment allows us to safely and painlessly treat “slipped” or herniated discs in the neck and in the lower back.

It was the doctor’s opinion that without spinal decompression therapy, the patient would have to undergo surgery in his neck. Both the patient and the doctor agreed that having someone cut open his neck would not be his first choice, so she made the referral to our office.

I am very happy to be able to help this man and all of the others who have come to the office for this type of treatment. If you have any questions about spinal decompression therapy and whether it can help you, please contact the office or send me an email. And if you’re in Dumont or one of our neighboring towns (Bergenfield, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield or Teaneck), why not stop in and take a look at our Discforce spinal decompression table. It’s actually pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves!

AARP: Think twice before going under the knife

I recently read an article in the recent issue of AARP The Magazine, 4 Surgeries to Avoid: Reasons to think twice before going under the knife, that talked about 4 surgeries that should be avoided. Personally, I think they were being kind by only listing 4, however one of them in particular caught my attention. Complex spinal fusions for Stenosis, where surgeons take a piece of bone and used it to fuse two other spinal bones together.

The most common reasons for spinal fusions are back pain, herniated discs and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal due to degenerative changes in the spinal bones). Sadly, study after study has shown that surgery for back pain usually has poor long-term results.

Yet for some reason more surgeries are being done every year to address this very problem. Insurance companies willingly shell out tens of thousands of dollars for each procedure. Back pain sufferers think it’s a great deal because they only have to make a co-payment and the rest is covered. They must expect that the surgery will fix whatever the problem is instantly and they will never again be plagued by back pain of any type.

In fact, according to the AARP article:

Previous studies have also found that most fusion patients experience no more relief from their chronic back pain than those who had physical and behavioral therapy. “There is even some evidence that [complex fusion surgery] is worse than other surgeries,” says Floyd J. Fowler Jr., Ph.D., senior scientific advisor for the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making (FIMDM). “The vertebrae right above and below the fusion have to do a lot more bending, and it puts stress on your back above and below.”

I also have to question the motives of the doctors doing the procedures. After increasing evidence of failed back surgeries, I wonder if they just are hoping to make their money and run!

My advice is, even if you can get a back surgery at the bargain price of a $50 co-pay, don’t do it. There are multiple options to surgery and the studies all point to a better prognosis than if someone takes a knife to your back.

At The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ, I use state-of-the-art non-surgical decompression for herniated and degenerated discs. I also use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue work on the muscle, tendons and ligaments, and rehabilitative exercises. Our results are spectacular and have none of the risks associated with spinal surgery.

If I leave you with only one thought, I’d like it to be this: surgery is a permanent and life-altering process that you can’t undo. Consider trying non-surgical spinal decompression therapy and chiropractic care first. If it doesn’t work for you, there will be plenty of time to let somebody cut into your back and fuse your bones together later.

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