According to the National Institutes of Health, about 40% of adults will have had back pain in the past month and approximately 85% will have back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is an epidemic and our government is looking for answers to this “epidemic” and starting “national strategies” and “campaigns” to combat back pain.
But, just because something like back pain is so common, it doesn’t mean there aren’t potential solutions out there for people who suffer. Many back pain sufferers give up too early and believe that they will have a life of pain; that there is nothing that can be done. Severe back or leg pain can cause a bad attitude or perspective which is very self-destructive for you and your life. This alone can be a serious problem because a bad attitude might keep you from learning about relatively new and little known advancements in back pain treatment.
So, to find out the best way to treat your low back, let’s start talking about the five back pain myths…
Myth#1: Back pain goes away quickly- Medical doctors were thoroughly convinced of this myth. A patient would typically hurt his back, go see the doctor, get a prescription for some pain pills, and then never return. Physicians thought that if the patient never came back, then they must have been cured. But no one ever thought to ask the patient and follow-up on how they were doing. One study did just that, and found out that a whopping 75% of patients will still have back pain a year later.
Myth#2: Back Pain is a trivial problem- For those of you who have back pain you know this is not true! In fact, there is plenty of research that shows just how serious back pain affects your quality of life. One study showed that physical functioning (how we live and move) in patients with back pain is very bad. Much worse in fact than people who have heart disease, stomach ulcers, and even emphysema. So if you think your life has been completely turned upside down by your back pain-there is a very good reason why you think this: IT HAS!
Myth #3: Pills (NSAIDs and muscle relaxers) are safe and effective for your back pain- Taking this type of approach could lead to serious complications with your health. NSAIDs is an abbreviation for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They’re not steroids (like cortisone) and they are thought to be less toxic to the body. They are for the most part, but being less toxic doesn’t mean something is safe especially if you take NSAIDs for a long time. These drugs can be purchased “over the counter” and by “prescription.” The ones that are only available with a doctor’s prescription are much more powerful in their effect and can cause more complications.
People with back problems generally suffer over many years and even decades. NSAIDs can cause bleeding in your stomach and intestines and lead to ulcers. Kidney injury is another complication, which increases with the number of pills consumed. These complications are seen in those who consume them for many years. Check the information that comes with the prescription-you’ll see it all there printed in black & white. If it’s an “over the counter” product like ibuprofen you can read it on the side of the bottle. The other problem with NSAIDs is they have not been shown to be effective in good clinical trials.
Myth#4: Bed rest is good for you- Inactivity will actually make back pain much, much worse. It will de-condition your spinal muscles and make them weaker-which will mean more pain and less function for you.
Myth#5: The pain is the problem- Pain is a signal that there is something wrong with your body. It tells you to “be careful” to “get attention.” It’s kind of like a fire alarm. It’s not the fire. When a house is burning, do the firefighters just show up to cut the fire alarm and expect the inferno will stop? Of course not! But that’s just how many people approach back pain-cut the fire alarm.
If you want to begin to solve your back problem, you need to first have a comprehensive and thorough examination to figure out the diagnosis. Only then can treatment be directed to the problem vs. the pain. And, only then can you consider your treatment options and what will be best for your condition.
Did you know…A 2005 article in the prestigious orthopedic journal “Spine” studied patients who suffered with lower back pain and/or sciatica. 99% of the patients were told that they would get either a moderate or great improvement in their quality of life after the surgery. But the study found that in reality 39% did not even have minimally important improvement.
Did you know…One scientific study from 2004 showed that there was a 2/3 chance that you will eventually end up with an invasive spinal surgery following spinal injections.
Did you know…There’s a term that is used a lot in orthopedic and medical circles-”Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.” The greatest risk factors for having a second back operation is having one in the first place. And the greatest risk factor for having a third operation is having two previous sessions under the knife. But I have to give a note of caution here…
There ARE cases where surgery will be your only and best option but these are called emergencies, such as when a disc compresses the nerves so badly in your lower back that you lose bowel or bladder function; or when there is numbness where you sit on your backside-this is called saddle anesthesia or numbness and it’s important to be aware of this type of emergency problem. But 99% will never experience these symptoms but suffer in a way that is not quite an emergency but feels like an emergency because the pain just never goes away.
So, if bed-rest, drugs, injections, and surgery are not good options, what should you do for severe back or leg pain? You need to at least have hope for a conservative option. Your determination to try everything possible, and give it a real chance before going under the knife, will mean everything to your chances for success. Anything less can lead to a downward spiral of pain and potentially lifetime disability.
Luckily, there a potentially better solution for your severe back or leg pain, one you may not have even considered or even heard of – a treatment your doctor has probably never discussed or even known about and one that is used in a small percentage of clinics in the United States. A small fraction of the approximately 1,000,000 health care providers in the U.S. are using this technology.
The treatment is called Spinal Decompression and the device is called the DRX9000™ .
Here’s what the DRX9000™ it looks like…
Patients describe the treatment as a gentle, painless, intermittent pulling of the back. And, it can be so relaxing, many patients actually fall asleep during treatment. If they choose not to sleep, they can actually listen to music or watch a movie.
This FDA-cleared device is saving thousands of Americans suffering from chronic low back pain from going under the knife. Research studies in the American Journal of Pain Management and the Orthopedic Technology Review have shown the DRX9000 to be clinically proven, with a very impressive success rate. The DRX9000 succeeds by repositioning the disc, enlarging the disc space, and repairing and strengthening the disc structure. These dramatic improvements are demonstrated on patients’ pre- and post-treatment MRIs. And, according to the research, patients experience none of the documented side effects present with drugs and surgery. In fact, patients describe the treatment as gentle and painless with many falling asleep during the treatment session.
The “DRX 9000” Works For…
• Back pain
• Herniated and/or bulging discs (single or multiple)
• Degenerative disc disease
• A relapse or failure following surgery
• Facet syndromes
The DRX 9000 has been successful with even the most severe cases… even when NOTHING else has worked. Even after failed surgery. And, it is important to note that many patients get substantial, immediate relief after just a few treatments. Some after just one.
How Long Are Treatments And How Many Treatments Do You Need?
Patients typically undergo 20 treatments sessions with each treatment lasting 1 hour. It is important to note that not all patients with low back pain are candidates for treatment. This, of course, depends on your individual case and is determined by a thorough consultation, examination and review of x-rays, MRI’s or other necessary testing.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
If you would like to schedule an appointment to determine whether you are a candidate for spinal decompression please call the office of Dr. Risa Sloves and Dr. Mark Joachim at (203) 838-1555. Their office is currently one of the only offices in Connecticut with the DRX9000 and they are located at 156 East Avenue in Norwalk, CT.