How often have we heard the phrase, “necessity is the mother of invention”? This is certainly the case when it comes to the inspiration behind the VertaStretch.
From a young age, I had recurring back problems that were initially thought to be nothing more than growing pains. However, through years of increasing episodes followed by subsequent injuries, there was never any genuine improvement. My family doctor suggested weight training. This seemed to help during my teenage years and into my early twenty's.
It was a beautiful spring morning. I was loading a fire hydrant onto a flatbed trailer by hand when suddenly, I felt a pop in my lower back. Immediately I felt pain that was so excruciating, it took my breath away. I had all I could do to hold composure and drive myself home that morning from work. Days went into weeks that lead into months with no relief.
I was referred to Dr. William Meade who was a well known military surgeon. X-Rays and MRI's were ordered before I was sent to a top neurologist in our state, (Dr Michael D'Angleo). The results revealed that most of my vertebrae were either fractured or had been broken. I had a herniated disc at L-5 & S-1 impinging the sciatic nerve. This was complicated by severe degenerative disc disease and scoliosis. I had several bone spurs with a clean break @ C-6. in which was the results of an older skiing injury that was never treated. There were also signs of a bone deficiency that makes the vertebrae brittle. This only occurs with a low percentage of adolescents and is referred to as Scheuermanns disease.
Doctor Meade explained, "The neurologist and I cannot do anymore for you,"
His advice was, "use your head and not your back". I left his office confused and depressed. I already used up all the monies the insurance company was allowing for chiropractic and physical therapy care. Where do you turn next?
"My sciatica was so bad that I was losing feelings in my right leg. This was causing my foot to drag as I struggled to walk. I was having a hard time driving and small tasks such as washing the dishes was difficult. The pain at times was so excruciating that it took my breath away and drop me to the floor. It felt like a hot sword piercing through the center of my spine. At 26 years old, I found myself in very dark place where no one understood the predicament I was facing. I was mad and hated the world around me. I had plenty of time to think things over during the months that followed. I thought about my addiction to soda. You see, I did not like milk because of the powdered milk I was forced to drink back in the early 60's. Town water tasted like rust so, I became addicted and hydrated with soda. The mattress I slept on most of my youth was sunken in the middle that gave me back aches at a very young age. Past injuries and hard spills I took growing up riding motorcycles and snowmobiles surely did not help. I felt the repetitive work and heavy lifting aggravated my condition.
I had a good grasp on the causes but how do you turn this around?
Over a year had gone by and it was now a hot August afternoon. All the windows in my apartment were open and I could hear people outside enjoying the weather. It was way too hot to be just lying here in bed wasting another day. I wanted so badly to have my life back. I so desperately wanted to go out water skiing or take my motorcycle for a ride. It was right there and then I hit rock bottom. I decided to heavily medicate myself with alcohol and pain medication. I figured, I'll force myself into an upright position by using my hands to walk up my legs into a normal standing position. My muscles were so tight that it wouldn’t allow me too. It was during this insane meltdown and whirlwind of madness driven thoughts, I can;t take this anymore! I cried out.
A short time later, a calm feeling came over me and a subconscious thought told me to go back and seek the advice of my chiropractor.
I meet with Dr. Rex Farrer the very next day and told him about my predicament. I asked him, "what can I do at home to get relief?
Rex suggested, "lie on the top landing of a staircase and allow your feet to hang down the stair treads. This position will simulate pelvic traction and should give you immediate relief".
He was correct and for the first time I had control of my pain without the need for medication. After a couple of months of lying on the stairs four to five times a day, I decided to build a bench to replicate the position of the staircase for comfort. It was by accident the cross brace acted as a locking mechanism for traction. Later, I found that cross brace gave me grab points for doing other stretches and mild exercises. This allowed for better body positioning in relationship to the angle. In a short time, I had developed a passive rehabilitation program that gave me greater mobility without pain. The results were so gratifying that I knew this was something that could benefit others who were suffering.
I applied for a patent on the invention and I was denied all of my claims.
I spent many sleepless nights that lead to the last minute draft rebuttal to the examiners citations. My Patent and all my claims were excepted by the USPTO.
The VertaStretch was born.
