FOOTBALL AND CONCUSSIONS
I am a football fan. I have been ever since I can remember. I played the game for six years, receiving a concussion of my own in our 8th grade title game (we won 21-0). I vaguely recall wandering around the field, wondering where I was, after making a tackle on a an oversize running back who had beat me on the previous play. I felt like I was in dream land for awhile. Unfortunately, HEAD INJURIES that happened years ago can take a toll on one's health today --- in dramatic fashion.
If you have kids playing football, you need to read this piece from the the blog The Post Game (End Game: Brain Trauma And The Future Of Youth Football In America), as well as the piece I wrote on the topic (HERE). Interestingly enough, there is a lot of sentiment that the game of football as we know it will be a thing of the past within the next decade (see the article from Shutdown Corner called Could Concussions Actually Kill Football?).
ANNUAL U.S. SLEEPING PILL DEATH TOLL
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PLATELET RICH PLASMA THERAPY
MIRACLE OR MASQUERADE?
But this did not seem to bridle his enthusiasm for this admittedly "little studied" therapy when he stated, "it is already being offered to patients in many clinics in the U.S. and abroad." Tiger Woods knee was the first time I had ever heard of it --- and he was treated somewhere overseas a few years ago because the treatment was not yet approved here in the States. Now, it's legal in the United States, and seemingly every professional athlete from A-Rod to Payton Manning is having it done. But what is it? What are platelets, and what can I tell you about the success rate of this relatively new therapy?
Platelets are a component of the blood that is involved in clot formation. Too many platelets and you get blood clots, too few, and you have excessive bleeding. However, the clotting is not what sufferers of TENDINOPATHIES are looking for. The other important thing to remember about platelets is that they contain numerous growth factors, including transforming growth factor-beta vascular endothelial growth factor, and multiple species of platelet-derived growth factors. Essentially, these are substances similar to the insulin-like Growth Factors, that induce healing in connective tissues.
HOW DOES PRP WORK?
Blood is drawn from a patient, and then centrifuged to a platelet-rich broth. The platelets and growth factors are then injected back into the body at the site of injury (knee, ankle, wrist, elbow, shoulder, etc). Like lots of various treatments, the logic behind it makes sense. However, it is expensive, with the cost running anywhere from $1,000 on up. But if it works, who cares how much it costs? The real question we need to answer is how successful it is?
Although I have personally treated several patients who have been through PRP Therapy, I have yet to hear a patient say that it worked for them. This sentiment has been echoed by several recent internet articles, including one from The New York Times saying that the the treatment was over-hyped, and that the results left a lot to be desired (not much better than placebo). One of the more important statements to come out of this article was this, "Although 73 percent of patients given platelet injections improved after a year, compared with 54 percent for steroid injections, Dr. Fu said that was not much success. “Any time you touch a patient, you get 70 percent success,” he said, adding that even placebos give that rate over time." I disagree with his statement about placebos having an average success rate of 70%. If this were true, there would be little need for doctors. However, comparing PRP to CORTICOSTEROIDS is extremely misleading, as these drugs are known to cause,"short term pain relief and long term degeneration."
Our country's oldest scientific journal, Scientific American was pretty much in agreement with the NYT article in an article called, Athletes Such as Tiger Woods and the Pittsburgh Steelers's Hines Ward Have Undergone Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, But is There Evidence that the Treatment Really Speeds the Healing of Injuries? So, who are we to believe; professional athletes who will swallow or inject literally anything and everything under the sun if they have heard it will help them perform better (i.e. Deer Antler Velvet or HCG --- a Female Hormone of Pregnancy)? And by the way, the study at the beginning of the post was done by a group of doctors with direct ties to Major League Baseball. Do you think this could have any bearing on the study's results?
