Nonsurgical Solution for Spinal Disorders

Unique technique relieves pain and restores flexibility.

For Ray Meyers, a few days went from bad to worse.
The retired businessman, who left the resort he owns in Kentucky to reside in Florida, woke up one morning to a pain he couldn’t explain. Ray, originally from Akron, Ohio, then remembered an incident that occurred the afternoon before when trimming a bush while working in his yard.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Raymond Meyers

“I pulled on a piece of the bush I thought was cut and jerked my back,” he recalls. “The next day, there was pain, but it was mild. Then the next day, I told my wife, We’ll have to call the doctor. This is getting worse, not better.
In Ray’s experience, worse meant excruciating. The pain became so intense, it began interfering with his daily activities.
“My back never actually hurt,” describes Ray. “The pain ran down my hip and leg. If I stood up or sat down, my sciatic nerve felt like it was on fire. The only way I could get relief was to lie down and get the weight off of my spine.
“I could sleep fine at night, but as soon as I got up and started walking, it only took two or three seconds for the pain to become almost unbearable. I could hardly take a shower or brush my teeth. Anything I had to stand up to do I couldn’t do. But I couldn’t sit in a chair, either. The only thing I could do was lie flat, and the pain would go away.”
“He got a lot of meals in bed,” interjects Ray’s wife, Lynne.
Thanks to a positive treatment approach Lynne experienced, Ray knew exactly where to turn for help. Lynne had successfully undergone the unique treatment protocol called Sedative Stretching (an expanded and comprehensive form of manipulation under anesthesia or MUA) offered by Jeffrey P. Johnson, DC, of Johnson Medical Center in Venice. Ray called Dr. Johnson for an appointment.
“Ray came to me with an acute, severe lower back problem with pain radiating down his entire lower right leg,” notes
Dr. Johnson. “A lumbar MRI revealed a large L5-S1 disc injury pressing on the spinal cord and nerves on his right side.
“He had a disc extrusion, which is a type of disc injury. An extrusion is when a disc actually tears open, and the contents of the disc leak out. This is the worst form of disc injury.”
According to Dr. Johnson, people with this type of herniation classically go straight to surgery, but Ray was looking for the most effective noninvasive way to treat his injury. Dr. Johnson has performed Sedative Stretching on many patients with disc extrusions, and has experienced very good results with it.
“I didn’t want surgery,” confirms Ray. “I’ve heard of so many people who’ve had surgery, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes, the problem gets worse. Dr. Johnson said he thought he could help me, so I started going to Johnson Medical Center regularly, and finally, Dr. Johnson said, I want to do the Sedative Stretching on you.

Deteriorating Condition

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Terri Kean

At 22, Theresa “Terri” Kean herniated a disc in her spine moving a couch. Even after medical treatment, the disc eventually ruptured. The injury led to surgery to remove the damaged disc, followed by a year of physical therapy.
That wasn’t the end of Terri’s back difficulties. Over time, the Springfield, Illinois native’s spine continued to deteriorate, and 37 years in a high-profile job at a major bank in Cleveland, Ohio put tremendous stress on her back and neck. For years, she tolerated distressing headaches, and neck and back pain.
“I probably didn’t give the situation the attention it needed,” shares Terri. “I went to a few chiropractors, but over time, I started muscle guarding, so they couldn’t adjust me anymore. It just wasn’t working.”
The medical doctors Terri consulted simply told her what she already knew: She had arthritis in her spine. They gave her pain medication and muscle relaxants.
“I would get muscle spasms, which is why they always prescribed the drugs,” she says. “Most of my pain was in my lower back, and it radiated up to the middle of my back, between my shoulder blades, to my neck. It hurt to sit, stand and pretty much do anything, and I would get headaches all the time.
“There was a constant ache in my lower back, but occasionally, if I was walking or went to sit down or stand up, I would get a really sharp pain radiating down my right side. It didn’t go down my leg like you might expect. It stayed in the pelvic region on my right side.Euphoric is the only word I can use to describe how I felt after the procedure.
“I couldn’t walk long distances because it hurt so much. If I pushed through the pain, the next day would be awful. I would be all crooked and get muscle spasms shooting up between my shoulder blades into my neck.”
Despite her discomfort, Terri wasn’t thrilled about taking the medications for her condition, so she was open to an alternative treatment. She found one close to home.
“I was talking to a neighbor in Venice, and she told me about her chiropractor,
Dr. Johnson,” relates Terri. “She told me he’s wonderful and has really helped her over the years – and she’s in her early eighties. I made an appointment with him.”
“Terri presented with chronic lower back pain that she had been experiencing pretty much her whole life,” reports
Dr. Johnson. “When she was in her twenties, she had back surgery and had residual pain ever since. When she came to me, she was having neck pain and headaches in addition to the lower back pain.
“Over the years, Terri developed advanced disc degeneration in both her neck and lower back, as well as scoliosis in her lumbar spine. She was unable to walk more than one block or stand up for ten minutes due to her condition. After a comprehensive evaluation, I determined she was a good candidate for Sedative Stretching.”

Scar Tissue Adhesions

Many people with various painful muscle and joint conditions can benefit from Sedative Stretching. 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. Others who can benefit from the procedure are people who want to regain lost flexibility and those who are “sick and tired” of being “stiff and sore.”

