Chronic Back Pain Treatment With IDD Therapy And The History of MRI Scan Usage

This article considers the role of the MRI scan when treating low back pain with IDD Therapy.

Herniated Disc TreatmentIt raises the possibility that early back pain studies conducted without MRI technology were in part flawed since without consideration of the underlying condition, how would it have been possible to create and direct an appropriate treatment regimen?

When back pain and neck pain remains unresolved, clinicians now use MRI scans to help diagnose or confirm the cause of someone’s pain.

As an example, IDD Therapy treatment providers take advantage of MRI scan technology for three reasons.

1/ Rule out contraindications to treatment
2/ Identify the underlying pathology
3/ Confirm the spinal level to be targeted for treatment 

IDD Therapy treatment uses a computer-controlled, cyclic pulling force to distract and mobilise targeted spinal segments in an axial plane.

sds spina treatment lrThe application of distraction forces is safe, however it is essential to ensure there are no contraindications, such as a vertebral fracture or metastasis (cancer).  (A full list is available by contacting Steadfast).

The scan helps to confirm whether IDD Therapy may be appropriate and the most common conditions treated include herniated discs and degenerative disc disease.  The MRI scan helps the clinician to select the level to be treated e.g L5S1 disc and to understand the severity of the condition.

IDD Therapy treatment protocols detail a set of angles which when applied, enable clinicians to distract targeted spinal segments.  Shealy & Bourmeyer 1997(1)  first observed that applying distraction forces at different angles enabled them to open the disc space 5mm-7mm.

Whilst dermatomes and clinical diagnosis help clinicians, without an MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis, it is very difficult for the clinician to be clear in the treatment plan.

Traditional traction had many flaws and the Cochrane Review confirms that traction as a single modality is not effective.  http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD003010/traction-for-low-back-pain

Common use of MRI scan technology developed long after use of traction was dismissed. Whilst traditional traction was never applied scientifically with measured angles, with sufficient force for sufficient time, significantly, traditional traction treatment was never applied with the knowledge of which level and what pathology was being treated.

If you are not aiming, how can you achieve your goal?   It would be like blindfolding an archer and pointing them in the general direction of the target.

So, with IDD Therapy it is, where possible, desirable to have an MRI to determine the condition being treated and then using the SPINA machine tool, to direct treatment to the targeted level.  Of course, if treatment is not responding adjustments can then be made.

The conclusion of the Cocchrane Review is interesting:

“A limitation of this review stems from the scarcity of high quality studies, especially those which distinguish between patients with different symptom patterns (with and without sciatica, with pain of different duration).”

Having spoken to hundreds of clinicians who used traditional traction, I am yet to meet a single one who used any kind of precise methodology in the application of the treatment (irrespective of the tool they were using).

Invariably it was, “we’d try a bit of traction and see what happened.”  Since they would not know the nature of the condition they were treating, how could they apply a method other than pull and hope?

This quite frankly is useless and we can ask it is any wonder that outcomes in clinics were so poor?!

The other benefit of the scan is to be able to see the size of a disc herniation or the degree of degeneration.  It is extremely difficult to structure a randomised controlled trial with a one-size fits all approach for back pain. 

IDD Therapy has a growing body of evidence to support it and more will be needed to help develop and refine treatment programmes.

Anecdotally, clinicians will confirm that larger disc herniations require more time for treatment than small bulges, whilst degenerative discs tend to require more treatments before improvements can be felt.

The use of the MRI scan is thus a key tool to enable clinicians to target and treat chronic low back pain more effectively.

For a summary of the differences between IDD Therapy Spinal Decompression and traditional traction, please use the form below.

(1) Shealy CN and Borgmeyer V. Decompression, Reduction, and Stabilization of the Lumbar Spine: A Cost-Effective Treatment for Lumbosacral Pain. American Journal of Pain Management. 1997. 7:63-65.

Author: Stephen Small
www.SteadfastClinics.co.uk

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How do herniated discs occur and what are the best treatment options?

“Ouch….I’ve slipped a disc!” 

