Testimonials From Our Bradenton, FL Patients
As we commemorate our first fifteen years of providing VAX-D treatment, we can now celebrate a proud history, and commitment to the patients for whom we care and for those whose lives we have forever changed. Our goal is to help promote excellent healthcare throughout life with respect, dignity and compassion for all of those who suffer with chronic pain.
VAX-D truly offers new hope for the millions of people who suffer from low back pain everyday.
What better recommendation can you receive than from physicians who are also patients?
Lance Castellana, MD
I wanted to bring you up to date on how I have been doing since I received VAX-D at Rockland Spine Care. In addition, I would like to outline my case which you may use as you see fit for any patients considering VAX-D or for physicians who are considering sending patients for VAX-D.
I initially began to have low back pain and left leg pain at the end of January 2000 which I believe occurred after lifting some heavy suitcases. The back pain and leg pain became progressively worse over the next month. I had numerous visits to the local Emergency Rooms. I had an MRI which revealed three very herniated discs. Over the next three weeks, the pain became worse and I had to lay down on the floor in between patients to try and ease the pain. The pain became so excruciating, Ihad to go to the Emergency Room and received an injection. After no relief, I was admitted and placed on IV medication. Physical Therapy was started in the hospital and I continued as an outpatient. Although the pain improved slightly. I was unable to sleep through the night, having to get up every two hours because of the pain. At the end of April, I knew I would be unable to go back to work and had exhausted all conservative treatments. Physical Therapy and the epidural steroid injection did not seem to be helping me at that point. I felt that my only alternative would be surgery. I began to feel some leg weakness and had difficulty rising from a kneeling position.
I then became aware of VAX-D and reviewed the literature on this. After reviewing these articles, I was convinced that the research was good and theory behind it made eminent sense. My neurosurgeon and neurologist agreed.
After three VAX-D treatments, I was able to sleep through the night without any pain. At this point, I am still pain free and my strength in the left leg is near normal. I essentially feel the same as I did before I sustained the back injury. Had I not gone through VAX-D, I am quite sure that I would have needed surgery which certainly would have been a more involved surgery given the fact that I had three very lateral herniated discs.
As a physician who has experienced this ordeal of having three herniated discs and the severe pain associated with it and given the fact that it had essentially incapacitated me, I was very grateful to find this FDA approved procedure. It is quite clear to me that this is a very underutilized procedure, which more physician should know about.
In those patient’s with chronic low back pain with the diagnoses of extruded herniations, multiple herniations, single herniations, degenerative disc disease and facet joint syndrome, who are candidates for VAX-D and have no contraindications, I would certainly advocate this treatment before moving on to more invasive treatments. In fact, I would feel almost unethical not sending a patient to VAX-D prior to an invasive surgical procedure if they were a candidate for VAX-D and had failed other conservative treatments.
LANCE CASTELLANA, M.D. [Family Practice]
Robert Channey, M.D.
Assistant Surgeon General of the United States Health and Human Services
I had a back problem in 1977. We found that the discs had deteriorated at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 area. In July of 1993, I ended up with excruciating pain in my back, and this time all of the way down the left leg to my toes. It wasn't until the latter part of September in 1993 that I found a program on TV about VAX-D. It looked like the thing, but I was suspicious. I called the office and made an appointment for the next day. At that time they did an extended exam on myself and recommended that I have an MRI. The MRI showed deterioration at the L4-L and L5--S1 areas. They recommended that I start on VAX-D and stay on it for 15 straight days, missing my weekends at the beach and on the boat.
I said, well it's worth a try, so I started. I was there one Saturday morning and was talking to another gentleman who was also a physician, and I said I thought this was doing well for my back but I was doubtful about the sciatic pain in my left leg. He was of the same opinion but we were going to continue on anyway. On the 27th of September, being my birthday, my family (which I have a large one) , took me for a seafood dinner down by the bay. All the way down and all the way back I could not get any relief from the aches in my back and particularly in my left leg.
I continued on with treatment and after the fifteenth session I only had a slight twinge occasionally. Since that day on, I am completely free of the pain in my back and my left leg. I jog the same as I used to, as I did last evening, not a very long one, down to the park and back. I cut the lawn, I'm back without any pain at all, and I've got to say that VAX-D was the thing that did it for me.
Robert Channey, M.D.
Assistant Surgeon General
This letter will be short and to the point. My name is Jack Dodge, M.D. and I run Mitchell Urgent Care in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Brief history -- I was born and raised in Sioux Falls, graduated from USD (1980) and USD Medical School in 1984. I interned at McKennan Hospital from 1984 - 1985 and worked in emergency medicine in Arizona and California from 1985 - 1995 and in Mitchell from 1995 - 1998. I have spent the last 3 years in urgent/acute care.
As many of you in town know me, I'm very active in athletics and sports medicine. For the last 7 years I have been burdened with increasing back pain to the point of eliminating some sports and only sleeping 5 hours before being awakened with severe back pain.
