Back in the Swim of Things

Nonsurgical decompression therapy alleviates debilitating, radiating back and leg pain.

When you’re busy raising four sons, you don’t have a lot of time for hobbies or outdoor activities. That’s why it wasn’t until much later in life that Carolyn McPhail, now 88, finally took up quilting and swimming.

 Carolyn McPhail found relief for her radiating back pain at DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression. Also, Ben Stanaland found an ideal weight-loss program that works for him.

Carolyn began feeling relief before her decompression treatments were completed.

“I was more or less forced to take up swimming,” Carolyn reveals. “I fell one day back in the early Eighties and tore a tendon in my shoulder. My doctor told me it was either exercise or surgery, and I chose the exercise.

“I started swimming because lifting weights was boring to me, and after a while, I started going to De Leon Springs State Park and swimming in the springs there. I usually go two or three times a week whenever it’s warm outside.”

The weather was at its warmest one day last August when a horribly painful back problem developed that brought Carolyn’s swimming regimen to a screeching halt and even made it difficult for her to sit
and do her quilting.

“I had been getting after the weeds in my yard for about a month, and I was doing a pretty good job of it, but for hours at a time, I was just bending straight down at the waist instead of kneeling down or bending my knees,” Carolyn remembers.

“I didn’t realize I was doing any harm to myself until I woke up in the middle of the night one evening in horrible pain. That pain kept me up all that night and kept on through the next day and for many days after that.”

Carolyn says she and pain “don’t get on very well,” so she soon made an appointment to see her doctor, who prescribed Advil®. When that didn’t work, Carolyn’s doctor prescribed a week’s worth of hydrocodone, but that didn’t relieve the pain either.

That prompted a call to a chiropractor whom Carolyn had seen occasionally over the years for various aches and pains, but that chiropractor was out of town. In the end, that turned out to be a good thing, Carolyn says.

“I didn’t know what to do next, but that’s when my daughter-in-law said she’d heard of a doctor who had helped a lot of people she knew with their pain,” Carolyn relates. “So, we made an appointment with that doctor, and I’m glad we did.”

The doctor Carolyn made the appointment with is Jeremy M. Gordon, DC, of DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression. During his initial examination of Carolyn, Dr. Gordon discovered just how debilitating her pain had become.

“She had some pretty severe pain radiating from her lower back all the way down into her left leg and foot,” Dr. Gordon reveals. “In addition to having difficulty sleeping, the pain was making it difficult for her to just move around.

“She was in pretty severe shape, and I could see that it was affecting her quality of life, so after we took some x-rays, we started her treatment by giving her some standard chiropractic care, the kind we normally do with many of our patients.”

Those treatments relieved some of Carolyn’s pain and helped to increase her mobility a bit but not to the extent that Carolyn was totally comfortable. It was then that Dr. Gordon ordered an MRI that eventually revealed the root cause of Carolyn’s back issues.

“The MRI showed she had a pretty large disc extrusion,” Dr. Gordon informs. “That’s a certain type of disc herniation where the inner material of the disc extrudes outwards to the different layers of the disc. It’s a more severe disc injury than what you normally see.

“Disc injuries usually range from a disc bulge, which can cause severe pain but in terms of the injury severity is mild to moderate. Then you have disc protrusions, herniated discs and finally this type of disc extrusion, which is a step beyond a herniated disc.

“In Carolyn’s case, it was extruding far to the left-hand side and compressing the nerve going down into her leg. That was the cause of all her symptoms, which explained why she wasn’t responding the way we expected her to from our regular chiropractic care.”

The severity of Carolyn’s injury was so great that many chiropractors would have turned her over to a neurosurgeon for a surgical consultation. Carolyn wanted to avoid surgery at all costs, so Dr. Gordon suggested she try DRX spinal decompression.

Time to Decompress

Spinal decompression is a drug-free, noninvasive, nonsurgical therapy that can be used to treat bulging, herniated or protruding spinal discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, neuropathy in the arms or legs and post-surgical neck and/or back pain.

At DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression, decompression therapy is delivered through a machine called the DRX9000™, which has the capacity to produce 150 pounds of tractioning decompressive force through gentle motion.

“We get the patient comfortable on the table, and the DRX9000 creates a very gentle decompressive force on the discs that reduces disc pressure and helps pull some of that disc material back inward, which alleviates the pain,” Dr. Gordon educates.

Cervical and/or lumbar disc injuries can be treated with the DRX9000, which is typically part of a treatment program comprised of 24 visits across ten weeks. Each visit lasts about an hour, with the first ten designed to determine the patient’s likely response.

“We start by treating patients five days a week for two weeks, and our goal is to see a fifty percent improvement in function and pain in those first ten visits,” Dr. Gordon relates. “If we see that improvement, we continue with the remaining fourteen treatments.”

“Quite Comfortable”

“The treatments are actually quite comfortable,” Carolyn says of the spinal decompression sessions. “The first thing they do is give you some heat on your back for about ten minutes, then you’re placed on this special table.

“You stand up and the table actually lowers you down. They secure you in with straps to make sure you’re safe. It feels like you’ve got a parachute on and are going to be jumping out of an airplane or something.

“Anyway, the table takes you down, and they put something under your legs, and like I said, it’s very comfortable. Then they introduce the pressure, and with each treatment, they raise the pressure a little bit till they find what works best for you.

“For me, it was fifty-two pounds, and the machine is actually stretching you, but you never feel like you’re being stretched. You just feel the pressure as it comes and goes, and it comes and goes about eighteen times during one treatment.”

Carolyn noticed a further decrease in pain and a greater increase in mobility within a couple of days of beginning the spinal decompression treatments. As a result, her quality of life began to improve as well.

“Almost immediately, she was sleeping better, which is rather typical in cases such as hers,” Dr. Gordon reports. “The next thing that usually happens is that the pain starts marching its way out of the lower leg until it’s only in the lower back, at the source.

“When we see that, that’s what is called centralization of the symptoms, and that’s a good sign. It means the treatment is working. Soon after the pain began subsiding, Carolyn was able to get back to many of her normal activities.”

Feeling Great Again

Carolyn confirms that her back pain disappeared completely long before the treatment regimen was completed. Nevertheless, she says she gladly finished the treatments as they were prescribed to ensure the
best possible outcome.

“I would say that after the fourth or fifth treatment, I wasn’t feeling any more pain, which was quite a relief because the bulging disc I had was a real doozie,” Carolyn says. “I was in a lot of pain, but now I feel great again, and I’m back to doing all the things I like to do.”

Weeding is not one of those things. Carolyn says she’s decided to put that chore off for a while. She has, however, resumed her swimming regimen and is quilting pain free again, which is why she recommends Dr. Gordon and spinal decompression for anyone suffering from radiating back pain.

“I’ve been recommending both of them left and right,” Carolyn exudes. “I tell people it’s a great treatment, that it did wonders for me. I tell them how nice and professional Dr. Gordon and his staff are and how thankful I am that I was able to find them. I couldn’t be more pleased with both of them, or with the outcome.”

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