Some of it is a bit technical, but follow along to the amazing end.

  • Herniation of the Nucleus Pulposus [the disc's jelly center] or protrusion of the disc is now firmly established as a pathological mechanism  associated with low-back pain and sciatica.”
  • The majority will agree that the treatment of many of these cases by laminectomy and nerve-root decompression [SPINAL SURGERIES] has been disappointing.
  • Destroy the disc and you destroy spinal mechanics. Therefore, in disc derangement, we are dealing with a dual problem:”  (Deranged spinal mechanics AND the effects of spinal nerve-root irritation and compression.)
  • Both aspects of “deranged spinal mechanics,” above cause nerve root irritation, AND nerve root compression that can cause pain.
  • Patients with "deranged spinal mechanics” should not be surgically managed.  [“Deranged spinal mechanics” appears to be synonymous with the chiropractor's decades-old definition of "SUBLUXATION".  Vertebrates that are either out of place or not moving properly in relationship to each other.]
  • The normal Nucleus Pulposus is a semifluid substance, being 80% water and, thus, is “incompressible.” [When it is compressed too much, something has to give.  Because fluid cannot be compressed (think of hydraulics here), the ligaments that make up the Anulus Fibrosis begin to tear]
  • The normal semifluid nucleus transmits forces to the elastic spinal ligamentous structures [The Anulus Fibrosis]. “The critical feature in the disturbance of spinal mechanics and in the production of pain is the effect on the ligamentous structures, caused by the loss of water or nuclear substance following injury or degeneration.
  • An individual getting up in the morning is taller than when he [she] goes to bed at night:” men by ¾ inch, women by ½ inch. This is because the nucleus loses fluid in an upright gravity environment. This exchange of fluid helps the nucleus and annulus of the disc to remain healthy.
  • With age, the cartilaginous end-plate becomes less permeable to fluid, the free exchange of water is suppressed, resulting in “progressive desiccation [herniation] of the nucleus.”
  • Small tears in the annulus allow the nucleus to escape, reducing fluid pressure and altering spinal mechanics, and pain.
  • The resiliency of the spine and the motions permitted to it are primarily due to the elastic nature of the annulus fibrosis.
  • The loss of the fluid pressure in the Nucleus Pulposus leads to grave derangements in the physiology of the disc.”
  • The decrease in the vertical height of the intervertebral disc spaces leads to subluxation of the interarticular zygapophysial joints [FACET JOINTS], in which degenerative changes develop as the result of the abnormal forces acting upon them.[Interestingly enough, this has been the message of chiropractors for over 100 years.  Abnormal Joint Motion causes degeneration, and degeneration causes loss of normal joint motion.  Repeat Ad Infinitum].
  • The ligamentous structures of the body are the most sensitive to pain.” [The outer portion of the disc (Anulus Fibrosis) is made up of ligaments]
  • Ligaments can initiate pain from chemical irritants or from “mechanical displacement of the collagenous fibers.” This pain is deep, dull aching and poorly localized. [Again, a definition of Chiropractic Subluxation.  By the way, COLD LASER THERAPY actually speeds up the body's rate of collagen production]
  • Ligament pain ebbs and wanes, and can be accompanied by “vasovagal responses, such as nausea, sweating, and fall in blood pressure.”
  • Disc pain can occur in the absence of direct irritation of the peripheral nerve or nerve root.
  • The Annulus Fibrosus has been shown to possess a rich nerve supply,” allowing it to initiate pain.
  • Distortion of the annulus and other spinal ligaments can cause not only local pain, but also sclerotomal pain that radiates down the posterior thigh. This is not true SCIATICA, because there is no irritation to the nerve roots.  [It is important to understand this point.  It means that one can have "Disc Pain" without any tests such as an MRI being positive.]
  • When the lumbar nerve roots exit the intervertebral foramen, they carry with it the spinal dura, doubling their diameter as compared to the cauda equina roots in the subarachnoid space.
  • Nerve compression primarily affects large nerve fibers, which are associated with proprioceptive and motor function.
  • Pain fibers are smaller, and are more likely to fire in response to chemical (inflammatory) stimulus than to mechanical pressure.
  • DISC HERNIATION without nerve compression is characterized first by pain and then a deep ache radiating into the leg in a sclerotomal pattern.
  • DISC HERNIATION with nerve compression is characterized by loss of vibratory sense, muscle weakness, reduced tendon reflexes, and hyperesthesia [increased pain] / pain in a dermatomal pattern. The pain is sharper from chemical inflammation in the region.

