He’s Got Your Back
Dr. Benjamin Nelson

Adjustments restore motion to the joints of the spine and reduce inflammation, which decreases pain.

Practice’s latest addition learned benefits of chiropractic firsthand

Back pain is one of the most common complaints reported to physicians. Nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain, and about 16 million adults, or 8 percent, experience persistent or chronic back pain, according to the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University. It is the sixth most costly condition in the US and a leading cause of lost work days and disability.

Halifax Injury Physicians, a full-service chiropractic practice with offices in Daytona Beach and Deltona, aims to change that. The practice is devoted to the nonsurgical treatment of back and neck disorders that can result in severe pain and disability.

To aid in that quest, Halifax Injury Physicians recently added a new warrior to its army of professionals combating back and neck pain: Benjamin Nelson, DC. 

Dr. Nelson came by his chiropractic career honestly.

“I grew up in rural Illinois, on a farm actually,” Dr. Nelson shares. “Ours was a small town and I played a lot of sports in high school. During my senior year, I suffered a severe low back injury that turned into chronic, debilitating pain. For about a year and a half, I tried just about everything to relieve that pain.

“When I entered college, I went to several doctors, including a surgeon who wanted to fuse my vertebrae together. A friend suggested that I visit a chiropractor. I knew nothing about chiropractic at the time but thought, Anything’s worth a shot.

Dr. Nelson took his friend’s advice and began receiving chiropractic care. To his delight, he noticed big changes in his back condition within the first week of starting treatment. As his therapy progressed, the back pain became less and less debilitating.

“Within a month to six weeks, I was 95 percent better,” Dr. Nelson enthuses. “I’ve been  completely pain-free ever since, and I was first treated 11 years ago. I knew right then what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to help other people get out of pain.”

With that goal in mind, Dr. Nelson completed his undergraduate education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. From there, he traveled to Port Orange to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic. 

“Following my graduation from Palmer in 2017, I worked my first year at a wellness clinic,” Dr. Nelson relates. “I treated multiple patients each day and received a lot of experience because the patients varied in age from children to the elderly, and they presented with many different spinal concerns. I still implement much of what I learned at that wellness clinic in what I do today.

“Before joining Halifax Injury Physicians, I practiced as a mobile chiropractor for several years. I took my equipment to gyms and houses and treated people in the comfort of their own homes. I started with Halifax Injury Physicians in March. It’s extremely rewarding being able to help people who are hurting because I know what it’s like to be in pain.” 

Plan of Attack

Dr. Nelson firmly believes that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to patient care. Rather, his philosophy is to create a customized plan of attack to meet each patient’s recovery goals.

“Every patient’s case is different,” Dr. Nelson asserts. “They typically have different types of injuries. Their conditions may be affecting their muscles, the discs in their spine or their joints. I assess each patient and tailor the treatment to address that patient’s specific issues.”

Dr. Nelson begins his assessment with a review of the patient’s history. Much can be learned about the source and intensity of the patient’s pain from the history. The doctor then performs a physical examination. The information gathered during the assessment helps Dr. Nelson make an accurate diagnosis and create an appropriate treatment plan.

“As a chiropractor, I specialize in spinal manipulation, also called a chiropractic adjustment,” Dr. Nelson discloses. “An adjustment is a well-researched procedure that can be performed by hand or using an instrument called an impulse adjustor. Adjustments restore motion to the joints of the spine and reduce inflammation, which decreases pain.

“An impulse adjustor puts a mechanical force directly onto the joints and restores motion in the same way I do with my hands. But it requires less movement of the spine. If the patient is very inflamed and in extreme pain, it is often better to start with the instrument because it requires less motion of the spine.”

Depending on the diagnosis, Dr. Nelson may add manual therapy, such as massage, to help release tightened muscles that can contribute to discomfort. Other therapies that may be included are spinal traction for decompression and therapeutic exercises to build strength in the muscles that stabilize the spinal joints.

For many of his patients in severe spinal pain, Dr. Nelson recommends Halifax Injury Physicians’ nonsurgical treatment protocol developed for back and neck disorders. Spinal decompression is the cornerstone of the protocol, which also includes spinal manipulations and therapeutic exercise. 

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

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

The treatment is rather simple, especially in cases of disc herniation, Dr. Nelson observes. With a herniation, pain comes from the spinal nerves being compressed 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. Nelson educates. “Spinal decompression tractions those segments apart, but extremely gently. As it starts to separate the bones, it creates negative pressure inside the center of the disc. This negative pressure helps pull the disc material back into the disc that herniated onto the nerves.”

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.

Low back pain is among the most common conditions treated by Dr. Nelson and the other warriors at Halifax Injury Physicians, but it’s not the only condition, by far.

“We also treat a lot of patients with neck pain or whiplash injuries causing neck pain, as well as patients with headaches,” Dr. Nelson describes. “We also treat shoulders, knees and ankles, pretty much every joint of the body. If there’s an injury, there’s something we can do to help.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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    • 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

    • Benjamin Nelson, DC

      Benjamin Nelson, DC, earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange. Dr. Nelson has experience working in wel... Read More