Revolutionary Rehab

Taking a ‘highly scientific approach’ to alleviating chronic pain.

It’s not often that someone abandons a successful 23-year career in law to chase after a medical career, but at age 44 and in the wake of what she refers to as a life-altering four-year stay in China, that’s what Michelle Brown did.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

When Michelle began treatment at Advanced Spineworks, she rated her pain as eight or nine on a scale of one to 10. Now she rates it at zero

“I moved to China with my husband, who took on a new job there, and during our stay we experienced a totally different culture,’’ Michelle explains. “One of the new or different things I was introduced to there was Chinese medicine.

“I had never heard of that before, but when I first got to China I had some real issues with allergies and asthma that weren’t being treated with pharmaceuticals. After a while, someone suggested I try Chinese medicine, which I did.

“Four years later, after we came back to America, I went to medical school and, finally, about 10 years ago, I opened up my practice, where I provide primary health care through acupuncture, laser injection therapy and other Chinese modalities.”

Going back to school took quite a toll. Not mental, though. It was a physical one, brought on by the long hours sitting through lectures and labs. They rekindled a back issue she had been fighting since she was a teen.

“I was diagnosed with a slight curvature of the spine when I was young, and when I was 16 I started getting chiropractic treatments for it,’’ she says. “I have no idea what kind of shape my back might be in had I not done that.

“But all that time sitting and working in school again caused another flare-up. It got so bad that I actually went to the Cleveland Clinic and saw a back specialist, who said I wasn’t a candidate for surgery and tried to correct it with physical therapy.”

Chance Meeting

The physical therapy alleviated some of Michelle’s back pain, but not enough to make her consistently comfortable. As a result, she tried other treatments such as spinal decompression, steroid injections and homeopathic medicines.

None of those provided the relief she sought, and for years she fought daily through the pain, which was so crippling that she had to abandon her regular workout routine and even struggled to get through her days at work.

“The pain was so great that it actually made me fatigued,” Michelle says. “I had to sit a lot more than usual, because I couldn’t stand for very long. It seemed as if my neck was always falling out of alignment.”

Michelle even tried acupuncture, but that didn’t bring lost-lasting relief either.

A chance meeting last year finally made a difference. While attending a health fair, she was introduced to Bryan T. Hunte, DC, of Advanced Spineworks, and shortly after made an appointment to see him.
His practice in Bonita Springs utilizes chiropractic care and goes a step further in caring for patients by taking a “highly scientific approach” to rehabilitation.

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

“This corrective phase of care is what restores the musculature around the injured area. When the musculature is restored, the patient experiences relief. And the equipment we use has a unique way of restoring this support even in the most severe of cases.

“In the end, our goal is to create an independent individual who can enjoy the activities they had once given up.”

Dr. Hunte started by performing a thorough evaluation, which revealed herniated discs in her lower back and neck, and a subluxation, or misalignment, of the vertebrae in her neck.

The subluxation was likely the greater cause of Michelle’s pain: When she stood up straight, it caused her spine to twist and tighten, and when she tried to sit down, it would cause her back to go out of alignment.

That’s why none of the remedies she tried previously provided long-lasting relief. Any correction made by a chiropractor, for example, was soon erased by the body’s response to the subluxation, the pain which radiated down to her knees.

To correct the problems, Dr. Hunte recommended Michelle undergo therapy using two of the advanced corrective devices at Advance Spineworks, the MCU machine and the Eccentron.

Strong Offerings

The MCU, or Multi-Cervical Unit, is a nonsurgical device that can diagnose weaknesses in the neck and get the patient back to normal strength through a specified regimen. The MCU creates a workout – designed around the test results to restore strength and balance in the neck – that cannot be reproduced by traditional methods in physical therapy.

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

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

“When Michelle came here, she was all but resigned to the belief that she would continue needing adjustments and would at best just be able to manage her pain,’’ Dr. Hunte says. “But that’s not what we do here. We get to the root cause of the problem, and in the case of a disc problem such as Michelle’s, as long as the structure of the spine allows someone to get stronger, we will get them stronger 95 percent of the time. Those are pretty good odds.”

Michelle began treatment on the MCU and Eccentron concurrently this past December. She rated her pain level as an eight or nine on a scale of one to 10 at the time, but after just nine sessions on the devices she was “totally out of pain.”

“Dr. Hunte also did some traditional chiropractic work on me using some different adjustments from what I previously had, but the key for me was the work on the rehabilitation machines. I was absolutely amazed by the results,” Michelle says.

“I was so impressed that I sent my husband there because he had been suffering with shoulder pain forever, and he’s out of pain, too. I even send patients of mine to see Dr. Hunte, and the results they’ve been getting are unbelievable.

“I am incredibly fortunate to have found Dr. Hunte and Advanced Spineworks. Dr. Hunte has brought to the health care environment something that is not provided by any other health practitioner in this area. It’s a unique rehabilitation treatment that you don’t see in traditional physical therapy, and I recommend it highly.”

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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