All of these points indicate that patients can be placed into two distinct categories:

A) Mechanical Spinal Derangement: [For over a century, Chiropractors have referred to this as "SUBLUXATION"]  Although there is nerve irritation, there is no actual nerve compression.  These patients have “backache and local signs and symptoms of injury to the vertebral ligamentous structures, have radiating pain, deeper in character, extending down one or both extremities. The extent of the radiation is indicative in some measure of the degree of irritation or injury to the ligamentous structures.”

B)  Nerve Root Compression From Disc Herniation:  The “pressure will interrupt nerve conductivity in a precise sequential fashion:”  The larger nerve fibers conveying proprioception and motor impulses are affected first.  The nerve fibers conveying pressure, touch and fast pain are affected second.  The nerve fibers conveying temperature sense and deep pain are lost last. These patients usually also have spinal ligamentous irritation that causes local backache and the “radiation of deep pain to the extremities.” Surgery to decompress the nerve root will often leave the patient with the ligamentous back pain and deep extremity referred pain radiation, and the patient will often be disappointed.
  • Weakness should be considered a definite emergency and the patient should be operated upon at once. If the motor weakness is left untreated for a considerable time [6-12 months], the strength never returns.
  • 40% of disc herniation patients with nerve compression have only motor signs, they “possessed no deficit in the common sensory modalities of pain, light touch, heat and cold, or sense of position.
Here is the real kicker to this study.  What you just read is not new information.  This research all comes from a study that was published less than two years after the end of WWII.  It comes from the April 1947 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery ---- a prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal that is still in print today.  By the way, the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery recently published a study (2011) whose conclusions should not surprise us.  They stated that DISC HERNIATIONS when dealt with in the first six months have better outcomes than discs that are not dealt with quickly.  "Dealing quickly" does not mean that you have to have surgery.  Numerous Orthopedic Surgeons are telling patients to stay away from surgeons.  Most

Thanks to the venerable Dr. Dan Murphy for this incredible information.


Spinal Decompression Therapy
By GrietGriet
DEAR DIARY:  Thank God that Dr. Schierling is doing non-surgical Spinal Decompression just down the road in Mountain View, Missouri!  If it had not been for Dr. Schierling and his new Decompression Table, I'm not sure what I would've done. .

  Monday, September 6, 2010 ---  I knew I should have never helped Don lift the boat onto the hitch, but after our little "incident" at the boat ramp, what was I supposed to do?  The place was packed because it was Labor Day, and people were getting terribly impatient.  Sure, my back has given me some periodic grief over the past 20 years, but whose hasn't?   But this is the worst it's ever been.  I wish there would have been someone there that we knew who could have helped Don besides me.  I guess I'll call into work and go visit my chiropractor tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 ---  Great; I did not get my bonus.  All I have to do is show up for work the day after any major holiday and I automatically make a $150 bonus.  Oh well.  Last nite was miserable.  I'm not sure I could have worked if the bonus would have been $150,000!  Could not sleep and coughing or sneezing put me on the floor.  I've had this before, but it's different this time.  Don't know how I'm going to work tomorrow either.  The chiropractor did not really help me.  He wants me to come back every day this week.

Friday, October 1, 2010 --- Was able to work this week, but it was miserable to say the least.  Could not get my mind off of my back pain.  Have given up on the chiropractor.  I called for a doctor's appointment and they can get me in three weeks from next Wednesday.  I'll either be dead or cured by then.  And I'll have to miss another day of work.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 ---  The doctor's office was a total waste of time.  Dr. Kate gave me pain pills, muscle relaxers, and arthritis medication.  For Pete's sake, I'm only 43 years old.  I told her that it is all I can do to get through a day of work.  I have only been to church one time in the last 6 weeks, and my own daughter does not trust me to hold little Lauralee.  I knew it might be a problem when she saw me stumble on the stairs a few days ago.  Couldn't help it.  My leg plain gave out.  I don't have time for this!!!!!! 

Friday, November 19, 2010 ---  I can't believe this.  Everyone is coming here for Thanksgiving dinner and I can barely function.  The medication makes me feel loopy (not to mention the constipation) and I don't think they're really working any more anyway.  I do not want to schedule an MRI, but Don told me that I have no choice.  Our deductible is so high that we will have to pay for most of it out of pocket.  They said they can get me scheduled in a couple of weeks.  Don is going to take a personal day to take me to Springfield because I am not sure I can drive that far.

