Today advances in spinal traction have brought promising results for patients with disc herniations and degenerative disc diseases. Non-surgical disc decompression is one such treatment, being advertised increasingly, that has brought initial relief for many, from debilitating back pain. However decompression/traction can only bring temporary results since gravity will re-compress the structurally weakened disc and injured spinal areas over time. Subluxation, abnormal spinal angles, and loss of the normal lordotic curves will gradually and continually collapse under gravity once again. I have received patients or have had patients return who have spent thousands of dollars for decompression therapy only to have their problem and pain return within three to six months. This is called Failed Back Decompression Syndrome or F.B.D.S.!
It is very important to know that muscles support and maintain normal spinal curves. Ninety percent of disc problems are caused by postural breakdown of the normal lordotic curves of the cervical and lumbar spine. Therefore, without postural curve correction with muscle rehabilitation, the effects of decompression/traction will be lost over time and once again, the degenerative process will advance. To permanently correct the lumbar spine, at least 60% correction of the normal lordotic curve of the cervical spine must be achieved. This is why, for many acute lumbar disc cases, decompression of the lumbar disc is performed only during the acute pain episode. Once pain reduction occurs, the patient is then decompressed from the cervical spine down, in order to correct and restore the cervical curve, the original cause. In other words, you must fix the neck with rehab and curve correction, in order to stabilize and enhance the benefits of spinal decompression of the lumbar spine!
The Pettibon Spinal Rejuvenation Therapy (SRT) Table utilizes Whole Body Vibration (WBV) for several key benefits. With higher contractility of the muscles with WBV, the muscles will fatigue 50% faster allowing spasm and splinted muscles to relax, enabling quicker decompression and pain relief. This essentially reduces the decompression time from the standard 30 minutes of traditional methods, to 15 minutes or less with WBV. Whole Body Vibration was developed over 40 years ago in the Soviet Union to train their Olympic athletes and rehabilitate cosmonauts returning from space that suffered muscle atrophy and loss of bone. Weight bearing exercises done with Whole Body Vibration increases muscle strength and bone density over static exercise. WBV introduces a significant additional stimulus to the nerve system in order to challenge the postural reflexes leading to improvements in balance and postural awareness on a subconscious level. With the right vibratory frequency, WBV has been shown to increase endocrine activity. Growth hormone increased by 361%, testosterone increased by 7%, cortisol, the fat producing stress hormone, decreased by 32%, blood flow increased by 100%, and back pain reduced by 66%.
Traditional and conventional rehab, which involves performing resistance exercises through a range of motion (i.e.weights, machines, Therabands), works only the fast twitch muscles. The fast twitch muscles will make you strong, but they will not change the structure or remove the underlying cause of the disc problem. They will help you carry your groceries better, while your spinal structure continues to degenerate and your body becomes sick. The spinal muscles that support the spinal curves and determine your posture and health are slow-twitch postural muscles. These muscles require isometric exercise to strengthen and restore postural health. Once the spine is sufficiently decompressed, head, shoulder, and hip weighting are essential parts of the corrective isometric exercise program designed to predictably restore optimal spinal and postural alignment, permanently!
The Pettibon System of spinal correction in conjunction with the Pettibon Spinal Rejuvenation Therapy (SRT), utilizing Whole Body Vibration and decompression, is one of the only systems proven, with evidence based research, to achieve predictable disc re-hydration, structural curve correction, with neurological and physiological restoration of health and function, that sticks.
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