Surgery-Free Solutions

All-natural therapies bring relief from aching back.

Carol McKee had suffered from low back pain on and off for years, but it didn’t significantly affect her life. That changed one day, some six years ago, when she bent down to give her cat some water and couldn’t straighten up.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Carol is now able to refill her pet’s water bowl.

“I felt something click in my lower spine, and I said, What the heck was that?” she recalls. “I couldn’t do anything for three or four days. I put hot compresses and cold compresses on my back to get some relief, but that didn’t help. Finally, I had to have somebody help me get dressed, put me in a car, take me to the chiropractor and help me up off the seat to bring me into the office.”
After about three sessions, Carol felt better and stopped treatment. Occasionally, her back would go out, and she’d have to take it easy for a while.
Then in May 2016, her symptoms worsened, and “there was absolutely no relief.” Carol tried cortisone and nerve-blocking injections, but the agony and back spasms persisted.
“I couldn’t even turn over in bed, that’s how painful it was,” she remembers. “I couldn’t stand for long periods of time. I couldn’t go back to exercising. I even tried tai chi and stretching, and nothing helped.”
Carol returned to her original chiropractor, who performed hands-free therapy using ultrasonic sound waves to gently vibrate the cells in her back.
“But that wasn’t doing anything for me,” she reports.
Facing the daunting prospect of back surgery, which she calls “a little scary,” Carol decided to try one last option – spinal decompression – after seeing an advertisement for RevitaSpine. The practice, based in Jupiter, specializes in safe and all-natural therapies that allow people to experience improved health.
An MRI revealed that Carol suffered from three bulging and one herniated disc. Chiropractic physician Jonn McClellan, DC, attributed those injuries to the many years she spent sitting at a desk at various secretarial jobs.
“In the seated posture, you put more stress on the spinal discs in your lower back than almost any other position you can be in,” he educates. “There is a limit to the amount of stress that the discs in the lower back can sustain, and when you acquire that pressure over time, you damage the discs.”
Such disc issues are on the rise “because the vast majority of our population sits at work,” Dr. McClellan points out. “And then we add on top of that some of the traumas that we have throughout life, whether it’s car accidents, sports or whatever else.”

Surgery Is Last Resort

Dr. McClellan recommends trying noninvasive therapies first because surgery carries certain risks.
“The gold standard in terms of surgery for low back pain is a fusion, in which they’re inserting metal plates and screws into your back,” he explains. “One downside is that once those plates and screws go into your spine, they do not come out unless you get an infection, and that’s a whole other separate issue.
“The other downside is that when they fix one part of the spine, two segments together or sometimes even four segments, you’re always going to have more stress above and below the area that’s been repaired,” Dr. McClellan adds. “That’s because the spine is a unit that’s meant to move together. When you take motion away from one area of the spine, eventually you’re going to wear out the areas above or below a fusion.”
Dr. McClellan also notes that until the underlying cause of the pain is addressed, “you’re just chasing around the symptoms, and you’re probably going to need more invasive types of procedures.”
For more than six years, Dr. McClellan has been performing spinal decompression. Spinal decompression is a drug-free, noninvasive, nonsurgical, in-office therapy for bulging, herniated or protruding discs in the neck and spine; spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, neuropathy in the arms or legs, and post-surgical neck and/or back pain.
Spinal decompression is designed to reduce disc pressure, relieve nerve root compression, improve blood flow and relax muscles by applying controlled, consistent and repeatable traction force that closely mimics hands-on therapy.
“Decompressing the discs allows the material that’s been pushed from the center of the disc to move back to where it came from and away from the nerve,” Dr. McClellan expounds.
He uses a Chattanooga Triton DTS® machine to gently stretch the spine while patients lie on an adjustable, padded table. They’re secured on the table with a snug harness that connects via cable to the traction unit.
“This is a really great option for patients who have already tried the traditional medical treatments for low back issues or even neck issues, which are typically medications and physical therapy,” Dr. McClellan emphasizes. “And maybe somebody tries chiropractic. When all that fails, they get injections, and now they’re kind of waiting around until they have surgery because they think that’s their only option. This treatment is a great choice for those patients because many times we’re able to help them avoid surgery.”
In addition to spinal decompression, some low-back patients like Carol also qualify for traditional chiropractic adjustments, along with supplemental therapies like pelvic rotation blocking, a nerve rebuilder device, muscle stimulation, heat, and cold laser.

Results Worth Raving About

Within three months of beginning treatment, Carol says she felt significantly better.
“I could do my housework again with no problem,” she reports. “I could walk again, and I didn’t have to take ten steps and rest. I resumed bike riding. I never felt so good.”
Carol was also able to travel to New York City and stroll around Manhattan for five and six hours with absolutely no discomfort, she shares.
“When I came home, I said to Dr. McClellan, I cannot run the risk of going back to being in pain every day, so I want to see you regularly,” Carol continues.
While her initial series of 20 treatments restored her to “one hundred percent function,” according to Dr. McClellan, Carol found that the tightness in her back would return periodically. So she began a once-a-week schedule that combines traditional chiropractic and spinal decompression.
“I tell patients, I’m not going to get you back to a twenty-year-old spine again,” the chiropractor stresses. “The idea is to get them to a point where they are as functional as they were at twenty. The reality is that some of the damage that has occurred to their discs will always be there. Many of those patients will benefit from ongoing maintenance.”
Carol appreciates Dr. McClellan’s caring demeanor and the time he takes to explain what he’s doing and why.
“Normally, you go to a chiropractor who gets you in and gets you out. It’s like a production line,” she complains. “Dr. McClellan does not do that.
“And the girls in his office are just wonderful,” Carol concludes. “They are friendly and accommodating, and I just can’t say enough good things about that place. I would recommend it to anyone.”

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    • Coastal Health Group

      Coastal Health Group is a total healthcare service which was born out of the idea there must be a better way to deliver high quality medical care. After spending years in the ‘typical medical model’ the physicians of CHG decided to come t... Read More

    • Jonn McClellan, DC

      Jonn McClellan, DC, graduated cum laude with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University in Atlanta in 2009. A longtime South Florida resident, he attended Ohio Wesleyan University on an athlete grant for football and intended to p... Read More