Relief Effort

Unique vacuum therapy allays back, neck pain without surgery.

Danny Williams, 52, is no stranger to hard work. He has a career in retail, and his main job is to unload pallets of merchandise from delivery trucks and haul them into the company’s storeroom. He’s currently employed by a local farmer’s market, where he’s worked for nearly two years. Before that, he worked for a grocery chain for 30 years.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Danny says Vax-D Therapy was a “godsend.”

A Wisconsin native, Danny has lived in Florida since his parents moved south during his youth. In Florida, he married, raised two children and began his career. Danny’s job requires considerable lifting and walking.

Even early in his career, he stocked shelves, which involves significant bending and twisting. It’s no surprise then that he developed back problems.

“I was fairly athletic when I was young, and I remember pulling muscles in my back when I was in my teens and twenties,” Danny describes. “Over time, my back got worse, then around 2002, I developed sciatica on my right side.

“I don’t know what started it, but it was really bad. One thousand percent bad. On a scale of one to ten, it was a solid ten-plus. It was a sharp, stabbing pain, and it ran all the way down to my toes and back up again.

“It caused me to walk kind of sideways, half hunched over, and I couldn’t sit up, couldn’t sleep and couldn’t bend over. I couldn’t pick up or play with my kids, who were young at the time, but with young kids at home, I couldn’t afford to take off work, so I did what I could to work through it. I pretty much lived on Aleve® Liquid Gels back then.”

“Today, I’m almost back to normal. The back pain I have now is one on a scale of one to ten, maybe two as the day goes on, but that’s definitely manageable.” – Danny

Eventually, Danny concluded he couldn’t continue to live that way. He consulted his insurance company to find a local provider who specializes in painful back conditions. The company referred him to Dr. Craig S. Aderholdt at Back Pain Institute of West Florida.

At Back Pain Institute of West Florida, Dr. Aderholdt provides the most advanced treatments for patients in severe pain. Among them is a unique, nonsurgical treatment called VAX-D® Therapy, which is a patented, FDA-approved medical decompression technique for alleviating pressure on the discs of the spine.

“I liked Dr. Aderholdt as soon as I met him,” Danny relates. “He was nice, friendly and very knowledgeable. I could tell he knew what he was talking about. He ordered films and discovered I had one bulging disc and one herniated disc in my back.

“I didn’t know about the discs because the sciatica masked any pain from them. So Dr. Aderholdt suggested I try VAX-D Therapy, and I thought, It can’t hurt. I’m in so much pain now, anything is better than this pain.

Vacuum Packed

While VAX-D Therapy is a medical decompression technique, it is not a traction device, Dr. Aderholdt emphasizes. It works differently and achieves significantly better results, the doctor assures.

“For many patients, chiropractic adjustments alone can actually relieve their pain,” states Dr. Aderholdt, who is one of the few doctors in the country who offer the unique VAX-D treatment.

“But for select people with sciatica or herniated, bulging or degenerated discs, VAX-D Therapy has proven extremely effective. Danny was a good candidate because the treatment can alleviate low back pain, neck pain, numbness, tingling and pain radiating down the arms and legs.”

During VAX-D Therapy, the patient relaxes on a comfortable, computer-controlled table, secured with a pelvic belt or patented cervical collar, depending on the area to be treated. Carefully specified tension and pressure changes guide the use of VAX-D, allowing the therapist to focus decompression at the exact level of spinal dysfunction.

The VAX-D system is computerized, so it enables the table to make subtle but targeted movements, which create a powerful vacuum within the disc space. This vacuum gently draws the disc back to its proper orientation, which pulls nutrient-rich spinal fluid into the disc and stimulates repair cells that effectively mend the disc.

“Nothing else can create such a powerful vacuum,” Dr. Aderholdt observes. “That is what makes VAX-D such a valuable tool for pain relief. There are imitators, but the vacuum effect is the most powerful one known.

“Unlike some other machines, VAX-D doesn’t allow the muscles to contract. In fact, it is the only nonsurgical treatment that has been clinically proven to reduce disc pressure to negative levels.”

“Dr. Aderholdt started me on the VAX-D Therapy, and I went at it aggressively,” Danny relates. “I did the therapy five days a week for an entire month in order to relieve my sciatic pain, and I loved it.

“It stretched me out and pulled the fluid back into my spinal discs, and that felt good. Of course, anything that helped relieve my pain was fine with me. There was an entire treatment routine that Dr. Aderholdt created for me, and I loved the whole thing.”

Escaping Surgery

Marie Lagassey was a US customs agent for nearly 30 years, dealing with hundreds of international air travelers every day at the Phoenix international airport. It was a rewarding career, but Marie suspects the repetition of stamping passports all day may have started her constant neck pain.

“Stamping passports and using a computer – my head was always kind of a little bit forward, so I think that’s what caused my neck to start hurting all the time,” suggests Marie. “The pain became quite bad, really. It went down my neck and into my right shoulder. Sometimes, I would wake up at night and both my arms would be asleep and tingling.”

FHCN File Photo.

VAX-D Therapy allowed Marie to avoid neck surgery

After her retirement, the pain in Marie’s neck didn’t go away. During yoga classes, she says, “I couldn’t even put my arm to the back of my head when stretching because it was too painful.”

