Support System

MCU™ therapy relieves chronic neck, radiating arm pain.

More than half a million people in the United States alone were injured in automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2008, and Sharon Ben-David, a financial advisor living in Singer Island, was one of them.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Sharon Ben-David

“There was this young kid who was texting while driving, and he drove through a red light and hit me,” Sharon, now 47, remembers. “I was already in the intersection when I saw him coming, and I tried to speed up to get through but didn’t make it.
“I was actually kind of fortunate because I got out of the way fast enough to avoid being hit right in the door, but I still got hit in the back corner panel, and the impact of the crash spun my car around right there in the intersection.”
The impact of the crash did more than just spin Sharon’s car around. It also left her with a sore back and neck pain that worsened over the years to the point where late last year, she literally could not turn her head.
“I had been seeing other providers for years, but the treatment never really fixed the problem, so I’d been dealing with this for a while already,” Sharon notes. “But then the neck pain just became unbearable.
“I literally could not turn my head while I was driving, which is bad enough. But in addition to that I started to get these shooting pains down my arms and into my elbows and a numbness in my hands, especially my left hand.”
“That pain and numbness were pretty consistent, and it made it very hard for me to sleep, because there was no way for me to get comfortable. I used to work out a lot, too, but there was no going to the gym with this pain.”
Sharon says the problem even affected her at work, largely because the sleepless nights left her exhausted and sometimes made it hard for her to focus throughout the day. Finally, this past February, she decided to find a cure for the problem once and for all.
Her first order of business was to call her insurance company to find a new chiropractor that was in her insurance plan. That’s how she first learned about Active Health Center, located 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 treats them in the quickest, most effective manner possible.
During her first visit to Active Health Center, Sharon was examined by Forrest Harvey, DC, whose examination revealed that the cause of Sharon’s pain was a condition called cervical degenerative disc disease.
A common cause of neck and radiating arm pain, cervical degenerative disc disease is usually the result of one or more of the discs in the cervical spine breaking down from typical wear and tear.
“The reason the discs degenerate is because the muscles around them are not stabilized,” Dr. Harvey educates. “As a result, the discs shift and weaken over time and that causes them to rub and degenerate.”

A Lasting Fix

“When I asked Dr. Harvey what he could do to fix the problem, he said, Well, we have this machine that not everybody has,” Sharon reveals. “He said they’ve helped dozens of people with this machine and that it’s a fix that will last.”
The machine Dr. Harvey spoke of is an MCU™ or Multi-Cervical Unit. It is a unique, nonsurgical device that isolates and strengthens the muscles around the neck and provides a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s physical progress while the patient receives the therapy.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

At long last, Sharon is running pain free.

A tool in what many doctors refer to 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 in range of motion.
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.
“To ensure someone is a good candidate for the MCU machine, patients must first go through a series of doctor-supervised isometric strength tests,” explains Marc A. Weinberg, DC, at Active Health Center.
“Once the source of weakness and/or imbalance is found, the patient is prescribed their own specific treatment regimen on the MCU to fix the problem. One of the great things about the MCU machine is that it takes out all the guesswork.”
Dr. Harvey determined during his initial examination of Sharon that she was in fact a good candidate for MCU therapy. However, because the condition of her neck was so severe, it was decided that prior to beginning therapy on the MCU machine, Sharon should first go through a series of gentle chiropractic adjustments.
“When Sharon first presented to the office, she was unable to even turn her head completely to the left or the right,” Dr. Harvey reports. “She was stuck in a neutral position, because her neck muscles were so weak.
“So, we progressed with her by providing her with some chiropractic care to increase her range of motion. Once she reached a point where we were able to get her on the MCU, we started strengthening her neck.”
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, patients are re-tested at least three times to determine the effectiveness of the treatments.
“We re-test the patient every three weeks, or nine visits, and compare the results of those tests with the results we received from our original examination of the patient,” explains Colin Behrue, DC, at Active Health Center.
“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 of therapy, patients are typically given a maintenance program that includes exercises they do at home to maintain their strength. Sharon was one who needed a little more time before graduating to the home exercise part of the program.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Sharon says if there was such as a thing as a 10-star rating she’d give it to Active Health.

“I was supposed to be done by May 21, but when they took the test that day it showed that I still didn’t have full strength in my neck, so we actually continued until June 15,” Sharon says. “But the extra time was worth it because now, I feel great.
“I’ve been doing the home exercises just like they told me, and I feel one-hundred-percent better, and I have to say that one of the great things about this whole experience was how the people at Active Health Center make it so much fun.
“They create an environment that actually makes you want to go there. And it’s not just because you know you’re improving, but because you just want to see the people and say good morning to them.
“They all work synergistically to make sure you’re happy and comfortable and feeling better. I don’t think there’s anything such as a ten-star rating, because five is as high as it goes, but that just doesn’t seem to be enough for them.”


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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