Dr. William Meade endorsed and prescribed the bench to several of his patients resulting in the first sales to a major insurance company. To my surprise, they covered 80% of the cost for the policy holder. The word spread about the merits of my device and our bench began selling to doctors, hospitals, therapy and holistic clinics, a dance studio purchased one for the use of stretching. The University of New England proved it to be useful for Nordic training purposes. We initiated several medical studies and even approached pro athletes at the annual Arnold Classics held in Columbus Ohio.
They gave us valuable insight to what they would like to see incorporated in our equipment for advanced core stretches and workouts.
Over time, additional benefits were discovered.
Shoulder pendulum and rehab exercises on the bench improved conditions to treat both shoulders at once with no obstruction. We found it relieves neck pain by stretching the muscles that support the cranium.
The VertaStretch is the first chiropractic style table designed for physical therapy. We were the first to demonstrate to the medical community the benefits of side lateral flexion with trunk rotation as part of the rehabilitation process. This movement helps unhinge locked vertebral facets for faster recovery. In fact, our product inspired Dwayne Saunders, (The Saunders Group), to develop the3d Active Trac. This was the most advanced development in decades for a chiropractic table.
The VertaStretch has even been referred to as a simplified Cox table by several doctors.
Dr. James Cox is the leading authority in flexion and distraction.
The Cox Technique is the gold standard used by thousands of physicians worldwide for the treatment of back pain.
With Over 30 years of testing and customer feedback, success has been backed up by medical studies and testimonials.
To this day, the VertaStretch continues to help me enjoy a pain free and flexible life style.
Thank you for visiting our website. Please. Feel free to share our information to someone you know that is suffering with back pain.
Supporting documents below.
Cox® Technic was developed in the early 1960s by Dr. James M. Cox, DC, DACBR.
In developing the technique, Dr. Cox combined chiropractic principles with the osteopathic principles set forth by Alan Stoddard, DO, in his book, Manual of Osteopathic Technique, which chronicles the manipulative procedures developed by John McManis, DO, in the early 1900s.
Initially, Dr. Cox introduced and taught the technique as "flexion-distraction" which is now the common name for the technique though it is recognized as Cox® Technic.
Over the decades, Cox® Technic has evolved thanks to the efforts of many researchers and fellow chiropractic physicians.
Dr. Cox himself has refined the technique as research and clinical experience dictates, designed a manipulation instrument for it – The Cox® Table - conducted clinical research, participated in experimental research, lectured around the world, trained 1000s of chiropractic colleagues for clinical application, encouraged new instructors to help teach the technique and spread the word about the evidence-based research being produced, and written well-received articles, textbooks, and chapters for textbooks.
The history and evolution of Cox® Technic are well described in an interview Dr. Cox gave to the editor of the French chiropractic website, Vertebre.com, as well as published and peer-reviewed paper by Cox and Dr. Joseph Keating called Osteopathy meets chiropractic: evolution of the flexion-distraction technique in the Chiropractic History Journal, 2007 which is also reprinted with permission in Dr. Cox's textbook, chapter 1.
Doctor James Cox is the authority on flexion and distraction.
In the year 1991, a team of doctors, engineers, and technicians led by Ontario's Former Deputy Minister of Health, Allan Dyer, MD, PhD introduced the first generation of medical equipment for non-surgical spinal decompression. As practitioners began to adopt the technology, results began to come in.
Decompression. Neurological Research, 1998)
The VertaStretch was introduced in 1991 to the medical community of Maine. This initiated medical studies to be conducted on the effects of self passive traction for the treatment of back pain.
Also in the same year of 1991, a team of doctors, engineers, and technicians led by Ontario's Former Deputy Minister of Health, Allan Dyer, MD, phD introduced the first generation of medical equipment for non-surgical spinal decompression. As practitioners began to adopt the technology, the results began to come in.
Decompression, Neurological Research,
In 1998, a study was done showing a success rate of 73% (Gose. et. al.: Vertebral Axial Decompression. Neurological Research, 1998). §
In 2003, a study indicated a success rate of 86% (Thomas A: Spinal Decompression. Orthopedic Technology Review, 2003). § And in 2005, a third study showed a success rate of 90%. (Wooridul Neurosurgery Clinic, 2005).
