Welcome to the Team Health Care Clinic, PC Blog
Non-surgical spinal decompression was introduced to Minnesota by Team Health Care Clinic years ago. Since then, we have continued to successfully perform this treatment protocol for people with back pain with Vertebral Axial Decompression (VAX-D). In our clinic alone, there have been hundreds of patients that were spared surgery by completing VAX-D services.
Since that time we have seen many clinics come and go claiming they have spinal decompression services. It was the “wild west” with even simple traction units being touted as spinal decompression. But what is spinal decompression and how is better or different than simple traction?
Spinal Decompression Reduces Pressure on Lumbar Discs
When it comes to spinal decompression, it’s all about the pressure reduction achieved. Much like gauging the air pressure in a car tire, scientists have been able to measure the pressure on a disc in various positions. What they found is as follows:
Notice that traction does not create a negative pressure on the disc. In other words, traction in the form of inversion tables, intersegmental traction units and many other devices claiming to be spinal decompression, are creating pressure reductions similar to lying down. No negative pressure means no suction effect and that means little chance of decompressing degenerative and herniated discs.
VAX-D is Superior to Others
Non-surgical spinal decompression uses a machine that is proven to create a negative pressure on lumbar discs. There are few, if any, other thank VAX-D. Beware — many will claim they have research that proves negative pressure is achieved. However, when pressed to see the research, a few different schemes are discovered to overstate the research.
One technique is to use VAX-D research as their own. They will show the research only when pressed for it and explain that the copycat device is similar to VAX-D so they claim it as their own.
A second approach is to do research on cadavers. Other than the fact that any positive effect from decompression is too late for these subjects, there are obvious flaws in drawing any conclusions from this research.
Our bodies have receptors that create a stretch reflex when a force is applied to it. For example, if someone is pulling your leg to stretch your hamstring, at some point your muscle will resist the force to avoid injury. In cadavers, this reflex is absent so the researches can apply any distractive force and find erroneous positive results. Don’t be fooled by this scheme.
Be an educated consumer and ask questions before agreeing to proceed with your doctor’s recommendation for non-surgical decompression. Determine how they define “decompression” and ask for research to support their claims.
Finally, investigate its track record and its success rate. Look past splashy marketing and grand claims. Five years ago, the Twin Cities metro was saturated with full page ads for decompression services. Almost 100% of those marketing campaigns were not able to stand the test of time and are now noticeably absent.
Consider VAX-D for non-surgical spinal decompression. It is well researched, has a greater than 15-year track record, and is 80% successful in patients that had failed all conservative treatments. It also has research that confirms it creates negative pressure on the discs of live subjects.
Is it Right for Me?
VAX-D has been a proven “positive negative” for hundreds of our patients. If you have been diagnosed with a lumbar disc degeneration or herniation, consult your provider to determine if VAX-D is right for you.
- September 27, 2017 3:41 pm
Most of our kids have settled into their school routines, which require a greater use of computers and technology than ever before. Team Health Care Clinic’s physical therapists see many patients in our clinic with poor posture from technology use. With today’s technology we have seen a decline in good posture, and an increase in pain– often referred to as “tech neck.” Technology is here to stay, so self-awareness, education, and practicing good posture habits are necessary for our overall health. Posture Good Posture When you are in neutral posture the shoulders are back and the ears are in line with the shoulders and the arms hang at the sides with the palms toward the legs. Poor Posture There is an increased forward curve of the neck that causes the head to move forward. The head is perched forward, the shoulders are rounded and possibly a head tilt or rotation. Effects of Poor Posture The muscles on the front of the neck and the mid back are stretched from the forward movement of the head, and become weak. The muscles on the back of the neck and the front of the shoulders become tight. These muscle imbalances cause neck pain Continue Reading
- October 31, 2017 3:26 pm
You have probably heard the phrase “What a pain in the butt!” There are many for whom this becomes quite literal as they experience pain, numbness, tingling or a combination of these in the buttocks and can also radiate into the back of the leg and even into the foot. These symptoms can have a variety of causes but one less common one is Piriformis Syndrome. The piriformis is a flat band-like muscle in the buttocks that originates just above your tailbone(sacroiliac region) and attaches to the top portion of the femur or upper thigh bone. With overuse from things such as long distance running, prolonged sitting, dehydration or even electrolyte abnormalities the piriformis muscle may spasm. The sciatic nerve is nearby which can be affected by the muscle spasm and nerve irritations cause symptoms such as numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot. One way to help a muscle in spasm is to gently stretch it out. To stretch the piriformis, lay on your back with your knees bent. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and pull right knee up towards chest angled towards left shoulder. Repeat other side. Other conditions Continue Reading
