The old idiom "that's a pain in the neck" couldn't be more true when you actually have a pain in your neck. Whether the pain is there or in your back, arms, hands, legs or feet, the culprit could be a herniated or degenerated disc in your cervical spine.
Luckily, medical technologies exist today that can correct these cases non-surgically – Atlas Orthogonal, spinal decompression and class IV cold laser therapy. Dr. Rick DiGregorio of AO Spinal Care is the only board-certified Atlas Orthogonist in the Charleston area who has brought these three non-surgical options together under one roof.
In a simple, painless procedure, Dr. DiGregorio uses a special instrument called an Atlas Orthogonal. He takes very specific digital images of the neck and derives a formula that is as unique to you as your fingerprint. This formula is then used to set the stylus on the table to make your specific correction.
"Specific Atlas work has stood the test of time for almost 100 years, but very few people know what it means, though Atlas Orthogonal was recently featured on ESPN's '30 for 30' with ex-Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon. With just the Atlas Orthogonal procedure, there are so many other health problems that I've seen results with, like migraines, vertigo, high blood pressure, low back pain, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia and trigeminal neuralgia, to name a few," he continued.
AO Spinal Care also offers non-surgical spinal decompression therapy.
"Non-surgical spinal decompression is a non-invasive treatment for patients who suffer from bulging or herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome or failed back surgeries," he explained. "Through the stretch and release protocols of the decompression procedure, negative pressure is created in the disc over time, and the vacuum effect draws any herniated disc material back into the disc. By relieving pressure in the spine, circulation increases and is a vital aid in the healing process. Inversion therapy – hanging upside down – is used by some, but that can only create an insufficient positive pressure. Instead, the patient lies comfortably on a decompression table, which gently separates based on a computer algorithm which changes its settings 10,000 times per mm and decompresses intradiscal pressure to negative levels that allow for proper retraction."
High power class IV cold laser therapy is another non-invasive option. Its light energy penetrates deep within the tissue and accelerates cellular metabolism, decreases nerve sensitivity and reduces the perception of pain, resulting in decreased inflammation and reduced level of edema. Laser therapy accelerates the healing of muscles, tendons, ligaments and even bone. Clinical evidence supports that class IV cold laser therapy can resolve soft tissue, back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis (tennis elbow), plantar fasciitis and neuropathic pain.
"Today, the photon energy is so efficient that treatment has been reduced to five to 10 minutes," Dr. DiGregorio continued. "When you can introduce 9,000 joules of energy in five minutes, it energizes the cells and increases their activity, which can do wonders for your body."
If you have a pain in your neck – or back or extremities – don't let a surgical solution become another pain in your neck. Non-surgical solutions such as Atlas Orthogonal, spinal decompression and high-power class IV cold laser therapy treatments can help you get your life back.