In all honesty, for extreme cases, I kind of like the idea of PRP. You are using cells and chemicals that actually came from your own body. It is certainly better than corticosteroids or surgeries that are iffy to say the least. However, the fact remains that I have not personally seen this treatment work on patients. But what does work for TENDINITIS / TENDINOSIS / TENDINOPATHIES and other connective tissue problems such as FASCIAL ADHESIONS? SCAR TISSUE REMODELING is where I would start first. It will either help quickly, or it will not help at all. If it does not work, then move on to other more expensive and invasive therapies such as PRP.
??? Primary or Secondary ???
If you look at my TRACK RECORD, you will soon realize that I am probably getting as good of results with the Conservative Management of people with Piriformis Syndrome as anyone, anywhere --- period. But my goal is to see everyone get radically better --- AND WHEN THEY DO NOT, it is very frustrating to everyone involved. Understanding some of the underlying causes / contributing factors of Piriformis Syndrome goes a long way toward understanding why it is such a complex and difficult problem to effectively treat in certain individuals.
PRIMARY PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME
I certainly do believe that Piriformis Syndrome can be a primary problem of the Piriformis Muscle ---- particularly when a person has had severe trauma to their buttock region. One time I had a patient who was hit in the buttock by a front end loader. Another had a tree felled onto his rear end. Needless to say, these were classic Piriformis Syndromes that was directly related to the Piriformis Muscle itself. However, I think that in most cases of Piriformis Syndrome, the problem tends to be secondary. Allow me to explain.
Some of the more common underlying problems that can cause Piriformis Syndrome --- or just make it difficult to fix, include:
- POOR FOOT OR LOWER EXTREMITY BIOMECHANICS: I have crazy high arches. I broke my right ankle three different times within a ten year period. This combination caused me to develop Chronic Pain not only in my foot, but in my right Piriformis Muscle as well (something that I still periodically battle if I do certain things). If you stand with your hands on your butt and then bow your knees outward like a cowboy, you will feel how tight the Piriformis Muscle gets. High arches drive you to the outsides of your feet, causing a "bow legged" position that can cause tremendous pressure on the Piriformis Muscle. Fallen arches throw you into a "knock kneed" position, which can cause pressure on the Piriformis Muscle as well, but are typically easier to deal with. If you have extremely high arches, contact me. I will put you in touch with the only person I am aware of who truly specializes in custom orthotics for people with high arches.
- A SHORT LEG: This can be either an anatomical short leg, or functional short leg. Anytime that you take someone who is in serious pain and start messing with heel lifts, you had better know what you are doing ----- and do it very slowly and cautiously. I have seen miraculous results with this simple trick. I have also seen health care providers cause Piriformis Syndrome with heel lifts.
- PELVIS SUBLUXATION / DISTORTION: SUBLUXATION simply means that you have bones that are either out of alignment or not moving properly in relationship to each other. Interestingly enough, many of my Piriformis Syndrome patients that I treated for years chiropractically, would respond tremendously to Chiropractic Adjustments. But they never seemed to hold as long as I thought they should. If you go HERE and scroll down to the x-rays of three "normal" pelvises, you will notice some significant pelvic torque. Does this torque always cause Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica? Certainly not. But it can cause both.
- TENDINOSIS / TENDINOPATHY: I have seen several cases of Piriformis Syndrome start with a PULLED GROIN. The mechanical stress can eventually caused TENDINOSIS that alters the gait. In one case, no one had ever as much as looked at the groin, even though he mentioned it repeatedly to different doctors, therapists, and chiropractors over a five year period. Sometimes these TENDINOPATHIES are either totally or mostly asymptomatic ---- at least at first. And sometimes they can be so distant from the site of pain as to seem like the two could not possibly be related. HIP FLEXOR issues are commonly related to Piriformis Syndrome as well.
- FASCIAL ADHESIONS: Fascia is arguably the most pain-sensitive tissue in the body. Couple this with the fact that with the possible exception of the PLANTAR FASCIA, it does not show up on MRI (HERE), and you have a recipe for disaster. This is just one of many reasons that people can go through multiple MRI's and CT Scans that do not "show anything" (FUNCTIONAL PROBLEMS -vs- PATHOLOGY). And in even greater measure than tendon problems above, FASCIAL ADHESIONS can be far-removed from the site of pain. This is one of the chief reasons that the most famous whiplash research team of our era concluded nearly two decades ago that whiplash injuries lead to a host of, "bizarre and seemingly unrelated symptoms (HERE)."
