No Recurring Pain Years After MCU Therapy

Multi-Cervical Unit is an advanced device for neck evaluation and treatment.

Patty Annetta

The woman in question had just flown into Miami on an international flight, and when the standard search conducted by two male US Customs agents didn’t reveal what they were sure she was hiding, the agents turned her over to Patty Annetta.

Patty was fresh out of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia, green as a new dollar bill – and, boy, did it show.

“When I first took over that search, I couldn’t find a thing,” Patty remembers. “But the other agents kept telling me, Patty, it’s there; we know it’s there. Go back and look again. So, I went back. Three times I went back. Finally, on the third try, I found it.”

What Patty found was a small stash of cocaine that had been sewn into the woman’s bra. The smuggler was immediately placed under arrest and hauled away. Not long afterward, Patty celebrated her first “bust” as a US Customs agent. It would not be her last.

Patty went on to spend 33 years working as a customs agent. Most of that time was spent searching passengers and luggage for illegal drugs at Miami International Airport, Miami Seaport and Miami cruise terminal.

“It was a very interesting job, and I miss it terribly,” says Patty, now 74. “You learn a lot about people in a job like that. You learn about how bad some people are and how far some are willing to go to protect themselves in situations like that.”

Patty was trained to protect herself in those situations, but during the three decades that she worked in law enforcement, she never quite figured out how to protect herself from some of the job’s hidden dangers.

“I carried a gun on my hip for 30 years as well as a few other things, and when you’re doing that and standing on your feet all day, you eventually feel the effects,” Patty explains. “For me, I eventually began to feel it in my lower back and neck.

“The worst part, though, was the headaches. I started getting them a few years before I retired, and as time went on, they became more and more frequent and more intense. That part was actually quite frightening because I had no idea what was causing them.”

Just as frightening was that the headaches would, at times, come on suddenly, usually as she was getting off a sofa or chair after sitting comfortably for an extended period. In some cases, the rush of pain was so great it made her collapse.

Because of such episodes, Patty became something of a shut-in following her retirement. She did leave the house to seek treatment for the issue, but none of the prescribed medications alleviated it.

As a result, Patty experienced lower back and neck pain and crippling headaches for several years. Finally, about 10 years ago, on the advice of friends, she sought another form of help.

“It was just friends talking to friends about things, and somebody said, Have you tried a chiropractor?” Patty remembers. “I really hadn’t because I was always so busy with work, but after that I did go see a chiropractor, one who was very near where I live.”

The chiropractor Patty went to see was Marc A. Weinberg, DC, founder of Active Health Center. After conducting a thorough examination, Dr. Weinberg began his treatment by performing standard chiropractic adjustments of Patty’s back and neck.

“He was doing the basic stuff because I didn’t tell him about the headaches,” Patty remembers. “I didn’t think they were related, so I only told him about my lower back and neck pain.”

Exclusive Access

Then one day, Dr. Weinberg wasn’t in the office, and Patty was treated by his colleague, Colin O. Behrue, DC, who soon became the chiropractor providing the bulk of her care.
During an appointment, Patty finally mentioned the headaches.

Believing that Patty’s symptoms might be related and that their source might be an issue with her cervical spine, Dr. Behrue opted to test Patty on a unique evaluation/treatment device called the Multi-Cervical Unit, or MCU.

A technologically advanced nonsurgical device that is exclusive to Active Health Center in South Florida, the MCU is an instrument that not only assesses the strength of neck muscles, but also isolates and strengthens those muscles.


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

Once that data is collected, a treatment program is designed that allows the MCU to correct the problems. As such, the MCU is considered the most effective and efficient system for assessment and rehabilitation of the neck.

It has proven so effective that MCU technology is being used by chiropractors and physical therapists worldwide, including those working with athletes in the National Football League and Major League Baseball.

“Starting in the 1990s, a fair amount of research came out that showed neck weakness will lead to neck pain, and you need to address the neck weakness in order to treat the pain,” says Dr. Weinberg.

Each MCU session lasts 20 to 30 minutes, with patients typically going through three sessions a week for nine weeks. During that period, patients are retested at least three times to determine the effectiveness of the treatments.

“We retest the patient every nine visits and compare the results of those tests with the results we received from our original examination,” Dr. Behrue notes. “That shows us how well the patient is progressing. Based on the findings, we make clinical changes that help the patient continue to improve and build strength.

“MCU sessions are painless and there’s always someone available to help you.”

They are also effective. Studies show that following MCU therapy, pain levels decrease by 66 percent while strength levels increase more than 70 percent, with more than 90 percent of patients making a full recovery, according to Active Health Center.


“Amazing” Results

“This is a treatment that lasts for a long time. A real long time,” says Patty.

The evaluation conducted with the MCU machine confirmed Dr. Behrue’s suspicions: Patty’s symptoms were a result of deficiencies in the strength and structure of her neck.

“The upper part of the neck is not supposed to bear weight,” Dr. Behrue educates. “That’s the job of the lower part of the neck. With Patty, however, the lower neck was so weak and out of alignment that it was recruiting the upper part to help it do its job.

“When that happens, or if you hurt your upper spine in some way, you can get weird symptoms. You can get vision changes, headaches, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) changes, and it’s all because the upper part of the spinal cord is suddenly doing something it’s not supposed to do.”

To correct the problem, Dr. Behrue recommended a full regimen of treatments using the MCU. Patty agreed, and more than 10 years later, she’s still glad she did.