Friday / Saturday, New Year's Eve, 2011 ---  It's now 2011 and I cannot believe this is still going on.  The truth is, I am getting worse.  Who would've thought that I have three HERNIATED DISCS, and two more discs that are severely DEGENERATIVE?  I know that doctor Kate means well, but Physical Therapy has not helped me at all.  And now she wants me to go to a pain specialist who is going to put shots in my back.   I'm not sure about this.   I really want to go back to work but I cannot stand the leg pain any more.  Staying in any position for more than a few minutes just kills me.  I just do not feel that more pain meds and shots will help me now when it has not helped me so far.  Why can't someone do something about my pain?

Monday, March 28, 2011 ----   All I can say is no more shots!  At first I told Don they were helping. But I had the third one just three days ago, and the pain has returned with a vengeance.  Heaven knows, I have never touched a drop of alcohol in my entire life --- but I am ready to start!  I cannot take much more of this.  Doctor Kate scheduled me with a neurosurgeon that she knows in Springfield.  But that appointment is not until the middle of June.  I don't know if I can make it til then.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 --- That specialist was an ass!  He just does not get it.  I am not looking to go on Disability and I am not after more drugs!  All I want is to live a normal life again.  I was going to tough it out but Don told me two weeks ago I had to either quit work or take a leave of absence.  Believe me, quitting sounds good right now.  But staying home from work does not make the pain any better.  In fact, there is nothing at home to take my mind off of the pain.  I am starting to feel like I have become my pain.  I am at my breaking point and don't know what to do.  Don has been a gem.  I hate the fact that I have not felt like having sex since this all started.  My first granddaughter is growing up in front of me and I cannot hold her. Please God; I just want my old life back. 

Friday, August 2, 2011 ---- Back to the specialist today.  What a waste!  I can't believe that the best he can do is request I have another MRI.  He says I will probably need surgery, but wants to make sure first.  Sounds like he wants to make some money.   After the debacle last year with Don's bosses wife, I don't want any part of SPINAL SURGERY.  She had problems a lot like mine and over a year after her surgery, she is worse than ever.  But I guess I don't really have a choice.  It's been almost one year since all of this began and I feel like I'm treading water.  If I don't get help soon, I'm not sure what I am going to do.  My specialist gave me that stupid little electric shocker to use on my back.  Worthless!  I truly feel like I am going crazy.    I cannot do anything fun anymore and all I ever think about is my low back and right leg.  I feel like I have become my leg (HERE).    My doctor has prescribed me three different pain pills, muscle relaxers, and an ANTIDEPRESSANT.  I thought that Doctor Kate and I were friends but after she told me that Depression might be causing my back pain and prescribed me an anti-depressant, I realized that she doesn't really "get it" either.  I am supposed to go to my niece's wedding in Kansas City next week.  There's no way.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 ---   Finally; a ray of hope.  I am actually scheduled for surgery next month, but someone told Don about Dr. Russell Schierling over in Mountain View.   I don't want to get my hopes up, but I called his Office Manager Tracy and scheduled a free consultation.  She was quite sweet and directed me to his website on Spinal Decompression Therapy.  I'll look at it tomorrow when I'm not so exhausted by the pain. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011 ---   All I can say is wow!  Could I possibly avoid surgery after all?  I sat down and talked with Dr. Schierling today and am reservedly optimistic for the first time in over a year.  He went over my MRI report and explained what all those big words really mean, and pointed me towards information on his website.   He was up front with me and told me that my case was particularly bad (multiple Disc Herniations and multiple Degenerative Discs), but that he had helped many people with equally bad or worse spines.   He is the first doctor I have talked to who not only understands what I am going through, but seems to actually care whether or not I get better.   He said that if I was not showing any improvement at the halfway point of my treatment, he would refund half my money.  No one has done that before.  After watching a bunch of his PATIENT TESTIMONIAL VIDEOS, I am completely convinced I am in the right place.  If anyone can help me, he can.

Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving Day) 2011 ----   Dr. Schierling did his formal examinations yesterday.  Even though he did simple examinations a couple of weeks ago, he wanted to do very thorough baseline exams so that we could see what kind of improvement I make once I start my Decompression Treatment.  After what I have been through, the exams were a breeze.  Oh, a few of them were a bit uncomfortable.  But after what the Physical Therapist put me through........   And they were nothing like that Nerve Conduction Test.  Oh, and I actually got to keep my clothes on.  We start the Spinal Decompression on Monday morning. 

