Correct the Cause of Pain

Follow stretching protocol for pain-free, flexible back and neck.

Career business executive Robert Wolf had long-term issues with his back. When he relocated to Florida upon his retirement two and a half years ago, the Iowa native looked forward to a life of leisure and golfing. His body had other ideas.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Robert Wolf

“I’ve had lower back pain throughout my life from playing sports, and I just lived with it,” Robert shares. “I’ve been to many doctors and chiropractors, but nothing really helped. For years, I just put the pain in the back of my mind and went on with my life.”
When Robert first moved to Florida, he played golf four or five times a week, which he’s sure aggravated his condition. Over time, the pain became severe and got to the point where he could no longer tolerate it. He was eventually forced to give up golf and had difficulty with other activities as well.
“When I would swing a golf club, I would almost scream from the pain, and I’d fall to my knees,” he describes. “It was very troublesome not only to me, but to the golfers playing with me. I had to stop golfing altogether.
“I also had to give up walking. I have a Golden Retriever, and we like to go for walks, but I couldn’t walk him. My wife had to do it. Then a friend told me about Dr. Johnson and Sedative Stretching, so I made an appointment.”
Robert was referred to Jeffrey P. Johnson, DC, of Johnson Medical Center in Venice. At his practice, Dr. Johnson offers a unique treatment protocol called Sedative Stretching. Sedative Stretching is an expanded and comprehensive form of Manipulation Under Anesthesia, or MUA.
“When I first saw Robert, he told me he’s had recurring lower back pain for the past forty years,” reports Dr. Johnson. “His most recent episode started six months prior to coming into my office. He was not improving and at times, the pain was debilitating.
“An MRI of the lumbar spine showed advanced degenerative changes occurring in his lower back. Robert rated his pain as an eight, and described it as aching, sharp, stabbing, stiff and tight.”
“Dr. Johnson said he believed Sedative Stretching would be very good for me,” says Robert. “I said, Let’s do it.”

Increased Stiffness and Pain

Like Robert, Colleen Sterling had long-term issues with her back. When she was in her 20s, she learned she had scoliosis. As she got older, the curvature in her spine became more pronounced. Because her spine was not straight, she suffered constant pain in her lower back and neck.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Without back pain, Colleen can work in her yard.

“I’m kind of a vain person,” Colleen admits. “I never wanted the scoliosis to look bad, so I would try my best to fight my body and stand as straight as I could. But that effort made my lower back and neck very painful.
“Thankfully, I have a high threshold for pain, so I was able to manage it pretty well and work through it.”
A year and a half ago, after she moved to Florida from Ohio, Colleen needed to find a chiropractor experienced in treating scoliosis patients. A friend in her condo association, who also has scoliosis, recommended Dr. Johnson.
“Dr. Johnson was great,” she relates. “He explained that with scoliosis, I have muscles on one side of my body pulling my spine. On the other side, the muscles are stretching my spine. He said he thought Sedative Stretching would help me.
“Dr. Johnson never tried to push me to have Sedative Stretching or said, You need to get this done. He’s a great doctor and very professional, so I trusted him and decided to go through with it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Restricted Movement

Sedative Stretching can benefit many people with various painful muscle and joint conditions. Ideal candidates are those with conditions such as unresolved neck and back pain, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, frozen shoulder, acute and chronic muscle spasm, headaches and failed back surgery syndrome. The procedure can also benefit people who want to regain lost flexibility or those who are “sick and tired” of being “stiff and sore.”
The sooner a person addresses the cause of that condition, the better. The chronic stiffness, tightness and pain causes excessive “wear and tear” on the joints of the spine and extremities, resulting in permanent degeneration and arthritis.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Robert’s dog, Buddy, is also benefiting from his owner’s recovery.

