Studies show that disc disease is the most common cause of back pain and costs Americans over $ 65 billion annually. Roughly 700,000 Americans receive spinal surgery every year and the costs begin around $ 25,000 and can range to over $ 100,000 for surgically implanted rods or other fusion devices. Insurance companies may not cover all of the expenses, so patients end up paying a large chunk for procedures that can give them very little hope for a normal life in the future. A recent 2006 study from the Journal Spine found that the use of implanted hardware in spinal fusion surgeries for lower back pain does not improve the results and carries a higher risk of complications. Dr. Gary M Franklin, medical director of the Washington Department of Labor and Industry, which financed the study, said, “It was clear that the devices did not benefit patients”. He added that “the high rate of long term disability in all the patients, regardless of whether hardware was used or not, was of little benefit. This procedure does not do much to help people.” When surgery fails to help it is often diagnosed as Failed Back Surgery Syndrome or FBSS for short, which is an actual diagnosis.

Today advances in spinal Traction have brought promising results for patients with disc herniation and degenerative disc disease. Non-surgical disc decompression is one such treatment, being advertised increasingly, that has reached initial relief for many with debilitating back pain. However, decompression / traction often only brings temporary results since gravity will continue to re-compress the structurally weakened disc and injured spinal areas over time. Subluxation, abnormal spinal angles, and loss of the normal lordotic curves of the spine will gradually collapse with gravity once again. I have received patients or have had patients return to me who have spent thousands of dollars for decompression therapy only to have their problem and pain return within three to six months. I began to call this Failed Back Decompression Syndrome or FBDS!

It is very important to know that muscles support and maintain spherical curves. Ninety percent of disc problems are caused by postural breakdown of the normal lordotic curves of the cervical and lumbar spine. Therefore, without postural curve correction with muscle rehabilitation, the effects of decompression / traction will be lost over time and once again, the degenerative process will advance. To permanently correct the lumbar spine, at least 60% correction of the normal lordic curve of the cervical spine must be achieved. This is why, for many acute lumbar disc cases decompression of the lumbar disc is performed only during the acute pain episode. Once pain reduction occurs, the patient is then decompressed from the cervical spine down, in order to correct and restore the cervical curve, the original cause. In other words, you must fix the neck with postural rehab and curve correction, in order to stabilize and enhance the benefits of spinal decompression of the lumbar spine!

The Pettibon System of Chiropractic Spinal Rejuvenation goes beyond simple decompression with the Spinal Rejuvenation Table (SRT) utilizing Whole Body Vibration (WBV). With higher contractility of the muscles occurring with WBV, muscles fatigue occurs 50% faster allowing spasm and splinted muscles to relax, enabling quicker decompression of the compressed disc and greater pain relief. This essentially reduces the decompression time from the standard 30 minutes of traditional methods, to 15 minutes or less with the use of WBV. Whole Body Vibration was developed over 40 years ago in the Soviet Union to train their Olympic athletes and rehabilitate cosmonauts returning from outer space who commonly suffered muscle atrophy and loss of bone from zero gravity. With the right vibratory frequency, WBV has been shown to increase endocrine activity. Growth hormone increased by 361%, testosterone increased by 7%, cortisol, the fat producing stress hormone decreased by 32%, blood flow increased by 100%, and back pain reduced by 66%.

Traditional rehabilitation involves performing resistance exercises through a range of motion (ie weights, machines, bands, etc.), which only works the fast twitch muscles. Exercising the fast twitch muscles will make you strong but they will not change the structure or remove the underlying cause of your disc problem. These muscles will help you carry your groceries better, while your spinal structure continues to degenerate and your body becomes sick. The spinal muscles that support the spiral curves and determine your future and health are slow-twitch postural muscles. These slow twitch muscles require isometric exercise (sustained resistance) to strengthen and restore postural health. Once the spinal is specifically decompressed, specific body weighting of the head, shoulder, and hips, exclusively tailor to each patient, are essential parts of the corrective isometric exercise program designed to predictably restore ones optimal spinal and postural alignment, permanently!

The Pettibon System of Chiropractic Spinal Correction in conjuction with the Pettibon Spinal Rejuvenation Table (SRT), utilizing Whole Body Vibration and decompression, is one of the only systems proven, with evidence based research, to achievable disc re-hydration, structural correction, with neurological and physiological restoration of health and function, that sticks.

At Gold Coast Chiropractic Center we're dedicated to reach, teach, and touch as many people as possible, bringing hope and restoration of health to those whom standard medical treatment and regular chiropractic care have proven insufficient.