Effectiveness Of Neck Exercise For Disc Herniation and Supine vs. Prone MRIs

CF 242: Effectiveness Of Neck Exercise For Disc Herniation and Supine vs. Prone MRIs Today we’re going to talk about Effectiveness Of Neck Exercise For Disc Herniation and Supine vs. Prone MRIs But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music

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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.  We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers. I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.    If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 

  • Go to Amazon and check our my book called The Remarkable Truth About Chiropractic: A Unique Journey Into The Research. It’s a great resource for patient education and for YOU. It saves you time in putting talks together or just staying current on research. It’s categorized into sections and written in a way that is easy to understand for you and patients. Just search for it on Amazon. That’s the Remarkable Truth About Chiropractic by Jeff Williams. 
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You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #242 Now if you missed last week’s episode , we talked about Does Supplementation Work & Non-Surgical Treatment For Stenosis. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

On the personal end of things…..

Well, last week was insanity around my office. I personally saw about 196 appointments and our nurse practitioner had his best week since we integrated and brought medical services into our clinic. He saw 38 appointments not counting me.  I say, “Not counting me,” because I got the hormone pellets. If you’re not familiar, go search up BioT or search up Evexipel. We use Evexipel and it’s a hormone balancing or optimization procedure. The provider does some blood work and finds out where you’re at with some key hormones. 

I’m way low on testosterone which makes me insane because I could drop some weight but I’m not nearly as bad as a lot of folks I see. I’m 6’4” and about 272. Yes, I should ideally be about 220 or even less if you listen to the government. However, I was a college offensive lineman and I’ve been a pretty thick dude my whole life.  I have a dad bod but I’m not waddling around and having a hard time getting through doors is what I’m saying. OK? Anyway, I’m not sedentary either. I get lots of activity from 190+ patients in a week to exercise and throw the discus.

I’m a go-getter so the low T thing makes me a little insane but it is what it be and that’s just me.  So, time to do it. We use Evexipel and when I did BioT, it was in the butt cheek and it was pretty freaking sore for about 5-7 days. Evexipel does the pellets in the flank for men and 4 days later, I have had very little to basically zero pain. It’s been amazing. 

The pellets take about 5 days to start being absorbed in the body so I’m looking forward to the benefits. I’ll keep you updated.  For my practice specifically, you’ve heard me mention that we will patch one hole and another leak will spring and I’m always on the lookout for them. Well, I found one just this morning.  We had 1 96 patients on my side last week. I show up for work this morning and look at the schedule and there are only 36 patients on my schedule today.

I guess this issue didn’t register with any of my staff members because when I asked what happened to my schedule this week, they just acted like it’s normal and the week starts filling out on Mondays.  Oh no no no. That’s not how we need to be looking at it. Let’s do a little high-level, global thinking here.  I saw 25 new patients last week. If they’re all on schedule, that’s at least 25 appointments booked on the following Monday. Remember Monday has 36 currently.

Well, 6 of those are new patients. So, let’s throw out those 6 new patients and that leaves us with 30 today. If we remove the new ones from last week, the 25 that should have been guaranteed…..then that just leaves us with 5 established patients.  5. Cinco. Cinco freaking established patients for a Monday.  So, when we’re looking at it in this manner, well, clearly there’s a problem. Patients aren’t on schedule and we’ve had significant fall-off.

This means I’m either not doing my job educating them on why they need to be consistent, or the staff isn’t encouraging the message and supporting the message, or the front desk isn’t getting them rescheduled.  Or all three.  Either way, we basically bled 25 new patients last week. So, that hole has to get plugged, yet again, this week. Another thing to consider is that it’s basically Back To School time and that’s traditionally a slow-down time for us.  So that something else can go stupid next week. Because that’s the way it goes. 

Item #1

This first one is called “Outcomes of active cervical therapeutic exercise on dynamic intervertebral foramen changes in neck pain patients with disc herniation” by Wu et. al. (Wu SK 2022)  and published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders on July 30 of 2022. Bam!!! Into the frying pain! It’s hot. 

Why They Did It

To better understand biomechanical factors that affect intervertebral alignment throughout active therapeutic exercise, it is necessary to determine spinal kinematics when subjects perform spinal exercises. This study aims to investigate the outcomes of active cervical therapeutic exercise on intervertebral foramen changes in neck pain patients with disc herniation.

How They Did It

  • Thirty diagnosed C4/5 and/or C5/6 disc-herniated patients
  • 8-week cervical therapeutic exercise program 
  • They were followed up with videofluoroscopic images. 
  • The dynamic changes in the foramen were computed at different timepoints, including the neutral position, end-range positions in cervical flexion-extension, protrusion-retraction, and lateral flexion movements.

