When Your Neck’s A Wreck

‘The greatest’ nonsurgical device tests and treats cervical pain

A vast majrity of the plastic tossed into recycling bins — about 95 percent — never gets recycled because most recycling facilities aren’t equipped for all types of plastic.

Rick Brodzik is trying to change that.

Rick is a fundraiser who is working to raise capital for a series of humanitarian projects. One is a system that allows for everything from plastic water bottles to plastic grocery bags to be safely recycled.

“There are seven grades of plastic, but most recycling facilities can only recycle two of them,” Rick explains. “The project I’m involved in would recycle all seven types and turn the plastic into things like doors, pallets, even energy.

“I’m also involved in a project that would digitize deeds of title to make it easier for people to sell properties as well as a project that would create a massive paradigm shift in the way we use computer operating systems.

“The same system that was developed 75 years ago hasn’t changed, and there’s a lot of faulty logic and problems with it. The project I’m involved in would deconstruct that system, rebuild it from scratch and make it a lot easier.”

Rick, 68, recently experienced the results of another paradigm shift — in the way medical professionals treat neck pain, a condition Rick has been battling to various degrees for more than 50 years.

“I would describe my situation more as neck stiffness or discomfort rather than pain because I never really had a lot of pain,” Rick relates. “Either way, it all started with a car accident I was involved in when I was about 14 years old. 

“We didn’t always wear seat belts back then, and in this accident, I broke the windshield with my forehead. Since then, I’ve had a couple of other whiplash events. As a result, I’ve dealt with a lot of stiffness and discomfort from time to time.

“As I said, none of this ever caused me a great deal of pain. But people have always told me that whenever I looked to my right, I would rotate my shoulders because I didn’t have the mobility in my neck that I should have.”

Rick has known for years that the limited mobility in his neck was partially due to a cervical vertebra that became misaligned during the initial car wreck. That vertebra also reduced the normal curvature in the cervical area of his spine.

Limiting the discomfort caused by those problems “required constant chiropractic care,” according to Rick, who was recently encouraged by an acquaintance to see another chiropractor who offers a more advanced treatment for neck pain and discomfort.

Exclusive Access

That chiropractor is Colin O. Behrue, DC, of Active Health Center, which Rick first visited last year. Following a thorough examination, Dr. Behrue suggested care using the advanced tool that Rick’s acquaintance mentioned in his recommendation.

Exclusive to Active Health Center in South Florida, that tool is the Multi-Cervical Unit, or MCU. It is a technologically advanced nonsurgical device that not only assesses the strength of neck muscles but also isolates and strengthens those muscles.

A tool in what 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 that you need to address the neck weakness to treat the pain,” says Marc A. Weinberg, founder of Active Health Center. “That’s what the MCU does.”

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

“We retest the patient every nine visits and compare the results with the results we received from our original examination,” Dr. Behrue notes. “The comparison shows us how the patient is progressing.

“Based on the findings, we make clinical changes to the treatment protocol that help the patient continue to improve and build strength. And I want to emphasize that 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.

Ahead of the Curve 

The initial evaluation conducted with the MCU revealed that Rick’s misaligned vertebra had greatly weakened his neck muscles and was also the cause of the discomfort he sometimes experienced in his right rib cage.

To correct those issues, Dr. Behrue recommended a full course on the MCU, standard chiropractic care and physical therapy. That combination produced results no other chiropractor had yet achieved, Rick states.

“For starters, I have a proper curvature in my spine again,” Rick notes. “I also have more mobility in my neck than I used to, so I’m not turning my whole body when I look to my right anymore. And that rib pain I used to get is gone.

“Overall, I feel better. Especially my neck. I used to feel that stiffness and discomfort on the back of my neck on the right side. Dr. Behrue said that was a reflex to the weakness in the muscles on the left side of my neck.

“That’s why he suggested the MCU machine, and I have to say, it’s made quite a difference. He also did some chiropractic adjustments that no other chiropractor had done before, and I’ve been to many good chiropractors over the years.

“Dr. Behrue is quite skilled, and I gladly recommend him and the entire staff at Active Health Center. They’re doing a lot of good work there with the MCU machine, and I am very pleased with the results I’ve received.”

A “Blessing” In Disguise  

If traffic is in your favor, you can drive from Boca Raton to West Palm Beach in about 40 minutes. Or, you can do as June Mullett prefers and go by bicycle.

