Head Strong

Stubborn neck pain? MCU™ therapy provides relief.

Angela Tompkins is a well-known member of the health and wellness community. A former massage therapist and yoga teacher, she now travels the globe as a personal trainer and health coach for Core Inspired Living, a lifestyle company she began about ten years ago.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Angela Tompkins

As you might expect, she’s a near perfect picture of health. That has not always been the case.
For years, the lack of normal curvature in her cervical vertebrae, which are the seven neck bones below the skull that support the cervical spine, caused Angela to suffer from consistent, nagging neck stiffness. It also left her highly susceptible to a seriously debilitating neck injury.
Angela knew that because of her condition, her profession, and even her active lifestyle, she was living rather precariously. It came as no surprise then that her situation worsened greatly after she was involved in a car accident in January 2014.
“I was in the backseat of a friend’s car when it happened,” Angela says of the accident. “We got rear-ended and pushed into a truck that was in front of us, so there were two collisions. It wasn’t a horrific or truly terrible accident, but it was enough to herniate the discs in my neck.
“If I had a normal, healthy spine, I probably would have been fine. But with the chronic neck issues I had, the first six months or so after the crash were just awful. It was bad. Real bad. The pain was so great, I was genuinely concerned about my quality of life.”
Angela first sought help for her pain from a chiropractor who did a good job, she says, of relieving the pain, albeit temporarily. When Angela’s insurance coverage expired and she was unable to continue care with that chiropractor, the pain returned. It was then that she acted on the advice of a friend who suggested she see the doctors at Active Health Center.

A More Permanent Fix

“I’ve known about Active Health Center for a long time,” Angela explains. “I’ve referred friends and previous clients to them, so I knew they did good work and trusted them. Then a friend of mine reminded me that they had an MCU machine and that it might be just what I needed.”
An MCU machine, or Multi-Cervical Unit, is a unique, nonsurgical device that isolates and strengthens the muscles around the neck. It also provides a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s physical progress as the patient receives the therapy.
Referred to by some doctors as evidence-based medicine, the MCU records 16 different ranges of muscle movement for strength to determine the specific areas of the neck in which there are strengths, weaknesses, imbalances or a loss of range of motion.

“The difference MCU therapy has made in my life is substantial.” – Angela

Once that data is produced, a customized treatment program is designed that allows the MCU to correct those problems. Considered the most complete and efficient system for assessment and rehabilitation of the neck, the MCU machine has also proven to be highly effective.
According to Active Health Center, studies show that after receiving MCU therapy, patient pain levels decreased by 66 percent while strength levels increased by more than 70 percent, with more than 90 percent of patients making a full recovery.
Angela chose Active Health Center for treatment because she could receive MCU therapy there. The damage to her neck was so great, however, that before she could begin the therapy, she first had to go through a couple of weeks of gentle chiropractic care to “quiet her neck down.”

Strong Support System

“Once we quieted her neck down a little, we had her tested and diagnosed in the MCU,” explains Marc A. Weinberg, DC, of Active Health Center. “What we learned from our initial test was that she had a very, very weak neck. That’s what was contributing to all of her pain. If someone has a herniated disc but no muscle to support it, they’re going to be in a lot of pain.
“What the MCU does is build up normal muscle around the herniated disc, giving the herniated disc a chance to heal. The reason why herniated discs don’t heal is because most people who have herniated discs are also suffering from weakness in their neck.
“When that weakness exists, there’s no rest for the disc, so every day, their neck pain just gets worse and worse and worse. What we’re able to do with the MCU is give them the ability to strengthen the neck, which takes the pressure off the discs, which allows them to heal.”
A single MCU session lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, with patients typically going through three sessions a week for nine weeks.
“During those nine weeks, we re-test the patient every three weeks, or nine visits, and compare the results with those that we received from our original examination,” explains, Colin O. Behrue, DC, of Active Health Center.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Angela is living a pain-free, active lifestyle.

“That shows us how well the patient is progressing, and based on the findings, we make clinical changes. The change could be different exercises, different angles or different weights that help the patient continue to improve and build strength.”
After nine weeks, patients are given a maintenance program that includes exercises they can do at home to maintain their strength. Angela’s maintenance program is a little different than most. Because she travels a lot – which puts added stress on the neck – and is “hard on her body,” she visits Active Health Center every two or three months for a check-up on the MCU.
“Sometimes, I won’t even have a specific complaint or problem,” she states, “but I know when my neck gets a little weak, so I just go in, and they push the magic buttons, and I’m right back in alignment and feeling great again.”
Angela, who spent more than two years trying to correct her neck issues through general chiropractic methods, never felt as good as she has since she started receiving the MCU therapy. She’s called it “a life changer.”
“I’m a very active person,” she notes. “I spent the summer last year mountain biking and road biking in Colorado. I recently flew to Indonesia and sat in coach the whole way there and back, and I was fine. No issues with my neck at all.
“I can promise you that before I went to Active Health Center and had MCU therapy, there was no way I could fly for even three hours without neck pain. The difference MCU therapy has made in my life is substantial.
“I can’t thank the doctors at Active Health Center enough for all that they’ve done. They are absolutely incredible. If you’re having any kind of neck pain, you really need to go see them. They’ll get you right.”

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    • Active Health Center

      If you have aches and pains from a motor vehicle accident, an old injury or a slip and fall, or are just feeling pain from the trials of daily life, Dr. Marc Weinberg and Dr. Colin Behrue at Active Health Center at Weinberg Chiro... Read More

    • Marc A. Weinberg, DC

      Marc A. Weinberg, DC, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida and went on to graduate cum laude from Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, GA. He is approved by the National University of Health Sciences to perfor... Read More

    • Colin O. Behrue, DC

      Colin O. Behrue, DC, completed his undergraduate studies in molecular/microbiology at the University of Central Florida and went on to receive his Doctorate of Chiropractic, cum laude, from Palmer Chiropractic College Florida in Port Orange. He... Read More

    • Bryan T. Hunte, DC

      Bryan T. Hunte, DC, earned his undergraduate degree in fitness and cardiac rehab/exercises science and biology from Ithaca College. He received his doctorate in chiropractic from National University of Health Sciences. He is currently work... Read More

    • Forrest Harvey, DC

      Forrest Harvey, DC, completed his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Pennsylvania’s Westminster College before earning his Doctorate of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, Florida. He treats patients of all ... Read More

    • Adam Holleman, DPT

      Adam Holleman, DPT, earned his undergraduate degree in exercise science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, VA. He received his doctorate in physical therapy from Winston-Salem State University. He performed research in biomechan... Read More