Not Horsing Around

Comprehensive care relieves pain after equine injuries.

Pam Mason-Egan is a full-time professor at Palm Beach State College. At the school’s Lake Worth campus, she teaches an introduction to the college experience class and a course on personal development.

Pam’s photo courtesy of Pam Mason-Egan.

Pam spends quality time with her horse, Serenade.

She also rides horses. An equestrian rider for nearly 20 years, she has long known that falls are inevitable, but it wasn’t until February 2014 that she learned for herself just how debilitating a fall can be.
“I got thrown from my horse, and I broke my pelvis in two places,” Pam explains. “I had to fall very hard to break my pelvis, and the impact affected my entire spine, going all the way up to my neck. I’ve fallen other times over the years and gotten whiplash, but this was the first time I broke a bone. I was really lucky I didn’t need surgery.”
As a result of her injury, Pam had to give up her equestrian activities, but within five months, she had recovered enough to begin riding again. Things were not completely back to normal, however. Now, she struggled with headaches from her strained neck, and she still felt a lot of nagging pain in her lower back, which made sleeping difficult.
Over the next three years, Pam lived with her aches and pains. She actually reinjured her spine several times, though not seriously until May 2017, when she hurt her back significantly performing a minor, everyday activity.
“I was taking my dog off the bed, and I just twisted to put him on the floor,” she recalls. “Suddenly, I was in terrible pain and couldn’t move. I was forced to deal with my back. I had already gone to the orthopedist and had treatment, with little success. My husband had gone to Active Health Center and seen Dr. Behrue, so he recommended them to me.”
Colin O. Behrue, DC, is a chiropractic physician on the therapy team at Active Health Center in North Palm Beach. The team at Active Health Center uses a variety of techniques and technologies to determine the cause of their patient’s problems and treat them in the quickest, most effective manner. Dr. Behrue took this approach with Pam.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Owen can now stand and be active without the throbbing in his back and legs.

“Dr. Behrue did a thorough evaluation to see exactly what was going on with my back,” describes Pam. “He took x-rays, and I brought in my CT scans from when I had my accident. Dr. Behrue told me I had scoliosis as well as bone spurs and some other issues.
“The plan was to begin with chiropractic treatments. In the meantime, I would also start physical therapy to strengthen my back. That way, I could keep the adjustments in place and start getting rid of the pain.”
In addition, Dr. Behrue recommended adding the MCU™, or Multi-Cervical Unit, to Pam’s treatment plan. The MCU works to isolate and strengthen weak muscles in the neck, which would give Pam’s head increased support and help relieve her throbbing headaches.

The Missing Link

The MCU is both diagnostic and therapeutic, observes Marc A. Weinberg, DC, of Active Health Center. Once an individual has been through the diagnostic testing on the MCU to determine if he or she is a candidate, the treatment that follows is relatively easy.
“To ensure someone is a good candidate, patients go through a series of doctor-supervised isometric strength tests,” Dr. Weinberg explains. “They don’t need to move, but the machine records sixteen different ranges of muscle movement for strength.
“Once we use the testing functions of the MCU to find the source of weakness and/or imbalance, the patient is prescribed their own specific treatment regimen on the MCU to fix the problem. There is no guesswork involved. This is called evidence-based medicine.”
Dr. Behrue adds that there is specific research that indicates the MCU to be the absolute best way to strengthen the neck.
“It’s the part that gets left out of traditional neck pain care, yet all of the research shows that it’s a required piece for resolving someone’s neck pain. When it comes to neck pain and weakness, the MCU is the missing link.”
The treatment regimen is typically nine weeks; however, some people can begin to feel the results in just three to five weeks.

“After about six weeks of consistent therapy with the Eccentron, my pain is almost completely gone.” – Owen

“Whether they have arthritis, a herniated disc or nerve-related symptoms like Pam, if a person can strengthen the muscles around those weak areas, research has shown they can experience positive, long-lasting results,” Dr. Behrue informs. “Once the muscles show improvement, the pain will dissipate, allowing the underlying triggers to physically heal.”

Delayed Debilitation

Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Owen Miley moved to Florida by way of Georgia in 1986. For 30 years, he’s been serving as special projects coordinator with the traffic division of the Palm Beach County Department of Engineering. Owen grew up a city boy, but he’s a little bit country at heart, even after his own horse-related incident.
“Some years ago, I was approaching forty. I was thrown from a horse on my dad’s farm,” remembers the 60-year-old Owen. “My cousin didn’t cinch the saddle tight enough, so consequently, when the horse reared, he threw me off.
“I didn’t realize there was any problem at the time. I just went numb for a moment. Then I got back on the horse and kept riding. But a few days later, I was in tremendous pain. It was a constant, throbbing pain that radiated from my lower back all the way up to my shoulder and down my left arm.”
As the years went by, the pain Owen experienced intensified. It eventually began affecting his daily routines and even his livelihood. He was forced to give up activity after activity, until the pain became virtually incapacitating.
“My arm became completely numb, and with the back pain, I couldn’t stand up straight,” he describes. “I’m a DJ and have my own DJ company, and I had to put that on the back burner. I was involved in a lot of community activities: I was on the zoning commission board, I was on state council, I ran for political office. I also skied quite a bit, but all that had to stop.