- November 9, 2017 3:04 pm
It is has been known for some time that being overweight has an impact on and is related to developing conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study showing that being overweight or obese gives one a greater chance of getting 13 different types of cancer. The CDC was able to make a statistical analysis of cancer and overweight/obesity trends between the years 2005 and 2014. Here’s what they found: Being overweight or obese is associated with increased risk of 13 different types of cancer. Overweight and obesity related cancer accounted for 40% of all cancers diagnosed in 2014. About 55% of cancers diagnosed in women and 24% of those diagnosed in men are related to being overweight or obese. The incidence of overweight and obesity related cancers increased significantly in adults during the 2005-2014 period. The list of cancers includes cancer of: breast, colon, kidney, endometrium, thyroid, pancreas, multiple myeloma, ovary, esophagus, stomach, gallbladder and meningioma. The definition of overweight was a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 24.9. As part of our regular care at Team Health Care Clinic we conduct an evaluation of body composition, including BMI. Our providers Continue Reading
- November 21, 2017 3:44 pm
Getting nervous or anxious is so common that nearly everyone will experience it at some time in their life. However, when anxiety is so severe or frequent that it begins to interfere with one’s life, it should be evaluated for the cause. Our providers diagnose and treat patients with anxiety regularly. In today’s post, we review some common symptoms and causes of anxiety along with a lesser-known treatment option: neurofeedback. What is Anxiety? Anxiety related disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the US, comprising an estimated 40 million adults. The following are a partial list of some of the more common early symptoms: A worrisome nature Sleeping difficulty Irrational Fears Self consciousness Stomach problems Tight muscles Rapid breathing/pulse Self doubt Diagnosing Anxiety There are many helpful questionnaires that can assist one in determining if they have anxiety. Whenever possible, I like to use a test called Qualitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) to help me identify anxiety in my patients. QEEG is a painless, non-invasive test that measures the electrical activity in the brain at 19 locations. Much like an EKG for the heart, abnormal patterns can be identified. The QEEG pattern most associated with anxiety is too much beta Continue Reading
- December 12, 2017 3:17 pm
At Team Health Care Clinic in Champlin, MN our team sees clients daily that have trouble with balance. Physical therapists offer many different techniques to treat balance with attention to your specific needs. Trouble with balance makes it difficult for people to hold themselves upright and steady when they are trying to walk, stand and even sit. Although the risk of having poor balance increases with age, balance issues are common in every age group. What causes loss of balance? There are 4 areas that help our bodies control balance: Vision Inner ear (vestibular) Proprioception and muscle control Brain – coordinates all of these systems to help us maintain our balance. Medical conditions and lifestyle factors may contribute to a loss of balance, including: Poor joint mobility Muscle weakness Inner ear problems Medications Sedentary lifestyle Medical conditions such as a Stroke or Parkinsons’ disease Poor Balance: What does it feel like? A person with a balance issue may feel swaying, dizziness, vertigo, tripping, stumbling, and many times touching walls and furniture as they walk. Balance can be fine in a static position doing just 1 thing at a time. But when you try dynamic movements with multiple tasks, such as Continue Reading
- January 8, 2018 3:31 pm
What can be more natural than using your own body’s natural healing properties to stimulate healing? Instead of taking drugs or another artificial means of treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma makes use of your body’s natural ability to heal itself. By concentrating healing properties and applying them directly to injured tissue, we can initiate or speed up healing in a previously unresponsive tissue or joint. At our mutli-specialty wellness clinic, we have seen an explosion of interest in Platelet Rich Plasma procedures and we’re excited to offer another treatment option that supports our mission of natural healing. Our patients have experienced fantastic results since we began offering Platelet Rich Plasma in mid 2017. PRP treatment requires a 2-step procedure: Harvesting and Administration The PRP is harvested initially by drawing blood from the patient’s own body and spinning it down in a high-speed centrifuge. This divides the blood into red blood cells at the bottom and plasma at the top of the tube. In the middle is a thin layer of platelet rich plasma that contains super concentrated healing constituents such as growth factors, cytokines, and platelets. These goodies are then carefully extracted and drawn into a tube, ready to be injected Continue Reading
