Triple Play

Trio of back disorders tamed by nonsurgical vacuum therapy.

Seventy-six-year-old Pennsylvania native Shirley Piazza has suffered from back problems off and on for years. Physicians diagnosed a combination of disorders including spinal stenosis, sciatica and arthritis. Shirley’s condition deteriorated over time, and last year, it became so severe that nothing she tried alleviated her intense pain.

 Photos by Jordan Pysz.

Shirley Piazza

“The pain just grabbed me,” Shirley describes. “It felt like pressure pushing on a nerve. It went from my right hip down my leg, and I never knew when it would hit. Sometimes, it hit me when I was sitting down. Other times, it hit if I was on my feet too long. I couldn’t predict it, but when it did hit, it really stopped me in my tracks.”

Two of Shirley’s favorite hobbies are cooking and baking, which require being on her feet for extended periods. She also likes to work in her yard, exercise and walk, pursuits that also put pressure on her hip and leg. Shirley’s pain made it difficult for her to perform these activities.

“At times, it was hard to function with the pain,” Shirley confirms. “I’m usually pretty active, but the pain definitely slowed me down. It almost made me have to stop doing the things I like to do, but I kept on doing them, just with a lot of discomfort. I can handle pain. I can manage a ten on a scale of one to ten. But when the pain went up to fifteen, I knew it wasn’t going to get any better.

“I tried many treatments seeking pain relief, but nothing helped. I tried manipulations, pain pills, steroids, anti-inflammatories, exercise and physical therapy. I was worried I was going to need surgery.”

Before it went that far, Shirley recalled an incident that occurred months earlier that introduced her to Dr. Craig S. Aderholdt and the specialized treatment he offers at Back Pain Institute of West Florida. Shirley wondered if Dr. Aderholdt’s treatment could help her.

“My sister-in-law was here on vacation when she reached up into a cabinet and pulled something in her back,” Shirley relates.

“My husband had heard of Dr. Aderholdt and said, He’s close by; why don’t you try him. My sister-in-law went to Dr. Aderholdt for treatment and recommended him to me. I figured I tried everything else. What do I have to lose?”

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.

“Shirley had a very painful lower back condition with pain radiating into her right leg, and as I do with many patients with similar painful conditions, I recommended VAX-D Therapy,” notes Dr. Aderholdt, who is one of the few doctors in the country who offers this unique treatment.

As soon as Shirley arrived at Back Pain Institute of West Florida, she knew she made the right decision by visiting the practice. She was immediately impressed by Dr. Aderholdt’s knowledge, as well as his empathy and compassion.

“I could tell right away that Dr. Aderholdt is an expert in his field,” Shirley states. “And he is so easy to talk to. He really understands pain and cares about his patients so much. I got the feeling from him that he wanted to help me.

“Dr. Aderholdt suggested VAX-D Therapy because my spine was out of line, and that was affecting the lower half of my body. I’ve had alignment problems for years, so I knew what he was talking about. I thought, I don’t want surgery and VAX-D sounds pretty good, so I agreed to the treatment.”

Negative Pressure

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

 Photos by Jordan Pysz.

Shirley is encouraged by the substantial
improvement she has achieved through VAX-D Therapy.

“Chiropractic adjustments alone can actually relieve the pain for many patients,” Dr. Aderholdt maintains. “For select people with sciatica or herniated, bulging or degenerated discs, however, VAX-D Therapy has proven extremely effective.

“Like Shirley, many back and neck pain sufferers are good candidates for VAX-D because the treatment can alleviate neck pain, low back 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.

Because the VAX-D system is computerized, 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 declares. “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.

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

“VAX-D Therapy straightens and heals the spine, and there’s nothing to it,” Shirley shares. “During treatment, the qualified technicians at Back Pain Institute of West Florida place a strap around me for support, then connect me to a machine that slowly stretches my spine.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of. The treatment is gentle. It’s not painful. I just lie there and relax, and the treatment slows the progression of my spinal stenosis, sciatica and arthritis.”

Long-Term Effectiveness

Dr. Aderholdt points out that VAX-D Therapy has a long track record of leaving customers satisfied. 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,” Dr. Aderholdt 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 says 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.

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

“I can do most anything I want to do now, with caution. . . . But with Dr. Aderholdt’s VAX-D Therapy, I’m well on my way to healing.” – Shirley

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

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

Forward Progress

As Shirley finishes her course of VAX-D Therapy, she’s encouraged by the substantial improvement she’s achieved from the treatment thus far. She’s already experienced significant pain relief from the spinal stenosis, sciatica and arthritis in her back. And she’s relieved that she won’t have to face surgery at this point.

“Right now, I don’t have any pain,” Shirley enthuses. “If I’m on my feet too long or lift something heavy, it can come back, but I’m careful about that. When my back does bother me, the pain level is about a five. But ninety percent of the time, it’s zero. I’m not in any pain.”

Now that the intense, grabbing pain in Shirley’s hip and leg is relieved, she can resume her favorite activities. She can cook, work in the yard, clean house and be on her feet without the pressure and discomfort she previously experienced. And Shirley wants the pain relief to last into the future.

“I can also walk and exercise in comfort now, but Dr. Aderholdt told me to go easy for a while because I can aggravate the problem again,” she reports. “And once I’m done with therapy, I plan to continue with maintenance sessions to keep my progress going.

“I can do most anything I want to do now, with caution. VAX-D Therapy has worked well for me, and I look forward to when my treatment is over and I can say it’s completely successful. But with Dr. Aderholdt’s VAX-D Therapy, I’m well on my way to healing.”

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