Monday, November 28, 2011 ----  I had my first session of Spinal Decompression Therapy this morning.  I can't say that I really feel better, but I certainly do not feel worse.  Dr. Schierling said it would probably take several sessions before I saw any big changes.  While I was waiting to see Dr. Schierling, a woman described to Tracy how she raked leaves for the first time in over five years.  She is halfway through her Decompression Treatments, and said she feels at least 70% better.   After talking with her for just a moment, I learned that only three weeks ago she was in basically the same condition that I was.

Monday, December 12, 2011 ----  I am almost in shock.  This is the day that I was originally scheduled to have back surgery.  Thank God I listened to Dr. Schierling and tried Spinal Decompression Therapy first!  I am at least 50% improved and am actually sleeping through the night.  I went to church yesterday for the first time in months and surprised everyone.  They could not believe how well I was doing.  I felt like cleaning house, but Dr. Schierling warned me to follow his directions, let my back heal, and not stress it more than needed right now.  He explained to me that the discs are in the process of healing but still have a long way to go. 

Monday, December 26, 2011 ---  I still can't believe it.  I am about 80% out of pain, and have not taken a pain pill in nearly two weeks.  We actually drove to Columbia to spend Christmas weekend with Don's folks.  Three and a half hours in the truck was a breeze.  I'm not sure that the bed we slept in did me any favors, but all in all I told Dr. Schierling I feel good.  Oh, and I can pick up my granddaughter without any pain.  She calls me MeMaw and loves for me to read to her.   And believe me, Don loves the fact that I am starting to feel like my old self again!

Friday, January 20, 2012 ----  I actually broke down and cried in Dr. Schierling's office.  When he released me from care today, he asked me to do a patient testimonial video.   I could barely get through it without bawling like a baby.  I kept thinking about how bad things used to be compared with how good they are now.  There was a time when I thought I was just going to have to live like that --- for the rest of my life.  Looking back, I'm not sure how long I could have done it ---- and I honestly have no idea how I did it as long as I did.  I am following my Home Protocol to the tee and doing everything just like Dr. Schierling told me to do.  The INVERSION is great, and the exercises are not difficult.  He told me that If I have any the slightest inkling that the problem is returning, just call the office.  He offers short Decompression Protocols (3-5 visits) that are a fraction of the cost of my original protocol.  I am so happy that my pain is gone --- I'm telling everyone I know about Dr. Schierling and Spinal Decompression Therapy!

Have you been struggling with back pain and leg pain?  If so; this could be your story too.  All you have to do to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Dr. Schierling is call (417) 934-6337.  Unfortunately, NOT EVERYONE IS A GOOD CANDIDATE for Spinal Decompression Therapy.  But if you are, it could change your life!

Mountain View, Missouri (West Plains / Willow Springs / Winona / Cabool / Summersville) ---- Spinal Decompression Doctor, Russell Schierling, presents another blog article on Spinal Decompression Therapy.



WARNING                WARNING              WARNING 


Spinal Decompression Therapy
Photo by Arpingstone
Degenerative Disc
Photo by Sarindam7 at en.wikipedia
If you are making any of these common mistakes that are so prevalent in today's back pain sufferers, it might be an indication that you are playing with fire.
  • You hope your pain will just go away on its own.
  • You hope that medicine will solve the problem with your spine.
  • You believe that if you just get enough chiropractic adjustments, it will solve your disc problem.
  • You believed the doctor(s) who told you that Corticosteroid Injections were both safe and effective.
  • You are thinking about having a SPINAL SURGERY, even though none of your friends have done well with theirs.
  • You heard that all SPINAL DECOMPRESSION PROTOCOLS are the same

Unfortunately, Your Back Pain is not Going Away on its Own:
Back pain is not fun.  And when it is the severe kind that is caused by SCIATICA, DISC HERNIATIONS, SPINAL STENOSIS, SPINAL DEGENERATION, or FACET PROBLEMS, you can bet your bottom dollar that it is not going to simply "go away".  The truth is, most of the things on this list are conditions that will progress and degenerate unless something is done to stop the underlying cause(s) of your symptoms.  The truth is, most medical interventions geared toward disc problems, are geared not at dealing with the underlying cause of the pain, but at attempting to manage the symptoms.  I have said it before, but the truth is that anything geared at alleviating symptoms without addressing the underlying cause of those symptoms, will end in a degenerative mess.

