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Advanced non-surgical treatment of chronic back pain by Steven M. Crotzer, DC


Advanced non-surgical treatment


of chronic back pain by Steven M. Crotzer, DC


What happens when someone “throws their back out,” and why does it happens to so many people? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) finds that lower back pain is the number one cause of long term, work related disability in America. It’s a fact that 8 out of 10 Americans will suffer from severe lower back pain at some point in their lives. In the vast majority of cases, what they’re talking about are disc injuries.


   Whenever you hear something like “I’ve got a herniation at L5 pressing on a nerve,” that’s a disc injury. Basically, discs are tough, shock absorbing pieces of cartilage, with a jelly center. There’s a disc between each bone in your spine. Discs often become compressed and bulge outward, putting pressure on nerves, causing pain

  directly at the site of pressure or pain that radiates into the buttocks or down the legs.  

   So what are people doing to successfully treat lower back pain? Lots. Physical therapy, surgery, chiropractic, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, orthotics, and various joint injections are a few of the most common. All of these treatments work, for some of the people, some of the time. If disc injury causes most lower back pain, shouldn’t a truly effective treatment physically affect injured discs?


   I’m a chiropractor who has practiced for about 6 years using several different methods. Without hesitation, I recommend spinal decompression for 90% of people with lower back pain. It’s non-invasive, it directly affects injured discs, and it’s very effective.

     Spinal decompression machines are large, traction based tables that physically stretch out bulged and herniated discs and allow them to heal. About 15-20 treatments are usually needed over 5-7 weeks for the best results. Spinal decompression has been around since the late 90s, yet right now, today, the only 3 treatments that can physically “get in there” and directly affect damaged discs are spinal decompression, spinal surgery, and spinal injections like steroids. Right now, spinal decompression is the next best thing to surgically fixing a damaged disc- without the possible negative effects of surgery.  

   I have treated patients using spinal decompression for many years. In 2007, I devised a strict definition of what I considered success when treating people with spinal decompression—just so I could simply and directly answer questions about whether or not it really works- looking at pain reduction and regaining lost function. It used standard orthopedic tests used by most chiropractors, physical therapists, and MDs like spine surgeons. I put about 120 disc patients into a “younger and healthy” or an “older and less healthy” group before beginning treatment. One month after treatment, 78% of the first group and 48% of the second group had successful outcomes. This means that these patients had much less pain or no pain at all, and were able to do physical activities that they couldn’t do or that hurt to do before. These results are outstanding, and typical of other spinal decompression studies, and often permanent.


   A quick word about surgery. It’s very important not to rush into surgery—it should be a last resort . Patients who have tried everything else, over a period of months or years, should get at least two opinions before committing to surgery. As of right now, there is no artificial disc that can be surgically implanted. Surgery can trim away herniated or bulged-out disc material, fuse bones together, cut away pieces of bone to relieve pressure on nerves, or perhaps burn away parts of a nerve that is under constant pressure. Don’t commit to surgery unless your doctor can tell you exactly what is going to be done, and exactly how it is supposed to help you.


   We now offer full spinal decompression protocols at Advanced Back Center. Bring in any lumbar Xray and MRI films and reports you have; we’ll tell you if more pictures need to be taken. All of your questions will be answered up front, in depth, in plain English. Spinal decompression is right for patients who have moderate to severe lower back pain due to disc injury. If spinal decompression is right for you, it has the serious potential to get rid of your pain and heal your discs, permanently. This treatment has helped thousands of people get rid of their chronic low back pain—find out if this is what finally works for you.


Call 724.987.3221 for a free consultation or go to for more information.


LivingBody BEAUTIFUL | Your Tri-County Resource Guide to Health and Beauty | Magazine Six     12      


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