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WHY IDD THERAPY IS EXPANDING IN THE UK – A Physiotherapist’s View…

John Wood MCSP and Lewis Payne MCSP Sheffield Physiotherapy, explains…

Sheffield Physiotherapy has been using IDD Therapy spinal decompression for almost ten years now, to help patients with unresolved back and neck pain, especially those with disc-related problems. When we started, there were only a handful of clinics in the UK using IDD Therapy. However, the network has grown over the years as more clinics have come to understand how this treatment can help their patients’ suffering with more challenging spinal conditions.

When I came across IDD Therapy initially, I thought it was like traction. As we know, traction had faded out of clinical practice because at that time there were few trials that showed it to be effective. Though ask any older practitioner who used traction and they will tell you that for some patients it really helped them. IDD Therapy got our attention initially because unlike traction of old, it was specific and able to target particular levels of the spine.

Why IDD Therapy?

Developed in the late 1990s in North America, IDD Therapy was designed to address the failings of traction and the limitations of what we can achieve with standard hands-on treatments. The team that developed IDD Therapy initially spent a lot of time making sure that there was a tangible effect on the disc at the level of the spine being targeted.  

Whilst most back pain either resolves itself or very quickly resolves after a short course of physiotherapy, when it doesn’t it becomes a significant problem for both the patient and health service. Patients presenting again and again with unresolved back pain place an extra burden on GPs, pain clinics and primary care in general.   

We use IDD Therapy to help patients with disc problems especially bulging or herniated discs with referred pain.  It can also help patients with disc degeneration and spinal stenosis. 

How does it work?

IDD Therapy uses pulling forces or computer-controlled distraction. A patient lies on a table and is connected to the machine using ergonomic pelvic and chest harnesses. Measuring specific angles from 10 to 30 degrees, we are able to direct the distraction forces to the targeted spinal segment of the patients, most commonly the lower back segments L4/L5 or L5/S1.

The manner with which the forces are applied, means that we can use higher pulling forces of up to and over half a patient’s body weight comfortably, and this enables us to decompress the affected spinal segment. Of course, it is physically impossible to apply such forces to a patient with manual techniques, and to do so with control and consistency.

At the same time as we decompress the disc, taking principles of manual therapy, IDD Therapy uses an oscillation force to gently mobilise the spinal segment.  

Many spinal segments become stiff and immobile for a variety of reasons.  IDD Therapy decompresses the disc, but also mobilises the tissues surrounding the joint.  By improving mobility, the aim is to allow the body’s natural healing mechanisms to operate efficiently.

Becoming more widely accepted

For some practitioners looking at IDD Therapy the number of sessions has been controversial.  The standard protocol of treatment is based on twenty sessions over a six to eight week period, with patients lying on the IDD Therapy machine for 25 minutes, whereas the typical model of manual therapy is four to six sessions.  

However, what we, and all the IDD clinics, see is that for a certain category of patient, the short programme simply does not work. The forces used to decompress the spine are built up over the sessions, rather like a strengthening programme gradually conditions the body. Some patients can experience symptomatic relief very quickly whilst for others it takes longer.  

This shift in thinking is now much more widely accepted because of the growing experience of the outcomes. In fact, some insurance companies, such as AVIVA, are now paying for programmes of IDD Therapy because it can be more cost-effective and better for the patient when they avoid surgery.  

At a time when there is pressure to reduce the burden on primary care in the NHS, IDD Therapy is enabling patients to have a credible opportunity to resolve their problem, without resorting to surgery.

It is important to stress that IDD Therapy is not a stand-alone treatment. It is like the first stage of a journey and practitioners combine it with exercise and education which together give us the opportunity for long-term success.

Further improvements

There are over 1,000 clinics using IDD Therapy globally.  Here in the UK there are physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors.  We get together for a conference and at the time of writing have agreed an expanded set of measures which clinics will use to track outcomes.  

In healthcare, change happens slowly, especially within physical therapy. Having used IDD Therapy for many years, both on its own and in combination with other modalities, we believe it provides the greatest opportunity for scalable improvement for patients with unresolved back and neck pain.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Wood MCSP is from Sheffield Physiotherapy, a long-established physiotherapy clinic specialising in unresolved back and neck pain. http://iddtherapy.co.uk/

ABOUT IDD THERAPY

IDD Therapy is the fastest growing non-surgical spinal treatment for intervertebral discs with over 1,000 clinics worldwide and a network of clinics across the UK.

Facebook: IDD Therapy Europe

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IDDTherapyDisc

HOW TO RECHARGE, RELAX, AND RELEASE PAIN WITH AROMATHERAPY OILS…

With so many oils to choose from it’s difficult to know which ones are best for your problems, but if you get them right they can have a fantastic effect on your pain and relaxation.

Lavender is the most famous essential oil for pain relief and relaxation is lavender. It’s also good for your cardiovascular and digestive systems, lowers blood pressure, and helps relieve insomnia.

For relaxation try vanilla. Place a few drops of vanilla extract onto a handkerchief and carry it with you throughout the day. It helps fight infections, reduces inflammation, helps respiratory problems, and can work as an antioxidant.

To help you recharge try peppermint, jasmine, citrus. These scents make you feel more awake. Apparently, even though these scents are pleasant, they act as mild irritants and the effect is similar to that of smelling salts.

