All posts in Chronic Pain

EPAT Shockwave – Los Angeles

If you’re suffering from a soft tissue ailment or looking for an alternative, holistic approach to pain reduction, and want overall healthy joint aging, EPAT shockwave and laser may be an effective option. Dr. Jeffrey Tucker says “The results from EPAT (shockwave) and laser are promising for acute pain, chronic pain conditions and regenerative medicine.”

Frequently asked questions about EPAT:

Is deep tissue massage similar to EPAT Shockwave? No, EPAT shockwave penetrates much deeper than hands can get. EPAT goes beyond muscles treating the underside of muscles, bones, and joints to work on a deeper level.

EPAT Shock wave sessions usually last thirty minutes! True, they normally take about 20-30 minutes depending on the number of impulses and the number of areas we are intending to apply to a given area.

Some patients describe the EPAT as a ‘Jack hammer’. Why? The overall feeling is a combination of gliding, kneading, percussion, vibration, deep friction massage, and rolling of the soft tissue and joints.

EPAT is often used in combination with other therapies including laser, deep muscle stimulator (DMS) and cupping.

Like most massage, EPAT is traditionally practiced on exposed skin surfaces. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing to ensure the doctor can have skin exposure and be able to move your joints through the full range of motion. During EPAT therapy, ultrasound gel is used on treatment surfaces.

Dr. Tucker’s philosophy treats patients holistically, focusing on physical, mental, nutritional and healthy aging wellness. “I help achieve joint and muscle balance using a blend of modern technology like the Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS), Laser, EPAT (shock wave) and therapies that have stood the test of time like cupping and transverse friction massage.

“I have every intention of helping patients detect and correct where they may be blocking recovery by mental and physical tension, bad habits, and the poor health they showed up with if that is the case.”


Low Back Pain Treatment

In this study patients with chronic low back pain who followed cognitive intervention and exercise programs (versus surgery) improved signi?cantly in muscle strength compared with patients who underwent lumbar fusion. In the lumbar fusion group, muscle density (meaning ‘weak muscles’) decreased signi?cantly at L3–L4 compared with the exercise group.1

In addition to exercise therapy for chronic low back pain, current treatments include laser therapy and shockwave therapy for spinal problems, especially when scar tissue has formed. If you have damaged spinal ligaments causing spinal instability or ‘Enthesopathy’ (areas of irritable ligament attachment to bone) a trial of exercise and laser is highly recommended.

Dr. Jeffrey Tucker has created new treatments combining laser therapy, shockwave therapy and exercise to stimulate stem cell activity. Most up-to-date doctors agree that treating back pain patients with conservative care is better than injections or surgery. Doctors that understand how to treat chronic low back pain such as degenerative disc disease, address the problems of spinal ligament instability and scar tissue formation by stimulating the body’s natural ability to regenerate the discs indirectly – decrease spinal stiffness, increase paraspinal muscle activation/strength, and increase hydration in the discs.2 This approach helps decrease pain in the low back.

Please feel free to call my office for a consultation 310-444-9393

  1. Keller A, Brox JI, Gunderson R, Holm I, Friis A, Reikerås O. Trunk muscle strength, cross-sectional area, and density in patients with chronic low back pain randomized to lumbar fusion or cognitive intervention and exercises. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2004 Jan 1;29(1):3-8.
  2. Röllinghoff M, Schlüter-Brust K, Groos D, et al. Mid-range outcomes in 64 consecutive cases of multilevel fusion for degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine. Orthopedic Reviews. 2010;2(1):e3.

Chronic Low Back Pain & Surgery

West Los Angeles Chiropractor

Patients who are thinking about spinal injections or surgery, or have had spinal surgery (fusion, disc procedure, etc.) should see a Chiropractor trained in proper exercise therapy and who uses laser therapy and other new technology such as acoustic wave therapy to improve spinal strength and stability. In addition, scar tissue and muscle atrophy needs to be evaluated and treated. This can help prevent costly and risky injections and surgery.

Why is failed back surgery syndrome so common? Researchers at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University in Japan:

Up to 25% of patients report unimproved or worse pain and up to 40% are not happy with the outcome of lumbar fusion.

The possible reasons for poor results include instrumentation failure, inadequate surgical technique, and poor patient selection.