- DEEP FASCIAL ADHESIONS: A problem that can be particularly difficult to deal with is when a patient has FACIAL ADHESIONS that lie deep within the pelvis. If you look at pictures of the pelvic musculature below, you will notice that there are some muscles that are literally buried in the pelvis. This can make it all but impossible to access in a non-surgical fashion. And yes, all of these deep muscles are covered with Fascia in an almost identical fashion to the more superficial muscles. So, when you try and cut out the Piriformis Muscle, or surgically "Release" it, you end up with Scar Tissue --- the very thing that may very well be causing your problem in the first place. Women who have had surgery for severe Endometriosis understand this concept better than anyone else.
- PIFIFORMIS SYNDROME DOES NOT SHOW UP ON ADVANCED IMAGING: Although I touched on this earlier, I will reiterate this point. Most of the people I see with hardcore Piriformis Syndrome have been through all sorts of diagnostic testing including advanced imaging techniques such as MRI & CT (HERE). In their minds, the pictures taken of their hind ends should "glow red" because of the severity of their pain. Instead..... nothing. I keep hearing about all sorts of new diagnostic techniques that are supposed to definitively show / prove the presence of Piriformis Syndrome. I am from Missouri --- the "Show Me" State. Until someone proves to me that they are getting reproducible results with their diagnostics, I'm not buying it.
- ALL PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME IS NOT CREATED EQUALLY: I would like to tell you that all Piriformis Syndrome is the same. It's not. I see Piriformis Syndromes that are intermittent and relatively mild. I also see Piriformis Syndromes that are severe --- sometimes to the point where people are ready to end it all. Most people tend to fall somewhere in the middle. Although the less severe cases tend to respond instantaneously; the same thing can sometimes be said of the more severe cases. Without running my checks and actually treating a person, it is difficult for me to predict how well or how quickly a person is going to respond. The really nice thing about what I do is that we will at least have an idea whether or not I can help you after just one treatment. Although one treatment will certainly not "fix" your problem in its entirety; if it is going to change, you will see at least some degree of change within a few days.
- EXCESS WEIGHT: Although I have seen many extremely thin people with severe pain due to nerve entrapments such as Piriformis Syndrome, the fact remains that excess weight puts you at risk for almost any physical ailment imaginable --- including Piriformis Syndrome. If you have Piriformis Syndrome and need to LOSE WEIGHT, get started today.
- POOR DIET / SMOKING: When I talk about diet here I am really talking about avoiding foods that are both Degenerative & INFLAMMATORY. And smoking is a no-brainer. When you smoke, you literally starve every cell, organ, and tissue in your body for OXYGEN. These are two things that are completely up to you. If you live with any sort of Chronic Pain and are still smoking cigarettes and eating a crappy diet, you have to knuckle down and remedy this situation if you want any hope of solving your problem!
- THE PAIN ITSELF: I have been telling people for years that CHRONIC PAIN does bad things to their brains. Recent research suggests that the brains of people with Chronic Pain atrophy at nearly 10 times the normal rate, becoming indistinguishable (on brain scans) from the brains of people with ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE or Dementia. And did you know that you can actually "learn" Chronic Pain? The more you shoot free throws, the better you get at it. Once you learn to ride a bike, you could not "forget" how to ride a bike if you wanted to. It all has to do with creating and developing nerve pathways. Unfortunately, the longer a person is in Chronic Pain, the greater chance of the pain being "imprinted" on a nerve pathway. There are ways to deal with this phenomenon, but it can be difficult for those who develop CLASS III CHRONIC PAIN.
