Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is There a Cure for Herniated Disc?

In short, probably not. But in reality there are few very serious illnesses that are truly eradicated as much as controlled. And every case is different. Everyone reacts differently to different treatments. In my case I was fortunate. My problem turned around. I think basically everything was thrown at my problem at once (besides surgery): anti-inflammatories, painkillers, Lyrica, sleeping pills, natural vitamin supplements and finally the epidural. Conventional wisdom would suggest that some measure of healing of the herniation took place as result of the epidural as predicted by the doctors performing the procedure. Three shots were scheduled. I only needed two. My case is actually the minority.

Honestly I think my body and mind went into shock after all this and I sunk about as far as I could go and I came out of it, realizing after the smoke cleared that I no longer had pain or parasthesia in my right arm. It could also be that I ceased all aggravating activities such as playing music for about 2 months. I also got a new ergonomic chair and laptop at work. The one thing I did gain was an appreciation for the delicacy of the human body. I had always sort of prided myself on never needing to visit the doctor, having few illnesses looking pretty good for my age and generally carrying on my life with little attention to the typical common sense lifestyle restrictions in terms of diet, exercise and sleep. I felt like I could do it all and that my body would recover. I learned my lesson.

I still have issues. For example I still have these killer knots in my neck. And I've developed the somewhat unseemly habit of futzing with them all the time. It has become somewhat of an unconscious habit, despite my rational knowledge that my efforts to reduce the knots by massage have zero success. In my quest to solve my problem I've run across several things so in the interest of sharing my knowledge I will list them here:

1. Surgery

I have yet to see a definitive figure on what the success rate of surgery. As mentioned in prior quotes, some as low as 16%(Dr. Ron Daulton quoting back issues of the medical journal, Spine). Others as high as 95%. Probably the issue is defining "success" is the problem, including the duration of the benefit. Anecdotally, I have come across the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of opinion as well. A comment poster to my blog mentioned having gone thru the procedure 10 years ago and is still is thankful of having done it. On the other end, one of the doctors on the epidural team was giving me counsultation prior to the injection, and told me that the likelihood is that the epidural shot's benefit would likely be temporary and that all treatments, including surgery eventually give way to a recurrence of disc trouble and related issues. For a look some of the surgery options view my prior blog entry

2. Dr. Ron Daulton, Jr.

Most people will encounter Dr. Daulton through the Internet in a video, Heal Your Bulging Disc. As mentioned he is not a big fan of the surgery option. I paid for his $79 pdf course. Not to denigrate the knowledge he offers, but there is quite a bit of cross selling and even a bit of Dr. Ron PR requests that take place very early in the process. There are two things at the core of his method: multi faceted approach and that essentially the disc heals slowly on its own (in theory). Let me explain the latter part. Essentially, this means that the disc like other parts does have the capacity to mend itself but given the blood flow to this area is less than other typical parts of the body, the rate of healing is so slow that no one could possibly recommend doing nothing for years. Throw in the contribution of daily stress and the detrimental habits and physical activities, the ability to solve this is about as promising as paying your credit card off with a minimum payment. In terms of the method, he uses daily routines that include swelling reduction using ice(as opposed to heat),specific exercise with a medicine ball, stretches, strengthening, dietary changes, specific natural medicines and various treatment recommendations including: chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, inversion table therapy and cold laser surgery to name a few. There is also an interesting section on the physical manifestations of emotional health captured by a special photographic technique (I believe it's based on Kirlian aura photography but I will double check that). Essentially this is throwing everything at the problem. I personally was not able to follow all the recommendations and commitments(including a few financial ones - if your were to follow them to the letter).


I will continue more with this on my next blog.

22 comments:

  1. I came across your blog while looking for a review on Daulton's book. You ended by writing, you couldn't "follow all the recommendations and commitments". Did you find it helpful regardless? I've tried damn near everything but surgery and am curious if you'd think i was just throwing money more money away by Buying the book- it's $99. Your article is helpful- thanks.
    -evan

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  2. Hey John, you should talk to a lady in san Francisco named Jean Couch. She is the founder of a group called the Balance Center. They deal with realigning the spine through natural remedies and have seen a lot of success. There is also a specialist at the center who is a pianist and deals with musicians from what I've heard. It might be worth looking into. I know they also have connection with a center in paris that Jean's teacher is affiliated with. Hope this helps.

    - Jeff Swanson

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  3. Dr. Ron Daulton Jr. professes how he will return his items however I am experiencing the real truth in that. After not receiving the book through the UPS service, I have asked Dr. Ron to call UPS upon their recommendation to set up a tracing on the delivery so I could prove there was no delivery and he refuses to do it. I am not a happy customer and he is not a very compassionate Dr. if he could not help me do this. I was away on vacation for 5 days after the delivery and it was not on my doorstep. Now I have no book and NO REFUND!!! Thanks Dr. Ron!!

