Enjoying the Ride

Advanced treatment regimen relieves chronic, life-altering pain.

Photos by Jordan Pysz.

Joyce Moreau

There is no scientific evidence that suggests a passion for riding roller coasters is an inherited trait, but it’s a trait that was passed on from Joyce Moreau to her two sons, and Joyce couldn’t be happier about it.

“It may be because I started taking them when they were young, but that has always been our thing,” Joyce explains. “We’re all adrenaline junkies, so going to the theme parks and riding the roller coasters, that’s always been a bonding moment for us.

“That’s the one thing I could always do that the kids were cool with because, of course, nothing else Mom did was cool. My jokes weren’t cool; my lectures weren’t cool. Nothing I did was cool except that.

“But we loved riding roller coasters so much that for birthdays, we’d go to theme parks, and I’d let them take a friend, and we’d spend all day or the weekend just riding the roller coasters. Like I said, it’s our thing. It’s what bonds us.”

Despite the fact that one of Joyce’s sons is now 30 and the other is currently playing hockey for a prep school in Canada, that special bond is still rivet tight. There was a time not too long ago, however, when it was temporarily severed.

“It started with a car accident that happened about four or five years ago,” says Joyce, 50. “The accident left me with some pretty bad neck and back pain, and a lot of treatment was done for it, but the treatment never got me back to being one hundred percent.

“Then, about a year after the accident, my son’s birthday came around and just like always, we decided to go to a theme park. We went to Universal Studios, and the last thing we did before leaving was ride The Hulk, their big roller coaster.

“It was the first time I’d tried riding a roller coaster since the accident because I was afraid of the pain, and it was a good thing it was the last thing we did because when I got off that ride, I could not have felt worse.

“I felt so bad that I just stood there in the middle of the park crying. I thought, I’m never going to ride rides like this again. Not long after that, I started getting some really bad headaches and feeling a lot of tension and stress in my neck and back.”

The theme park incident prompted Joyce to reconnect with the chiropractor who previously treated her, Sandy McLean, DC. That’s when she learned that Dr. McLean had recently relocated to Active Health Center in North Palm Beach.

“When I first started treating Joyce following her accident, we did a lot of traditional chiropractic care and some decompression,” Dr. McLean says, the latter treatment being a form of traction designed to correct bulging or herniated discs.

“When we reconnected, I started treating her again by doing the traditional adjustments, and they would have her feeling better for a few days, but her pain was still chronic. It was then that I suggested she try the MCU machine.

Evidence-Based Medicine

Photos by Jordan Pysz.

Joyce is now living and riding pain free.

The Multi-Cervical Unit, or MCU machine, is a unique, nonsurgical device that isolates and strengthens the muscles around the neck and provides a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s physical progress while the patient receives the therapy.

A tool in what doctors refer to as evidence-based medicine, the MCU machine records 16 different ranges of muscle movement for strength to determine the specific areas of the neck where there are weaknesses, imbalances or a loss in range of motion.

Once that data is revealed, a customized treatment program is designed that allows the MCU to correct those problems. Considered the most complete and efficient system for assessment and rehabilitation of the neck, the MCU has proven to be a highly effective tool.

According to Active Health Center, studies show that after receiving MCU therapy, patient pain levels decrease by 66 percent while strength levels increase by more than 70 percent, with more than 90 percent of patients making a full recovery.

Intrigued by what she learned of the MCU machine, Joyce agreed to give the device a try. Like all patients, she was first tested on the machine. Those tests revealed a significant weakness in her neck muscles, and a treatment regimen was created for her.

A single MCU session lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, with patients typically going through three sessions a week for nine weeks. During those nine weeks, patients are re-tested at least three times to determine the effectiveness of the treatments.

“We re-test the patient every three weeks, or nine visits, and compare the results of those tests with the results we received from our original examination of the patient,” explains Colin Behrue, DC, at Active Health Center.

“That shows us how well the patient is progressing, and based on the findings, we make clinical changes. The change could be different exercises, different angles or different weights that help the patient continue to improve and build strength.”

After nine weeks of therapy, patients are typically given a maintenance program that includes exercises they do at home to maintain their strength. Joyce was in the maintenance program a few months back when she courageously suggested another theme park visit.

Like Old Times

“My son was getting ready to go back to school, and I said, Before you go, why don’t we do something like we used to and go to a park,” Joyce recalls. “That’s how good I was feeling. But I was a little nervous, a little hesitant.

“So, we went to Busch Gardens® for two days, and the first day, I didn’t ride any rides. Then the next day, I just said to myself, This is my day, and the first thing I did that morning was head straight for the biggest roller coaster they’ve got.

“I was so nervous getting on that roller coaster that I was literally shaking, but when I got off that ride, I felt like a million dollars. It was so awesome, and my son was looking at me like, Are you all right? and I was like, Which one do we go on next?

“We wound up riding every roller coaster in the park that day, and it was so amazing that I literally could not wait to go back to Active Health Center and tell Dr. McLean that I was riding roller coasters and feeling great again. And when I did, she couldn’t believe it.

“She was like, No way, and she gave me a big hug and said, This has to be one of the biggest success stories because this is your thing. I know some people think it’s just a roller coaster, but I have to say, that MCU machine changed my life.”

Joyce says the only thing better than the results she received from the MCU machine therapy is the care she received from Dr. McLean and the staff at Active Health Center. She says teamwork is among the practice’s greatest strengths.

“Everyone there is amazing and so knowledgeable,” Joyce explains. “And it seems like everybody there knows a little bit about everyone else’s job, and so they can all fill in for each other when things get real busy.

“The girl at the front desk isn’t going to do my adjustment, but when it comes to setting you up on the machines and things like that, you don’t have to wait for twenty minutes for someone because they all pitch in and help each other out.

“They’re like a family, and they do great work, which is why I highly recommend them to anyone who’s having neck or back pain. It’s a special place, and they have special people working there.”

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    • Active Health Center

      If you have aches and pains from a motor vehicle accident, an old injury or a slip and fall, or are just feeling pain from the trials of daily life, Dr. Marc Weinberg and Dr. Colin Behrue at Active Health Center at Weinberg Chiro... Read More

    • Marc A. Weinberg, DC

      Marc A. Weinberg, DC, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida and went on to graduate cum laude from Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, GA. He is approved by the National University of Health Sciences to perfor... Read More

    • Sandy McLean, DC

      Sandy McLean, DC, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Northwestern Health and Sciences University in 1998 and earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the same school. She opened her first practice in Marquette, Michig... Read More

    • Adam Holleman, DPT

      Adam Holleman, DPT, earned his undergraduate degree in exercise science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, VA. He received his doctorate in physical therapy from Winston-Salem State University. He performed research in biomechan... Read More

    • Forrest Harvey, DC

      Forrest Harvey, DC, completed his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Pennsylvania’s Westminster College before earning his Doctorate of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, Florida. He treats patients of all ... Read More

    • Colin O. Behrue, DC

      Colin O. Behrue, DC, completed his undergraduate studies in molecular/microbiology at the University of Central Florida and went on to receive his Doctorate of Chiropractic, cum laude, from Palmer Chiropractic College Florida in Port Orange. He... Read More