- NARCOTICS USED TO TREAT THIS PAIN: Before I start, let me say that this is not a dig against people who have used pain meds. Although I never went down that road, I personally understand. If you have followed this blog, you are aware of the fact that a decade ago, I was ready to have my right foot amputated (thank God O didn't). I know what Chronic Pain does to people (HERE), and the lengths that they will go to in order to get away from it. NARCOTICS are one way that people do this. The problem with this class of drugs is that what works to relieve pain today, will not work tomorrow ----- repeat. And the science behind long term narcotic use has been proven to be fraudulent as well. But the real problem is the way that these opioids affect pain. When people who have spent a significant amount of time on opioids try to back off these drugs; or get off of them completely, they are often met with a shock. Their pain is worse than it ever was! Your body makes its own opiates, and when there are lots of opiates (drugs) already in your system, the body will shut down its own production. This is why it is so difficult to get off of these drugs --- and why you may have incredibly heightened pain when you do come off.
- THE PROBLEM IS SYSTEMIC: What do I mean by this? Simply that I have seen people with Piriformis Syndrome (as well as ALL SORTS OF OTHER PROBLEMS) that is related to weakened or defective connective tissue. This might be some sort of AUTOIMMUNITY issue. It might be a genetic thing. It might be a METABOLIC DEFICIENCY OR NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEM. Or it might be some kind of poorly understood systemic disease process (HERE). Although I have successfully treated many cases of BILATERAL PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME, when I see bilateral problems or multiple site problems, the possibility that the problem could be systemic increases. Bottom line; if you have multiple sites of joint pain, tendinosis, or connective tissue dysfunctions, your problem could very well be SYSTEMIC. If this is the case, the first thing to do is to go about FIXING THE GUT. HERE is a great place to start researching this topic.
- THE PROBLEM MAY BE OF A SURGICAL NATURE: If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you are aware that I am not a big advocate of surgery. The truth is, study after study after study shows that huge numbers of surgeries of all sorts are unnecessary and do not change outcomes. In fact, many surgical procedures can leave people worse off. However, there is undoubtedly a time and a place for surgery. Although I would strongly recommend that you do everything in your power to avoid Piriformis Release Surgery, there are some brand new tests and procedures that may (might, could possibly, perhaps, perchance, etc) provide an answer for some of you hardcore suffers out there. I hope to be blogging on this topic in the fairly near future --- probably sometime this summer.
MOSTLY A SECONDARY PROBLEM
Understanding this point is critical. Why so? Because in the same way that the medical community aims its treatment of OSGOOD SCHLATTER'S SYNDROME at the painful tibial tubercle (which is never the cause of this particular problem); in Piriformis Syndrome, most of the stretches, INJECTIONS, etc, are aimed at the Piriformis Muscle itself. Although this can bring about some temporary relief, it rarely brings about a complete resolution of the problem.
The two pictures below help to explain why the Piriformis Muscle can "pinch" or irritate the Sciatic Nerve --- even though it is not actually the cause of the pinching. The Piriformis Muscle is the "where". The "why" is the puzzle that has to be figured out and solved. It is my opinion that for many people, my clinic is a good place to start this process. Maybe my treatment protocols will help, maybe they won't. But the bottom line is that you will know after a treatment. If what I do does not help, you can then take the next (more expensive and more invasive) step in the process.
SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION & LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
IS INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY A HALLMARK OF CHRONIC DISEASE?
INFLAMMATION is a group of chemicals that makes up part of your body's normal immune system response, as well as having a propensity to attract fluid (swelling) to it. The group of chemicals that make up inflammation have funny sounding names like prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, cytokines, chemokines, certain enzymes, kinnins, histamines, eicosanoids, substance P, as well as dozens of others.
