An Overview of Inversion Therapy ( A Form of Spinal Traction )


Inversion therapy is a treatment that involves anti-gravity. A person’s feet are put into some sort of tight shoes, and the individual hangs upside down in search of pain relief. Does it work? Is it safe?

The theory with inversion treatment is that it reduces gravitational pressure from the spine such as on nerve roots and the disks. The intervertebral disk space is heightened during the anti-gravity therapy. Inversion therapy is in reality a form of spinal traction, with a person’s own body providing the traction.

Inversion therapy has been found to be effective for short term back pain relief. There have been some well designed research studies evaluating it for long term relief. Unfortunately these studies have shown it to be ineffective for longer relief. In conjunction with a comprehensive treatment protocol for back pain including treatment with phoenix chiropractors, inversion therapy may fit in nicely to assist with pain relief.

When people hang upside down for inversion treatment, it may increase blood pressure. So for individuals who have a problem with heart disease or blood pressure, it should not be tried. Otherwise, it looks fairly safe.

The same risk may hold true for glaucoma, which is a condition with elevated intra-ocular pressure in the eye. This may be exacerbated with upside down treatment.

Inversion therapy does not need to include a ninety degree angle, it can be done at less. The treatment may be done twice daily for 20 minutes or so. Those new to the therapy should probably start with a smaller angle, say 30 degrees until comfortable. Most individuals do not need to go beyond 60 degrees for excellent pain relief.

Will inversion therapy help with a bulging disk? Probably not. The inversion will pull arthritic joints and disks apart, allowing individuals to feel symptomatically better for a while. However, it is unlike intermittent traction with spinal decompression treatment where a negative pressure is created inside the disk. This negative pressure pulls in increased oxygen and nutrients to the disc space, allowing for potential healing.

Can inversion therapy help relieve sciatica pain? The answer is potentially yes. The reason is it can in fact pull the discs apart temporarily, which can relieve pain from a pinched nerve. But as mentioned, there is no real evidence that an inversion table sucks back in a herniated disc.

The bottom line is inversion treatment may provide short term relief for back pain, but long term relief has not been proven. The pain from sciatica may also be helped, but same as back pain it’s typically short term.

Preferred Pain Center is a Comprehensive Pain Center including Medical and Interventional Arizona Pain Doctors, Phoenix Chiropractors Treatment, Phoenix Physical Therapy, Spinal Decompression Therapy, and Manipulation Under Anesthesia.

Call (602) 507-6550 for your appointment TODAY!

The 5 Biggest Trends In Pain Management


The field of pain management is changing continuously. In a lot of ways the treatments are getting better, and every once in a while a fantastic new treatment evolves. One of the more significant evolutions, however, has been a better understanding of treating a person’s pain better rather than undertreating or ignoring it.

Here are 5 of the most impressive evolutions (or regressions) in pain management that are currently happening:

  1. Improvement in pain management in Arizona interventions. Over the last few years, there have been some improvements in pain procedure technology that have allowed physicians to get better results. One of these is transforaminal epidural shots. The initial type of epidural injection that was invented was called intra-laminar shots. Now pain docs are able to pinpoint place their needles into the location where the nerve root exits the back, getting the cortisone more accurately where it is needed. Another improvement in pain treatments is with radiofrequency thermal ablation machines. When they were first put on the market, they were only able to treat two areas simultaneously. Now they can do four, reducing the overall procedure time.
  2. Biologic treatments. Regenerative therapy is not just on the horizon, but is becoming reality. There are now injection materials that contain a number of regenerative ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, stem cells, and specific cytokines. This will hopefully show to be helpful in treating arthritis, soft tissue and cartilage injuries, and disc problems.
  3. Disc treatments have gone down. As the research has come out showing that intradiscal electrothermy and percutaneous discectomies have marginal results, their use is decreasing. In addition, there is some preliminary data showing that discography may promote degeneration of the disc. So its use is decreasing as well. The disc is such an enigma with how to treat it. Surgery is a roll of the dice at times, and interventional nonoperative pain treatments are a question mark too. If there is one area that could use a better option, it is degenerative disc disease.
  4. Performing kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty for spine fractures. These treatments are done as an outpatient, and do not involve surgery. They take less than an hour, and can provide quick pain relief for those with compression fractures. More pain management doctors in Arizona are learning how to do them in the pain management field.
  5. Comprehensive spine care centers. As more research comes out showing the benefits of multiple specialists participating in a patient’s care such as chiropractic phoenix az, comprehensive centers are becoming more common. This has benefitted patients tremendously by having more providers with varied backgrounds coming together for the benefit of the patient. Patients can end up needing less narcotics and becoming much more functional.