While still living in Phoenix, Marie sought chiropractic care, but it didn’t help. She was considering the unappealing possibility she might need surgery, which she thought of as a last resort. Then, after she moved to Florida, she read about Dr. Aderholdt and the VAX-D Therapy he offers to select patients.

“I said to myself, Well, let me try this,” she relates. “And I’m glad I did because I really did not want to have surgery.”

After a thorough examination and x-rays, Dr. Aderholdt determined that like Danny, Marie was a good candidate for VAX-D.

“Marie was definitely a severe case,” Dr. Aderholdt notes. She had quite a few misalignments in her neck, and degenerative cervical discs. Slippages of vertebrae and degenerated discs were causing narrowing of the spinal cord, which is why she was experiencing the tingling sensations in her arms, the doctor says.

“And she wanted to avoid surgery,” Dr. Aderholdt adds. “That is something that VAX-D allows for, and that is important because whenever an invasive procedure can be avoided and noninvasive measures used instead, the risk of complications is significantly reduced.”

The VAX-D Therapy treatments, which last for about half an hour per session, turned out to be extremely effective for Marie. She reports that she started to feel substantial relief about two weeks after she began the treatment and is happy to have finally found something that worked for her.

“Since I’ve had VAX-D Therapy, I can raise my arm and extend it behind my head to stretch. I couldn’t do that before,” offers Marie, who is planning to take some golf lessons, a pastime that requires a lot of arm movement.

“On a scale of one to ten, the pain level was an eight when I first started with the treatments,” she describes. “Now, I’m pretty much down to a one. Occasionally, I might feel something, but really there’s no pain now.”

Positive Track Record

Just as it did with Danny and Marie, VAX-D Therapy has a long track record of leaving patients satisfied, Dr. Aderholdt reports. Long-term studies show that VAX-D is effective in more than 88 percent of patients who go through the treatment.

“I consider VAX-D one of the most effective nonsurgical medical treatments for low back pain, neck pain and sciatica today,” the doctor asserts. “This revolutionary technology is one more tool I can offer my patients as we work toward relieving pain and maintaining the health of the lumbar and cervical spine.”

Dr. Aderholdt states that many patients report a significant reduction in back pain within only a few treatments, although the total healing process takes longer. The reason it takes a longer period of time, Dr. Aderholdt explains, is that bulging or herniated discs require a series of VAX-D sessions to fully reposition themselves.

“Since I’ve had VAX-D Therapy, I can raise my arm and extend it behind my head to stretch. I couldn’t do that before.” – Marie

“Some patients think they will get relief after a handful of sessions and they can just quit, but that’s not the case,” he stresses. “You must follow through with all of the required treatments to get the full benefit.”

The doctor points out that VAX-D Therapy has the added benefit of eliminating the need for surgery in many cases.

“Marie wanted to avoid surgery, and that is something that VAX-D allows,” Dr. Aderholdt says. “With surgery, there is the potential for serious complications. VAX-D is noninvasive, so those complications are avoided.”

20,000 Steps

After two weeks of treatment with VAX-D Therapy, Danny noticed a significant difference in his pain level, and he was more upright when he walked. The therapy delivered results in other areas of Danny’s life as well.

“After a few more treatments, I could sit, sleep and play with my kids again,” he remembers. “I had about thirty VAX-D sessions in all, and after I completed them, my sciatic pain disappeared.

FHCN File Photo.

Marie Lagassey

“Once Dr. Aderholdt relieved the sciatica, he continued to work on the bulging and herniated discs in my spine using regular adjustments. He also taught me exercises to do at home to help take the pressure off of my back.”

Danny first visited Dr. Aderholdt in 2002 for treatment of his sciatic pain, and he’s continued seeing the doctor regularly during the 17 years since then. The recurring visits help Danny maintain the improvement he achieved through VAX-D Therapy.

“Dr. Aderholdt does routine adjustments on me every month, and that really helps my back,” Danny enthuses. “I’m still doing the exercises to stretch my back, and I ice it down most days, depending on how it feels.”

Between VAX-D Therapy and his regular visits to Dr. Aderholdt, Danny can perform his daily activities nearly pain free. He’s also returned to golfing and bowling, which the sciatic pain forced him to quit.

“Today, I’m almost back to normal,” Danny says. “The back pain I have now is one on a scale of one to ten, maybe two as the day goes on, but that’s definitely manageable. I’d say I’m doing pretty well considering what I do at work. Besides lifting, I walk about twenty thousand steps, which is about seven miles, every day. And that’s just when I’m working. But now, I do it without being in a lot of pain.”

Marie received significant benefit from VAX-D Therapy, as well. She’s not only satisfied with her treatment, but also extremely appreciative of the caring atmosphere she experienced whenever she visited Dr. Aderholdt’s office.

“Dr. Aderholdt is very professional, and he’s a very nice person. He explains everything really well,” she comments. “His staff is excellent. I’m really glad that this option came along and I didn’t need surgery.”

Danny is also grateful for the opportunity to have VAX-D Therapy for his back and sciatic pain. He credits Dr. Aderholdt and his unique treatment for enabling him to comfortably continue his career in retail. He says that since he got VAX-D Therapy, he feels and acts like a much younger man.

“I’m almost fifty-three years old, and I can still hold my own with all the young kids in the business,” Danny reports. “I feel good about the treatment I received at Back Pain Institute of West Florida. VAX-D Therapy was a godsend.”

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