A Sad Story about Back Surgery

A patient from Cresskill came in recently with a sad story. He told me he used to be a runner until herniating a disc in his lower back. The pain started slowly but very soon it had progressed enough to make even walking too painful to bear. He didn’t want to give up running so he tried resting, physical therapy and even pain management. Nothing really worked and eventually he ended up having back surgery.

Photo of a back surgery operation. Credit: Platinus/iStock.

Back surgery – the last place you want to end up. Credit_Platinus_iStock.jpg

His surgeon promised to do his best to help get him back to running. However a very short time after the surgery, the pain in my patient’s lower back and down his leg (sciatica) had returned. The only suggestion he got from his doctor was to have more surgery and to remove another disc.

The patient came to me desperate to avoid another failed back surgery and hoping to MAYBE get back to running a bit. The past surgery made it a more difficult case but after examining his spine and looking at his MRI, I placed him on a program of soft instrument adjustments, cold laser and spinal decompression using our “Discforce” table.

After a very short period of time, the pain had practically disappeared in both his back and in his leg. We have started him on his core training program and have high hopes we will be able help him to start running again.

Back surgery is almost always a last resort. Just about half of the time, lower back disc surgeries fail within the first year and leave the patient worse off than they started. Fortunately, our office has the tools to help most who are thinking about having back surgery. If you are thinking that surgery is your answer, give us a call to find out if you are a candidate for our program. Maybe we can give your story a happy ending!


The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, Emerson, Englewood, Harrington Park, Haworth, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly in Northern New Jersey. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

It’s A Wonderful Life – Happy Holidays – Holiday Schedule

Scene from the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life", which inspired Dr. David Schwartz of The Back Care Center to write this post.

Happy Holidays to all my friends and practice members.  Hopefully you’re enjoying the season’s festivities.  One of my favorite movies at this time of year is “It’s A Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.  I haven’t seen it yet this year but I started wondering what would life be like if someone important to me simply had never existed, just like in the movie.

One person that popped into my head right away was my first chiropractor.  Without him, my life would be very different.  With his help I didn’t need back surgery when I was a kid and have been able to live an active life, enjoying things like golf, tennis, skiing, rollerblading, swimming and working out.

Because of my positive experience with him, I eventually became a chiropractor,  set up a practice and ended up living in Dumont.  I was where I needed to be to meet my wife Marina, get married and have my daughter, Maya.  Over the 25+ years I have been in practice, thousands of patients with back pain, neck pain, headaches and sciatica have come to my office and fortunately I have been able to help most of them.

It makes me realize how important one man was to my life and I wonder how many others, like me, he affected as well.  If he ever gets a chance to look back at his life, I hope he can see his impact and say “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

All the best to you during the holiday season, from Dr. David Schwartz and the staff of The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ.

Holiday Schedule for the Back Care Center:

The Back Care Center will be closed the following days:
Tuesday, December 24
Wednesday, December 25
Thursday, December 26
Tuesday, December 31
Wednesday, January 1
Thursday, January 2

Please plan your visits accordingly. With snow, ice, and the holidays upon us, it’s more important than ever to stay healthy with regular chiropractic adjustments, therapeutic massage and spinal decompression therapy.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Understanding Sciatica

Sciatica at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJEvery couple of weeks we make it a point to educate our practice members about a particular symptom. This week we focused on a very painful symptom called “Sciatica”.

The sciatic nerve is formed from the combining of several different lower back nerve roots. It is the largest nerve in the body. When something happens to irritate or pinch that nerve people will experience pain, tingling or even a burning sensation, traveling from the lower back or buttock down to the back of the thigh and sometimes all the way to the foot (Sciatica).

People with sciatica often find sitting or standing extremely painful. Working can become impossible and as the pain becomes worse over time, any movement results in new spasms of pain shooting from the back down the leg.

There are many reasons for sciatica. Two of the most common causes are spinal subluxation (misaligned spinal bones) and nerve pressure from a herniated or bulging disc (the spongy shock-absorber between spinal bones).

As a chiropractor, I have over 25 years of experience taking care of subluxations. Using a variety of different methods, I can gently and safely move spinal bones back into their normal position, un-pinching nerves and relieving pain. Additionally, in our office we do mechanical spinal decompression to fix disc problems without using drugs to cover the pain or dangerous surgeries.

Personally, I have had the problem and know how painful sciatica can be. When I was 16 years old, I was told by an orthopedist that surgery was the only way for me to be rid of my leg and back pain. Eventually, though, it was a chiropractor who helped me, which eventually led to my choice of career. If you know of someone suffering with sciatic pain don’t wait, call them today and send them to our office for help.