In normal amounts, these chemicals play a critical role in immune system response and tissue healing. However, when there is too much of these chemicals coursing through your body, sooner or later there will be big problems to deal with. If you simply review the medical literature, you will find that inflammation is at the root of …
- Disc Injuries, Slipped Disc, Disc Herniation, and Disc Rupture (HERE)
- Heart Disease and virtually all forms of Cardiovascular Problems (HERE)
- Skin conditions including Eczema and Psoriasis (HERE)
- Most Autoimmune Conditions (HERE)
- Arthritis & Fibromyalgia (HERE & HERE)
- Asthma (HERE)
- ADD, ADHD, Depression, and various forms of Dementia (HERE & HERE)
- Neurological Conditions (HERE)
- Female Issues (HERE, HERE & HERE)
- Cancer (HERE)
- Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, Hypoglycemia, and other Blood Sugar Regulation Problems (HERE)
- Obesity (HERE)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease / Leaky Gut Syndrome (HERE & HERE)
The last on the list may be the most important. This is because 80% of your Immune System is found in your gut (digestive tract --- HERE). This means that problems that disrupt gut health can dramatically affect your whole body's overall health.
When the gut becomes inflamed, the “tight junctions” between the cells become lose. This means that partially digested food particles or undigested food particles, waste products, microbes, or molecules that are supposed to be too large to fit through the openings, are absorbed (or reabsorbed) into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, the body does not like this, and reacts against these particles by creating immune system responses (antibodies) against them.
Be aware that you will probably never hear your doctor talk about Leaky Gut Syndrome. And if you go to sites like Pubmed or other medical research databases, they will, at least in older studies, have little to say on the subject. However, if you research “Increased Intestinal Permeability” a new paradigm begins to take shape ---- particularly concerning Autoimmune Diseases which affect at least 60 million, and possibly as many as 100 million Americans or more. Let us look at just one of these studies.
In an October 2006 issue of the prestigious British Medical Journal, a team of doctors published a paper called, Alterations in Intestinal Permeability. Some of the things that came out of this paper included... “The goal of this review is.... most importantly [to determine] the relevance of abnormal [intestinal] permeability to disease. In this context, we will also present an emerging paradigm regarding the genesis of autoimmune diseases and describe the data that supports this from the perspective of both human disease and animal models..... Increased intestinal permeability is observed in association with several autoimmune diseases. It is observed prior to disease and appears to be involved in disease pathogenesis. For decades a variety of pathological states have been associated with abnormal permeability..... However, in several autoimmune conditions it appears that increased permeability is a constant and early feature of the disease process.” Oh, one other conclusion of this study; “epithelial permeability of the gastrointestinal tract can be evaluated in a site specific manner”. What does this mean? There is actually a brand new blood test that can be run to determine whether or not you have Increased Intestinal Permeability / Leaky Gut Syndrome.
If you want to understand how Leaky Gut Syndrome is intimately related to almost every disease process known to man, visit THIS POST.
To learn more, visit some of my websites:
- ENDOGUT: ENDOGUT is my best post for learning about the relationship between the Endocrine (Hormonal) Systems, the Immune System, and Gut Health.
- DESTROY FIBROMYALGIA: Fibromyalgia is being heavily linked to both AUTOIMMUNITY & LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. Interestingly enough, the anti-inflammatory medications that are most commonly prescribed for Fibromyalgia have been linked to Leaky Gut! For more information, visit DESTROY FIBROMYALGIA.
- THYROID EPIDEMIC: One in ten Americans has a Thyroid Problem. It has been estimated that over 90% of these problems are Autoimmune (Hashimoto's or Graves --- HERE). If your doctor does not understand the link between Gut Health, Autoimmunity, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Thyroid Disease.........
- BRAIN-BASED THERAPY, MISSOURI: Find out more about the neurological links to numerous Metabolic Diseases. Visit BBTMO.
Is our medical community truly concerned with gut health? Are you joking me? True 'Gut Health' is so far removed from the average doctor's thought process, that most are completely unaware of this entire issue. They prescribe millions upon millions of acid blockers that cause HYPO-CHLORHYDRIA. The average child is given multiple prescriptions of antibiotics ----- every single year. This is DESTROYING NORMAL GUT FLORA, and causing overgrowths of inflammation-causing "bad bacteria" ---- a process referred to as DYSBIOSIS. In fact, I am not sure if I could think of a more detrimental combination than lots of antibiotics (kill off your good bacteria and let the bad bacteria begin to get a foot hold) and lots of sugar and starch (this is the food of choice for these bad bacteria).
