Back Pain Tabled

Spinal decompression is an excellent alternative to surgery.

Prior to retiring a few years ago, Tom Soriero worked in construction for 30 years. During his career, he was part of a crew that built Publix® Supermarket stores from Tallahassee to Miami. He also had a hand in building the Daytona International Speedway® and other iconic structures in the Sunshine State. But the work wasn’t without consequences for Tom.

“We built every Publix in the Daytona Beach area as well,” he confirms. “But it was the type of work that can result in an injury to your back. With the work I did, I probably lifted thousands and thousands of pounds, and I crushed three spinal discs from lifting. I had a lot of arthritis in those discs as well.

“There’s no cartilage left between the bones there, but the doctors wouldn’t operate because the insurance company wouldn’t approve it. They said I was inoperable. I actually wanted surgery, but they told me my back was too messed up. They said if they operated, it would screw me up even more, so they wouldn’t touch me.”

There may have been an initiating injury that prompted them, but Tom can’t remember such an incident. To the best of his recollection, his back problems developed slowly over his many years of working in construction, the damage resulting in severe pain that eventually became excruciating and ultimately debilitating.

“I first noticed the pain about six years ago, but back then, the discomfort came and went,” Tom describes. “But it got continuously worse over time, mostly because I shrank with age and my bones got softer.

“My doctor sent me to pain management, where they shot a solution into my back to try to kill the problem nerves. I received about thirty shots, but they didn’t work. Then all of a sudden, my sciatic nerve became pinched. Once that happened, I was pretty much immobilized.”

At that point, Tom returned to the pain management physician, who contemplated other treatment options. Among them were transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and an implanted morphine pump. Tom was less than enthused by those recommendations. Then he heard about another, nonsurgical approach to treating severe back pain.

“I got a call from a friend at Halifax Injury Physicians who asked me if I’d ever tried the spinal decompression table,” Tom states. “I told him I had never even heard of it, and he said, You need to try it.”

Halifax Injury Physicians is a full-service chiropractic practice in Daytona Beach. The practice is devoted to the nonsurgical treatment of neck and back disorders that can result in severe pain and disability. Travis Utter, DC, owner/operator of Halifax Injury Physicians, evaluated Tom’s back condition.

“Tom came to us with severe low back pain and decreased mobility that developed from years of working in a very physical occupation,” Dr. Utter reports. “An MRI showed he had three herniated discs in his low back that were placing pressure on the nearby spinal nerves, causing the pain and disability. The spinal joints in the area were also severely arthritic.

“Pain management techniques were unsuccessful in alleviating Tom’s back pain. He was evaluated for surgery and determined to not be a candidate for surgery. But he was a good candidate for our nonsurgical treatment protocol that includes spinal decompression. Spinal decompression is an excellent alternative to surgery for severe back and neck pain.”

Protocol Cornerstone

Halifax Injury Physicians’ treatment protocol for severe back and neck pain is a package of therapies that includes nonsurgical spinal decompression, spinal manipulations and physical therapy. Spinal decompression is the cornerstone of the protocol.

“Spinal decompression is an excellent nonsurgical, conservative option for dealing with various spinal conditions, the biggest being disc bulges, disc herniations, facet syndrome and even spinal stenosis,” Dr. Utter notes.

Before treatment with spinal decompression, doctors first determine the major factors contributing to the patient’s pain and other symptoms. They do this by correlating the findings from a physical examination with the results of imaging tests such as an
x-ray or MRI.

“When we examine all of this information, we are able to hone in on the specific level of the spine where the problem is occurring,” Dr. Utter informs. “At Halifax Injury Physicians, we use a very sophisticated spinal decompression table that allows us to isolate a specific level of the spine for treatment.

“Dr. Utter put me on the spinal decompression table, and within fifteen sessions on that table, I was pretty much pain free.” – Tom

“Sometimes, there is more than one spinal level contributing to the pain. That was the case with Tom. Our table also allows us to start working on one level, achieve some benefit, then move on to treat the next level.”

The spinal decompression treatment itself is rather simple, especially in cases of disc herniation, Dr. Utter observes. With a herniation, pain comes from compression of the spinal nerves by collapsed vertebrae or by the material from the center of the disc seeping out through the break, or herniation, in the disc.

“The bones of the spine, or vertebrae, along with the bulged or herniated disc can compress the nerves that exit the spine,” Dr. Utter explains. “Spinal decompression pulls those bones apart, but extremely gently. As it starts to separate the bones, it creates negative pressure inside the center of the disc. This negative pressure sucks in the disc material that has herniated onto the nerves.

“By pulling back that disc material, the amount of water and nutrients needed to start effectively controlling, containing and repairing the herniation is increased. Spinal decompression is typically administered in a series of treatments that effectively build upon each other. Over time, there is continued improvement until the patient is stable and can be discharged from care.”

“I Have a Life Again”

Tom achieved tremendous success with Halifax Injury Physicians’ treatment protocol. By following the protocol, Tom’s severe back pain was relieved, and his mobility was restored. He credits spinal decompression specifically for his excellent results. 

“Dr. Utter put me on the spinal decompression table, and within fifteen sessions on that table, I was pretty much pain free,” Tom enthuses. “I’m walking, and everything is good now. I still can’t lift anything, but I’m up and around and mobile, and I have a life again. And it’s all because of that spinal decompression table.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that spinal decompression is responsible for the difference in my back condition because I know where I was when I started the treatment, and I know where I ended up after the treatment.”

Being mobile again has allowed Tom to participate once more in his favorite pastimes, activities he had to give up when his back condition became so  painful and disabling. 

“I like to boat and fish when I can get around,” Tom offers. “The spinal decompression has certainly helped me get around and do those things again.”

The treatment Tom received from Dr. Utter at Halifax Injury Physicians made a significant impact on his life, allowing him to be pain free and active. He’s already spreading the word about his excellent experience with spinal decompression at the local chiropractic practice.

“I’ve been recommending Halifax Injury Physicians and their spinal decompression table all along,” Tom says. “I’ve already told some friends and other people I know who have back problems about it. And I’ll tell others about it as well, without a doubt.”


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