 

Kinesio Taping Stronger Than Ever

This is what Kinesio Tape looks like on a neck and shoulder.

Sure, it looks cool. But it really works, too. Find out more about Kinesio Taping at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ

One of the nice things about being a chiropractor is that it never gets boring and I have to keep on learning. Health care is constantly changing and if you don’t stay up to date, it is so easy to get left behind. Last weekend, I went to a workshop on “Kinesio Taping.”

Kinesio taping has been around for almost 40 years and I have been using it for a while at The Back Care Center. Most people in the US first noticed the brightly colored tape around the 2008 Olympics when Kerry Walsh, while wearing it on her shoulder, won the gold medal in beach volleyball for the US. Since then it has become more common to see top athletes sporting Kinesio tape, and has been used with increasing frequency by health care providers and their patients for relief or painful and swollen joints or recovery and rehabilitation for injuries.

I use the tape with many of my patients. It is a perfect complement to chiropractic adjustments. Days after an adjustment, the tape can actually still help continue the work the adjustment started. It’s like sending my hands home with them!

We have had great results with shoulder pain, neck pain, lower back pain, arthritis – even our disc patients who are using spinal decompression therapy have gotten good changes. But now, with the new techniques I learned at last weekend’s workshop, I am more excited than ever about Kinesio Taping, and I know the results my patients will get will be even better, too.

Does the Future Belong to Health Care Hit Men?

Don't give in to healthcare hitmen - visit The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJToday I am on a bit of a rant. A patient came into the office after being involved in an automobile accident. She had a herniated disc in her neck, pinching a nerve going into her arm, causing pain and weakness.

When I first saw her, she couldn’t turn her head or use her arm at all. Luckily, we take care of herniated discs here and we started her on program of spinal decompression, cold laser and chiropractic adjustments. About a month later she had less neck pain, more motion and her arm was getting stronger.

I sent the patient’s insurance company a report outlining her progress and my plan to continue helping her. Two days later I heard back from them and was surprised to learn that my “request” for care was denied!

I was confused and called the insurance company. This woman was making terrific progress but clearly was still hurting and needed more work. They connected me to the doctor who had made the decision about her case. (Of course, he had never met her and the only information he had was my report outlining the need for care).

I reminded him of the case and told him why I was calling. I pointed out that my patient was still demonstrating symptoms and had significant findings on her examination. He told me that the testing I had done (the same testing which every MD or DC uses) did not, in his opinion, demonstrate a problem and that the improvement in my patient’s progress and her current symptoms were irrelevant.

The good news is that I ignored this “Health Care Hit Man” from the insurance company. The patient did very well and after about four more weeks of care she successfully recovered from her injuries.

The reason I am so upset is that the writing is on the wall. The insurance companies are all doing the same thing. They are hiring some “professional” who has never met you and giving them the power to make decisions about your health and the type of care you will require.

I am telling you now because forewarned is forearmed. You need to know your insurance company is not going to be looking out for you. They are cutting coverage for care and at the same time raising premium costs every year.

Fortunately, at The Back Care Center we and don’t let the insurance companies push us around. We make it a point to keep care affordable and to treat our patients, not their insurance company.

If that’s the kind of care you’re looking for, then give us a call.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today. 

Are stiff necks, back pain and hip pain interfering with your golf swing?

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I went to visit my family and enjoy the warm weather in Florida. Part of the time I stayed at my parent’s house, which backs up onto a golf course. Sitting in the back yard I was often so close to the golfers it felt like I was part of their foursomes.

It was interesting watching so many different players and hearing their comments following the shot. A good golf swing depends on all of the parts of your body working together. It seemed that at least half the time, the players had some type of pain causing a “hitch” in their swing and affecting the shot.

Lower back pain and hip pain are common complaints and most golfers know it can ruin their game. It is why so many golfers come to me with pain from sprains, strains or even herniated discs. Using a combination of treatments including chiropractic adjustments, cold laser therapy, spinal decompression, massage and core exercises we get them back to their game.

Some of the golfers also seemed surprised how much swinging the club hurt their neck. After the shot I noticed many of them rubbing their neck or shoulders in obvious discomfort with a look of frustration over the difficulty they were having in hitting the ball solidly.

Limited motion, stiffness or pain in your neck prevents you from holding your head down and still while swinging. Some typical compensations include picking your head up, sliding backward, swaying forward or bending your elbows. There are various reasons for loss of motion in the neck, but with some proper golf fitness exercises and chiropractic care, we have helped many of our golfers get back to hitting the ball straighter and further, without all the pain.

