Pain In The Neck

Evidence-based rehab machine alleviates aggravating pain.

Anne Marie Rose headshot

MCU treatment alleviated Ann Marie’s neck pain

If you had a choice between spending your weekends working an Italian ice truck at a nearby flea market or cruising the Treasure Coast in a 31-foot Sundancer and stopping for lunch, dinner or drinks at marinas along the way, which would you opt for?

After two years of trying the former, Anne Marie Rose and her husband eventually chose the latter. They’re glad they did.

“The Italian ice thing was something my husband and I really wanted to do, and we put a lot of time and effort into it,” Anne Marie explains. “But we got to a point after two years where we felt like nomads and just didn’t want to do it anymore.

“It was mostly a weekend thing, and we were constantly making the Italian ice, so it seemed like we never had any time off. We decided it wasn’t for us anymore.”

For Anne Marie, who works full time in the marketing department for a national banking firm, the decision to abandon the Italian ice venture opened a new world of possibilities, and she and her husband planned to take full advantage.

Later this year, they plan to cruise down to the Florida Keys. Similar trips are in the works for the weekends and months ahead, and Anne Marie, 48, is looking forward to them now that a painful and longstanding neck issue has been resolved.

“My neck problems started when I was 16. I was in a car accident and got really bad whiplash,” Anne Marie relates. “I’ve been seeing chiropractors ever since, and they have helped, but the problem never really went away. In fact, from doing a lot of activities when I was younger such as wakeboarding, skiing and things like that over the years, it only got worse. Then the pain moved to my lower back.

“But the neck pain was the worst. It was like having a charley horse that would never go away. There were times when I was lost in concentration on something for a few minutes that I didn’t think about it, but other than that it was always bothering me.”

Her pain became especially agonizing when waking up in the morning.

“As the day dragged on, the pain would go into my shoulders, and my neck would start to creak and feel heavy,” she recalls. “It felt like I was carrying a bowling ball on my head.

“I have a very high tolerance for pain so I fought through it all the time, but I’m a big cyclist, and whenever I went for a ride, my neck would seize up and become stiff and sore.”

About five years ago, Anne Marie and her husband moved from the Orlando area to North Palm Beach. Shortly after, her husband met Marc A. Weinberg, DC, of Active Health Center.

When Anne Marie’s husband mentioned her struggles with chronic neck and lower back pain, Dr. Weinberg suggested she visit his practice. Since her first appointment, Anne Marie has been getting adjustments for her back and neck, although she hasn’t always heeded the doctor’s advice. She hesitated getting a specific treatment for her neck that Dr. Weinberg and another doctor at the practice, Sandy McLean, DC, recommended.

“Despite all the adjustments, the problem Anne Marie had with her neck wasn’t going away,” notes Dr. McLean. “I told her that we have a machine that would take care of it, but I couldn’t get her to commit to it.”

Nonsurgical Device

The machine that Dr. Weinberg and Dr. McLean spent years trying to get Anne Marie to accept treatment on is called the Multi-Cervical Unit, or MCU. It’s a tool designed to alleviate the type of neck pain afflicting Anne Marie.

Active Health Center is the only provider in South Florida offering treatment on the MCU, which is a nonsurgical device that isolates and strengthens muscles around the neck.

An instrument 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.

“You don’t have to live with neck pain. The MCU can get rid of that for you.” – Anne Marie

Once that data is revealed, a program is designed that allows the MCU to correct those problems. It is considered the most complete, efficient system for assessment and rehabilitation of the neck. Studies show that following MCU therapy, patient pain levels decreased 66 percent while strength levels increased more than 70 percent, with more than 90 percent of patients making a full recovery, according to Active Health Center.

An MCU session lasts 20 to 30 minutes, with patients 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,” says Colin O. Behrue, DC, at Active Health Center. “That shows us how well the patient is progressing. Based on those findings, we make clinical changes that help the patient continue to improve and build strength.”

Sooner or Later

Anne Marie’s MCU hesitance stemmed in large part from her busy work schedule. She explained on numerous occasions to Dr. Weinberg and
Dr. McLean that she simply didn’t have time to commit to it.

Anne Marie Rose holding a long board

Anne Marie Rose

A year ago, however, after the onslaught of COVID-19 forced her to work primarily from home and created a window of opportunity in her daily schedule, she agreed to give the MCU a try. She soon found it to be the panacea she’d long desired.

Anne Marie’s care began with a session on the MCU that assessed the strength of her neck muscles and created a program to correct her weaknesses.

“It took me a couple of sessions to build up some strength in my neck. After about five sessions, I was already feeling a lot better,” Anne Marie reports. “I remember sitting at my desk working and suddenly realizing I didn’t have that creaking in my neck anymore.

“That was after only a couple of weeks of treatment on the MCU, and it only got better after that. Pretty soon, my head didn’t feel as heavy on my shoulders. It definitely felt lighter, and the pain was far more manageable.

“Now, I feel amazing. I still go for adjustments, but the way my neck feels is like night and day compared to what it was. It’s not stiff all the time. I have normal mobility, and I don’t get those twinges of pain in my neck and shoulders that I used to get.”

Anne Marie’s results are typical of what most patients receive from treatment on the MCU. She now wishes she had taken the doctors’ advice much earlier. She’s not the first to express that opinion.

“Anne Marie finally reached a point where she said, That’s it; I’m done being in pain,” Dr. McLean elaborates. “That’s how it is with a lot of people.

“For many, making that commitment is the hardest part because it’s never convenient, right? Our two most precious commodities are time and money. And because we don’t want to give that away, we just continue to spiral downward.

“That’s why so many people like Anne Marie go around for weeks, months, even years with a problem that can be corrected rather quickly if they’re just willing to commit to it. Once Anne Marie did that, before she knew it, her pain was gone.”

And for that, Anne Marie is grateful. She says that finally agreeing to receive treatment on the MCU was “one of the best decisions” she’s ever made.

“The bottom line is you don’t have to live with neck pain,” she concludes. “The MCU can get rid of that for you. That’s why I so highly recommend that people with neck pain look into this therapy and visit Active Health Center.

“I’m thrilled to be a patient there because the entire staff is truly dedicated to making you feel better. They have a wonderful team, and they’re very accommodating. I was there during the whole COVID thing, too, and I can tell you I always felt very safe there. They’ve taken all the protocols necessary to make sure everyone is safe.

“And, of course, their treatment, whether you’re getting a standard adjustment or receiving treatment on the MCU, is just exceptional.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photos by Jordan Pysz. 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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