The Dual Fix

Stretching protocol alleviates back and neck pain with one procedure.

San Francisco native and longtime Rhode Island resident Anne Bilsky had been working in the dental field for 35 years when she left to assist her husband with his commercial real estate business. Ten years ago, the couple sold their Rhode Island home and retired to Florida. Anne’s many years of work in dentistry, however, left a painful legacy.

Dr. Jeffrey P. Johnson of Johnson Medical Center in Venice treated Anne Bilsky and Steve Burns for lower back and neck pain using Sedative Stretching.

“After the initial stretching and three weeks of therapy,I can bend and touch my toes. I could barely touch my knees before.” -Steve

“Having been a certified dental assistant for all those years, my back and neck were always an issue because of the way I had to sit, move and be on my feet all day,” she shares. “As I got older, the problem became more chronic.

“I went to many chiropractors and physical therapists over the years and was grateful for what they did for me. Unfortunately, the relief they offered never lasted. I’d get a
chiropractic adjustment, and it would hold for a few days, maybe a week, then the pain came right back.”

When Anne’s chronic neck and back pain returned again earlier this year, she had what she describes as a particularly disturbing and agonizing episode.

“I had sciatica on my left side, and tremendous pain radiated across the upper left side of my back, down my left leg all the way to my knee,” she recalls. “It was a sharp, aching, burning pain that could be debilitating.

“I tried to walk, swim and play pickleball to keep moving, but at times, I couldn’t do much because of the pain I was in. If it subsided enough, I tried to walk my Australian Shepherd, Laddie, but I couldn’t walk with a purpose.”

Understandably, Anne became discouraged after physical therapy and traditional chiropractic treatments failed to bring her lasting relief from her back and neck pain. Then, several friends told her about a doctor who used a different type of treatment that worked wonders for them.

The doctor they recommended was Jeffrey P. Johnson, DC, of Johnson Medical Center in Venice. At his practice, Dr. Johnson offers a unique treatment protocol called Sedative Stretching, which is an expanded and comprehensive form of Manipulation Under Anesthesia, or MUA.

“Anne came to us with a long history of lower back pain that radiated into her left thigh and leg,” reports Dr. Johnson. “At times, her condition became disabling. She also suffered from chronic neck pain and stiffness, which radiated into both shoulders. Her neck condition had a very slow, insidious onset over many years.

“After evaluating her condition and reviewing her imaging studies, I determined she was a good candidate for Sedative Stretching and recommended it to her.”

“When I first met with Dr. Johnson, we spent a lot of time just talking about my health history, and he welcomed all the questions I asked,” Anne remembers. “After that, his assistant took me for x-rays, and ten days later, I went back for my consultation.

“At the consultation, he explained that I had a deteriorated disc in my lower back that was sitting right on my sciatic nerve, causing my back pain. Everything made perfect sense to me. Dr. Johnson then wrote up a healing plan for me, and we discussed the treatment. I agreed to do Sedative Stretching.”

A Different Path

Steve Burns has long been a snowbird, retreating to Florida to flee the cold, snow and dark skies of the winter months in his native Massachusetts. Hitting the links year-round was also a draw to the Sunshine State for the avid golfer. Earlier this year, however, even that wasn’t fun when ongoing back and neck pain flared with a vengeance.

Dr. Jeffrey P. Johnson of Johnson Medical Center in Venice treated Anne Bilsky and Steve Burns for lower back and neck pain using Sedative Stretching.

Dr. Johnson encourages his patients to do stretches like these every day.

“I’ve had back issues for about thirty-five years,” discloses the online publisher. “It comes and goes, and the severity of the pain depends on what I do. My neck pain also comes and goes, but, generally, not as often as the back pain.

“The thing that really got me this time was my neck. It was really bad. I had a burning pain from the base of my skull down into my shoulder blades. It was intense. On a scale from one to ten, the pain was a twelve.”

Steve tried ridding himself of the neck pain through common pain-relieving treatments such as ice and heating pads, but the relief they brought was short-lived. As soon as he removed the ice or heat, the pain returned to its excruciating level.

“I had limited mobility in my neck as well,” he reports. “But it didn’t keep me from golfing. I’d have to be on a stretcher to stop playing golf. But it did affect my game. I could barely move my head from side to side. When I was driving, I had to shift my whole body to see what was on the side of me.”