How does non-surgical spinal decompression therapy work? Non-surgical spinal decompression is a relatively new treatment method based on the long-standing knowledge that the spine can heal if the blood supply is unobstructed and fluids and nutrients are able to flow freely into the disks and surrounding tissue. Conversely, when those pathways are blocked, so is the body’s ability to truly heal. because back surgery, as most doctors will tell you, should only be a last resort, specialists have long sought to achieve non-invasive decompression. But it wasn’t until 1991 that major progress was made in this area. That year, a team of doctors, engineers, and technicians led by Ontario's Former Deputy Minister of Health, Allan Dyer, MD, PhD introduced the first generation of medical equipment for non-surgical spinal decompression. As practitioners began to adopt the technology, results began to come in.
In 2005, a research study showed a success rate of 90%. (Wooridul Neurosurgery Clinic, 2005).
we used the same medical equipment that was used in the clinical research that achieved the above mentioned impressive results. Each treatment gently opens the spine to allow more hydration and protein in, reduces the pressure in the disk, and ultimately allows your bulging or herniated disks to migrate back into position. This is a controlled process executed with computerized precision; and as such, it produces more consistently positive patient outcomes than other non-surgical techniques. our own success rate for patients who have not found relief through other forms of treatment (PT, acupuncture, chiropractic, surgery, spine injections, etc.) is consistently 80% for initial treatment and 90% at a one-year follow-up.
Every patient is different; but with nearly 30 years of experience and over 10 years performing non-surgical spinal decompression, Dr. VanderPloeg is able to treat a wide range of chronic spine and nerve conditions.
Maine Spine & Nerve Institute Dr. VanderPloeg
20-year study from the Mind Body Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital conducted from 1993 to 2013. This was the largest study conducted to prove disease fighting techniques with relaxation exercises.
Journal Reference: 1.Manoj K. Bhasin, Jeffery A. Dusek, Bei-Hung Chang, Marie G. Joseph, John W. Denninger, Gregory L. Fricchione, Herbert Benson, Towia A. Libermann. Relaxation Response Induces Temporal Transcriptome Changes in Energy Metabolism, Insulin Secretion and Inflammatory Pathways. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (5): e62817 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062817
Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever
There are plenty of ways to relieve stress — exercise, a long soak in a hot bath, or even a massage. But believe it or not, something you're doing right now, probably without even thinking about it, This is a proven stress reliever: breathing. As it turns out, deep breathing is not only relaxing, it's been scientifically proven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system — and maybe even the expression of genes.
Mladen Golubic, a physician in the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine, says that breathing can have a profound impact on our physiology and our health.
Judi Bar teaches yoga to patients with chronic diseases at the Cleveland Clinic. Bar uses yoga and modifications of traditional yoga breathing exercises as a way to help them manage their pain and disease.
Our breaths will either wake us up or energize us. It will relax us, or it will just balance us," Bar says. Research has shown that breathing exercises can have immediate effects by altering the pH of the blood, or changing blood pressure. But more importantly, it can be used as a method to train the body's reaction to stressful situations and dampen the production of harmful stress hormones.
Esther Sternberg is a physician, author of several books on stress and healing, and researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health. She says rapid breathing is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. It's part of the "fight or flight" response — the part activated by stress.
In contrast, slow, deep breathing actually stimulates the opposing parasympathetic reaction — the one that calms us down "The relaxation response is controlled by another set of nerves — the main nerve being the Vagus nerve. Think of a car throttling down the highway at 120 miles an hour. That's the stress response, and the Vagus nerve is the brake," says Sternberg. "When you are stressed, you have your foot on the gas, pedal to the floor. When you take slow, deep breaths, that is what is engaging the brake."
Harvard researcher Herbert Benson coined the term "The Relaxation Response" in 1975 with a book of the same name. In it, Benson used scientific research to show that short periods of meditation, using breathing as a focus, could alter the body's stress response. In his new book, Relaxation Revolution, Benson claims his research shows that breathing can even change the expression of genes. He says that by using your breath, you can alter the basic activity of your cells with your mind. "It does away with the whole mind-body separation," Benson says. "Here you can use the mind to change the body, and the genes we're changing were the very genes acting in an opposite fashion when people are under stress." Of course, breathing is not the answer to every medical problem. But Benson and others agree: The breath isn't something Western medicine should not blow off. It's a powerful tool for influencing individual health and well-being.
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HEALTH AND SPIRITUALITY Elaine R. Ferguson, M.D.The self- healing personality
While we posses the innate equipment to sustain physical health, our ability to heal is
strongly affected by our emotional outlook.