Low back pain affects over 80% of the population at some point in their lives and it’s the second most popular reason for visiting the GP after the common cold. It comes in many guises but a herniated or ‘slipped’ disc is one of the easiest things to succumb to and is one of the most difficult types of back pain to relieve. 

This article examines the ways in which herniated discs can occur and explains the treatment options available to help patients get back to their usual daily activities.

Contrary to popular belief, slipped discs are not just common to people who do manual work involving heavy lifting: many office-based workers succumb to disc problems as a result of sitting in one position for too long, putting pressure on the disc walls so that they weaken over time.

The spine is made up of 24 individual bones called vertebrae which are stacked on top of each Herniated Disc MRI scan - Pre IDD Therapy. Discs are the protective circular pads of connective tissue in between – the ‘padding’ which acts as shock absorbers, protecting the spine when we run or jump.

We cause small weaknesses in our spine all day long with prolonged sitting or standing in certain positions, for example at workstations or hunched over the ironing board.

The intervertebral discs are unlike other parts of the body in the sense that they have a limited nerve supply.

Very often we are not aware of the discs being under strain until the accumulation of months or years of stress has reached a point where small tears form in the outer disc wall. These tears can result in several months of nagging discomfort.

As a defence-mechanism against further damage, the body will often react to this situation with muscle spasm or at the very least, ‘muscle guarding’ which is when the long muscles of the spine tighten up. This causes compression of the discs and a lack of mobility in the spine. 

If this situation prevails, the tears can very often become worse and allow the inner jelly like part of the disc – the nucleus – to herniate outwards. This is referred to as a herniated, bulging or ‘slipped’ disc.

Disc problems can also cause pain in other areas of the body, the most common of which is sciatica, a grinding pain which travels down the length of the leg.  Sciatica can be caused by the bulging part of the disc squashes the nerve root next to the disc or when chemicals from a prolapsed disc irritate the nerve endings.  

Neck pain, headaches or numbness in the foot can also be a sign of a damaged disc. So, what are your options for treatment?

Your first port of call should always be a good osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor who will have experience in treating disc-related problems. With this type of manual therapy in most cases you should see a marked improvement in your condition in 6-8 weeks.

At the same time, if you are in so much pain that you can’t sleep then your GP can prescribe you painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory medicines which can be taken alongside physical treatment.

If you see no real sign of improvement after eight weeks of manual therapy, it would be advisable to get an MRI scan of your spine to confirm the possible causes of your pain and the location (level) of the spine affected.

If a disc problem is identified, a programme of treatment including IDD Therapy non-surgical spinal decompression may be recommended.

IDD Therapy is a computer-controlled mechanical treatment used by clinicians to gently and safely relieve pressure on specific discs, alleviate muscle spasm and increase mobility in the spine.
 
decompression[1]As part of the IDD Therapy programme, patients undergo a course of core-strengthening exercise to help them maintain their healthy spine.

In a small number of cases, patients with severe disc damage/degeneration may require invasive treatments including injections and/or surgery. Also, in rare circumstances, the patient may require immediate surgery, for example, when the bowel and bladder function is affected.

There are different types of surgery for a herniated disc, the most common is the microdiscectomy where fragments of the disc may be cut away.

Another common type of spinal surgery is the lumbar fusion where the vertebrae surrounding a disc are fused together.

Thus, there are now several treatment options available to patients with herniated discs and indeed, a wider array of effective non-surgical options allowing more patients to avoid invasive procedures.

For information about treatment options at Spine Plus or any other IDD Therapy providers, please use the form below.

Robert Shanks BSc (Hons) Ost
Clinical Director
Spine Plus
www.SpinePlus.co.uk
Spine Plus is a group of multidisciplinary clinics in London and Essex.

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Spine Plus Clinics – At the Forefront of Herniated Disc Treatment with IDD Therapy Spinal Decompression

Spine Plus Clinics in Essex and London are well established providers of IDD Therapy treatment for unresolved herniated discs, sciatica and chronic low back and neck pain.

In this video co-clinic director Robert Shanks discusses the role of IDD Therapy treatment, how it works and what it can do for patients needing more for their pain, without resorting to invasive procedures.

