Head to Toe

Unique care protocol alleviates disabling neck, shoulder and leg pain.

Any day spent playing golf is a good day. That’s the philosophy of Mary Mrozek, a 59-year-old insurance agent who resides in a golf community in Bonita Springs and happily lists golf as one of her and her husband’s greatest passions.

Photo courtesy of Mary Mrozek

“When a friend tells me about some kind of pain they’re having, I hand them a card and say, Go see Dr. Hunte.”
– Mary

“I love playing golf,” Mary says. “I absolutely love it.”

Mary’s love of golf is so great that, for a few years, she continued playing even while fighting through a great deal of neck, shoulder and leg pain. She finally had to give up that fight a couple years ago about midway through a round.

“It was October 2017, and my husband and I had played about eight holes,” Mary remembers. “At that point, I looked at my husband and said, I feel like I have knives stuck in my legs. I need to get off the course.

The leg pain that drove Mary from the golf course that day came as a result of the last in a series of incidents that started about 10 years ago when Mary damaged some discs in her neck while cleaning out a shed at her home.

The cervical damage was so great that it required fusion surgery on two cervical discs. But that surgery “never took,” says Mary, who had to have the surgery repeated after she reinjured her neck in a car accident three years later.

A third surgery to repair two more discs was performed six months after the accident, but none of those surgeries or the physical therapy she received in the wake of them alleviated her pain, which eventually moved into her shoulders and upper back.

“The pain was chronic,” Mary reports. “It was as though the nerves at the base of my head, and going down into my shoulders, were constantly aggravated. And I was always getting headaches from it. I went to a doctor for it, but it went on for years.

“Then a problem with my foot developed. It was a bunion on my right big toe. I had surgery for it, but the surgeon messed up the surgery so bad that there was no circulation going to the toe, so I had surgery again to save the toe.”

The second toe surgery was another fusion procedure designed to stabilize the toe. But that surgery prevented the toe from bending normally at the joint. Over time, that affected Mary’s gait, forcing her to more or less “waddle” from side to side.

Because her right foot did not bend normally, Mary subconsciously placed more pressure on her right side than her left while walking. That weakened her left leg significantly and eventually sparked a whole new pain issue with her right hip and lower back.

When that pain became disabling, Mary visited a doctor who discovered a fracture and arthritis in the hip. The discovery led to hip replacement surgery, but Mary’s recovery went so slowly that, after a few months, she was still in too much pain to walk, much less play golf.

“I couldn’t even walk to my pool, so I had to give up golf, and I was still getting headaches and feeling all that pain in my neck and shoulders,” Mary laments. “I hurt from head to toe so bad, I couldn’t work for three months. That’s when I went to see Dr. Hunte.”

Above and Beyond

Dr. Hunte is Bryan T. Hunte, DC. He is the proprietor of Advanced Spineworks in Bonita Springs, where he utilizes chiropractic care and goes a step further in caring for his patients by taking a “highly scientific approach” to rehabilitation.

“That’s what makes our facility unique,” Dr. Hunte says of his approach to care. “We don’t just stop at relieving pain. We also focus on the corrective phase of care using equipment that cannot be matched by traditional approaches.”

“The corrective phase of care is what restores the musculature around the injured area. When the musculature is restored, the patient experiences relief. I highly recommended it, even post surgically.

“Our equipment has a unique way of restoring this support even in the most severe of cases. Our goal is to create an independent patient who can enjoy the activities they had once given up.”

In seeking to correct Mary’s problems and make her independent, Dr. Hunte first performed a thorough evaluation. He concluded that evaluation by suggesting therapy using two advanced corrective devices, the MCU machine and the Eccentron.

Unique, Nonsurgical Device

The MCU, which stands for Multi-Cervical Unit, is a nonsurgical device that is able to diagnose specific weaknesses in the neck and get the patient back to normal strength by following a specific regimen.

The MCU creates this specified workout, which is designed around the test results, to restore all the weakness and imbalance that cannot be reproduced by traditional methods in physical therapy.

The Eccentron is a negative-resistance training device on which patients perform leg resistance exercises that improve their strength, balance and endurance. Like the MCU, it also assesses the patient’s progress throughout the course of the workout and provides objective data.

The Eccentron workout consists of 30 minutes of strength training, which provides up to 670 repetitions. The combination of repetitions and the thought that goes into playing a game on the Eccentron stimulates the atrophied muscles and reconnects it to the nervous system.

Using the MCU machine, Dr. Hunte tested the strength of Mary’s neck muscles. The results showed those muscles were too weak to properly support her head. A similar test on the Eccentron showed Mary’s left leg was far weaker than her right and that her legs could not support the weight of her body.

Based on the muscle deficiencies revealed through the testing, Dr. Hunte created two treatment regimens, one designed to strengthen the muscles in Mary’s neck using the MCU machine and another designed to strengthen her left leg using the Eccentron.

“The goal of the MCU machine is to get the muscles in the neck that are straining to hold the head up, into a more relaxed state, which was the cause of Mary’s neck and shoulder pain as well as her headaches,” Dr. Hunte educates.

“The goal of the Eccentron is very similar, and that goal is achieved by resistance exercises where you’re resisting these pedals that are coming at you”.

“When the muscles lengthen under tension, you gain strength faster than traditional weight training. The testing also reveals the weak side, and because we strengthen the legs independently of each other, symmetry is restored.

“In Mary’s case, her left side wasn’t doing its job, so we had to correct that and build up the strength to match what she had on the right side. Once that occurred, it improved the state of her lower back as well, which brought her great relief.”

Mary goes a step further and says she experienced “incredible relief” from her pain. She marvels at the fact that after several surgeries and hundreds of hours of physical therapy, she’s finally feeling better after only a few weeks of treatment at Advanced Spineworks.

“What amazes me most is that during all those years of seeing doctors and doing rehabilitation, no one ever tested me the way Dr. Hunte did,” Mary says. “And it was those tests that finally determined what the real problem was.

“The MCU and Eccentron targeted and strengthened the areas that needed to be strengthened, and it’s made a huge difference. My neck and shoulder pain and headaches are gone, and I’m walking upright again. I feel like I’m more centered now, more balanced.”

The treatments she received at Advanced Spineworks even have Mary playing golf again. She’s been away from the game for a while, so she’s still shaking off some rust, but she’s confident her treatments will allow her to regain her old form.

“Dr. Hunte rehabbed me in a way that was very comfortable and safe, so I knew I wasn’t going to reinjure myself or anything,” Mary says. “After all I’ve been through, that’s a big deal for me, and it’s one of the reasons I so highly recommend Advanced Spineworks.

“Anybody who is having any kind of issue with their neck or shoulders or back can benefit from him. That’s why I actually have some of his cards, and when a friend tells me about some kind of pain they’re having, I hand them a card and say, Go see Dr. Hunte.

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    • Advanced Spineworks

      Advanced Spineworks multidisciplinary approach using chiropractic and physical rehabilitation makes them your one-stop source for effective pain relief, rehabilitation and results. Whether you are dealing with back pain, neck pain, headache or a... Read More

    • Bryan T. Hunte, DC

      Bryan T. Hunte, DC, is a sports medicine specialist and chiropractor with more than 15 years of experience. He earned his undergraduate degree in fitness and cardiac rehab/exercise science and biology from Ithaca College. He received his Do... Read More