One of Steve’s golfing buddies is Robert Wolf, who was featured in an article about Dr. Johnson and Sedative Stretching in the Spring 2018 edition of Florida Health Care News. While playing a round one day, Robert recommended the doctor and the procedure. Steve had been to many chiropractors for his back and neck pain, but none had given him lasting results, so he agreed to give Dr. Johnson’s unique technique a try.

“Steve came to our office with severe, acute neck pain that he described as deep and burning,” recalls Dr. Johnson. “Additionally, he was experiencing chronic lower back pain, which he’d been suffering with for the better part of his life. His lower back pain significantly intensified after standing or walking for more than a couple of minutes.

“Over the years, Steve had learned to deal with his neck and back pain and remained relatively active. This bout with neck pain was uncharacteristically severe, however, so I recommended Sedative Stretching to address both his neck and back pain.”

“Dr. Johnson was very thorough in his examination and very forthcoming,” says Steve. “He told me everything about Sedative Stretching and how and why it works. He had a very positive outlook and told me, I can fix your problems, especially your neck. No one else had ever said they could fix me.

“I thought he would fix my neck, then I’d return and have him fix my back, but he said, No. I’m going to do it all at one time. He explained that the Sedative Stretching procedure works on the entire spine, treating both the back and neck in one procedure.

“Most doctors want you to keep coming back and paying them. But Dr. Johnson said, Once you’re done, I don’t want to see you again unless maybe it’s in Publix® or out to dinner somewhere. That was refreshing to hear.”

A Host of Beneficiaries

Many people with various painful muscle and joint conditions can benefit from Sedative Stretching. Ideal candidates are those with conditions such as unresolved neck and back pain, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, frozen shoulder, acute and chronic muscle spasm, headaches and failed back surgery syndrome. The procedure can also benefit people who want to regain lost flexibility or those who are “sick and tired of being stiff and sore.”

The sooner a person addresses the cause of their condition, the better. The chronic stiffness, tightness and pain cause excessive wear and tear on the joints of the spine and extremities, resulting in permanent degeneration and arthritis.

“People start losing flexibility when their typical daily activities cause a minor injury that leads to chronic, low-grade inflammation,” informs Dr. Johnson. “Many times, this occurs in early childhood and is a long-forgotten event.

“Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process, which lays down a mesh of connective tissue, commonly known as scar tissue. Over time, layer upon layer of scar tissue can form in the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joints, restricting the joints’ ability to move properly. These layers of scar tissue are called adhesions.”

Warning signs and symptoms generally associated with adhesions include the slow and insidious loss of flexibility, as well as an increasing achiness and soreness. Most people will attribute this to normal aging. While it’s very common to become stiff and sore with age, it’s not normal.

“People will compensate how they move their bodies when this occurs, although they don’t always realize it,” observes Dr. Johnson. “This is evident everywhere while watching the way people walk, bend, twist and turn.”

Regrettably, many people wait until significant damage has occurred from excessive wear and tear before seeking appropriate care. Often, patients will utilize over-the-counter and prescriptive medications, which help alleviate their symptoms. Unfortunately, this gives the patient a false sense of being cured while the underlying scar tissue continues to cause excessive damage.

Unguarded Muscles

As part of the Sedative Stretching protocol, the patient is put under light sedation, sometimes called twilight sedation. With the patient relaxed, the affected joints are brought through their normal full range of motion, freeing the adhesions that have developed between the joints and are causing the pain.

“We use light, comprehensive stretching techniques while the patient is sedated,” notes
Dr. Johnson. “Since we don’t have to contend with tense, guarded muscles, we are able to free up the scar tissue and mobilize the joints without causing the patient any discomfort. This would be impossible to do without the use of sedation.”

The Sedative Stretching procedure is coordinated by a highly trained team of medical professionals. Generally, there are multiple health care providers present, including an anesthetist and several nurses. Patients usually require only one procedure. It is very rare that patients require a second procedure to fully address their condition.

There are typically a couple of weeks of rehabilitation following the procedure itself that are designed to reinforce the increased movement obtained from the treatment. During this time, patients are instructed how to perform stretching exercises to prevent the condition from recurring, offers Dr. Johnson.

“Patients regain the flexibility they had decades before by following this protocol, and typically, they return to activities they haven’t done in years,” he states. “This is truly correcting the original cause of their conditions.

“In almost all cases, more can be accomplished with one Sedative Stretching procedure than with years of other types of treatments.”

Notable Changes

As soon as their Sedative Stretching procedures were over, both Anne and Steve experienced notable changes in their conditions. For Anne, the treatment produced instant results.