“The MCU is a miracle. It’s really amazing. Now, I can turn my neck all the way from side to side without a problem. My headaches have decreased, and I feel stronger.” -Pam

“My house sits on an acre, and I couldn’t mow or work in the yard anymore. I literally had to use a walker every morning to get around the house. If I stood for more than two minutes, my lower back and legs would just throb in pain.”
Owen first sought the help of his primary care physician who diagnosed him with a twisted spine and prescribed pain pills that didn’t quite relieve Owen’s agony. He also visited a chiropractor to try and straighten his spine, and the doctor began a series of adjustments.
“My doctor showed me how my spine was shaped like an S,” notes Owen. “The chiropractor manipulated those bones back into place, but he couldn’t do it completely, so I finally had to have surgery.
“The surgery helped somewhat, but it didn’t diminish all the pain. That’s when a friend told me about Active Health Center. She had neck problems and said their treatment saved her life. I was desperate, so I made an appointment.”
After his evaluation, Dr. Behrue put Owen on a comprehensive program of stretching, manipulation and physical therapy. For Owen, the doctor recommended another technology available at Active Health Center, the Eccentron for low back and leg strengthening.

Individual Specific

Weakened muscles in the lower back and legs can be strengthened using the Eccentron leg strengthening machine. Eccentron works by lengthening muscles under force.
“The Eccentron is specific to each individual body,” reports Bryan Hunte, DC, of Active Health Center. “It not only strengthens the weaker areas, it balances everything out. It’s an ideal machine for anyone who needs to get their back and legs stronger, which is going to help with back pain, as well as walking and balance issues.
“From a physical therapy standpoint, we sometimes have patients come in who can’t walk across a room without feeling extreme pain or like they’re going to fall over. This machine will strengthen those muscles.
Eccentric muscle work happens when a muscle lengthens under force, or negative resistance, such as when you walk down stairs or down a hill. By contrast, concentric muscle work is a shortening contraction, like when you walk up a flight of stairs or do leg presses at the gym.”
For Owen, the Eccentron was used in conjunction with his comprehensive therapy program to strengthen the weakened muscles in his lower back and legs. The treatments worked together to provide relief from Owen’s horrendous, debilitating pain.

At Full Capacity

After completing the comprehensive therapy program at Active Health Center, both Owen and Pam achieved exceptional results. Without the pain they were experiencing beforehand, their lives returned to normal.
“I’m able to do things now,” enthuses Owen. “I can stand up and walk again. I can stand behind the sink and wash the dishes, which makes my wife very happy. I used to get the throbbing in my back and legs when I stood, but that’s no longer the case.
“I got used to having someone else mow my lawn, so I let them do it, but I can piddle around and work in my yard. I was able to put up Christmas lights this year, and I can drive without having severe pain. My DJ business is back up and running. I did a wedding just last week. I haven’t gotten back into my community activities yet, but that’s next on the list.
“As long as I stay active, keep stretching and don’t overdo, I’m fine.”
Pam also had tremendous success with her therapy at Active Health Center and has returned to her favorite activities.
“I started therapy at Active Health Center at the end of May, and by the end of summer, I was riding again,” she confirms. “Between the chiropractic treatments and physical therapy, I am back to full capacity.
“As a result of the entire process on my back and neck, I stand up straighter. Even when riding, my posture has gotten so much better, although I decided to change disciplines. I used to do hunter/jumper riding, and now I do dressage. I sit a little differently in the saddle, and I don’t do the little jumps with my horse, Serenade.”
The technology at Active Health Center proved very beneficial for Owen and Pam. They both experienced positive results using the state-of-the-art equipment.
“After about six weeks of consistent therapy with the Eccentron, my pain is almost completely gone,” states Owen. “Where my pain level used to rate a ten consistently, now it hovers around a two or three.”
“The MCU is a miracle,” marvels Pam. “It’s really amazing. Now, I can turn my neck all the way from side to side without a problem. My headaches have decreased, and I feel stronger. My quality of life has increased, and even my sleep has improved.”
“I owe Dr. Behrue and Active Health Center a lot,” says Owen. “I absolutely recommend them. I rate them an A-plus!”

Print This Article
    • 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