The statistics are staggering… at some point in their lives, 80 percent of all Americans suffer from back pain. In fact, it is said to be second only to the common cold as the most prevalent affliction to mankind. It almost seems like we should start a club called “Chronic Back Pain Sufferers Anonymous.”
Though it sounds like a joke, it’s really quite serious. Back pain is one of the most common symptoms for which people seek the help of their medical doctor. It can often lead to time out of work, the inability to exercise, depression, decrease in family time and more. And chronic back pain – the ongoing, daily, it-won’t-go-away pain – is even worse. People who suffer from chronic back pain usually suffer from depression, can’t get their everyday chores done, don’t get to exercise properly, and have trouble enjoying the simplest things in life. It is often totally debilitating, depleting one’s sense of self worth and leading to a host of other physical and psychological problems.
Stopping the pain becomes paramount in life. Most people start the process by taking some kind of prescription medication like the “magic three:”anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers and pain killers. The next step is often cortisone injections (or epidurals), followed by a combination of treatments like physical therapy, massage and/or chiropractic.
In their desperate need to stop the unending pain, people may also try acupuncture, decompression therapies and various alternative therapies. Some even try psychotherapy, thinking the problem is “in their head,” when it is usually squarely in their back. Finally, when it seems all other options have been exhausted, they try invasive back surgery and its long and painful recovery period. Unfortunately, statistics show that surgery is not very successful for treating chronic back pain.
But there is a decades-old non-surgical alternative that is unknown to many but quickly gaining popularity: Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA). MUA is exactly what it sounds like: after medical clearance, a patient is given twilight sedation to achieve total relaxation, then adjustments and stretching movements—which would be too painful to do while the patient is awake—are easily, painlessly and quickly accomplished.
MUA, combined with consistent, but simple post-procedure physical therapy and exercise, can totally eliminate or greatly reduce pain and restore or greatly improve range of motion. Plus, MUA procedures are cost-effective…they are thousands of dollars less than traditional surgery and other invasive treatments and are 100% covered by many insurance plans. What’s even greater is that recovery is much faster. MUA patients are usually back to work and the pleasure of living in just a day or two.
Dr. Tony Garrow of Garrow Family Chiropractic, Wall, is an area expert on MUA. A magna cum laude graduate of Life Chiropractic University in Marietta, Georgia, he has an advanced, post-graduate certification in Chiropractic Biophysics Technique, which focuses on postural and spinal rehabilitation. In conjunction with Dr. Mark Schwartz, a respected Doctor of Osteopathic medicine, he has performed this procedure on a multitude of patients and has received amazing results.
“One of our patients was a young mom with two children,” Dr. Garrow says. “For months she suffered from horrible leg pain stemming from her back until we did the MUA procedure on her. She has been about 95% pain free in her leg and back for two years now.” He went on to explain that as a result of the procedure, she is again able to exercise, play with her children and is expecting another baby.
Another of Dr. Garrow’s patients, a 60-plus-year-old landscaper, had so much pain that, “He walked in my office bent over completely and was afraid he would have to quit working. It has been over two years since he had the MUA procedure and he just started another season as a landscaper and he is virtually pain-free.”
MUA is neither new nor experimental. It has been practiced since the late 1930s and used by osteopathic physicians and orthopedic surgeons for many years as a proven form of treatment. During the past eight years, however, interest in MUA has greatly increased thanks to tremendous advances in anesthesiology. Today, MUA is a multi-disciplinary outpatient procedure that takes place in a controlled hospital or ambulatory surgical setting, usually over the course of one to three days. Using specialized chiropractic techniques, supported by the expertise of MDs, RNs and anesthesiologists, MUA achieves maximum results for qualified patients.
MUA is often highly effective on people with chronic neck, back and joint problems caused by long-term disabilities, accidents, and injuries that have not been responsive to conventional treatment. General indications that MUA could be effective include: fibro adhesion buildup, chronic disc problems, herniated disc without fragmentation, chronic myofascitis, intractable pain from neuromusculoskeletal conditions, Torticollis, chronic re-injury, chronic back and neck pain. Chiropractic and physical therapy patients who have reached a plateau using traditional therapy also may significantly improve their quality of life using this effective and non-invasive procedure.
Garrow Family Chiropractic serves people of all ages including children. For a free consultation and MUA informational packet, call Garrow Family Chiropractic at 732-223-1990.