POSTURE PUMP- A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR NECK PAIN
In 1956 I began the saga of cervical spine problems with a ruptured disc eventually operated in 1960. Meanwhile I had tried cervical traction with no success. Eventually two fusions later, my neck is comfortable. As a neurosurgeon, I have seen hundreds of patients with chronic neck problems which often become chronic and even disabling. Over 10 years ago I also did a survey of patients with chronic headache and at least 99% of them have postural neck and upper thoracic spinal problems. Indeed, just look at most people and you will see few with optimal posture or mobility. Millions of individuals go through life with headache and neck pain, often taking NSAIDS which are minimally effective and carry many complications. All too many wind up with unnecessary surgery which often makes them much worse. In general, the indications for surgery should be significant neurological risk—not pain!
In acute situations, neck pain is often significantly improved by competently done osteopathic or chiropractic treatment. Cervical traction in the conventional sense is sometimes helpful and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation may help. But for chronic neck pain, the problem appears to be increasing degenerative and mechanical postural compromise which is progressive.
A year ago I was asked by a company in California to evaluate their product, Posture Pump. This July I had the pleasure of beginning an evaluation of 34 individuals with chronic neck problems, many also with headache. It will take me another month to complete the detailed analysis. Patients were screened by me under an IRB approved protocol, with history, physical and neurological evaluations and plain X-Rays of the cervical spine, including flexion and extension lateral views to be certain there were no serious ligamentous injuries that precluded use of the Posture Pump . Actually we had to screen an additional 30 patients, as some had no measurable preexisting postural abnormalities or had advanced disease with severe degenerative disease. Selected patients then had measurements of flexibility and extension of the cervical spine, had an MRI, underwent 20 minutes on the Posture Pump and had another mobility measurement and another MRI.
The Posture Pump is a unique and simple looking device which can be inflated to extend and stretch the cervical spine. It can be localized low, mid or upper cervical spine.
In another month I will write another newsletter with more details. However the results are so striking that I want you to be aware of the implications. Virtually every patient had significant increased cervical mobility after their 20 minute treatment. MRI changes are often dramatic-with improvement in cervical curve, widening of disc spaces and often apparent shrinkage of what appear to be disc bulges, which I would have thought are physically permanent. I will give a summary of the measurement in the subsequent newsletter and show some of these. If the changes we find after one month continue to be as impressive as those on the initial testing, it is conceivable that some of the chronic neck degenerative problems might be reversible. Incidentally two patients with acute migraine improved dramatically during that 20 minute treatment.
I have no financial interest in the Posture Pump company. However, this approach appears to be the simplest, safest and most inexpensive approach I have seen to date for treating chronic neck pain. Obviously proper medical evaluation needs to be done by someone experienced in the technique before you proceed. I suggest you contact the company for a list of recommended practitioners.