Sprinkle a few drops of the essential oil of your choice in a candle diffuser, or dilute two drops in 1 tsp. of avocado or almond oil, then rub it onto the back of your hand.

For pain relief try Green apple. The smell of green apples can reduce the severity and duration of migraine headaches and may have a similar effect on joint pain.

Another way for pain relief is to eat a green apple for a snack or bathe with green apple bath salts.

 

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND REFLEXOLOGY…

This week on ‘It’s Sleep Sunday’, I thought I would write on the reflexology points that can help you get to sleep.

Healthline has a list of 5 Pressure Points for sleep.

1. The spirit gate point is located at the crease on your outer wrist, below your pinkie finger.

  1. Feel for the small, hollow space in this area and apply gentle pressure in a circular or up-and-down movement.
  2. Continue for two to three minutes.
  3. Hold the left side of the point with gentle pressure for a few seconds, and then hold the right side.
  4. Repeat on the same area of your other wrist.

Stimulating this pressure point is associated with quieting your mind, which can help you fall asleep.

 

2. The three yin intersection point is located on your inner leg, just above your ankle.

  1. Locate the highest point on your ankle.
  2. Count four finger widths up your leg, above your ankle.
  3. Apply deep pressure slightly behind your biggest lower-leg bone (tibia), massaging with circular or up-and-down motions for four to five seconds.

In addition to helping with insomnia, simulating this pressure point can also help with pelvic disorders and menstrual cramps.

Don’t use this pressure point if you’re pregnant, as it’s also associated with inducing labour.

3. The bubbling spring point is located on the sole of your foot. It’s the small depression that appears just above the middle of your foot when you curl your toes inward.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent so you can reach your feet with your hands.
  2. Take one foot in your hand and curl your toes.
  3. Feel for the depression on the sole of your foot.
  4. Apply firm pressure and massage this point for a few minutes using a circular or up-and-down motion.

Stimulating this pressure point is believed to ground your energy and induce sleep.

4. The inner frontier gate point is found on your inner forearm between two tendons.

  1. Turn your hands over so that your palms are facing up.
  2. Take one hand and count three finger widths down from your wrist crease.
  3. Apply a steady downward pressure between the two tendons in this location.
  4. Use a circular or up-and-down motion to massage the area for four to five seconds.

In addition to helping you sleep, the inner frontier gate point is associated with soothing nausea, stomach pain, and headaches.

5. The wind pool point is located on the back of your neck. You can find it by feeling for the mastoid bone behind your ears and following the groove around to where your neck muscles attach to the skull.
  1. Clasp your hands together and gently open your palms with your fingers interlocked to create a cup shape with your hands.
  2. Use your thumbs to apply a deep and firm pressure toward your skull, using circular or up-and-down movements to massage this area for four to five seconds.
  3. Breathe deeply as you massage the area.

Stimulating this pressure point may help to reduce respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, which often interrupt sleep. It’s also associated with reducing stress and calming the mind.

 

 

 

FOUR WAYS USING REFLEXOLOGY POINTS TO GET RID OF A HEADACHE…

Tension and stress can cause headaches as your neck and shoulder muscles tighten up.

One technique that was invented in the 1920’s and 1930’s is called progressive muscle relaxation. Simply clench your hands as hard as possible for ten seconds then release. You’ll instantly feel relaxed, and your arms and shoulders will loosen as a result, which should then send the headache away. Do it three times an hour while you have your headache.

Hand Reflexology using acupressure points to relieve a headache – Pressure point LI-4, also called Hegu, is located between the base of your thumb and index finger. Doing acupressure on this point to relieve pain and headaches. Using your right thumb and index finger, find the space on your left hand between the base of your left thumb and index finger. Press down on this point for 5 minutes. Move your thumb in a circle while applying pressure. Be firm, but don’t press so hard that it hurts. Repeat the process on your right hand. You can do acupressure several times a day, or as often as needed for your symptoms to go away. Source: mskcc.org

You can try the Pericardium 6 (P6) point. You’ll find it a few inches below your wrist crease between the two tendons. Gently massage this point for one minute on both hands.

If you experience migrainesfoot reflexology may be able to relieve your pain and prevent future headaches. A massage therapist typically applies pressure to the inside of your big toe and second toe providing relief to your temporal lobes if you have a headache. They may also target your little toes as well as the top of the large toes near the nail bed, which can provide pain relief for the face and sinuses. Source: Emergetulsa

<a href=”http://Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay“>

NERVE ROOT BLOCK INJECTION FOR BACK PAIN…

The term nerve root block is one that many people find quite daunting and it sounds a very dramatic procedure.

However, it is a very safe and routine procedure to help manage/diagnose chronic pain conditions which are associated with nerve roots.

The injection is like many others I have written on and is first a local anaesthetic that is injected along with a steroid.

Because there is a local anaesthetic in the injection, the nerve will immediately be numbed. This then acts as a confirmation that the pain is actually being caused by a specific nerve and it will provide the patient with pain relief.

The steroid is also used to try and reduce inflammation that often occurs in the area near the nerve root and the discs in your back. Reducing this inflammation can actually provide relatively long term relief from pain, because the pain itself can be caused simply by this inflammation.

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