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DRX9000: A Game Changer for Donald Merson’s Chronic Back Pain

Courtesy Photo Donald Merson
Donald Merson is able to enjoy a nature walk free of back pain with his family due to spinal decompression treatment.

Concrete and cement are two words that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Cement is a fine, soft powder that hardens when mixed with water. Concrete is a composite material made of many ingredients, one of which is cement. Any concrete expert knows this, and Donald Merson is among them. He’s been working with the substance for nearly 25 years as part of his family’s business. His primary responsibility at the worksite is to operate a concrete pump, which is a tool for transferring freshly mixed concrete. “The pump is basically a placement machine,” Donald explains. “It’s a hydraulic arm from which we pour concrete for the foundations of houses, commercial buildings, warehouses and other structures. I pour the concrete where it needs to go, and the finishers come in afterward and flatten it out. “My family has been in this business since 1977. Our main branch is located in Fort Lauderdale, and we have a secondary branch in Stuart, in Palm City. I made the move to Stuart about 13 years ago and now operate the branch we have up here. We service the Melbourne area, from Palm Bay and all the way down to Homestead.” During his free time, Donald, 42, likes outdoor activities, such as boating, riding four-wheelers, lounging on the beach and hanging by the pool. Unfortunately, longstanding back issues were making his work and leisure activities increasingly uncomfortable. “I’ve always had issues with my back,” Donald discloses. “I have scoliosis, which is a sideways curve in my spine. And when I was young, I sprained my back jumping for a tree limb and falling flat on my back. I did a lot of skateboarding on big ramps and up to 20 stairs and sometimes fell while doing that. I experienced a lot of self-inflicted pain. “Work plays a role in my back problem, too, because it involves heavy lifting and swinging sledgehammers and such. I do mechanic work as well, so I’m always creeping under the truck and reaching up with my arms. That’s also hard on the back.” Donald has lived with back pain for a good portion of his life. But it became more aggravating over time until he ultimately sought a physician’s help. “It was a constant pain with a little bit of achiness to it,” Donald describes. “My pain level was up around an eight on a scale of one to 10. It didn’t really keep me from doing any activities, though. My back always hurt. I just learned to deal with it and kind of block it out and ignore it. It helps that I have a high threshold for pain. “Finally, though, I figured it was time to get my back checked out. My wife had heard about Dr. Simpson, so she researched him and found out that he’s been around a long time, and a lot of people recommended him. My son had gone to Dr. Simpson for an adjustment because his neck was hurting, and he liked him. That’s why I went with him.”

Rehydrate and Alleviate

Dr. Charles Simpson is the founder of Simpson Advanced Chiropractic & Medical Center, a full-service health and wellness facility in Stuart. Dr. Simpson performed an assessment of Donald and recommended treatment with the DRX9000™ decompression machine, a component of the practice’s comprehensive back pain protocol. “Mr. Merson came to us with pretty severe lower back and sciatica pain. Upon examination, we observed that he had a significantly compressed disc at L5 that was causing nerve pressure,” Dr. Simpson recalls. The lumbar spine is at the lower end of the spinal column. It is made up of five bones that doctors label L1 through L5. Other structures in and around the lumbar spine include intervertebral discs, nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments. “We determined that spinal decompression using the DRX9000 was the best treatment for him, along with chiropractic adjustments and home therapy,” Dr. Simpson continues. Spinal decompression is a drug-free, nonsurgical therapy primarily used to treat disc herniations, bulging discs, degenerative discs and arthritic spinal joints that have been injured over time or from trauma, according to the doctor. The protocol also helps lubricate discs. “Discs do not have their own blood supply, so when the spine moves, fluid passes in and out of the discs. When the spine stops moving due to trauma or herniation, the discs are unable to hydrate. Through a chiropractic adjustment and DRX9000 treatment, the spinal mechanics are restored, and the discs can rehydrate.” Dr. Simpson says the DRX9000 is one of the most advanced nonsurgical spinal decompression systems invented. It works by creating negative pressure at a very specific angle, which is determined by the disc causing the pain. This process ultimately leads to pain relief. A typical session begins with the patient getting comfortable on the table. The DRX9000 then creates a gentle decompressive force on the affected discs. This reduces pressure on the discs, which helps retract disc material. This retraction reduces the severity of the bulging or herniation, rehydrates the discs and alleviates the pain. “The DRX9000 does not affect the muscles, tendons or ligaments,” Dr. Simpson asserts. “With traction types of treatment, these structures are often involved and sometimes damaged. “The DRX9000 performs 100 percent disc decompression, which preserves the health and integrity of the other soft tissues surrounding the spine. And it’s not a painful process. Rather, it is quite comfortable. Patients often fall asleep during the treatment sessions.”

Tailored Treatment

Prior to DRX9000 treatments, patients typically receive hydromassage therapy to relax the muscles and promote sufficient blood flow around the spine. After the spinal decompression treatments, patients often receive a chiropractic adjustment to enhance mobility. “Sometimes, there is a little bit of inflammation at the time of treatment, so we may use electrical stimulation and ice to calm the inflammation and further promote a positive environment for the discs to heal,” Dr. Simpson points out. “Once healing has taken place, we teach the patient core stabilizing exercises that help turn the treatment into a long-term, permanent fix for most people.” Dr. Simpson’s back pain protocol is tailored to meet each patient’s circumstances and needs. “Everyone is different in how severely the discs are compressed and how intense the symptoms are,” he observes. “For patients with mild cases, we typically see them for six to 10 treatment sessions. In severe cases, we may see them up to 18 times.”

“My Back Felt Great”

Donald can attest to the comfort of the DRX9000 treatments. “It’s not painful at all,” Donald maintains. “The first time I got on the DRX9000, it felt great. I loved it. We started out with 90 pounds of pulling pressure and then gently went up 5 pounds after a couple visits. I think right now we’re at 115 pounds of pulling pressure. “When I get on that machine it gets a nice pull going. Afterward, I do the steam bed and get the electrical stimulation. Then I go into the treatment room and get a chiropractic adjustment. But I really love the DRX9000 machine. I wish I had one at my house.” Donald is still going through the back pain protocol at Simpson Advanced Chiropractic & Medical Center. But he has already achieved significant relief. “We did a first round of treatment and my back felt great, but honestly I just like the treatment,” he enthuses. “The pain has gone down. It’s now about a four out of 10, about half of what it was before. And my back is steadily getting better and better.” Donald says he must be careful because he can easily reaggravate his back, which may cause the pain to return with a vengeance. He sometimes experiences a slight increase in pain after doing highly physical tasks on the job. “If I have to swing a 15-pound sledgehammer for five minutes, my back will start to hurt,” Donald reports. “It sometimes hurts when I’m doing mechanic work on my truck. If I do things like that, my back is going to be a little sore. But overall, doing normal activities such as walking around and working, it’s definitely much better. The treatment is helping for sure.” Donald thinks highly of Dr. Simpson and the staff at Simpson Advanced Chiropractic & Medical Center. “He’s a stand-up guy and very knowledgeable,” Donald raves. “He looked over the x-rays with me and described everything, laid it all out. He explained what was going on with my back and how he wanted to treat it; then we got right to it. He’s very nice, thoughtful and skilled, and he’s got strong hands. I’m thoroughly pleased. I give him five out of five stars. “His office is very clean and his staff is very friendly. I love going there and talking with the girls and just relaxing. It’s a very nice office. I definitely recommend Dr. Simpson and the DRX9000 treatment. It’s a very simple thing you can do to get the spacing back between the discs of your spine, and it helped me a lot.”

Charles Simpson, BS, DC

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