When it comes to Spinal Discs, Standard Medical Fare does not have a Good Track Record:
Your intuition and common sense have already told you this (read my last sentence in the above paragraph).  You are rapidly figuring out that pain killers, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammation medications are not the answer to your disc problem.  Just look at the scientific studies on the subject.  Or read the internet message boards of people who have already been through what your doctor is suggesting you need to go through.   Or better yet, talk to ten people who have had the surgery that your doctors are pushing you towards. 

The Disc Problems listed a couple of paragraphs back are all "Mechanical Problems".  Trying to fix a mechanical problem with a chemical does not work with your car, and it certainly does not work in your body.   CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS and other modalities such as TISSUE REMODELING, acupuncture, massage therapy, and spinal exercises are fabulous for most run-of-the-mill back problems (sprains, strains, SUBLUXATIONS, and even lesser disc problems).  However, they are not and never were designed to tackle serious disc damage like you have been diagnosed with.

Corticosteroid Injections are Dangerous and Degenerative:
Despite anything your doctor tries to tell you, INJECTIONS OF CORTICOSTEROIDS are fraught with problems ---- serious and potentially permanent problems!  These drugs are not only a major cause of osteoporosis (brittle bone disease), but as I have shown time and time again, they actually deteriorate COLLAGEN-BASED TISSUES, of which the Spinal Discs are.  Corticosteroid Injections are a temporary "fix" which, while sometimes providing some temporary relief, does not have the ability to repair the ligaments that make up the outer portion of the Spinal Disc (the Annulus Fibrosus).

All Spinal Decompression Protocols are the same, so who Really Cares who I Trust my Spine to:
All Spinal Decompression Protocols are not the same.  Not by a long shot.  There a lot of people out there with old, outdated, or inferior equipment or training that are claiming to be "experts" in Spinal Decompression Therapy.  Make sure that the person you choose to do your Spinal Decompression Therapy really is an expert!

Back Surgery Alternatives that Actually Work:
Twenty years ago you either medicated yourself and lived with the pain, or you had BACK SURGERY ---- there was really nothing else to be done for serious disc issues.  And despite the fact that scientific study after scientific study shows a poor success rate for these Spinal Surgeries ---- particularly the Spinal Fusions (pins, plates, metal, screws, wires, etc), they are being done in record numbers.  Fortunately you do not have to live in the past.  Fortunately, there are new ways to tackle disc problems using methods that have been shown to be safe, effective, and non-invasive.  No; our Spinal Decompression Therapy program is not going to help every person.  I would never hope to tell you otherwise.  After all, we work mostly with people whose next option is going under the knife.  But don't you owe it to yourself to find out if Non-surgical Spinal Decompression could be the thing you have been searching for to help your pain and address its underlying cause?


Pain causes desperation, and the truth is that we have a lot of desperate people contact us about our Spinal Decompression Program.  Unfortunately, not everyone is a GOOD CANDIDATE for Spinal Decompression Therapy.  I would guess that about 50% of the people who contact me for Spinal Decompression Therapy are turned down.  Some of these people have serious pain that is not disc related.  Some of them are too far gone.  Some have problems that can mimic a disc (i.e. PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME) but are not actually a disc problem (many of these can helped in other ways).  Call Tracy today at (417) 934-6337 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Dr. Schierling.  He will sit down with you and talk with you face to face.  He will review your tests.  If he thinks he can help you he will tell you.  If not, he will try to help you find help.  But either way, stop playing with fire and do something about your pain while you still can!
Mountain View, Missouri (West Plains / Willow Springs / Winona / Cabool / Summersville) ---- Spinal Decompression Doctor, Russell Schierling, presents another blog article on Spinal Decompression Therapy.

Disc Herniation
Photo by User: Tonbi_ko


Spinal Discs are the flexible "bushings" between your vertebrae.  Their to main jobs are to create space for the spinal nerves as they exit the spinal cord through bony windows called Intervertebral Foramen (IVF), and to act as shock absorbers.  The discs are made up of two distinct parts

  • ANNULUS FIBROSUS:  The Annulus is the outer part of the disc.  It is made up of ligamentous rings (like the rings on a tree).  The center-most portion of the Annulus Fibrosis contains the.........
  • NUCLEUS PULPOSUS:  The Nucleus is the jelly center that is contained within the Annulus. Fluid cannot be compressed, thus these jelly centers are tremendous shock absorbers. 