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  4. Hi, have just had my neck prolapse relapse 3 weeks ago due to bad lifting/posture after having a baby combined with stupidly doing a few situps. I got rid of it the first time after two cortizone injections and doing some of Dr Ron's stuff = bouncy ball, mini trampoline and adding a bit of overdoor traction someone else recommended. It got better after 5 months. But maybe it would have on its own? This time round after seeing my physio, I've realised how weak the disc is even a year on – my neck felt fine until I woke up with usual aches and pains. So be warned...! I believe my bad posture/lifting methods/looking down at laptop etc are dangerous habits I need to change as my disc was pushed over the edge really easily (of course you have to take in to account post pregnancy back weakness too). Dr Ron does say that discs take 2-5 years to heal (which I forgot) so he could be right on many things - as well as clearly a man who wants to make money. Helen

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  5. Well, yes it is a business. I'm sure he's greatly expanded his earnings by going beyond his geography. In terms of what exactly the cure is. Well that's just it. The more you try, the more you might have some possibilities for success but then isolating what the best remedy was in hindsight becomes more difficult.
    And I would agree that it's difficult to determine what might've cured itself by doing absolutely nothing. I think the trick is being able to just do that. No lift heavy stuff, not be tied to a computer, eat and sleep well etc.

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  6. Thank you for your entry! I was talking to my husband about buying this book but didn't know if I wanted on-line or the book itself.

    I have 3 herniated disc's in my lower back and 2 herniated disc's in my neck. I've been through the epidural shots, they burned the nerves and since those didn't work they installed a stemulator in my body to help "block the pain". All of this was for my lower back. The stemulator helps but I'm still on pain pills, muscle relaxers, anti infamitories, and several other meds. for other issues. I still get to where I can't walk. The last time was for over 3 months. I was really hoping for a cure. It stink's living in pain. I don't even turn 40 until 2/2/11. I've been dealing with this since I was 18. Not to the extent it is now. But that is when it started. When I cleaned I would feel something kind of pop out. I'd have to lay down and move my lower body a bit and I would feel it click back in place. It's just much worse now.

    Thank you for being honest and saving me the funds I do not have to spend!!!

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  7. Hi guys!

    Found this blog while browsing the internet. I did in fact buy the ebook plus the book came in the mail and I haven't started it but I promise to report back in the next few weeks. I also emailed Dr. Daulton because I was skeptical and I am pleased to report he responded very quickly to every single one of my emails like he promised he would and gave me some good advice. Don't know if his suggestions will work but I have to try something and a lot of what he says does make sense.

    Just recently got an Epidural because my friend is a Neurologist and recommended it because that was the only way to bring down the inflammation.

    So far the injection has helped but since yesterday I started getting a headache but my doc warned me that would happen. Got the ESI on Tuesday and I have felt so much better but I am due for two more shots next week. He told me to do all three at once but I was terrified. This was not even close to as bad as what I have read on the net but I guess everyone is different.

    Hope that all of you find relief in our lives because back pain is the worse. My wife and I just had a baby about six months ago and I feel like she is doing everything for us the past two weeks.

    Rich

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  8. Dear Rich:

    Thank-you for posting your story. Please stay in touch and give us an update sometime in the future. We would love to have a real live case study of the Daulton method to compare. That said, once other methods get mixed in (ie the epidural) then it becomes more difficult to determine the source. For example my case (knock wood) has been fine since I had 2 epidural shots. This is in fact supposed to be more rare. One thing they did tell me though, (which I have not seen so much from the Internet resources until researching recently - see below) is that there is some potential for resorption (i.e. reversal) of the herniation with an epidural. In terms of side-effects. In my particular case I had some mental effects with the epidural although the doctor could not tell for certain whether it was that or all the drugs I was taking or combination, including the sleep medication, Ambien (which has known pychological effects).

    Below is a study on the possible reversals of herniated disc:

    http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/herniated-disc/can-herniated-discs-reduce-size-or-resorb

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  9. Hello I was just searching to see if I could find a cheaper version of Dr Ron's book. My husband is suffering from a herniated disc and his main pain is down his right leg. I presume the disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve. After reading the above blogs I have decided not to buy the book. I am sure there is lots of useful info in it but a lot of that can be found free on the internet. Any advice for pain in the knee most welcome. Also any other simple exercises, already using trampette and physio ball (physio ball least painful)
    Unfortunately my husband is self employed so is earning nothing at the moment
    Thanks in anticipation
    Bernadette