If you want to understand this issue a little bit better, you need to check out the transcript of the talk I delivered to the Rotary Club last month ----- THE NUMBER ONE HEALTH PROBLEM FACING AMERICANS TODAY. If there is one thing that I can promise you, if you read it, you will be shocked!
There are so many things that you can do to avoid Inflammation, but they almost all come down to you and what you are willing to do to change your life (HERE). What do you do when the medications no longer work? And those of you suffering already know that there are no good medications to deal with Leaky Gut Syndrome! CORTICO-STEROIDS are incredibly powerful, but have an array of side effects that is equally powerful. NSAIDS are bad for your heart, liver, and kidneys (remember the Vioxx debacle?). Even low doses of the so-called "safe" anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are known to multiply your chances of Kidney Failure (see Risk of Kidney Failure Associated With the Use of Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs from the December 1994 issue of NEJM). It's time to take responsibility for your health. I'm sorry, but your doctor is not going to make you healthy. That is up to you.
I was thinking about all the formal appointments and expensive treatments I've undergone and honestly my mind is blown by how much more effective what you do is. I had to laugh about it... However it's frightening to me how people are victimized by so-called treatments that just make things even worse.
The stretching feels very good. The bruises are still sore, but I don't mind at all. I find myself unbelievably paranoid that the pain will return. I imagine that is normal after a year of constant debilitation. I did mean to ask you, do you think swimming is safe right now? That is my primary means of exercise, but I don't want to mess anything up! I am eager to see what the week brings, and am very glad we met.
DOES TISSUE REMODELING WORK ON
YOU BET IT CAN!
Despite everything Michelle had done, she had been struggling with increasingly severe Chronic Pain for the past seventeen years. Just before Christmas break, I fixed a long-standing PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME in Michelle's sister, who referred her in shortly after that for Chronic Pain caused by post-surgical scar tissue. Although the TISSUE REMODELING does not work for patients who have been burned (I've tried), it frequently works wonders on certain kinds of post-surgical scarring. Michelle is one such example.
After slowly leaking infection for who-knows-how-long, Michelle's appendix completely ruptured just three months into her first pregnancy --- over 17 years ago. Told that his wife had only thirty minutes to live without extreme intervention, her husband signed a waiver saying that he wanted his wife saved ----- at the expense of her unborn child if it came to that. Fortunately, doctors managed to save them both.
They actually took her tiny son (3.5 inches long, 2 oz) out of her womb and held him in their hands while they cleaned the pus and gangrene from inside of her. Needless to say, even though Michelle and her son were both alive, she ended up with a huge amount of scar tissue as well as several massive surgical scars on her abdomen. Listen to Michelle tell the incredible story of her miracle baby (a young man who has been called to ministry), her journey through Chronic Pain, and God leading her to a solution in tiny Mountain View, Missouri.
- 1964- Dr. Sheffield: Adaptation of Tilt Table for Lumbar Traction study
This study consisted of 175 patients with back pain so severe they were unable to work. After eight inversion treatments, 155 of the patients were improved enough to return to work. CONCLUSION: stretching of the back muscles with inversion helped free up the ligaments and relieve the pain.
- 1978- Dr. Nosse: Inverted Spinal Traction study
The Nosse study looked at twenty healthy males and found that EMG activity (an indicator of muscle pain) declined by 35 per cent within the first 10 seconds of inversion. The study also found that inversion increases spinal length. CONCLUSION: There is a correlation between a reduction in EMG activity and an increase in spinal length.
- 1985- Dr. Kane: Effects of Gravity-facilitated Traction on Intravertebral Dimensions of the Lumbar Spine study
In the Kane study, fifteen normal male subjects were fully inverted for a period of 10 minutes. Comparisons of pre and post inversion measurements proved that gravity-facilitated traction (inversion) produces significant intervertebral separation in the lumbar spine CONCLUSION: Inversion causes a separation of the lumbar vertebrae, showing that it can potentially be an effective modality in the relief of low back pain.
