Spinal Compression Syndrome, Missed Diagnosis
Written By Dr. David Bass | November 4, 2016
In the sphere of spinal conditions and injuries, there is a missed diagnosis that health care providers around the world pay little attention to. Once explained, it is difficult to disagree with. The diagnosis is responsible for a plethora of spinal conditions that have been filling clinics and hospitals for decades. It is called Spinal Compression Syndrome, either acute or chronic.
Movement related injuries are typically caused by axial, rotational and flexion-extension compression forces. These forces are considered the "mechanism of injury", which of course they are. However, they are in fact a serious diagnosis as well.
As a typical thought, doctors agree that a patient can lift a heavy object, overload the tolerances of the spine, and create a disc, facet, ligament, nerve, tendon and/or muscle injury. The subsequent injuries created by the overload are always treated "as the condition". Many are resolved using a wide variety of "standard of care" modalities. But what has happened to the patient whose symptoms are seemingly resolved in their first round of therapy, yet over time, perhaps years, their symptoms begin to reappear? Why is it that in this case, certain activities or postures can begin to bring-on or aggravate what was seemingly a resolved condition?
Upon further investigation of this patient, often several years later, radiographic changes can be observed in and around the original injury site. Changes that were not observed on the initial x-rays. It indicates that this patient has a new degenerative diagnostic condition, such as degenerative disc disease, facet imbrication, hypertrohy, osteophytosis and/or focused ankylosing. Others might say that there were diagnostic components that were missed and ignored in the beginning of their initial care program, and in some cases its true. But I believe something else is happening. In my opinion, the only reasonable explanation is unresovled Chronic Spinal Compression Syndrome or SCS.
The etiology of SCS follows these basic thoughts and is greatly related to the intrinsic endurance of our anatomical tissues. In other words, the load bearing capabilities between people greatly varies from one spine to another. This in whole or in part is based on the inherited genetic tolerances of the individual. Some can tolerate great loads while others cannot. Why? Because our spinal anatomy has evolved and developed to tolerate and endure axial (vertical) strains and sprains singularly and repetitively. However, human tissues have limitations. For the person who is constantly lifting heavy objects and compressing their discs and facets on a day to day basis, self recovery (rebound) and repair in an ongoing process. But overloading or not giving the spine time to rebound, will result in degenerative and conditional changes.
I believe that the "rebound effect" of the spine is the major difference and factor between what one person's spine can tolerate over another. If you can agree with the theory of "rebound effect", then you would also agree that proper weight bearing exercises, core strengthening and nutrition can enhance a persons natural genetic rebound effect.
If we consider SCS as its own diagnosis, then the appropriate protocols for treatment need to be developed. They also need to become part of the "standard of care". The Robotic ATT is a stand-alone therapy for SCS as well as an essential modality to be used in combination with other non-surgical and surgical procedures. Removing SCS resolves many of the subjective complaints that your patients present with. It can also limit or stop many of the secondary degenerative conditions and sequel that often develop when chronic SCS remains.
You should not discharge a patient when there is evidence of remaining spinal compression syndrome.
All About Spinal Decompression Therapy According To Spine-Health.com
Written By Dr. Ralph Gay, MD, DC | April 10, 2016
According to Ralph E. Gay, MD, DC,
"Spinal Decompression Therapy involves stretching the spine, using a traction table or similar motorized device, with the goal of relieving back pain and/or leg pain.
This procedure is called nonsurgical decompression therapy (as opposed to surgical spinal decompression, such as laminectomy and microdiscectomy).
This article provides an overview of nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy and its role in the treatment of lower back pain and neck pain.
Theory of Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression devices use the same basic principle of spinal traction that has been offered by chiropractors, osteopaths, and other appropriately trained health professionals for many years.
Both traction and decompression therapy are applied with the goals of relieving pain and promoting an optimal healing environment for bulging, degenerating, or herniated discs.
Spinal decompression is a type of traction therapy applied to the spine in an attempt to bring about several theoretical benefits including:
- Create a negative intradiscal pressure to promote retraction or repositioning of the herniated or bulging disc material.
- Create a lower pressure in the disc that will cause an influx of healing nutrients and other substances into the disc."
Commentary by Dr. Denny: Although there is more research needed in the area of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy, the author does not mention that there are more advanced devices in this area of treatment, such as the Antalgic-Trak Technology (ATT). The ATT is able to pull the spine in a linear manner, while in the seated position, which gives the user a mechanical advantage that is not found on flat table systems.
In addition, the ability to posture position patients to better target the spinal segments can only be accomplished with the ATT. Users have also found that movement can be provided to the restricted areas with these features as well. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy should not be confused with surgical disc decompression surgery which can oftentimes require additional surgeries as other surrounding spinal discs fail over time. Please click here to learn more.
In an observational study of 100 cases, researchers Rosenthal and Russo found a high degree of pain relief and a high degree of patient satisfaction 12 months or more following treatment with the ATT. Please call (800) 792-3575 for more information on the latest models and to receive a copy of the Rosenthal & Russo paper which was presented at the 2009 Clinical Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Mangement. Dr. Bass and I presented two case studies with pre and post lumbar MRIs showing disc retraction, at the 2016 Korean International Medical Expo held in March of 2016 in Seoul, Korea. Please call (800) 792-3575 for more information on this presentation as well.