“People start losing flexibility when their typical, daily activities cause a minor injury that leads to chronic, low-grade inflammation. Many times, this occurs in early childhood and is a long-forgotten event,” informs Dr. Johnson. “Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process, which lays down a mesh of connective tissue, commonly known as scar tissue. Over time, layer upon layer of scar tissue can form in the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joints, restricting the joints’ ability to move properly. These layers of scar tissue are called adhesions.”
The slow and insidious loss of flexibility is among the warning signs and symptoms generally associated with adhesions, as are increasing achiness and soreness. Most people attribute this to normal aging. While it’s very common to become stiff and sore with age, it’s not normal.
“When this occurs, people will compensate how they move their bodies, although they don’t always realize it,” acknowledges Dr. Johnson. “This is evident everywhere while watching the way people walk, bend, twist and turn.”
Sadly, many people wait until significant damage has occurred from excessive wear and tear before seeking appropriate care. Often, patients will utilize over-the-counter and prescriptive medications, which help alleviate their symptoms. Unfortunately, this gives the patient a false sense of being “cured” while the underlying scar tissue continues to cause excessive damage.

Flexibility Protocol

During Sedative Stretching, the patient is put under light sedation, sometimes called “twilight” sedation. With the patient relaxed, doctors can then take the affected joints through their normal full range of motion, freeing the adhesions that have developed between the joints that are causing the pain.
“While the patient is sedated, we use light, comprehensive stretching techniques,” explains Dr. Johnson. “Since we don’t have to contend with tense, guarded muscles, we are able to free up the scar tissue and mobilize the joints without causing the patient any discomfort. This would be impossible to do without the use of sedation.”

“When I first came out of sedation, I felt cured! I hadn’t felt that kind of pain relief in a long time.” – Robert

A highly trained team of medical professionals coordinates the Sedative Stretching procedure. Generally, there are multiple health care providers present, including an anesthetist and several nurses. Patients usually require only one procedure. It is very rare that patients require a second procedure to fully address their condition.
Following the procedure itself, there are typically a couple of weeks of rehabilitation to reinforce the increased movement obtained from the procedure. During this time, patients are instructed how to perform stretching exercises to prevent the condition from recurring, notes Dr. Johnson.
“By following this protocol, patients regain the flexibility they had decades before, and typically, they return to activities they haven’t done in years,” he asserts. “This is truly correcting the original cause of their conditions.”

The Rest of the Story

Colleen reports feeling no pain after her Sedative Stretching session. That encouraged her as she continued with the rest of the treatment protocol. After the procedure, her daughter told her the “scoliosis hump” on her back was substantially smaller and that she was standing much straighter and taller.
“There’s more to do after the procedure is done,” she states. “I have to do my part with exercises at home. I do yoga every other day, and stretching on the days I don’t do yoga. This keeps the results going.”
Robert agrees that the follow-up program complements the effects of the Sedative Stretching.
“I was careful right after the procedure,” he says, “because I knew there was still work to be done if I wanted the relief to be long-lasting. I needed to do the rest of the program, which is therapy, stretching and exercise.”

“Now, I can do all the yoga positions I couldn’t do before without pain.” – Colleen

Both Colleen and Robert experienced pain relief and improved flexibility after their Sedative Stretching sessions. They were able to return to their activities without difficulties.
“When I first came out of sedation, I felt cured!” marvels Robert. “I hadn’t felt that kind of pain relief in a long time. Before, I didn’t get any relief unless I took some serious pain pills. But after Sedative Stretching, I was ready to golf that afternoon. I felt great.
“I’m back to golfing. I can also walk my dog, and he just loves me. He’s pretty happy, and so is my wife. It put quite a burden on her when I couldn’t do it. My pain is better now. I rate it as a zero, whereas it used to be an eight.”
“Since the treatment, my flexibility is amazing,” offers Colleen. “Now, I can do all the yoga positions I couldn’t do before without pain. I can do yoga like I did when I was in my twenties. My pain level now is about a two, and some days, I don’t feel any pain.
“I feel so blessed to have found Dr. Johnson because there aren’t that many doctors who do Sedative Stretching. He’s fifteen minutes from where I live, but I would drive an hour to see him if I had to. That’s how good I think he is. Dr. Johnson is an amazing healer!”

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    • Johnson Medical Center

      Dr. Jeffery P. Johnson has practiced in Venice, Florida since 1986. His practice is focused on treating patients with many conditions, including those that are not responding to conventional treatments such as physical therapy, chiro... Read More

    • Jeffrey P. Johnson, DC

      Jeffrey P. Johnson, DC, is a graduate of Life Chiropractic University, Marietta, GA, with additional training through National College of Chiropractic, Chicago, in Manipulation Under Anesthesia, proprietary substances, and chiropracti... Read More