- February 13, 2018 3:22 pm
People often ask me, “How do I know if my brain is degenerating?” At Team Health Care Clinic, we take the health of the brain as seriously, if not more, than any other aspect of the body and of one’s health. In many areas of our body, pain will help indicate when something is wrong. Pain is not the primary means of how the brain exhibits dysfunction and thus it shows up in other ways. Common signs of brain degeneration include depression or fatigue as a result of brain-related activity, such as reading or driving. Even when these signs aren’t apparent, degeneration may still be occurring. Having a better understanding of what each part of the brain does leads to a better understanding of what degeneration of that area may look like. Where does brain degeneration occur? Let’s review the two most common regions that we see degeneration in the brain occurring in our practice. Frontal Lobe The frontal lobe sits behind the forehead and is the largest lobe of the brain. This area of the brain is what separates humans from other animals, as it gives us personality. It allows us to suppress impulses such as violent tendencies and socially Continue Reading
- February 19, 2018 3:34 pm
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been popular for treating joint pain, but there are other conditions that we treat with PRP at Team Health Care Clinic. After we saw how effective PRP could be for our patients with knee pain, tennis elbow, arthritis and other joint pain, our medical team decided to explore some of the lesser known uses for PRP. Research has shown that PRP can be used for conditions such as dry eyes, chronic sinus congestion, and acne. In today’s blog, we take a look at how PRP can help people suffering with these conditions. What is PRP? Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a regenerative medicine derived from your own blood. It is obtained by drawing your blood and spinning it in a special device to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. By separating it in this way we can get concentrated levels of your own platelets, growth factors and other ingredients which stimulate a healing process. We then take all those concentrated ingredients and use them to supercharge your healing ability. What are some of the lesser-known conditions that can be treated with PRP? PRP is an all-natural treatment option for people who suffer from Continue Reading
- February 27, 2018 6:35 pm
Non-surgical spinal decompression was introduced to Minnesota by Team Health Care Clinic years ago. Since then, we have continued to successfully perform this treatment protocol for people with back pain with Vertebral Axial Decompression (VAX-D). In our clinic alone, there have been hundreds of patients that were spared surgery by completing VAX-D services. Since that time we have seen many clinics come and go claiming they have spinal decompression services. It was the “wild west” with even simple traction units being touted as spinal decompression. But what is spinal decompression and how is better or different than simple traction? Spinal Decompression Reduces Pressure on Lumbar Discs When it comes to spinal decompression, it’s all about the pressure reduction achieved. Much like gauging the air pressure in a car tire, scientists have been able to measure the pressure on a disc in various positions. What they found is as follows: Notice that traction does not create a negative pressure on the disc. In other words, traction in the form of inversion tables, intersegmental traction units and many other devices claiming to be spinal decompression, are creating pressure reductions similar to lying down. No negative pressure means no suction effect and that Continue Reading
- March 22, 2018 3:07 pm
Inflammation has been a buzzword in recent years as researchers have continued to find links between inflammation and symptoms like headaches, fatigue, memory loss, brain fog and many more. In previous blogs, we have talked about the three needs of a neuron, or brain cell. These include glucose, oxygen, and stimulation. Your brain cannot branch out and make new connections unless it receives proper stimulation to specific areas, and to do this, you must provide the proper chemical environment for those cells to do so. This means having an adequate oxygen supply, and just as importantly, a proper glucose (blood sugar) response. So, what happens when blood sugar levels are too low or too high? How can this lead to inflammation? And what can I do to prevent this from happening? Blood Sugar Imbalances One of the most important things you can do for your brain is to maintain stable blood sugars. When blood sugar is chronically low, it’s called hypoglycemia. On the flip side, if blood sugar is too high, it’s called hyperglycemia or insulin resistance. Common Symptoms of Hypoglycemia Feeling agitated or nervous Eating to relieve fatigue Becoming light headed if meals are missed Increased energy after meals Cravings for sweets Continue Reading
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