Also includes patients discussing their experiences of treatment, some of whom have avoided the need for surgery.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIItOii-lls]

For more details about IDD Therapy at Spine Plus clinics, please visit their website http://www.spineplus.co.uk/

If you are a clinician and would like more information about IDD Therapy please use the form below or visit www.steadfastclinics.co.uk

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Clinic marketing – Pricing strategies for the benefit of your clinic

The majority of clinics have a uniform pricing structure.  In this article I want to highlight the benefits of a dual layer pricing structure for the clinic owner, clinic associates and the clinic as a whole.

There is so much competition that it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd.  There are a number of ways to doing this but having expert status or having specialist treatment programmes are two key ways to stand out from the masses.

Pricing

Pricing is an incredibly powerful marketing tool to give signals to your audience:

High price = higher quality/value
Lower price = lower quality/value

There are some consumers who only want the best and then there are consumers who are happy for standard service e.g Tesco Finest vs mid range branded item 

What clinics can learn from hair salons

Have you ever been to a hair salon where there are different prices for different levels of stylist?

I have never had a hair cut at Toni and Guy, but to my mind at least they are the brand which says quality haircut.  As for the stylists, well, they work at Toni and Guy so you expect them to all be very good.

The artistic directors are priced higher than the senior stylists and the pricing differences suggest that the artistic director will give the best haircut available.

Some people will want to pay more the artistic director whilst others will be satisfied with a senior stylist.

So for clinics…

It is expected that the clinic director should be the leader of the clinic.  They are (supposed to be) the best clinician and their leadership status sets the course of the clinic brand.

Some patients want to see the leader, the best so it makes sense to affirm the clinic director’s status as the best by having a visible higher price point.

The clinic director will see existing patients and attract new ones – and these patients are happy to pay a higher price.  If a patient wants to see the director but the director is fully booked, the receptionist can book them in with an associate who is equally capable of treating the patient.

Additionally, the higher price for the clinic director has the effect of making the associate price look good value.  No change in price, but new perceived value and this is attractive to would-be patients who are mildly price-conscious.

When a prospective patients looks at your website, they will see by the price points that the clinic is good because it is run by an expert (this person must be an expert – the higher price tells them that).  This reflects well for the associates as they are members of the expert team.

The patient then has a choice as to who they want to see.  I only want the best person, or I am happy for the associate to see me because I am assured that the associate will give me the service I need.  

Whether it is £5, £10 or £20, any price differentiation has a subtle but powerful effect on the perceived expert status of the clinic in the eyes of the would-be patient.

That is good for everyone. 

Author: Stephen Small
www.SteadfastClinics.co.uk

Mal au Dos? Traitement non-invasive pour les hernies discales et la sciatique – IDD Therapy

IDD Therapy est un traitement non-invasive pour les hernies discales et la sciatique. Ce vidéo présente le traitement de décompression vertébrale utilisant la SDS SPINA.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eOYmNFDJkM]

Le mal au dos est un problème important et IDD Therapy offre aux cliniciens un outil pour faire plus pour les gens souffrants.

Avec plus de 800 cliniques la thérapie IDD est en plein croissance en Europe. IDD Therapy est un traitement qui permet aux cliniciens de cibler et faire une distraction et mobilisation de vertèbres précis pour faire la décompression d’une disque, e.x L5S1 et L4 L5 sont les plus communs avec des problèmes.

La distraction ouvre l’espace intervertébrale par 5mm-7mm et puis une oscillation contrôlée aide la mobilité.

L’objectif est d’enlever la pression sur une disque, travailler les tissues, réaligner des structures et enlever la pression sur de nerfs.

Le traitement sur le SDS SPINA dure 25 minutes, afin de donner assez de temps pour un effet thérapeutique. Le traitement est pour les gens qui n’ont pas répondu aux thérapies manuelles et qui ne sont pas candidats pour les traitements invasifs.

Pour toute information supplémentaire sur IDD Therapy et le SDS SPINA, contacter le distributeur international Steadfast Clinics utilisant la fiche ci-dessous ou visiter — www. steadfastclinics.co.uk

Author: Stephen Small
Director Steadfast Clinics Ltd

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