Back Pain Tabled

Spinal decompression: an excellent alternative to surgery.

Five days after he got married, Jerry* made what he considers the “catch of his life”– a 98-pound blue marlin that he fought for three hours before finally reeling it in while fishing off the island of Bermuda on his honeymoon.

“Believe me, my wife, Jennifer, is a great catch, too,” Jerry notes. “She’s one in a million. But for a fishing enthusiast like me, catching a blue marlin is like finding gold. It’s one of the real prizes of sport fishing, and I can proudly say that I caught one.”

Jerry’s prized catch is mounted on a wall in the den of his Daytona Beach home. He shows it off whenever he can and happily relives the battle he waged to bring it in. There were times, though, when the 42-year-old wondered if he actually won that battle.

“Reeling in a marlin is not easy,” Jerry explains. “They give you a heck of a fight, and I got beat up pretty good that day. My hands were sore; my arms were sore. I could barely stand after I finally got it in the boat. And then the back pain started.

“The very next day, when I got out of bed, my back was a mess. It hurt so bad that I could not bend over to put on my shoes. I had to have my wife do that for me. Just pulling a shirt over my head hurt. Unfortunately, it didn’t get better over time.”

For six months, Jerry tried icing his back and heating it. He took aspirin and ibuprofen. Nothing worked. It hurt to sit, and it hurt to stand. And as for doing anything athletic, like working out, running or even fishing? Forget it.

“I even had trouble sleeping at night,” he explains. “It was all I could do to find a position where I could rest comfortably, because just moving around in bed hurt. Dealing with this back pain was one of the worst things I’ve had to do in my entire life.”

When his pain became so acute that it forced him to miss a day of work, Jerry visited a doctor. That led to a visit with a specialist who seemed all too eager to perform back surgery.

Looking for an alternative to surgery, Jerry visited Halifax Injury Physicians.

“I asked a friend at church who had dealt with back issues for years what he did for his pain,” Jerry recalls. “He said he got this special treatment at Halifax Injury Physicians and suggested I give it a try.

So, I called and made an appointment.”

Halifax Injury Physicians is a full-service chiropractic practice. 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 and operator of Halifax Injury Physicians, evaluated Jerry’s back.

“Jerry came to us with severe low back pain and decreased mobility that appeared to develop rather suddenly, perhaps during that fishing expedition he went on during his honeymoon”

Dr. Utter reports. “An MRI showed that the cause of his pain was three herniated discs in his lower back. Those discs were putting pressure on the nearby spinal nerves, causing the pain and disability.

“He had tried some very conservative pain management techniques, but they didn’t work, and he was adamant about not having surgery, if it could be avoided. So I recommended that he try our nonsurgical treatment protocol, which includes spinal decompression.

Protocol Cornerstone

Spinal decompression is the cornerstone of the protocol, which also includes spinal manipulations and physical therapy.

“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 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.

Halifax Injury Physicians uses a “very sophisticated” decompression table that isolates specific levels of the spine for treatment, the doctor explains.

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

“Who doesn’t know someone who struggles with back pain? I know several people … and I’ve told them all about Dr. Utter.” – Jerry

The treatment is rather simple, especially in cases of disc herniation, Dr. Utter observes. With a herniation, pain comes from the spinal nerves being compressed by a collapsed vertebrae or by the material from the center of the disc seeping 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 the disc material back into the disk that 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.”

Pain-Free and Active

Jerry achieved tremendous success by following Halifax Injury Physicians’ protocol. His severe back pain was alleviated, and his mobility was restored. He credits spinal decompression for his excellent results.

“Once Dr. Utter put me on the spinal decompression table, it took about a dozen sessions, and I was pretty much pain-free,” Jerry enthuses. “Now I’m back to running and working out again, and yes, I’ve even done some fishing.

“I haven’t caught any marlins, but I’ve caught a few large groupers. I doubt I would have been able to reel them in had it not been for spinal decompression. I’ve pretty much got my life back to where it was before thanks to that treatment.”

The treatment made a significant impact on Jerry’s life, allowing him to be pain-free and active. He’s already spreading the word about his experience with spinal decompression.

“Who doesn’t know someone who struggles with back pain?” Jerry asks rhetorically. “I know several people. Most of them are fishing buddies, and I’ve told them all about Dr. Utter and what he has to offer at Halifax Injury Physicians.”

© FHCN staff article. js
* Patient’s name changed at his request
Print This Article
    • Halifax Injury Physicians

      To provide their patients with the best possible treatment for their pain, their Daytona Beach chiropractor office utilizes state of the art medical equipment, including Daytona's first cryotherapy chamber. Whether you are a longtime pa... Read More

    • Travis Utter, DC

      Travis Utter, DC, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic. He received additional training in NCV/EMG from the... Read More