In patients who had continued pain after back surgery, muscle biopsies revealed:

Atrophy of paraspinal muscles

Loss of muscular support leading to disability and increased biomechanical strain and possibly failed back syndrome.1

In another study researchers found that the muscles adjacent to the fusion (the paraspinal muscles of the lumbar spine) play an important role in recovery. The muscles become weak and unstable after a spinal fusion.2 If those muscles remain damaged or weakened, the spine is unstable and pain persists.2

I can’t say enough about this…Doctors at Oslo University Hospital examined patients who had continued pain 7 to 11 years after spinal fusion. They found reduced muscle strength and density of tissue one year after lumbar fusion: 27% reduction in muscle density.3 Again, patients need a skilled practitioner like myself to help them properly build strength and stability…but I recommend doing this before injections or surgery if at all possible.

1 Ohtori S, Orita S, Yamauchi K, et al. Classification of Chronic Back Muscle Degeneration after Spinal Surgery and Its Relationship with Low Back Pain. Asian Spine Journal. 2016;10(3):516-521.

2 Malakoutian M, Street J, Wilke HJ, Stavness I, Dvorak M, Fels S, Oxland T. Role of muscle damage on loading at the level adjacent to a lumbar spine fusion: a biomechanical analysis. Eur Spine J. 2016 Sep;25(9):2929-37.

3 Froholdt A, Holm I, Keller A, Gunderson RB, Reikeraas O, Brox JI. No difference in long-term trunk muscle strength, cross-sectional area, and density in patients with chronic low back pain 7 to 11 years after lumbar fusion versus cognitive intervention and exercises. Spine J. 2011 Aug;11(8):718-25.


Is Sockwave therapy and laser therapy the right treatment for damaged discs and bulges?

Both Shockwave and laser help damaged disc and bulges by:

  • Stem cell activation: Stem cells are effective in inhibiting disc degeneration and disc herniation. It’s a pretty complex interplay between the stem cells and the immune system cells but the result can be disc tissue regeneration.
  • Stem cell activation: This will promote regeneration of the outer tissue of the disc and help contain and lessen the bulge (scar tissue formation).
  • Stem cell activation:The increased number of cells to the area brings more oxygen to the damaged disc and accelerates healing by reversing the low-oxygen (degenerative or dying) environment in the spine. Everything heals better and faster with increased oxygen.
  • Stem cell activation reduces and prevents herniation by suppressing the non-healing inflammation.

Office phone 310-444-9393

References: Cunha C, Almeida CR, Almeida MI, Silva AM, Molinos M, Lamas S, Pereira CL, Teixeira GQ, Monteiro AT, Santos SG, Gonçalves RM, Barbosa MA. Systemic Delivery  of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells for In Situ Intervertebral Disc Regeneration. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2016 Oct 11. pii: sctm.2016-0033.


Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

One of the therapies I find useful for DDD is shock wave therapy. PiezoWave Pulse Therapy and EnPuls are two of the top brand names in this type of non-invasive treatment. Shock wave therapy changes the degenerative disease environment of the inner spine to a healing environment.

Shock wave therapy stimulates stem cells. When stem cells are stimulated towards the spine or a targeted joint they initially start a line of new communication with the immune system and begin exchanging messages. The stem cells tell the immune cells to call healing factors to the site of damage and to meet them at the points where repair is needed. This is when healing begins.

Using the current research to explain how this change of environment works: When introduced into a diseased joint or spine, stem cells display plasticity and multipotency. This is the ability to change/morph into other cell types and multiply. One of the specific cell types is called Mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) or connective tissue stem cells. These suppress inflammatory T–cell proliferation and provide an anti-inflammatory effect. The shockwave treatment actually stimulates a ‘controlled irritation’ or ‘controlled injury’ that leads to the beginning of the bodies dampening effect on the chronic inflammation.1

 Shockwave therapy also signals the native stem cells and other growth factors to regroup and begin repairing damaged joints.

 Stem cells and the herniated disc

A bulging disc bulges because the soft jelly like nucleus (inner colloid substance of the disc) are able to push through the weakened, damaged outer wall of the disc.

New research suggests that stem cells, without direct injection to the site of disc lesions in the spine, can repair disc lesions by changing the healing environment of the spine.

1 Davatchi F, et al. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for knee osteoarthritis: 5 years follow-up of three patients. Int J Rheum Dis. 2016 Mar;19(3):219-25


Disc Pain: Non-invasive therapy

Does shockwave therapy such as EnPuls and PiezoWave stimulate stem cells in inhibiting disc degeneration and disc herniation? The research and my clinical experience suggest the answer is ‘Yes’. Stem cells can be injected into the area of local damage but this is invasive and costly. We are using EnPuls and PiezoWave pulse therapy and laser (all non-invasive) to stimulate stem cells to interact with the local stem cells and immune system cells to achieve successful disc pain relief and tissue regeneration.


The current theory is that the combination of these non-invasive deep tissue treatments stimulates stem cells that are able to bring more oxygen to the damaged disc and accelerate healing by reversing the low-oxygen (degenerative or dying) environment in the spine. Also inflammation comes in many forms. To keep it simple one type is healing and another type is non-healing inflammation. Research supports stem cells are able to reduce or prevent herniation by suppressing the non-healing inflammation.


Shock wave

Is Shock Wave Therapy Right For You?

My treatment goal is to help you relieve pain as fast as possible. My bigger goal is to help you slow the aging process of muscles, tendons and joints and change the internal environment of the joints from a degenerative condition to a healing condition.

When EnPuls (radial shockwave) therapy or PiezoWave (acoustic waves) is applied to the spine or joints it interacts with the skin, the fascia, the muscles, the blood vessels, nerves, and lymph to cause a mild controlled trauma that will restart the inflammatory and healing cycle. Part of that cycle is stem cell stimulation – the immune cells become ‘re-stimulated’ or ‘re-awakened’ to the site of damage. This will begin or restart the repair process needed.

These newer technologies called ‘shock wave’ are helping the body to re-start the healing cycle, especially if you have had a poor quality of healing take place. Poor quality of healing is probably felt as pain or stiffness in the area of a trauma or where there has been repetitive trauma even after a sufficient amount of time has passed by.


Post-surgical pain

A large part of my practice is made up of post-surgical pain patients. Chronic low grade pain seems to be common in about 1/3 of joint replacement patients and also in patients with scar tissue formation from surgical incisions. Scar tissue or fibrosis is an often overlooked cause of chronic pain and receives little attention from medical institutes.

Chiropractic and physical therapy modalities like cross-friction soft tissue release, laser treatments, and shockwave therapy are the safest interventions to change the chronic pain cycle. The goal is to restore normal motion and decrease pain with movement.

Unfortunately most doctors do not know how to address post-surgical pain without using drug therapy. Doctors lack the knowledge, hands on skills, and time to provide this intervention. If you have post-surgical pain or pain related to an epidural injection, I would like to hear your story and figure out a safe and non-invasive way out of the pain.


Cartilage Pain Treatment

Cartilage is the soft padding that keeps your bones from grinding against each other.

When you’re young, the cartilage between your bones is moist and thick…but as you get older, that soft padding can start to get dry, wear thin or tear. Knee cartilage is meant to be smooth so you can walk, run, and even jump. If you have muscle imbalances this can cause excessive and uneven wear and tear in the joint cartilage.

Over time, friction may develop in the joint and you feel inflammation, burning, discomfort, and pain.

Cartilage pain relief – Patients ask me “Can I regrow and rebuild my joints?” The answer is yes!

I see this happen in patients who get laser and shock wave or pulse wave therapy. You can also make your joints fluid and flexible by decreasing inflammation by losing extra fat if you are overweight. I also recommend water-based “lubrication” supplements that help keep your joints soft and moist. If you need certain exercises I will teach you those.

These new technologies (laser and shock wave) are non-invasive without the pain and risk of costly surgeries or addictive drugs.

Some patients start to feel relief within the first 12-24 hours.

I used this very same procedure of laser and shockwave to help rebuild my knee when I had a meniscus tear years ago. I remember when the radiologist said “You need to go see an orthopedic surgeon”. After seeing the ortho surgeon I decided to use my own machines and it helped me avoid surgery and years of endless pain… and I think it could help you, too.

Laser and Shockwave is the Missing Technology that
Lets Your Body Build MORE Cartilage and Repair Tendons

Call 410-444-9393 for an appointment

We are the only office in West Los Angeles with two types of laser and two types of shock wave devices


Pain Relief in Brentwood

I use two different types of shock wave devices for pain relief in my practice. One is a radial pulse wave (EnPuls) and the other is an acoustic wave (PiezoWave). Both carry energy that can be targeted and focused noninvasively to affect a selected region like the shoulder, hip or foot. When these devices are applied to the soft tissues, the impulses or shock waves interact with the targeted tissues and induce a cascade of biological reactions. This results in the release of growth factors, which in turn triggers new blood vessel formation (neovascularization) of the tissue with subsequent improvement of the blood supply and oxygen to the tissues. This helps healing.
Another effect of shock wave therapy is related to the stimulation of cell proliferation, tissue regeneration, and a process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels called angiogenesis.

The therapeutic effects of shock wave therapy can be used on patients who need pain relief and reduction of inflammation even in cases with diabetes, nerve pain, soft tissue injury, arthritic joint irritation, and healing of bone (2013, Qiu et al; 2013 Liu; 2013 Siegfried).

My practice is located in Brentwood, CA. I can be reached at 310-444-9393.