A lumbar spine x-ray in 1995 verified the L5-S1 narrowing. Then last winter, I herniated L4-5 while lifting my 200 lb. father off a port-o-potty and suffered the typical sciatica pain down my left buttock and leg. I couldn't even play golf in Arizona! An MRI showed a large herniated disc at L4-5 with an annular tear.
lt also confirmed a severe degeneration of the L5-S1 disc. As we all know, back surgery should be the patient's very last option. Health care costs and complications are reason enough. We have some great surgeons and back specialists in Sioux Falls, and I never hesitate to refer patients to them . Before, we had limited options for acute and chronic back pain - pain meds, injections, physical therapy and chiropractors -- all which basically treat symptoms, not the underlying problems. Well we have a solution at VAX-D (vertebral axial decompression). I did the full treatment - 30 sessions - and I am virtually pain free, I'm golfing, running and most importantly, sleeping 7 full hours with no back pain. This procedure works. I believe in it so much that I'm now the medical director here. I'm salaried, so no matter how busy we are, I'm paid the same. Financial gain is not my number one goal, helping people with severe back pain is, The greatest majority of patients seen here in the past 30 months have had similar results, post surgical patients included.
You can call me anytime with questions or concerns at 331-5757. Thank you for your time,
Jack I. Dodge, M.D.
Spring Valley, NY
Dear Dr. Schwartz:
As I write this letter and think back over the last 6 months, I am amazed at the changes in my life. Prior to beginning treatment in your office for VAX-D and chiropractic care, I had been experiencing significant pain due to a herniated disc since October 2000. At that time, the pain I experienced was so excruciating, that I was not able to walk from my bedroom to my kitchen each morning without doubling over in pain. As a result, I was constantly taking muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications to relieve the pain. Even so, I was still having difficulty walking, sitting, bending and most importantly, caring for my two year old son.
After meeting with you, I reviewed the options available and decided to sign up for VAX-D. Although VAX-D required a commitment of daily visits, I was determined to pursue that option versus the recommendation of back surgery from a surgeon. To my surprise, within my first three visits on VAX-D, I felt a slight decrease in the pain symptoms! Over the following 5 weeks, I was relieved to feel a significant reduction in the horrendous pain I had been living with for so long. VAX-D WORKS!
In follow-up to my VAX-D, the chiropractic care you've provided has continued to help me to return to most of my everyday functions. With the additional educational discussions and workshops you've provided, I've gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on how to better care for my back and overall health. In closing, I'd like to thank you and your staff for the care and support you've provided, as it has been instrumental in keeping me focused and optimistic throughout my recovery.
Dear Dr. Schwartz:
I am going to do my best to not make this sound like an advertisement or a commercial, because it is nothing more than a sincere, heartfelt thank you. Five months ago, I would not even had been able to sit at my desk to compose this letter. Five months ago, I didn't think that I'd been able to sit down or do anything constructive ever again. Due to a minor fall after getting off of a treadmill, my life had been turned upside-down. A herniated disc in my lumbar spine had put pressure on some of the nerves that supply my left leg and this pressure had, in turn, generated the most excruciating pain that I had ever felt in my entire life. This sharp and constant pain began at the top of my left buttock and continued all of the way down to the middle of my left calf. My words thus far have done no justice to describe this awful pain. I can only give you an idea of what it felt like by stating that if a combination of fire and razor blades had been tunneling up and down my leg day in and day out, it wouldn't have been any less comfortable.
As I mentioned, sitting wasn't an option because it only put additional pressure on the nerves, thereby increasing the level of pain. Lying on my back created the same response, especially on a cushioned surface. Standing sometimes lessened the pain to the extent that it was just very intense. Therefore I was reduced to lying prone on the living room floor with only a pillow to lean on. Do not let me give you the impression that this offered any degree of comfort. I assure you it did not. But it was the best position I could find. So there I lay for weeks on end. My days consisted of calling out sick from work and popping anti-inflammatory pills and muscle relaxants, all to no avail. My only solace was the two or three hours of sleep that Ambien would offer me each night. I was literally at my wits end. I even considered getting a series of intravenous drugs that was supposed to relieve the pain. Luckily you advised me that the drug in question actually disintegrated the bulging disc material and that the consequences could be crippling.
All in all, I tried stretching, walking, medical doctors, pain killers, and even deep tissue massage. Nothing helped. Although VAX-D required a large commitment, both financially and time-wise, it was time to put my faith into healing from within. By my third session, I had already begun to feel reduction in pain. By the end of the second week, I was doing everyday things that I hadn't done in months, such as driving and sitting for a few minutes without too much discomfort. By the end of the treatment, I literally felt like a new person. Two months have passed since then and I am finally getting back into a regular exercise program which I expect will help to keep my spine more stabilized. I experience little or no pain each day and I would have spent twice the amount of time and money if I had known that I would get these results. Thank you for giving me my life back."