“There was one day not long after I’d finished up all my treatment sessions where it suddenly dawned on me that I was no longer experiencing any more of those awful headaches,” Patty marvels.

“Those headaches sometimes put me out of commission for the day, but all of a sudden they disappeared. Same with my neck pain. My neck used to bother me all the time, but after my treatment on the MCU, that pain is gone, too.

“And what’s amazing is that it’s been 10 years since I got those MCU treatments. Now, I did go back for a maintenance treatment a couple of years later. But it wasn’t like I really needed it or anything. Dr. Behrue suggested it.

“The point is, ever since I completed the MCU treatments, my neck pain has gone away, my headaches have gone away and my back pain has gone away. So this is a treatment that lasts for a long time. A real long time.”

Patty still visits Active Health Center for standard adjustments on her back but has been living pain-free for years. That’s why she gladly recommends Active Health Center to others.

“I tell everybody I can about the great doctors there and the MCU machine,” she says. “I really do because I’m so grateful for what they did for me. To not have to deal with that neck pain and those headaches is an absolute blessing.”

Patricia “Tish” Kern

A League of Its Own

It’s safe to say that Patricia “Tish” Kern’s love of sports knows no bounds. A former high school cheerleader, Tish was a competitive swimmer, diver and volleyball player who also played a little bit of “social” tennis on the side.

In time, Tish channeled most of her energy toward her greatest love, which is tennis. Now 73, she plays almost every day. It’s been that way since she retired from her job as an English and journalism teacher several years ago.

“I was probably about 60 when I took up tennis again, and I got right back into it,” Tish explains. “I’ve been playing ever since. I’m in a league where I play competitively, mostly against people who are younger than me.”

Tish seldom feels her age on the tennis court. There was a time not long after she’d taken the game up again, when a sore neck left her struggling with one of the most important elements of the game.

“Because of this neck problem, I had a hard time serving,” Tish relates. “I was struggling because of tingling and numbness in my arm and hand, but that wasn’t the only problem. I also had this horrible itch in both arms.

“The itching was the worst thing. I’d wake up during the night with it sometimes and nothing would help except putting ice on it. I finally went to a dermatologist who prescribed an epidural steroid injection, but when the injection wore off, the itching returned.”

Thinking that the root of her itching might lie somewhere else, Tish next visited with a neurologist who failed to find the cause and suggested she see a chiropractor. When Tish asked for a recommendation, the neurologist pointed her toward Active Health Center.

Before Tish visited Active Health Center, she was also prescribed physical therapy. Like the steroid injection, however, that provided only temporary relief.

Dr. Behrue soon discovered why.

During an extensive examination that included an evaluation of her neck on the MCU, Dr. Behrue determined that the likely cause of Tish’s neck pain, tingling, numbness and even her itching was a pinched nerve in her neck.

“There are different components to every nerve,” Dr. Behrue explains. “When under pressure, some of those components can cause pain, numbness and tingling. Others can cause burning or itching. It all depends on where the nerve is being pressured.

“In Tish’s case, she was feeling all those sensations because weakness in her neck was causing nerve impingement. She also had an imbalance of the muscles in her neck, which is why the other treatments weren’t providing long-lasting relief.

“She would get an injection or some other form of treatment, then go back and repeat the same muscle pattern. As a result, she never felt a true change in her symptoms because the nerve that was pinched was the one that was always overworked.”

To correct the problem, Tish needed to strengthen the muscles in her neck so the nerves were no longer under pressure. To do that, Dr. Behrue recommended a full regimen of treatment on the MCU.

“This treatment … gave me a new lease on life, and I’m still reaping the benefits,” says Tish.

“The problem that Tish and a lot of other people with neck issues suffer from is not just a lack of strength in the neck muscles, but also a lack of balance,” Dr. Behrue adds. “That’s why generic physical therapy often is not enough to rectify these problems.

“I say that because you have about 26 muscles in the neck. But during generic physical therapy, you may only use or strengthen 10 of them. As a result, those 10 become overworked. That’s why you need both strength and balance in the neck muscles.”

Because of the extent of her issues, Tish required two rounds of MCU therapy. Within a matter of weeks, though, she began to feel the positive effects of the treatments as her symptoms slowly disappeared, and they have not returned.

“It’s been six or seven years since I had the MCU treatments and I am really doing quite well,” Tish enthuses. “I have not had any recurring issues with my neck, and that is all thanks to Dr. Behrue and everyone at Active Health Center.

“Dr. Behrue and Dr. Weinberg are dedicated to getting people back on their feet and doing as much as they possibly can for them. It’s not just a business to them. They want you to feel better. They’re empathetic, compassionate and dedicated.

“What they did for me is like a miracle, and because of that I have recommended them to many people. This treatment really works, and it’s a treatment that lasts. I’m proof, because it gave me a new lease on life, and I’m still reaping the benefits.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Patty’s photos by Jordan Pysz. Tish’s photos courtesy of Patricia Kern. mkb
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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

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

    • Adam Holleman, DPT

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

    • Sandy McLean, DC

      Sandy McLean, DC, earned her bachelor's degree in human biology and Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota. She opened her first practice in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula shortly after grad... Read More

    • Cody Grigsby, DC

      Cody Grigsby, DC, earned his bachelor's degree in psychology with a focus on adolescent psychology from Ohio Northern University. He worked extensively with at-risk youth and became a special education teacher upon moving to Florida. He discove... Read More

    • Joshua Delson, DC

      Joshua Delson, DC, was born in New York City and grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in food and nutrition, he began his doctorate program at the California University of Health Sciences of Los An... Read More