For those who read my recent “Decompressing” post, we opted to go ahead and do the spinal decompression treatments.
Yes, it went something like that, LOL.
That’s the purpose of the post today; to let those who were curious actually know what’s involved. I’ll post updates as I progress through treatment and let readers know if this actually IS effective, or just another scam.
Let’s backtrack a bit though, so as to give readers the full picture.
How We Decided I Should Do It:
We put a great deal of debate and research into the decision. I have to say that we went with it in spite of the doctor also, not because of him. Quite honestly, he comes across as knowing his stuff, but completely devoid of any empathy. Kind of like Dr Strange before his car crash and trip to Nepal.
I only mention it because deciding if you feel comfortable with the doctor IS something you have to weigh when considering any sort of treatment.
At any rate, I’ve tried just about every other non-surgical option. Conventional chiropractic treatment helps, but is only holding the line at this point. Acupuncture was doing great things for the pain, but apparently not much for actual healing. The way things were progressing, it was either this or wait for surgery at some point in the future. Surgery, even laser surgery, has some ugly long term issues that I do not want to deal with.
So, I spent half a day trying to wade through the cesspool of misinformation that is the internet. Everyone out there has their own opinion on treatment, and all others are scam artists. Here’s what I was able to piece together though:
If you cut out all the crap with big pharma supported doctors and sites saying it’s voodoo, and people doing the treatments saying they’re a miracle cure… You’ll find out that the treatments seem to work for 80 to 90 percent of patients. What I could not find is how the treatments hold up long term.
I imagine long term viability would be a difficult study anyway, given that you’d have to see who was taking care of their back afterwards and who was abusing it.
Long story made short; most of the unbiased sites said the odds were good it would help, and it’s far, far cheaper than surgery.
The Actual Process:
Keeping it simple, the idea is to physically stretch the spine, allowing herniated discs to return to their normal shape, and pinched nerves to heal. So, while that picture of the rack at the start of the post was a joke, it’s not TOO far fetched.
The technology today is computer controlled and loaded with resistance sensors also. When the table detects added resistance from your muscles tensing, it backs off briefly and then begins again. As far as what the tables look like now, I found one video on YouTube. It’s an ad, but it’s good in terms of explaining how the table works and showing what it looks like. If you want to see the neck area part of the video, jump to 6:30. They start with lumbar (lower back) first.
This actually looks very similar to the table I’m getting treated on, and I think may be the model before the one I’m getting treated on.
Treatment plans can go anywhere from 20 to 30 sessions. They start out at 20 minutes, and after the first few times, increase to 30 minutes.
It’s pain free also, during the session. My neck was sore afterwards today though. It was the kind of pain like when scar tissue tears and starts to break up. For those who have never experienced that joy, it’s a cross between the feeling of overdoing it at the gym, and pulling muscle. It was muscular though. The constant stabbing pain of the pinched nerves in my neck has diminished substantially. So, overall, it’s a promising start.
Yes, there’s homework. Most of it is simple stuff though. Drink LOTS of water to rehydrate treated areas. Keep ice packs on it to reduce swelling and inflammation also. Five times a day minimum. I was also given some nutritional supplements to help promote healing and nourish the area. I’m also supposed to be getting a set of exercises (most likely basic stretches) to help rehab my neck and some sort of home traction gizmo as well. Hope THAT works better than the Pronex did… Why I haven’t gotten the exercises yet is beyond me also. If I don’t get them soon, I found a yoga program specifically for neck rehab that I’ll be using anyway.
I’m also supposed to stay away from sugary drinks and caffeine. Given that the average can of Coke has more than enough sugar to cause inflammation, I’m reluctantly cooperating there, LOL. I’m taking this seriously because it is expensive and may be my last best shot at getting healthy again.
No I didn’t forget. I was keeping you reading. 😀
Everything all total, for 24 treatment sessions for the neck and a half dozen adjustments for my lower back, came out to a grand total of $3800 (roughly). Yes, we pressured the doctor down some there also. Crazy expensive, but surgery can run upwards of $150,000.
My Opinion Thus Far:
Overall, so far so good. My only real issue thus far is that the doctor won’t listen to a damned thing he’s told. My back and neck were pretty badly out of adjustment when I started treatment. I think that accounts for some of my soreness also.
After 17 years of martial arts, I’ve amazed every past chiropractor by being able to tell them exactly what’s out, where and by how much. I know my own body.
If nothing else, you’d THINK that part of the procedure would be to do an adjustment before hand so that everything moves more freely. That in turn would logically give the machine better results.
So there you have it; the full scoop thus far… from the rack to the Rock. I’ll just have to hope for the best, work through the rehab and raise hell if the doc doesn’t start listening.