“I felt immediate relief,” she marvels. “I immediately felt the pressure off that nerve in my back. I had an appointment with Dr. Johnson that same day, and every day for two weeks after the treatment. Every time I walked in, Dr. Johnson asked me how I was doing, and I just said, Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Dr. Jeffrey P. Johnson of Johnson Medical Center in Venice treated Anne Bilsky and Steve Burns for lower back and neck pain using Sedative Stretching.

“Since Sedative Stretching, I can move my hips and legs and swing my arms. I’m on a mission to feel as good as I do now when I’m ninety-five.” -Anne

It took a little longer for Steve to feel the full effects of his treatment, but when he did, he was exhilarated. He was also amazed by the difference in his pain level after the procedure.

“Right after the Sedative Stretching, my pain was cut in half,” he reports. “Then I went back to see Dr. Johnson for some adjustments. After about the first week, my pain was gone completely, and it hasn’t come back. It’s been three weeks since I had the treatment, and the pain is totally gone. My pain score now is a zero. It’s perfect.”

That’s the same score Anne gives for her pain now, when before she says it hovered between eight and ten. With their pain alleviated, both Anne and Steve are able to perform activities they struggled with before treatment.

“I’m building up to doing forty-five minutes of my purposeful walking,” enthuses Anne. “I don’t walk with my dog when I do my purposeful walking, which involves fully moving my hips, legs and arms.

“Dr. Johnson told me that before treatment, I wasn’t walking with my hips. I couldn’t even move them; they were totally frozen. If I tried to purposefully walk, I’d tweak my side and be in pain.

“Since Sedative Stretching, I can move my hips and legs very purposefully and swing my arms. I’m on a mission to feel as good as I do now when I’m ninety-five.”

“After the initial stretching and three weeks of therapy, I can bend and touch my toes,” marvels Steve. “I could barely touch my knees before. I can bend to pick up a golf ball on the grass. I couldn’t do that before. That’s a big, big difference.

“I’m also extremely flexible in my neck now, which I was not prior to seeing
Dr. Johnson. I can now move my head and neck very freely. I’m very happy with where I am right now.”

Beyond Satisfied

Steve and Anne are grateful for the amazing results they achieved with Sedative Stretching. They’re also grateful for the wonderful treatment they received from the staff at Johnson Medical Center.

“I know several people who work at Johnson Medical Center are there because they initially went to Dr. Johnson for treatment,” comments Steve. “That speaks volumes in its own right.

“The entire staff is extremely friendly, helpful and professional. I’m always greeted warmly and treated very nicely. The office is run very efficiently. I can say it’s a pleasure going there now that I don’t hurt anymore.”

“Johnson Medical Center isn’t just an office or a practice,” agrees Anne. “When I first walked in, I discovered this wonderful, gentle, harmonious atmosphere, and I felt like I just wanted to sit for a while and feel the peace of it. And the staff is like a family.

“Whenever I go in, the receptionist greets me with a wonderful smile, and Dr. Johnson’s assistant provides loving guidance and gets me situated. I’m never rushed. They’re always interested in me. There’s a gentle knowing that when one of us heals, we all heal.”

Dr. Johnson’s patients are beyond satisfied with the care they received from the chiropractic specialist and the results of his Sedative Stretching protocol. Both were quick to pass the word on to friends and family.

“I’ve already recommended Dr. Johnson and Sedative Stretching to a number of friends I golf with and some I don’t golf with,” notes Steve. “I’ve told at least a half dozen people about him.”

Anne adds her own perspective.

“Dr. Johnson is one of the most loving, compassionate and knowledgeable doctors I have ever met,” she says. “I always feel wrapped in his love and concern. I absolutely recommend him and his treatment.

“I feel blessed for having been led to Dr. Johnson and Johnson Medical Center. Sedative Stretching totally changed my life. For me, it was a miracle!”

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    • Johnson Medical Center

      Dr. Jeffery P. Johnson has practiced in Venice, Florida since 1986. His practice is focused on treating patients with many conditions, including those that are not responding to conventional treatments such as physical therapy, chiro... Read More

    • Jeffrey P. Johnson, DC

      Jeffrey P. Johnson, DC, is a graduate of Life Chiropractic University, Marietta, GA, with additional training through National College of Chiropractic, Chicago, in Manipulation Under Anesthesia, proprietary substances, and chiropracti... Read More