The Spinal Stenosis Myth


The Current Spinal Stenosis Theory Is Usually Wrong

By Dr. Rick Morris

My spinal stenosis was diagnosed in the summer of 2007. The back pain and leg weakness had conspired to prevent me from working as a urologic surgeon. I was at first treated with physio-therapy which actually worsened the situation. The next step recommended was epidural injections of steroids which helped at first but only temporarily. I researched the results of surgery for this condition and decided against the different approaches as the results were not patient-favorable. At the beginning of the year 2008, my pain had caused me to rely on narcotic drugs for relief. I was essentially a homebound cripple. ...His (Dr. Morris') history taking and physical diagnosis were exemplary. As a physician myself, I appreciated the expertise and time he spent …. I began the Dr. Morris treatment plan in March, and by July I had given up my walker, went to the YMCA for pool exercises, and followed Dr. Morris' exercise and diet plan. At the conclusion of the treatments, my pain had disappeared. My admiration for Dr. Morris and his staff is beyond words. He gave me my life back. --John Grant, MD Urologic Surgeon

What Really Causes Spinal Stenosis

Most patients with Spinal Stenosis are told by their doctors that their bony spinal canal is too small for their nerves and spinal cord This is usually false. As you'll see from the MRIs below, the spinal canal is most frequently narrowed at the level of the disc, not behind the vertebrae itself.

These three MRIs (taken from the side) are patients with Spinal Stenosis. Notice how the spinal canal (the white tube running vertically near the middle of the spine) is narrowed directly behind the disc and not behind the vertebrae itself. This type of stenosis is the most common and responds very well to our protocol.

Which Type of Spinal Stenosis Responds Best To Treatment

According to a recent study performed on patients in our spinal stenosis center, the patients with compression behind the disc (called Discogenic Stenosis) responded very welll to our spinal stenosis decompression program even though they previously failed surgery, injections, physical therapy and chiropractic (research abstract available upon request).

You can probably determine that your spinal stenosis is "Discogenic" by noticing that your pain can be relieved by just getting off your feet or by sitting and bending forward. These positions enlarge the space between the vertebrae and show that lengthening the spaces between the vertebrae can be effective. Our treatment is designed for these patients.

What Type of Spinal Stenosis Responds Best To Surgery?

Narrowing of the canal that is centered directly behind the vertebral body (not at the level of the disc) often does not respond to our protocol and is termed Bony vertebral Stenosis. This type of stenosis rarely improves with sitting and bending forward postures and may benefit more from surgery.

Unfortunately, few doctors differentiate between these two types of stenosis and treat them the same. We distinguish between the various types and recommend the exact treatment that’s right for you. Few places in the world have as much expertise or experience with this condition.

What's Involved in The Spinal Stenosis Decompression Program?

The Spinal Stenosis Decompression Program is unlike any other spinal decompression program. It combines several forms of treatment over a three to five month period in a very precise fashion:

  1. Extensive and specific physical therapy targeted at lengthening shortened back muscles, scar tissue and soft tissues that compress and shorten the spine.
  2. Spinal alignment therapies using many aspects of physical medicine (including chiropractic techniques) to maximize the diameter of the spinal canal.
  3. strengthening program designed to keep the spinal canal open against the weight of gravity.
  4. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression, using the DRX 9000 Spinal Decompression Device, to reduce the size of disc herniations and protrusions and to increase the blood supply to the disc so that it can heal. The DRX 9000 creates a negative pressure within the disc that’s nearly three times as great as spinal traction.
  5. Rehabilitation, including computerized, weight, home and gym training designed to maintain an adequate spinal canal.

Has Our Approach Been Studied?

As previously mentioned, we’re involved in a multi-year spinal stenosis study and hope to improve the ineffective spinal stenosis protocols most frequently used today.

The results have thus far been very impressive and are as follows:

  • 84% of the most severe low back pain patients not responsive to other forms of therapy (including injections, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy and surgery) significantly improved from our center’s treatment protocol.
  • The average pain scale dropped from a 7.7 (out of 10 , which is the worse pain possible) to 2.2.
  • Signs of nerve damage reversed itself…70% of the time the patient’s reflexes returned and 40%of the legs and feet that had loss sensation, regained their feeling.
  • Most patients were able to stand and walk significantly longer and needed less or no pain medication.
  • ß The patient’s appeared to maintain their improvement well into the follow-up period (2-3 years later).

If you have spinal stenosis you must be evaluated by our center and see if your condition can really be helped, not just “numbed-up.” Is surgery necessary or is it not recommended in your condition. These answers must be answered.

For those who’ve gone through our program and are currently walking and standing much longer (without the handfuls of medications) and whose lives are drastically improved, share this information with others who are not being treated properly and watching their lives deteriorate.

Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc.
2428 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 305
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: 310-451-5851
Fax: 310-458-0051
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