Rescue Mission

Nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy alleviates back pain.

The better part of every day of Amanda Cokinogenis’ life is devoted to raising her four-year-old son and three-year-old daughter, but this always busy 35-year-old stay-at-home mom still finds time to tinker with two of her favorite hobbies.

 Photos courtesy of Amanda Cokinogenis.

Amanda Cokinogenis

“I do a lot of work with animal rescue,” Amanda reveals. “Before I became a stay-at-home mom, that was my career. I was a director at a Humane Society office and managed shelters, and so I still volunteer with that frequently and do a lot of animal transport.

“I foster coordinate for a local rescue shelter, work as a vice president of an Opa-locka rescue center and do some of the medical aspects, such as vaccines and things like that. I’m also very much into physical fitness.

“I always have been; even while I was in high school and college, I was always into that. It’s hard to do sometimes, but even now, I still manage to get to the gym an average of four or five times a week. That’s how much it’s a part of my life.”

Amanda’s pastime includes doing intense boot camp workouts and weightlifting, but her passion for physical fitness wound up sidelining her a few months back after she injured her back while training for a half-marathon.

“It felt at first like I just pulled a muscle in my back, but it never stopped hurting,” Amanda relates. “My back hurt no matter what I did, even when I was doing absolutely nothing, and nothing I did relieved it.

“The pain eventually became excruciating, so I definitely had to stop working out. I couldn’t even pick up my children, that’s how awful it was. I knew something was seriously wrong, so I went to DeLand Chiropractic and Spinal Decompression.”

The team of physicians at DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression specializes in treating musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries. It also specializes in medical weight loss and wellness. Amanda is no stranger to its work.

“I’d been there once before when I was pregnant with my first child,” she relates. “I had some neck discomfort and went for a standard chiropractic adjustment. Other than that, I’ve always been a very healthy person. I’d never really hurt anything until I hurt my back.”

Upon her return to DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression, Amanda was given a thorough examination by Jeremy M. Gordon, DC, who has twice (in 2007 and 2011) been named Chiropractor of the Year by the Florida Chiropractic Association.

Dr. Gordon’s initial examination included a series of x-rays, which prompted him to recommend a sequence of standard chiropractic treatments. Those treatments provided Amanda with some relief, but not enough to allow her to resume her active daily routine.

The next step was to have Amanda undergo an MRI. That test revealed the root of her back pain to be two herniated discs in her lumbar, or lower, region, including one from which the inner disc material was extruding to the outer layers of the disc.

“That particular protrusion was pretty large, which explained why she was only having a limited response to the traditional chiropractic adjustments,”
Dr. Gordon reports. “It was, in fact, a pretty severe protrusion.

“After about three treatments, I was already feeling the effects of it. I could tell it was going to make me better and that I needed to stick with it.”
Amanda

“Unfortunately, when someone is dealing with a severity of that nature, the only real treatment options to get at the underlying root cause of the problem are spinal decompression therapy or some kind of back surgery. But our belief is that surgery should always be the last option.”

Amanda agrees. She was adamant about avoiding surgery and had no interest in receiving injections that would simply mask the problem temporarily. To resume her active lifestyle, she needed a therapy that would fix the problem permanently without surgery.

“I was thinking at the time, I’m thirty-five, and I can’t imagine having spinal surgery at thirty-five,” Amanda says. “So, I asked what all was involved in undergoing spinal decompression therapy. After Dr. Gordon explained it to me, I was like, Yeah, let’s do this.

Time to Decompress

Spinal decompression is a drug-free, noninvasive, nonsurgical therapy that can be used to treat bulging, herniated or protruding spinal discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, neuropathy in the arms or legs and post-surgical neck and/or back pain.

At DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression, decompression therapy is delivered through a machine called the DRX9000, which has the capacity to produce 150 pounds of tractioning decompressive force through gentle motion.

“If you want the best results for your patients, you need to have the best equipment,” Dr. Gordon says. “That’s why we utilize the DRX9000 decompression system. In my opinion, it is unequaled in its design and clinical results.

“During a typical treatment, we start by getting the patient comfortable on the table. The DRX9000 then creates a very gentle decompressive force on the discs that reduces the pressure and helps pull some of that disc material back inward, alleviating the pain and rehydrating the injured disc.”

Cervical and/or lumbar disc injuries can be treated with the DRX9000, which is typically part of a treatment program comprised of 24 visits across ten weeks. Each visit lasts about an hour, with the first ten designed to determine the patient’s likely response.

“We start by treating patients five days a week for two weeks, and our goal is to see a fifty percent improvement in function and pain in those first ten visits,” Dr. Gordon relates. “If we see that improvement, we continue with the remaining fourteen treatments.”

That standard course of treatment has proven very effective. DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression has tracked the results of patients receiving its spinal decompression therapy for more than a decade, and their findings are remarkable.

“After tracking hundreds of patients, I am very proud to report that our patient satisfaction rate exceeds eighty percent,” Dr. Gordon proclaims. “That’s a much higher satisfaction rate than invasive surgery.”

“If you want the best results for your patients, you need to have the best equipment. That’s why we utilize the DRX9000 decompression system. In my opinion, it is unequaled in its design and clinical results.” – Dr. Jeremy Gordon

Decompression treatments are typically followed by cold therapy and/or electrical muscle stimulation to restore proper muscle tone, decrease inflammation and maximize the effects of the treatment. Amanda says it’s an all-inclusive therapy that works incredibly well.

 Photos courtesy of Amanda Cokinogenis.

“After about three treatments, I was already feeling the effects of it. I could tell it was going to make me better and that I needed to stick with it.”
Amanda

“It’s every day for the first couple of weeks, so there is a time commitment involved, but after about three treatments, I was already feeling the effects of it,” Amanda says. “I could tell it was going to make me better and that I needed to stick with it.

“In fact, after the first ten days, when they re-evaluated me for the first time, I was like, Whatever you do, don’t stop; this is working. So, I completed the treatment plan and then went into the part where they rebuild your muscles.

“That went very well, too. I did the physical therapy and the exercises to get my back muscles strong so I don’t hurt myself again and I can continue to be the athletic person that I want to be. It’s working out great.”

Back in Action

Amanda has resumed several aspects of the workout routine she had to abandon because of her back pain, including some weightlifting and light jogging. Her next step is to resume long-distance running and increase her weight training.

“Considering the injury I had, I’m very happy with where I’m at, and I know that, in time, I’ll get back to where I was before,” she says. “It’s just a matter of time, but I know I wouldn’t be on that track were it not for the spinal decompression therapy.

“It really works well. So well that I even made my husband go and get it because he’s always had back pain. He hurt himself years ago and has always been in crippling pain, but now he’s doing things without pain that he couldn’t do at all before.

“Spinal decompression really works, and everyone at DeLand Chiropractic and Spinal Decompression is great. I really like Dr. Gordon, and just as I did with my husband, I recommend them to anybody.”

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