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David Shaffer, DC, APCM-c
Balancing Low Back Pain; A Non-Surgical Approach
NOVA Spine & Injury Center

Balancing Low Back Pain; A Non-Surgical Approach

Part 1
You are sitting at your desk and reach down to open your file cabinet when all of a sudden you cant move. Your back is locked up and everything you do hurts. A mothers on her cell phone with her toddler at her feet crying to be picked up, and as she reaches over to pick up the child her back goes out. A golfer starts his backswing and just as his clubface starts forward all of his muscles in his back go into spasm. If you are suffering with lower back pain, how do you get rid of it, and ultimately keep it away?
Recent studies have revealed that 90% of the population will suffer from lower back pain at some point during their life and 39-79% of those people will have some sort of recurrence. It is the second leading cause of visits to the doctor for patients aged 22 to 49 and the third leading cause for patients aged 50 to 64.

What causes lower back pain?

Well thats the sixty four thousand dollar question because lower back pain is often a mystery. But, some of the most debilitating and painful conditions are related to compressive disorders of the lumbar spines discs.
Discs can be injured in many ways which cause them to bulge, herniate, extrude, and even fragment resulting in irritation to the disc and surrounding tissues, including the nerve roots. In addition, the discs of the lower back begin to lose some of their hydration from about the age of thirty and with injuries these discs will degenerate at an accelerated rate causing compression of nerve roots and joint structures.
Treatment for lower back pain varies greatly from over-the-counter and prescription pain and anti-inflammatory medication, conservative care (chiropractic and physical therapy), to more invasive therapies such at epidural and nerve block injections and surgery.
Over the last decade spinal fusions have increased by 500% in the Medicare population and a new Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trail (SPORT) study that compares surgical repair to conservative care found that both the surgery and non-operative groups improved substantially over a 2-year period.
So what does this information leave for patients who have tried one or several of therapies with limited or no results? A relatively new technology has shown improvement rates that range from 70 to 94% after only two months of treatment. The preliminary studies show that even a year later the improvement is still approximately 76%. This therapy is “intervertebral differential dynamics” or IDD therapy and is an effective treatment for patients with back pain caused by disc bulges, protrusions, extrusions, facet syndrome, and degenerative disc disease. This therapy helps to decompress the spinal structures, reduce the size of disc bulges, and potentially improve the hydration and health of injured discs.
IDD therapy is a new, computer directed, and specialized type of cyclical traction that allows for negative pressure, or vacuum, to occur inside of injured discs.The pumping nature of the 25 to 30 minute treatments promotes reduction of bulging material and increases blood flow and oxygenation to the injured area. The angle of pull is adjusted to concentrate forces specifically at the injured spinal level. In addition, the cyclical nature of the therapy applied to the lumbar spine allows higher quantities of force to be used without stimulating reactive muscle spasms that are commonplace with traditional mechanical traction. Further studies are needed but anecdotal results reported by practitioners are supporting the findings of these early studies.
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