What They Found

  • The results showed that the active cervical flexion, retraction, and lateral flexion away from the affected side movements increased the area of the patients’ intervertebral foramen; while the active extension, protrusion, and lateral flexion toward the affected side reduced the areas of intervertebral foramen before treatment. 
  • After the treatment, the active cervical flexion significantly increased the C2/3, C3/4, and C6/7 foramen area by 5.02-8.67%, and the extension exercise significantly reduced the C2/3 and C4/5 area by 5.12-9.18% compared to the baseline. 
  • Active retraction movement significantly increased the foramen area from C2/3 to C6/7 by 3.82-8.66%. 
  • Active lateral flexion away from the affected side significantly increased the foramen by 3.71-6.78%

Wrap It Up

The 8-week therapeutic exercises including repeated cervical retraction, extension, and lateral flexion movements to the lesion led to significant changes and improvements in the intervertebral foramen areas of the patients with disc herniation.

Before getting to the next one, I have to tell you, Dr. Chris Howson, the inventor of the Drop Release tool re-activated the code! It’s live again. Use the code HOTSTUFF upon purchase at droprelease.com to get $50 off your purchase. Y’all, it makes a world of difference. Would you like to spend 5-10 minutes doing pin and stretch and all of that? Or would you rather use a drop release to get the same or similar results in just a handful of seconds? My patients love it and I know yours will too. droprelease.com and the discount code is HOTSTUFF. Go do it. Hear me now and believe me later.

Item #2

I saw this one in the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance group on Facebook and it’s pretty darn interesting. It’s called, “Prone Position MRI of the Lumbar Spine in Patients With Low Back Pain and/or Radiculopathy Refractory to Treatment” by Avellanal et. al.  and published in Pain Physician in August of 2022 damnit this Is the first day of August it just doesn’t get any more fire than that heat!

Why They Did It

There are patients with limiting low back pain (LBP) with or without radicular pain in whom conventional supine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) show no causative pathology. Despite the limitations of dynamic axially loaded MRI examinations, these imaging studies have shown a striking ability to diagnose pathology unrecognized by conventional MRI. The difference in findings between supine and prone MRI with patient symptom correlation has not been studied.

How They Did It

  • Nineteen patients suffering from chronic moderate-to-severe LBP and/or radicular pain 
  • Nonresponsive to conventional therapy or interventional treatment
  • Both supine and prone MRIs were performed and analyzed by a neuroradiologist. 
  • Specific supine and prone measurements were registered, including spinal canal area, lateral recess diameter, foraminal area, and ligamentum flavum thickness. 
  • Three-dimensional MRI reconstructions of varying pathology patterns were created.

What They Found

  • In 52.6% of cases, disc pathology or increased disc pathology was seen only on prone imaging. 
  • They observed significant buckling and increased thickness of the ligamentum flavum in 52.6 % of cases in the prone position that was absent from the supine MRIs. 
  • They also documented varying grades of spondylolisthesis and facet joint subluxation resulting in significant foraminal stenosis in 26.3% of prone cases not seen from supine MRIs.

Wrap It Up

  • Four patterns of pathological findings have been identified by MRI performed in the prone position. 
  • These findings were not observed in the supine position. 
  • Prone MRI can be a significant and useful tool in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with back pain refractory to treatment whose conventional supine MRIs appeared unremarkable.

Which I also take as yet another reason you cannot trust MRI’s for definitive diagnosis of the source of pain. 

 

Alright, that’s it. Keep on keepin’ on. Keep changing our profession from your corner of the world. The world needs evidence-based, patient-centered practitioners driving the bus. The profession needs us in the ACA and involved in leadership of state associations. So quit griping about the profession if you’re doing nothing to make it better. Get active, get involved, and make it happen. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week. 

Store Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at chiropracticforward.com.   

Purchase Dr. Williams’s book, a perfect educational tool and chiropractic research reference for the daily practitioner, from the Amazon store TODAY!

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots. When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few. It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. And, if the patient treats preventatively after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health!

Key Point:

At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints…. That’s Chiropractic!

Contact

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes.  Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms.  We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference. 

Connect

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.

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About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (FIANM) and Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Professionals (DABFP) – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger  

Bibliography Wu SK, C. H., You JY, Bau JG, Lin YC, Kuo LC (2022). “Outcomes of active cervical therapeutic exercise on dynamic intervertebral foramen changes in neck pain patients with disc herniation.” BMC Musculoskelet Disord 23(1): 728.      

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