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  10. Ah- my people! So glad to have my husband forward this blog to me. April 30 had my C7 rupture. Only now - 3 weeks later do I have the energy to begin to circle the wagons and hone in on a healing plan. Was supposed to have surgery - but canceled after my 2nd opinion with a neurosurgeon with 25 years experience told me all the reasons not to...which were:
    -based on how I was feeling post "explosion" - I was feeling much better, not the kind of pain I had been experiencing for 3 weeks prior to the rupture, that in fact the body was beginning to heal itself (reabsorption)
    -only16% of the surgeries performed were truly necessary and from that number it is still not guaranteed to "cure" the problem.
    -had I done the surgery it was through the front - and he highly discouraged this method, that if I were to have the surgery, that it poses too many extra potential problems. (5% of those who have this surgery forever have issue swallowing, it feels as if something is stuck in the throat and other potential issues with the esophageal nerve) He also said he had done many of these types of surgeries and it was from his years of experience that he has opted to no longer do it this way.

    So - no surgery, but now what? I have decided to leave my chiropractor that I've had a relationship with for 6 years, was being treated while it was fully bulging but he (and another veteran chiro) BOTH missed my obvious symptoms- which then lead to the rupture, which face it, is almost like having pins stuck into my eyes! Those missed symptoms being: Left arm nerve pain, severe stabbing pain behind scapula, between both scapula and neck pain.

    Anyway - Dr. Ron hovers in my brain - yes it's a hundred bucks, but not $350 - and just the fact that he says it is a "2-5 year healing process if done correctly" gives me some HOPE.. Which I have lacked until I saw these words. It is $58 per visit to past chiro - what the hell.
    I am going to go for an Ortho-Bionomy session and will keep others posted if it seems to assist in a healing direction. (http://www.wholisticlifecenter.com/ortho-bionomy.html)
    I am looking for a softer approach to healing. Also, I am a yoga teacher and will probably have a few privates with a highly knowledged yoga theraputics instructor.
    Still - think I will get Ron's book - become a displaced person and see if his program works.
    thanks to everyone who blogged here - such a great support for those of us looking for some ways to heal. Much gratitude to all - thanks Jimmy.

    Jnana

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  11. see also this recent alternative follow up post

    http://otherraneyday.blogspot.com/2011/05/daulton-jr-heal-your-bulging-disc.html

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  12. HI guys..
    I too came across this blog whilst researching Dr Ron Daulton Jr and since hearing what he had to say I came away feeling optimistic.
    I have been recently diagnosed with a cervical hernia and from the MRI scan looks as though there are 3 there!
    I live in France and was given NO help in understanding what was going on in there. So after hours and hours of research, some good , some bad I was none the wiser.
    I was looking for what exercises you can do to help.
    I found that some chin tucks (slowly) 10x for 2 secs 5x a day followed by shoulder squeezes 10x for 5secs 5x a day was meant to help.
    It has reduced the NOISE I get when i turn my head and after having 3 sessions with an Osteopath here my pins and needles down my right arm reduced 98%!!!.. However, since the MRI scan I feel my neck has just seized giving me pulsing and a sense of someone having just been whacked round the back of the head. Pre MRI scan... none of this..
    Is allot of it psychosomatic?
    The thing is... I digressed... I have tried to buy this book first time putting my card details through and it being rejected.. asking for it the second time made me feel dubious.. So i then have tried to call using the toll number.... the answer phone just says they are out of hours...Its well into the afternoon there now.
    Anyway... I have to remain positive..I feel quite alone out here and want to believe that positive visualisation, EXERCISES..PLEASE HELP SOMEONE!! and if i do get to finally purchase this book go through the motions.
    However, living in France is not exactly living in the USA and so from what i gather some of the treatments will not be available here for me.
    Pre all this my life was very active.. now being only 41yrs I feel i have gained 20yrs..being careful to do anything!!
    Its nice to have some people out there to talk to..
    Thanks x

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  13. Daulton makes claim of 86% success. That would mean that out of 100 MRIs 86 would show a resolution of the disk herniation. Ron Daulton has no proof. What he needs to do is get 200 patients with disk herniation and do his "magic" on 100 of them and use the other as a control before he can make those extraordinary claims. Remember folks, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Daulton has shown no scientific proof.

    There is something that "heals" disks and cartilage. It is called autologous mesenchymal stem cell therapy. Stem cells are harvested from the patient and injected into the damaged disk with platelet rich blood and the disks in many people regenerate.

    Sadly the US is about 20 years behind the times in orthopedics and orthopedic surgery. The FDA is keeping nucleus populsous implants and the best disk implants out of the hands or US surgeons and as a result many Americans are going overseas to GB, Germany India and Brazil for the American M6 and the Neo Disks.