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Terri continues to work on her flexibility.

Dr. Johnson showed Terri her x-rays, and she could see for herself the compressions, gaps and curves in her spine. He also told her the arthritis was significant, and the best way to combat the pain and stiffness of arthritis is to keep moving. Unfortunately, Terri was having difficulty doing that.
“People start losing flexibility when typical, daily activities result in minor injury and inflammation, which is normal,” explains Dr. Johnson. “With inflammation, however, part of the body’s natural healing process is to lay 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.”
“He told me we needed to break through all of the built-up scar tissue and get my joints moving again,” remarks Terri. “Then, I’d be able to walk straighter and not have the pain I’d been having. That’s when we started talking about Sedative Stretching.”
The symptoms and warning signs generally associated with this condition include the slow and insidious loss of flexibility, as well as an increasing achiness and soreness. Most people will attribute this to normal aging. While it’s very common to become stiff and sore with age, it’s not normal.
“Although they don’t always realize it, people will compensate how they move their bodies when this occurs,” observes
Dr. Johnson. “This is evident everywhere while watching the way people walk, bend, twist and turn.”
Unfortunately, many people wait until significant damage has occurred from excessive wear and tear before they seek 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.

Mobilizing Joints

As part of the Sedative Stretching procedure, 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,” informs Dr. Johnson. “Because 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.”I have absolutely no pain in my leg since Dr. Johnson did this procedure.”
Dr. Johnson scheduled Ray for the treatment, and Ray arrived at the surgery center at 6:00 a.m. He was in so much pain that he was unable to stand at the reception desk to fill out the required paperwork before the procedure. When the procedure was completed, Ray was singing a different tune.
“When I woke up an hour later, I jumped off the table, walked out, got in the car and my wife drove us home,” he states. “That afternoon, I went in for a follow-up appointment at Dr. Johnson’s office. I walked in and got the clipboard off the counter. The receptionist asked me if I needed to lie down, and I said, No, I’m fine. Then, I sat in a chair and filled out the paperwork. After that, the doctor walked in and treated me.
“The pain hasn’t bothered me since.”
A team approach is used with Sedative Stretching. During the procedure, there are generally multiple health care professionals present, including anesthetists 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 treatment 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.”

Relief and Restoration

Since he’s had his Sedative Stretching, Ray has gotten back to his regular, daily activities. He’s able to stand to take a shower and brush his teeth, and he’s happy to be eating his meals at the table again.
“I can do everything,” he raves. “I also walk four miles a day, and I’ve got a stationary bike I ride. I have absolutely no pain in my leg since Dr. Johnson did this procedure.”
Like Ray, Terri felt like a different person immediately after the Sedative Stretching. While her muscles were a little sore from the procedure itself, her condition overall improved tremendously.
“When we came home, I said to my husband, I feel so refreshed,” states Terri. “And I didn’t have the same pain.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

For exercise, Ray rides his
stationary bike at home.

Dr. Johnson said that’s due to the oxygen in the blood and the fluids flowing through my spine. I even felt taller.
Euphoric is the only word I can use to describe how I felt after the procedure. It was so amazing.”
Before Dr. Johnson treated her, Terri was barely able to stand, let alone walk or do the activities she loves, including biking, aerobics and exercising in general. She even had difficulty sleeping. Now, all that’s changed.
“I can do just about anything,” she reports. “I walk, ride my bike, do deep water aerobics and even yoga. I sleep soundly at night, where before, I would flip-flop around on the bed.
“I’m so much more flexible. I was never able to do yoga before because I couldn’t bend or stretch. But I’m doing yoga now, and I just don’t have the pain. I don’t have headaches anymore, either.”
Dr. Johnson concurs with Terri’s report. “Terri responded very well to the procedure and experienced a significant decrease in her symptoms. She gained increased flexibility and function in her neck and lower back. Now, she’s able to perform many activities of daily living that she was unable to do before.”
Ray is especially pleased he was able to avoid surgery on his herniated disc.
“It’s fantastic,” he comments. “With an operation, there’s a concern about infections and other complications. Treating my back with Sedative Stretching, there’s no cutting. Everything went fine, and now my back is perfect.”
“A follow-up MRI of Ray’s spine showed a decrease in the disc extrusion, which means less pressure from the leakage on the spinal cord,” offers Dr. Johnson. “Ray has been very diligent with his post-procedure rehabilitation, and his results are terrific.”
Both Terri and Ray have great trust in and respect for Dr. Johnson and his staff at Johnson Medical Center. They are quick to offer their thoughts on the doctor and the Sedative Stretching procedure.
“Dr. Johnson is very modest, forthcoming and honest,” notes Terri. “I believe if he thought he couldn’t help someone, he would say he couldn’t help them. To find that sort of integrity in an individual is very comforting.
“I recommend anybody with a bad back to talk to Dr. Johnson about Sedative Stretching.”
Ray agrees.
“Dr. Johnson is an excellent doctor,” he says. “He feels your pain, he worries about you, and he’s really nice to talk to. His staff is just wonderful, and his office is a great place to go.”

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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

    • 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