If you would like us to help you get your golf game where it should be, give us a call at the Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ to set up an appointment.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Power Is Back On and Free Treatment for First Responders, PSEG, Emergency Workers

The power is finally back on at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ. And while we’ve been seeing and adjusting patients without the aid of lights, or heating pads, or KST, it will be nice to get back to normal.

That also means the spinal decompression table is running again, too, so I expect to see you all back here for your ongoing therapy.

One more thing: we want to say thank you to all of the people who’ve gotten us back on our feet. For the next two weeks  we will be treating for free any first responders, PSE&G employees, and out-of-town emergency repair workers who flew in or drove in to help us out.

You came through for us, and this is the least we can do to say thanks. We know your time is valuable, so call the office for an appointment so we can schedule your visit and get you in and out as fast as possible.

Have a great and healthy day!
Dr. David Schwartz

Imagine Being Pain Free for the Holidays!

It is amazing how fast the year is passing. Autumn is here and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The worst way to spend the holidays is in pain. I get so many last-minute calls asking me to help with severe back pain or neck pain during this time of year. People tell me it has been bothering them for a while but now they just want to feel good enough to enjoy their time with friends and family. The shame is they have waited too long and their holidays are often spent in pain.

Getting better usually takes some time. While every condition is not the same, generally even our most difficult back and neck pain patients get great results within about 6 weeks. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that they are “cured” or that their conditions have miraculously disappeared. But we are different from many offices because we use a combination of chiropractic methods, spinal decompression, cold laser, massage therapy and exercises to fix the problem at the source.

Imagine, just 6 weeks to have less pain, more mobility and feel good enough to enjoy the holidays. If you or anyone you know is putting off taking care of your back or neck, remember time is running out! Give us a call today to start your journey back to health.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

What patients get wrong about their pain

After over 25 years of practice I am still amazed at the way some people think about their pain and where it comes from.

A patient came to my office and told me that she had lower back pain that started recently. She insisted that the only thing it might be from was lifting a heavy bag a few months ago. I examined and x-rayed her spine. We found that she had a huge amount of damage to the bones and discs in her lower back. It was obvious that picking up a single bag didn’t cause all of the damage. I explained my findings and showed her the films but she insisted that the x-rays couldn’t be right because she “never had any problems before this pain.”

Another patient came to me complaining of numbness in her leg. The examination indicated many signs of severe spinal problems that were probably affecting the nerves going into her leg. I sent her for an MRI of her lower back and it confirmed my suspicions. She had two very badly damaged discs that were compressing the nerves going into her leg and causing the numbness. When we spoke about the findings she maintained that her numbness was not due to the discs but was only because she had been standing in front of her sink and doing the dishes.

It is hard for people to understand that most spinal problems are not because of a single event – they develop over a period of years. Pain is from a lifetime of small injuries and changes that add up and finally get to the point where your body is screaming for help.

Taking care of your injury isn’t as simple as not doing the thing that hurts. It takes time and work on both the part of the doctor and the patient. In our office we use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression, laser, massage and exercise to get you back to where you want to be. Instead of focusing on limiting what you can do, we work with you to give you your life back.

If you are having back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches or some other type of injury, this is the office for you. Give us a call at 201-387-7463 and let’s start working on it together.

Don’t ignore family health problems – even if they’re difficult to talk about

Every doctor knows that the worst type of patient to treat is a family member. I tend to ignore their problems, rather than giving advice that would almost certainly be disregarded. Even when one of them suffers a herniated disc injury, one of the things I treat in my office, I still may not become involved since many of my family are some type of health care providers themselves and we tend to have differing opinions.

This past holiday weekend, I got to see some of my extended family and began noticing how badly they were being affected by untreated back and disc injuries. I saw significant changes in their posture, loss of mobility and even atrophy (wasting away) of their muscles.

Honestly, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Untreated disc injuries may not cause constant pain but frequently will affect health in other ways. Many people have come to my office looking for help with the same types of things I saw in my family members. It was just shocking to see it in the people I have known my whole life.

After seeing the results of my silence, I have committed myself to making certain my patients know how dangerous it is to leave these types of injuries untreated. If you, a friend or family member are suffering with a herniated disc, please make sure to get the necessary care.

My office uses a unique combination of mechanical spinal decompression therapy, soft chiropractic instrument adjustments, cold laser and rehabilitative exercises to get the best possible results without surgery or medications. Call us today at 201-387-7463 for help.

And as always, have a great and healthy day.

Dr. David Schwartz, DC
The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ

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