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  14. can somebody send me dr rons ebook at my mailid: zixenus@gmail.com I dont wanna buy this book before trying it out, sorry its the same chicken and hen story, but too many frauds in cyber space, would any kind hearted person please email the book to me?

    kind regards,
    zix

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  15. If someone could email me the ebook also I would be very grateful! lukeahcollins@hotmail.co.uk

    Thanks in advance! :)

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  16. Please if that kind hearted person would mail or email the Dr's ebook I would be eternally grateful. address: Wellness Center
    Memorial Hermann North East
    18951 Memorial North
    Humble, Texas 77338
    or andrea.walker@memorialhermann.org

    Thank you so much. If I can help someone heal and exercise to better their daily experience I would like to review and implement the techniques in the doctors book to evaluate them . thanks again .

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  17. I too suffer from 3 herniated discs (L3-L5) and would greatly appreciate it if someone could send me their copy of the ebook for I am a broke college student. I am only 20 and it feels like Im 80! I want this book so bad so that I can try it out because I still have a lot of life ahead of me, and I dont want it to go to waste. My email is hafiders_101@live.com

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  18. Hi there, if someone could also forward the e-book to me that would be great. I have spent thousands on treatments over the last five years and to no avail. I'm slow to keep throwing money at the problem when I don't know if it will work! :(
    maevesaddress@gmail.com
    Thanks.

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  19. This book and this thread have peaked my interest in finding a solution to my lower back problems.
    I am 33 years old but feel like I have the back of an 80 year old man.
    When I was 25 years old I injured my lower back. It got so bad after 3 months of simple "rest" that I couldn't even walk. It took took another three months of chiropractic manual manipulations and stimulations to bring the pain down. I've been almost 7-8 years without issue until recently where it has relapsed after some months of strenuous work for my job (I'll also admit to being in poor shape the past few years). It's now been 4 months of continual pain of various degrees, and I'm severely limited in what activities I can participate in. Just moving around the house causes pain. I've spent over $2000 beyond what my good health insurance covered at the chiropractor for spinal decompression and traction (42 visits), and I've spent over $1000 for physical therapy, but after all of this, I'm not significantly better off, however stretches do help temporarily to some extent. I recently went to an orthopedic spine specialist and had an MRI done and it looks like two compressed and bulging discs. They prescribed anti-inflammatory meds and more P.T.

    I'd be interested in trying the methods in this book, because as it stands now, the future of my back looks pretty grim..

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  20. Folks, this is Jon Raney the author of this blog. My primary focus of my blogging is my own site which is more music related. I created this alternative blog to not confuse my "message". But I rarely check on it this blog.

    Frankly I'm amazed at the traction of this one post that I made over two years ago. Normally speaking I would create a new post trying to direct people that google "herniated disc" or "Ron Daulton". And I have done so, several times. But because of google, people are always directed back here. So those of you seeking more information should review some of the other posts I have made on this blog. In summary the posts cover:

    1. How I WON'T give a preview of the information contained in Ron Daulton's book due to legality and breach of copyright

    2. some possible alternatives

    3. Common sense reasoning behind herniated disc

    4. How that I personally never followed thru on all the treatments recommended in the Daulton pdf

    5. How my problem was cured by epidural shots to the cervical herniated disc spot c6 c7

    6. How (and perhaps many of you would think this a little rude) if you are curious about the Daulton book GO Buy IT! like I did. Many of you claim to spend so much money. Another $100 will not break you. All treatments involve risk. Current medical treatments are more costly and more risky. The science is just not up to this task in my opinion.

    7. Common sense Fact. If you have problems with herniated disc think of it like an injury. I am absolutely convinced that this is brought on by a particular overuse or overactivity on a prolonged basis that is not natural for the body. The spinal discs are at the center of your body. It's not an appendage. Therefore it is extremely difficult to heal it because it is always involved in your activities. You must do what you can to 1. relieve the pain 2. stop exacerbating the injury.

    8. Physical therapy, chiropractic hit and miss because of the possibility of exacerbating the injury. The principle is to realign the body and or strengthen other parts of the body to compensate and get your body off of "pushing the button" on the nerve. That's it. Logically you can see the risks and much of the success is based on a. the ability of the injured to carry out the proper activity b. the abilities of the therapist or the chiropractor to isolate the right approach. c. the extent of the damage and the age of the injured person

    Please review these things carefully. Good luck to you all

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  21. Hello my name is Rachael. I understand that you were surprised by the response to your blog. I think what you did was write something that a lot of people felt connected to. It is hard sometimes to get support and connect with someone who actually understands when you deal with this kind of pain.
    Your blog talks positively and not in a whining fashion so that gives folks that are looking to gain some hope and strength. Though it may not be in "person" words can make just a strong impact. Just as your music carries passion and interest so can your words. Thank You

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  22. Thanks for your kind comments, Rachel. Herniated disc is really one of those classes of medical problem that is just not understood well enough to treat directly. Medical treatments are either not effective enough or way too drastic. It's no wonder people are looking for alternatives.

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