Preferred Pain Center is a Comprehensive Pain Center including Medical and Interventional Arizona Pain Doctors, Phoenix Chiropractors Treatment, Phoenix Physical Therapy, Spinal Decompression Therapy, and Manipulation Under Anesthesia.

Call (602) 507-6550 for your appointment TODAY!

Does Research Show Massage to be Effective for Health Conditions


Massage in the US is very popular. Approximately thirty percent of Americans receive a massage annually. About 30% of those receiving massages report obtaining one for a health condition such as general wellness, pain management, migraine, or for injury rehab. Over eighty percent of patients agree with the comment that massages may be helpful for health and wellness improvement.

For what health issues has massage therapy shown to be helpful? Here is a list of what the literature has shown good results from massage:

· Cancer related fatigue

· Reducing pain in cancer patients

· Low Back Pain

· Arthritis affecting the knee

· Decrease post-operative pain

· Bumping up the human immune system effectiveness

· Reducing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

· Decreasing blood pressure

· Decreasing frequency of headaches

· Relieving alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Many studies have shown massage therapy to be very helpful for chronic low back pain. In a number of studies, effectiveness has been shown for up to a year. It’s been shown to be better than education, relaxation, and acupuncture, with equivalency to exercises and bracing. Massage was interestingly inferior to TENS unit and spinal manipulation treatment with chiropractors in phoenix. With regards to neck pain, research has not shown definitive conclusions, so it is unclear if in fact massage is truly helpful for benefitting neck pain and function.

For carpal tunnel syndrome, patients routinely showed improvements in pain, grip strength, anxiety, and depression when compared with controls. So there is some preliminary data for the utilization of massage in patients suffering from CTS. Perhaps surgery could be avoided with its treatment inclusion along with chiropractic phoenix az.

With regards to fibromyalgia, massage has mixed results. Some research has shown it to be helpful for pain management doctors in arizona, whereas some has shown only short term or no relief. More research is definitely needed in this field. Fibromyalgia affects patients very differently. Some individuals may not tolerate massage at all, whereas others get a lot of relief from it.

Research into massage for headaches exists, but it is routinely either low quality or limited into how much of a conclusion can be drawn from it. There are some findings showing massage to be superior to acupuncture for migraine headaches. In one study patients had a decreased number of overall monthly migraines along with severity. There is also one study in the literature showing that craniosacral massage may be beneficial for tension type headaches.

Shoulder pain has been looked at in a number of studies, most of which varied tremendously with the types of patients treated. Most patients in these studies showed improvements for range of motion, pain, and functional disability despite having numerous different conditions in the studies. So massage helps considerably with shoulder pain.

Massage should not typically be considered as initial treatment for health issues that are chronic and non-malignant. It should be instituted as a complement to other conventional initial treatments like PT and medications.

Preferred Pain Center is a Comprehensive Pain Center including Medical and Interventional Arizona Pain Doctors, Phoenix Chiropractors Treatment, Phoenix Physical Therapy, Spinal Decompression Therapy, and Manipulation Under Anesthesia.

Call (602) 507-6550 for your appointment TODAY!