New York DC Pioneers Nonsurgical Treatment
by Alan Ruskin
Steve Shoshany, DC, patents NYCDisc technique and turns decompression treatment into a practice success.
Steve Shoshany, DC, was concerned. After practicing for a while in the Greenwich Village area of New York City, he began losing patients, specifically those with the painful problem of herniated lumbar disks. "I wasn't able to help them using traditional chiropractic methods, so they were leaving for pain control specialists or surgery. didn't want to lose patients, and I wanted to help them."
Steve Shoshany, DC, explains that, in order for a lumbar disk to heal, it needs to open and expand so that blood, nutrients, and oxygen from surrounding tissue can reach it.
Shoshany, who opened his practice in 1999 after graduating from Life University in Atlanta in 1996, responded by exhaustively researching the problem, determined to come up with a solution. One of the most important results of his investigation was learning about the Axiom Worldwide DRX 9000, a table designed for spinal decompression. Shoshany calls the table "a benchmark, what other tables are compared to," and adds, "I only work with top-of-the-line equipment."
He noted that other chiropractors who were using less costly and what he considers inferior equipment were charging fees equal to his, but not getting the same good results. So Shoshany made use of the DRX 9000 a mandatory part of his treatment protocol. He also emphasizes correct analysis of the patient's MRI, a practice in which he is well skilled, having worked as an MRI technician for 6 years prior to beginning his chiropractic practice.
Steve Shoshany, DC, shown bracing a patient, has built a successful practice based around comprehensive decompression techniques.
Other key aspects in his treatment regimen are nutrition, neuromuscular reeducation (core stabilization and core strengthening), bracing, and follow-up with physical therapy. Another chiropractic table, the Cox Flexion Distraction, is also utilized.
Additionally, Shoshany is careful about which patients he selects to undergo treatment. "A key to getting excellent results is being picky with patients," he unabashedly declares. "If a patient has metal implants in their spine, or is morbidly obese, I don't take them. Instead I refer them to pain-management specialists, where they might get epidural injections or selective nerve blocks. In some extreme cases, when they have extruded or fragmented disks, I advise them to consider surgery. Being able to recognize whether patients should or should not have surgery is what makes a better clinician."
The Key Modality for Pain Relief
When treating patients, Shoshany makes frequent use of the H-Wave, a high-voltage patented wavelength that aids in fluid exchange. He also utilizes interferential therapy and the cold laser. But the central modality in his treatment plan is definitely the DMX 9000 table, which works by decompressing and unloading the lumbar spine, creating a vacuum that allows the disk to open up and expand so that blood, nutrients, and oxygen from surrounding tissue can reach it, thus allowing the disk to heal on its own.
Looking for a Pain-Treatment Niche?
Electrical stim, iontophoresis, and ultrasound, from manufacturers such as Amrex Electrotherapy Equipment, EMPI, and the Chattanooga Group, help activate patients’ bodies to relieve pain and promote healing, while giving chiropractors several methods to combine or use separately to build their practice niche.
"A lumbar disk," Shoshany explains, "is an avascular structure, meaning it doesn't have a good blood supply. So if the disk is injured, it will get progressively worse. Blood supply to the disks generally stops when the individual is about 19 to 20 years old. After that, it has to be rejuvenated, which stimulates the collagen to strengthen the fibers that contain the lesion. In time, with decompression, proper exercise, and nutrition, the disk will heal."
Citing one of his cases, Shoshany relates the testimonial of a female patient who was injured while performing duties on her job as a police officer. "Loretta" was thrown to the ground while making an arrest and suffered a severely herniated L5 disk, which put pressure on her S1 nerve root. "For 8 months she had shooting pain down both legs, couldn't sleep, could barely walk, and was taking Vicodin and Percocet like crazy, as well as epidural injections. She couldn't work and was on disability. She went to three different surgeons and all said they wanted to operate, recommending microdisectomy of the disk."
Steve Shoshany, DC, stands beside the DRX 9000 system, which works by decompressing and unloading the lumbar spine.
But Loretta, a mother to four children, didn't want to be further incapacitated by surgery, so she searched online and came across Shoshany's Web site at www.DrShoshany.com. After consulting with him, she decided to make the 250-mile round trip drive from Cold Springs, NY, three times per week. After just a few sessions, "I was able to straighten up and walk, sometimes with no pain at all." A month later she was sleeping through the night, and now, 4 months later, she is working again, walking 3 miles several times per week, and is totally off pain medication. She credits Shoshany with "quite literally restoring the quality of my life." Shoshany says that a post-treatment MRI showed a "dramatic 50% increase in the height of the disk."
Nutrition for Recovery
Shoshany believes nutrition is very important to recovery, but he doesn't make any stipulations regarding diet. Instead, he advises his decompression patients to drink 10 to 12 glasses of water per day and take supplements, especially Omega 3, as well as MSM, glucosamine chondroitin, calcium, and magnesium. The herbs Devil's Claw and Boswellia are also recommended for their anti-inflammatory effects.
Exercise is also an important part of Shoshany's rehabilitation regimen. Core stabilization is the key, and devices like the Powerplate (www.powerplate.com) and the "wobble chair" are excellent for helping to strengthen and stabilize the lumbar region. Shoshany describes the modality of the wobble chair as "similar to a physio ball, but with vibrations. The idea is to rehydrate the disk." Yoga-type exercises also are strongly recommended.
The Secret of Success
Interested in marketing decompression? Visit the August 2007 Archive.
When it comes to "turning lemons into lemonade," Shoshany must be regarded as a master. From being dismayed over being unable to help and subsequently losing patients with herniated disks, he has created a thriving practice, 50% of which is devoted exclusively to spinal decompression. He now heads a team of five chiropractors and in 2006 had his technique patented under the name "NYCDisc." His practice has become so busy that he recently added 4,000 square feet by acquiring the former New York University Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic, which he is in the process of remodeling and plans to open later in 2008.
Shoshany's stated goal is "to become the leader in spinal decompression in New York City." To judge not only by his practice, which has a "92% success rate," but also by the calls and inquiries he gets from other doctors, orthopedists as well as chiropractors, including those in foreign countries who visit his office to learn about his technique, he is already well on his way.