Is Talking About Spinal Decompression Therapy Scaring Patients Off?

I received a phone call from a marketing firm this past week. It was a typical call, trying to solicit business. The man said that he had “investigated” my practice and I needed to change my approach to speaking with my patients.

He told me patients were scared of chiropractors and spinal decompression therapy, and that if I hoped to be successful in the “New World of Health Care” I needed to stop focusing on those things and start looking at providing other types of services.

I mentioned that statistics repeatedly have shown that the services I provide are:

  • much safer than typical medical care
  • more effective in the long run than surgery
  • less costly that other approaches.

He wouldn’t be deterred and insisted that letting people know what I did was keeping them out of my office.

After thanking him for his advice, I hung up and shook my head. For over 25 years I have been helping people get better without medications or surgery. I know that by telling people about the benefits of chiropractic care and spinal decompression I have helped hundreds of people avoid using dangerous drugs and undergoing risky surgeries.

Maybe some people are scared because I talk to them about chiropractic adjustments and spinal decompression therapy. And maybe I am not going to make it big in the “New World of Health Care” but I will keep doing what I do because I know it is the best way to safely keep people healthy — and that is what matters the most to me!


Why muscle weakness can lead to back pain and other injuries

In my previous blog post I wrote about a patient who had lower back pain caused by a problem in another area of his spine. His condition was due to a loss of motion in his middle back which he compensated for by twisting his lower back while playing golf.

In over 25 years of practice, I have seen many other patients who came in with injuries caused by weakness that was far removed from the area of pain. One person had a hamstring tear because of a long-standing weakness in the muscles of his hip. Another patient had headaches because he was using the muscles in his neck when trying to lift his arm with a damaged rotator cuff muscle. One patient hurt his shoulder while trying to lift something because he was unable to use the muscles of his back properly.

When examining my patients, I have found that it is important to look at all of them, not just the spot that hurts. Their injury is often due to compensations for deeper problems and fixing those issues may become the primary focus of my treatment. Simply “cracking” the part that hurts doesn’t do the job! Treatment here at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ could include spinal decompression therapy, chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy, as well as newer techniques like kinesio taping.

If you are suffering with a problem and would like to investigate the cause, please give us a call at 201-387-7463 to schedule an initial exam or an appointment.

The area of your back pain or neck pain isn’t always the area of your problem

It doesn’t always make sense to my patients, but the area of their back pain or neck pain is not always the area of their problem. Just recently, a patient came into my office complaining of lower back and hip pain. I had treated him for a herniated disc in his neck. After some adjustments and time on the spinal decompression therapy table, he made a complete recovery and was able to back to his favorite pastime, playing golf.

This was a new issue. The pain had started recently and didn’t seem to be related to his previous neck injury. After talking about when the pain began and examining not just his lower back but his entire spine, we discovered that he had lost almost all of the rotation in his mid-back, making it almost impossible to swing the golf club properly. As a result, every time he tried to swing normally, he caused a severe rotational force to be focused in his lower back. Thanks to my Titleist Certified Golf Fitness training, I knew that this was actually a situation that can occur frequently.

We began working on restoring motion in his ribs and thoracic spine as well as normal diaphragmatic breathing and core stability. Combined with chiropractic adjustments and some work with our massage therapist, I expect him to do very well and be back to playing golf within a few weeks.

Breathing and Back Pain

I recently attended a workshop on a method of rehabilitation called “Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization” (DNS). We focused on building better movement patterns and stability by going back to the patterns you had as an infant.

Rolling over, crawling, even breathing properly are all patterns which are hardwired into your brain and nervous system. Throughout our lives, those patterns can break down causing weakness and predisposing us to injuries. Spending too much time working behind a desk, walking in poor shoes or spending long hours on your feet are all things which can cause changes to normal motion.

Breathing properly sounds so simple, but when I checked my practice members, I found about 90 percent of my patients failed to use their diaphragm to inhale and needed to be retrained. Breathing properly not only allows us to take in more air but when we use our diaphragm properly it also contributes to stability of the spine.

Herniated discs and spinal misalignments can also cause these changes. Spinal Decompression and chiropractic adjustments are essential to restoring normal motion and preventing future injuries. Combining decompression and adjustments with this new approach to restoring normal patterns of movement opened up a whole new way of helping my patients.

If you want to know more about how your breathing can cause spinal pain, give us a call at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ and let us know. We would love to chat with you.

When tears of joy replace tears of pain…

Last time I blogged about how I have been using a combination of chiropractic adjustments and spinal decompression therapy to deal with my own disc injury and get out of pain.

Today I want to tell you about a patient of mine who was suffering with constant neck pain as well. Her pain was in her neck, shoulder and into her arm. It had been going on for a very long time and after going to several doctors, physical therapists and even another chiropractor she came to my office after another patient convinced her to try just one more time.

It took a little while, months in fact, but after some hard work, including spinal decompression therapy, her pain began to go away.

I didn’t realize just how impactful this was for her until she came into the office one day almost in tears. She told me “Doctor, you just don’t understand how much of a relief it is not to be in pain every day!” By the time she left we both had a good cry. I was happy for her, plus I was reminded myself just how badly chronic pain affect your life.

This type of patient is one of the reasons I love what I do. I have seen hundreds of patients get those same results over the years and know that without chiropractic these people would have ended up either on pain medications for life or cut open by a surgeon on an operating room table.

Maybe it was going through a period of incredible pain myself that reminds me just how grateful I am to be part of a profession that allows me able to change so many of my patients’ lives for the better.

I feel your pain.

After more than 25 years of as a chiropractor, I sometimes forget how dramatically pain can change a person’s life. This past winter I was reminded how important getting adjusted can be by my own pain.

The pain in my left hip started in early December. At first it was nothing too severe. Just enough to cause me to ice my back and hip after working out and to go running up to my office in between patients to sit down for a rest. Frequently, I couldn’t sleep through the night, because when I moved the pain would wake me. My wife told me that I often moaned in pain when I did manage to sleep. I tried changing my exercises, doing therapy on my hip, massage, rest – I even tried using some “over the counter” pain medication but the situation continued to get worse.

I really began to get worried when I wasn’t able to lift my left leg without feeling sharp pains. I had to use my hands to physically lift my leg when getting into and out of the car. I have been hurt many times in my life, but this scary. It was the first time my weekly visits to my own chiropractor were not doing the trick. I began to think that I was going to need surgery.

Finally I went to see a different chiropractor. After a full examination found the problem to be in my back, I began getting adjusted and getting spinal decompression therapy 3 times a week. The change has been amazing. My pain began getting better almost immediately.

After a short time, I have gotten so much better that now I am able work with little or no pain and have returned to the gym. Sadly, it is not all “butterflies and rainbows” yet. I have had setbacks and times when I pushed myself a little too hard or too fast. And like so many of my patients, every time I feel the pain I have to fight back the panic and remember that getting better takes time.

I am looking forward to getting back to doing the things I love and know that without chiropractic and spinal decompression therapy, my future would be looking very different.

Have a great and healthy day!
Dr. David Schwartz,
The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ
For appointments, call 201-387-7463

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.

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.

Power back on… normal office hours resume

Take that, Irene! Our power is back on, and we’ll be seeing patients during our normal Tuesday office hours of 4-7.

So give us a call and make an appointment at the Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ for chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression therapy, massage therapy, Titleist certified golf fitness instruction and more.

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!

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