- Dr. Dimberg et al: Effects of Gravity-Facilitated Traction of the Lumbar Spine in Persons with Chronic Low Back Pain at the Workplace study
The Dimberg / Volvo Automotive study evaluated 116 Volvo employees in a randomized controlled trial that lasted for 12 months. Three training groups were studied, and after 12 months, the researchers demonstrated a 33 per cent decrease in sick days from back pain for those who used Inversion Therapy for 10 minutes once or twice a day. CONCLUSION: Inversion Therapy is an efficient and cost-effective way to improve employee health while reducing sick day costs to employers.
However, my favorite feature of the Ironman 4000 is the foot piece. Instead of having clips to adjust and mess with around your ankles, it has clamps that are on a ratchet mechanism. The ratchet handle has a button release at the end of a lever that sticks about a foot or so upward from between your feet. This allows you to set and undo your ankle clamps without having to bend very far forward.
However, if money is no object, the Cadillac of Inversion Tables is probably the Master Care Back-a-Traction unit that is imported from Sweden. The real advantages to this unit are the fact that you can lock the inversion position into place so there is near-total stability. The back piece slides up and down just like our SPINAL DECOMPRESSION TABLE, and like our table, you can actually lay face down or face up on these units ---- a huge advantage for many people. Is the Back-A-Traction worth the extra $1,000 bucks over the cost of an Ironman 4000? You would have to decide that for yourself.
There is another Heavy Duty "Commercial" style table in the mix. The massively advertised "Teeter" Company makes a motorized table that comes in several different models. I would have an easier time recommending this unit to more patients if it were made to allow Inversion Therapy to be done in both the face down and face up positions. These motorized units run from around $1,000 to over $2,000 dollars.
The truth is that when I was researching Inversion Tables a few years ago, I decided on an Ironman 4000. I noticed that as far as results were concerned, it did not really matter what brand of table you bought, as long as it fit your height and was strong enough to hold your weight ------ neither the brand nor the price seemed to have much bearing on outcomes. This can be verified by looking at lots of reviews of multiple units on either Amazon's or Mal Wart's websites.
Most of the people I have met who say that Inversion did not help them, were doing it wrong. I have a few simple rules for Inversion that will make your time both pleasant / relaxing and effective. An over-arching principle of Inversion is that less is more. Here in America, we believe that if a little is good, then 10 times more should be ten times as good. As you might imagine, it does not work that way.
- To get your proper height / weight adjustment, see your Owner's Manual. If you bought your unit used, print one off online. BTW, the Ironman 4000 has settings labeled for your exact height / weight.
- Start with only a slight bit of Inversion. If you have any back problems whatsoever, you do not ever need to go below 45 degrees. Do not hang upside down. This is how people mess themselves up on Inversion Tables. Many of my patients report the best results in a position that the head is just below the feet. I call this "hovering".
- Start with a minute or two and progress from there. Unless you are hovering, I would not spend more than 10 minutes at a time on the table, although you can get on it multiple times a day.
- Your best Inversion results occur when you are pain free. If you have a history of back problems, DO NOT wait until your back flares up to use the table. Do 3-5 minutes a day and help preserve the disc.
For our SPINAL DECOMPRESSION THERAPY PROTOCOLS, I almost always recommend the patient purchase an Inversion Table. Although I do not sell these tables, I can assure you that the good results that people TYPICALLY ACHIEVE on on our Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Program are more likely to continue over the long term if patients are pro-active in their post-Decompression care. Yes, we will give you exercises to do, but keeping the Spinal Discs stretched out and hydrated will go a long ways toward keeping the spine healthy. Two five minute sessions on the Inversion Table a day, at a pitch of less than 45 degrees, along with the proper exercise and nutrition protocol, will help keep the disc healthy once your Spinal Decompression Protocol is through.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration