All posts in Low Back Pain

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.
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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.

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Hip & Low Back pain

In a recent study in the journal PMR, (June 2017) a Washington University School of Medicine team found links between the hip and the spine affecting pain and function. The key finding was that hip disease, before it was even evident on an MRI as osteoarthritis, could cause problems in the lower back.The hip was the true disguised pain generator in back pain patients. This is no surprise to me and my patients. Every patient in my office has had a hip evaluation if they present with low back pain. This truly is a case where the science is catching up with what active practitioners have known for years.

What is this research telling us? If you had an MRI of your hip, and nothing presented itself as obvious, then the doctor may chase something in the spine that is not causing the pain.

The link that the researchers are still missing is that tight and immobile hips cause increased dysfunctional motion in the lower lumbar spine and this causes excess rubbing and irritation in the low back.

The same team of researchers, publishing earlier in February 2017 were also able to conclude that physical examination findings indicating hip osteoarthritis (loss of range of motion and acute pain) are common in patients who also have low back pain. A patient presenting with low back pain should be examined for hip osteoarthritis).2

1 Prather H, Cheng A, May KS, Maheshwari V, VanDillen L. Association of Hip Radiograph Findings with Pain and Function in Patients Presenting with Low Back Pain. PM&R. 2017 Jun 16.

2. Prather H, Cheng A, May KS, Maheshwari V, VanDillen L. Hip and Lumbar Spine Physical Examination Findings in People Presenting With Low Back Pain With or Without Lower Extremity Pain. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2017 Feb 3:1-36. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2017.6567.

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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.

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CROSSFIT Chiropractor Los Angeles

You say you want to be like an athlete? Ok, then let me check the range of motion in your breathing patterns, neck, thoracic region, lumbopelvic region, hips, shoulders and feet. I don’t mind if you are slow when you run or workout. I do mind if you are stiff, because that can put you at risk for injury.

Then let me check some ‘isometric hold’ positions of your back side, abdominal side and lateral side muscles. I am more interested in you owning your own body weight then I am interested in how much you can squat, or how much you can deadlift, or bench press. I want to watch you perform body weight squats, deadlifts and perform a push up because I am interested in your movement patterns. These tests are part of a good functional assessment.

If you can demonstrate that you own your body weight in isometric holds and squats, I want you to start thinking about more STRENGTH in everything else. For my CROSSFIT patients this means using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX, sleds, and sandbags, etc. I need you to demonstrate strength and power in every plane of movement both bilaterally and unilaterally.
I work with the general population and crossfit athletes, and give them cutting edge treatments like laser, shockwave, pneumatic cupping, and vibration therapy. I use training tips and methods from how athletes train.

Dr. Jeffrey Tucker is a Diplomate in Chiropractic Rehabilitation and a Sports Practitioner, Certified Chiropractic Soft Tissue Practitioner, PES/CES – NASM, FMS Level 1 & 2 Certified & SMFA Certified, Instrument Assisted Tools Certified and a Performance Health Lead Instructor.

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Knee osteoarthritis: Stem cells vs laser/shockwave therapy

New research continues to establish stem cell therapy as a first line of treatment for athletic joint injuries.

In the Journal of Knee Surgery doctors from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh:

  • Biologic agents (stem cells and blood platelets or PRP therapy) are gaining popularity in the management of bony and soft tissue conditions about the knee. They are becoming the mainstay of nonoperative therapy in the high-demand athletic population.

In my office I use non-invasive laser and shock wave therapy as the first line of treatment of various joint conditions. We are demonstrating improved outcomes following laser and shock wave therapy treatment compared to standard physical therapy modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation. To my knowledge, I am not aware of studies that compare TheraLase laser and Enpuls shockwave or PiezoWave acoustic wave therapy to injection. We are the most experienced Los Angeles chiropractic office for providing non-invasive treatment for early osteoarthritis of the knee, chronic patellar tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis.

  • Early clinical evidence also lends support for PRP in the augmentation of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Research investigating the role of biologic agents in collateral ligament and meniscal injuries is ongoing. Studies assessing the utility of stem cells have shown encouraging results in the setting of osteoarthritis.

Again, I prefer to have patients start with a trial of TheraLase and shock wave therapy especially for knee osteoarthritis instead of spending a lot of money and risk with shots/injections. 

  • I believe the shift is occurring where the volume and quality of evidence continues to grow for biologic agents, and laser/shock wave therapy are poised to become an integral component of comprehensive patient care throughout all orthopedic specialties.2

1 Kopka M, Bradley JP. The Use of Biologic Agents in Athletes with Knee Injuries. J Knee Surg. 2016 May 20. [Epub ahead of print]

2 Filardo G, Perdisa F, Roffi A, Marcacci M, Kon E. Stem cells in articular cartilage regeneration. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research. 2016;11:42. doi:10.1186/s13018-016-0378-x.

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Low Back Pain Chiropractor

 

Chronic low back pain serves no known helpful purpose. “Back pain is complex to diagnose and expensive to treat. The implications of chronic unremitting low back pain on health quality, worker productivity, and social dynamics are marked. As with any area of medicine, inaccurate diagnosis leading to treatments that do not target the underlying disease exposes patients to risk without benefit (University of Minnesota’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery). It is my opinion that patients should exhaust non-invasive treatments before scheduling back surgery. I am not opposed to surgery but (only) approximately 60% of patients derive clinically important benefits from lumbar surgery.”1 The key to success is patient selection and the proper procedure. Failed back surgery syndrome is self-explanatory and all too common.

 

In the August 3, 2016 edition of the New York Times, an important update on back pain was written by author Gina Kolata. She concluded: Surgery was no better than alternative nonsurgical treatments, like supervised exercise and therapy to help patients deal with their fear of back pain. In both groups, the pain usually diminished or went away.

 

As a sports medicine and chronic pain specialist I treat chronic low back pain with a combination of modalities such as TheraLase laser, Light Force laser, EnPuls shockwave therapy, PiezoWave acoustic wave therapy, SCENAR, Ketogenic diet, supplements, ergonomics, and gentle movement. These treatments are being given the new name of “regenerative chiropractic care”. If you have acute or chronic pain you may require stabilizing the spine, but please, first try by non-surgical repair of muscles, tendons and ligaments.

 

1 Polly DW, Cher D. Ignoring the sacroiliac joint in chronic low back pain is costly. ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research: CEOR. 2016;8:23-31. doi:10.2147/CEOR.S97345.

2 Schütz U1, Grob D. Poor outcome following bilateral sacroiliac joint fusion for degenerative sacroiliac joint syndrome. Acta Orthop Belg. 2006 Jun;72(3):296-308.

  1. Shaffrey CI, Smith JS. Editorial: Stabilization of the sacroiliac joint. Neurosurg Focus. 2013 Jul;35(2 Suppl):Editorial. doi: 10.3171/2013.V2.FOCUS13273.
  2. el Barzouhi A, Vleggeert-Lankamp CL, Lycklama à Nijeholt GJ, Van der Kallen BF, van den Hout WB, Koes BW, Peul WC; Leiden-Hague Spine Intervention Prognostic Study Group. Predictive value of MRI in decision making for disc surgery for sciatica. J Neurosurg Spine. 2013 Dec;19(6):678-87. doi: 10.3171/2013.9.SPINE13349. Epub 2013 Oct 18.
  3. Kurosawa D, Murakami E, Ozawa H, Koga H, Isu T, Chiba Y, Abe E, Unoki E, Musha Y, Ito K, Katoh S, Yamaguchi T. A Diagnostic Scoring System for Sacroiliac Joint Pain Originating from the Posterior Ligament.Pain Med. 2016 Jun 10. pii: pnw117. [Epub ahead of print]
  4. Butt AM, Gill C, Demerdash A, Watanabe K, Loukas M, Rozzelle CJ, Tubbs RS. A comprehensive review of the sub-axial ligaments of the vertebral column: part I anatomy and function. Childs Nerv Syst. 2015 May 1. [Epub ahead of print]
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Chiropractic & Inflammation

Dr. Tucker uses natural ways to fight back against inflammation without resorting to risky meds.
For example:

  • Research continues to support a Mediterranean-style diet that can help improve the “quality of life” for arthritis patients. That includes cutting down on red meat, eating more servings of fish and veggies, adding a variety of nuts to your diet and using olive oil almost exclusively in your cooking and meals. Dr. Tucker can also recommend specific vitamins for you to take to help decrease inflammation.
  • Laser therapy — Dr. Tucker has two types of laser treatments to offer for pain relief! This method of treatment is safe and especially useful for inflammation in the neck, shoulders, hips and spine.
  • While exercise may be the last thing you probably feel like doing with an ‘inflammation’ condition, being more active, even small increases in movement have been found to help. One study that looked at over 1,600 adults with arthritis found that just 45 minutes of moderate activity a week was enough to significantly improve their ability to function. Swimming is said to be one of the best exercises you can do, even when you’re having an arthritic flare. Call 310-444-9393 to schedule an appointment.
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Massage – What’s Better?

Laser & DMS Relief from Chronic Pain

When it comes to treating chronic low back pain the traditional treatments have been manipulation, physical therapy, narcotics and surgery. Today the opioid epidemic has many doctors nervous about prescribing drugs like hydrocodone or oxycodone. Surgery hasn’t always worked and has its own risks. Are there other strategies for dealing with chronic pain? An emerging approach is the Theralase laser and deep muscle stimulator (DMS) system along with a comprehensive, ‘get healthy to improve your overall wellness’ program.

Dr. Jeffrey Tucker, a west Los Angeles Chiropractor aims to change the narrative about chronic pain. Chronic pain alienates people socially. It’s difficult for others to be around people in pain. They don’t want to see you suffering and feel irritable, and get strained by little things in life.

While many Chiropractic and Physical Therapy clinics emphasize manipulation, Tucker incorporates diet and lifestyle modification along with appropriate laser therapy to improve overall health. Dr. Jeffrey Tucker in Los Angeles “We aim to help patients take steps that will keep them active and help prevent future episodes. We help motivate patients to do everything they can do to maintain or improve their health.” Tucker helps identify potential risks such as ergonomics, posture, proper weight, eating, and other risky personal behaviors. When it comes to difficult low back pain patients they shouldn’t give up if the pills don’t work. They need to know that there are effective options offered by TheraLase laser and a deep muscle therapist. These treatments can have a major impact on their quality of life. Tucker will discuss what each individual can do to improve his or her life over the next 10 years to make sure he or she doesn’t develop weak muscles, manage weight properly, and other complications that occur as we age. Chronic pain doesn’t mean having surgery until you have tried TheraLase laser and or DMS.

Call 310-444-9393 for an appointment.

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Chiropractor Sports Medicine

Chronic Pain Patients Offered Help

If you have neck or low back pain for more than 3 months that is considered chronic pain. It will be important for you to find a doctor that combines the most recent and relevant treatments to help you. The assumption is that “Doctors want to help patients” but Doctors and patients alike often prefer subtle changes in practice and patient care. In simple terms, Doctors can be slow to adopt new technology that helps improve outcomes and patient care!

TheraLase laser therapy is a relatively new yet effective treatment that can help reduce chronic pain, however, laser devices have been considered expensive to most doctors. For doctors, purchasing a laser has become as simple as buying an old fashioned ultrasound device. For patients, there’s really only one thing you can do. And that’s to go to your doctor, and ask him or her about laser therapy.

Laser is a solution to help chronic back and neck pain sufferers – it may make the lives of many pain sufferers a lot more enjoyable and a lot less debilitating for a fraction of the cost of surgery and spinal injections.

TheraLase – a Canadian based company introduced a laser that may help prevent nerve (radicular) pain through the interruption of the lack of oxygen and blood flow (the ischemic metabolic pathway) to painful tissues; Theralase may interrupt the generation of inflammation and help decrease inflammatory chemicals that have already occurred and be causing chronic pain; TheraLaser may improve reinnervation in chronic nerve pain (radiculopathy).

What Theralase would do is essentially give doctors and chronic pain patients with mild-to-moderate musculoskeletal pain an option for treatment that is relatively inexpensive compared to drugs and surgery.

Dr. Jeffrey Tucker, a Chiropractor in Los Angeles, California combines TheraLase, hands-on massage therapy, diet and exercise as a perfect fit to help chronic pain patients. Tucker says “Laser therapy combines well with physical therapy, for increasing range of motion to stiff and painful joints and muscles, and increasing muscle strength. Doctors often move too slowly to adopt new technology that can help patient outcomes, then patient’s end up on the wrong side of recovery and health”.

Whether you are an athlete or chronic pain patient, you can never give up finding ways to improve performance and progressive thinking is crucial. The most basic drive for doctors to change is when patients go to their doctor’s office and ask about all of the new possible ways for help. Unfortunately if your doctor doesn’t work that way, you as the patient may have to take a detour from that doctor and find a practitioner using new technology like the TheraLase laser. Call 310-444-9393 if you would like a laser session,

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