COURTESY PHOTO June is pain-free after therapies that included treatments on the MCU.

Sure, the bike ride takes a little longer, but if you take the scenic route along State Road A1A, the ocean views make for a timeless journey.

“I love making that bike ride,” June raves. “Bike riding is one of my favorite hobbies, and I try to make that ride several times a year.”

In addition to biking, June likes to hike and work out at the gym. For several years, though, June couldn’t do any of those things. Neck pain from injuries sustained in two car accidents four years apart was the reason.

The first of those collisions occurred in 2018 and left June with an annoying degree of neck pain that never went away. Then, in January 2022, the second crash made a bad situation much worse.

“In the second accident, I was hit from behind by a car traveling at a very high rate of speed,” June details. “I had no idea that car was coming. I was lucky that I didn’t get any broken bones, but I didn’t walk away from it either.

“At the scene, I was placed in a neck brace and taken to the emergency room. I later found out that my neck wasn’t broken, which is fortunate, but I did have some herniated discs that were pressing on my spinal cord and causing a lot of pain.”

To alleviate the pain, doctors at the hospital performed a minimally invasive procedure called radiofrequency ablation in which specific nerve roots that carry pain signals to the brain are burned so they no longer do so.

Radiofrequency ablation can alleviate pain for several months or even years. Alas, in June’s case’, it had little to no effect, so she was soon referred to another doctor.

Can’t Go for That 

“That doctor took one look at my x-rays and said, You’re looking at surgery here,” June recalls. “Because it was my neck, I couldn’t see myself doing that, especially after talking to some people who had been told surgery was their only option and had it.

“Some of those people said the surgery made some improvement, but others said it just created a whole new set of problems. Because of that, I wasn’t ready to accept that as my only option, so I was eventually referred to a chiropractor. The first time I visited him,  it just didn’t feel right. Then a friend gave me the number for Active Health Center.”

June received that tip about a month after the second car accident. By then, the effects of the radiofrequency ablation had already worn off and she was struggling with neck pain the likes of which she’d never experienced.

“I’m a licensed massage therapist, and I do some real estate, so I’m in my car a lot,” June relates. “At the time, my neck hurt so bad that being in the car for just 15 minutes would send the pain level in my neck to 10 on a scale of one to 10.

“It was a really bad situation. I couldn’t turn my head very far or look up or down without it hurting. Just sitting and watching TV hurt, too. I slept OK, but I’d usually wake up the next morning with a lot of upper back spasms.

“Another problem was, I couldn’t carry any of my massage equipment. I thought, This has really done me in. How am I going to get through this? I knew I needed help, so as soon as I got that recommendation, I went straight to Active Health Center.”

At Active Health Center, June was placed in the care of Dr. Behrue and Cody Grigsby, DC. The doctors began their treatment with a thorough evaluation that included testing on the MCU. That test revealed a great deal of weakness in June’s neck muscles.

“They showed me a chart of where a person my age without injuries should be and where I was, and there was a big difference,” June recalls. “They said my goal was to regain normal strength and that as my neck got stronger the rest of my body would feel better, too.”

The doctors further explained that regaining strength would require not only a full course of treatment on the MCU machine, but also chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy. June accepted that recommendation and began receiving treatment last spring.

The results, she says, have been “lifesaving.”

“The Greatest” 

“For the most part, I am now pain-free,” June offers. “I do have to be careful how I sleep, but I have two good pillows to help me with that, and I’m back sleeping on my side again, which was something I was not able to do for a while.

“I’m starting to remember what life was like without neck pain, which is exciting. I’m remembering what it was like to go for a long bike ride, to go hiking and work out. I don’t think I’d be there were it not for the MCU. If you ask me, the MCU is absolutely one of the greatest things that’s ever been created.”

June also offers rave reviews for those who provided her care.

“I can’t say enough good things about the people at Active Health Center,” she concludes. “They have a great team, and they know what they’re doing. I really like their system, how they do their reports and track your progress. Everybody’s on the same page.

“I honestly hate to think what my life would be like right now had I not found Active Health Center. They have been such a blessing to me because, quite frankly, they have
given me my life back.” 

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings

Photos by Jordan Pysz

As seen in North/West Palm Beach Edition of
Florida Health Care News

Print This Article
    • 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

    • 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 Doctor of Chiropractic degree, cum laude, from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange. He ... 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