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Grand County Health and Fitness: Newer therapy can be alternative to surgery

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

For those with chronic back pain, life can be a constant struggle even for simple movement, but a new therapy is giving patients not only relief but a possibility to opt out of major surgery.

It is reported that every year more than 14 million people visit medical staff because of back pain, the second-most frequent reason that people visit their doctors. But little could be done for minor aches aside from rest, hot or cold packs, medication, physical therapy and regular chiropractic manipulation.

Fewer options were available for those with major long-standing neck and back issues ” that is until now. There’s a new spinal care system therapy available in the county called Lumbar Cervical Decompression, or LCD which has already shown convincing long-term results for herniated, bulging or degenerated discs, sciatica, and low-back pain.

“This is the newest approach to non-surgically treat the actual cause of back pain,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shaw, Doctor of Chiropractic for almost 30 years and co-owner of Shadow Mountain Chiropractic Clinic in Granby with his wife Deb. “If you have bulging and herniated discs, sciatica, post-surgical failures, arthritis and related challenges, you have an altogether new chance to possibly relieve nagging and chronic pain. Thousands of people across the country are using LCD Therapy and reporting impressive results. Up to 70 percent of those who try LCD Therapy are reporting relief of their pain. They are requiring less medication and are able to enjoy normal everyday activities again.”

Patients no longer have to make that four-hour, round-trip drive to Denver for the therapy. The Shaws have welcomed about 15 patients who have benefited from the therapy since the office purchased the equipment last May. To see their patients’ situations improve through the therapy has been “very gratifying,” Shaw said.

One of the patients, Byron Hughes, had been seeing Shadow Mountain Chiropractic for about 15 years for chronic degenerative changes in his spine. He said after completing 30 sessions of the LCD therapy, he has “experienced less pain and am 3/8 of an inch taller” and is “deeply grateful” to Shadow Mountain Chiropractic and its staff.

Once a patient is determined to be a candidate Shaw incorporates what he calls a “mix, fix and set” system into the therapy. During the “mix” phase, patients undergo treatments to loosen the joints and spine with the help of equipment like a vibe platform and spinal weighting system, in which weights are placed on the patient’s spine at various spots to strengthen the spinal musculature into correct position.

In the “fix” phase Shaw administers spinal adjustments and the patient undergoes different techniques for decompression through the use of equipment like a wobble chair, cervical traction device, and vibrating contraction roller.

The therapy utilizes an FDA-registered computerized mechanism that communicates with a therapeutic table to provide a gentle pulling motion of the afflicted areas and “precisely controlled tension along the axis of a patient’s spinal column.” During these “distraction” and decompression cycles, the problem area is flooded with additional oxygen and the therapy has shown to stimulate the natural ability of a body for self-healing. MRI images suggest that it may help the body rehydrate discs in the back. “I am not aware of any other therapy ” whether physical, chiropractic, invasive injections or surgery ” that provide this type of success rate,” Shaw said.

Many patients report that they can feel the effects of the decompression almost immediately but multiple visits allow for a better long-term success rate. Shaw’s office has individual treatments for any one patient’s specific case and usually patients are scheduled for a 20-visit session, 30-40 visits if problems exist in the back and neck areas.

The therapy, which is an advancement beyond simple procedures, has opened up a whole new area of spinal rehabilitation for chiropractors and their patients, and doctors like Jeff and Deb are happy to say “We’re able to help more people in more ways than we did before.”


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