As you bear weight, the pressure pushes the Nucleus toward the outside of the disc in 360 degrees.  When you bend forward (which we all do far more often than bending backwards), the Nucleus is pushed more towards the back of the disc.  The Annular fibers are typically tough enough to contain the disc during normal activities, including work.  But when stressed by too much discal pressure, these layers of ligaments can begin to fail from the inside out.  As the innermost layers of the Annulus start to tear, the Nuclear Jelly begins to "bulge" towards the outsides (right or left or both) of the rear of the disc.  The greater the tearing, the greater the bulge.

The injuries that cause Spinal Discs to bulge / herniate can be due to either acute trauma or repetitive physical stresses.  These mechanical stresses overcome the injured or weakened Annular Ligaments and allow the Nuclear Jelly to bulge outward.  If the bulge (often referred to as a DISC HERNIATION) protrudes in a small area (less than 25% of the disc's circumference), we refer to it as a Focal Disc Bulge.   But all too often, the Spinal Disc may bulge or "herniate" over a large area (up to 50% of the disc's circumference).  This is called a Diffuse Disc Bulge aka a Broad Based Disc Bulge.

As you can imagine, the differences in the two are not insignificant.  Focal Disc Bulges are more localized, causing pain that tends to be focused to only one area.  This is because there are fewer nerves involved.  Be aware, however, that a Focal Disc Herniation can and often does cause SCIATICA.  Because Diffuse Disc Bulges take up more space, they tend to cause a wider array of symptoms. The pain is often on both sides, and because the herniation often involves pressure on the cord itself, the pain and other symptoms can give the appearance of coming from multiple spinal levels of nerves.

Although it is not critical, it helps to know what kind of DISC HERNIATION you are dealing with.  This is because despite the fact that they are treated in essentially the same manner, the recovery time may be longer for a Broad Based or Diffuse Disc Bulge than it is for a Focal Disc Bulge. For a Free consultation with Dr Schierling, please call Tracy at (417) 934-6337 to schedule an appointment. I will take a few minutes to talk to you, look over your MRI, and briefly examine you.  Please be aware that only about 50% of the people I consult with are allowed to become Spinal Decompression patients.  This is because NOT EVERYONE IS A GOOD CANDIDATE for Spinal Decompression Therapy.  If I do not think that Spinal Decompression will help you, I will tell you up front.

Mountain View, Missouri (West Plains / Willow Springs / Winona / Cabool / Summersville) ---- Spinal Decompression Doctor, Russell Schierling, presents another blog article on Spinal Decompression Therapy.


The importance of listening to my patients hit me full in the face this week.  On Monday, I had a new patient present with horrendous low back pain.  He had been to an Emergency Room the previous day, was examined, sent home, and told to take high doses of Ibuprofen.  He came to see me the next day because despite being a tough-as-nails saw mill worker, he could no longer tolerate the pain.  Although I see people in terrible pain each and every day I am in the office, this person also presented with........

  • BILATERAL SCIATICA:   Any time SCIATICA is bilateral, it starts to raise a red flag.
  • SADDLE PARESTHESIA:  He had abnormal sensation on the inside part of his legs that would come in contact with a saddle if he were riding a horse.
  • TESTICULAR ANESTHESIA:  He could not feel his testicles. 
  • ANAL ANESTHESIA:  He could not feel it when he wiped his rear end. 
  • ANAL LEAKAGE:  He was leaking feces ---- and could not feel it happening. 

Any one of these is a potential Red Flag, but when put all together it is like a huge, glowing, UFO camped out just over your house.  I gave this individual a letter outlining my findings that took me two minutes to scrawl on office letterhead.  I also told him to go to a different Emergency Room and give the letter to whomever they came in contact with first --- immediately.  Mind you, I did not actually do an examination on this person.  There was no need.  I simply got this information from what he told me during a three minute consultation. 

I wrote on the letter that I believed he had CAUDA EQUINA SYNDROME; a serious condition that requires immediate surgical intervention. The cause of the Cauda Equina Syndrome?   After having an MRI done, they discovered a tumor pressing on his spinal cord. 

His wife called our office yesterday and told Tracy the story, who then relayed it to me.  He is scheduled for surgery later this month.  Needless to say, she was extremely grateful we actually took the time to listen to them; and then she thanked us for going out of our way to help him get the help that he needed. 

Interestingly enough, I had another patient whom I examined yesterday and who will start her Decompression Protocol on Monday.  She was excited because someone had actually "examined" her in a thorough fashion as opposed to a tap of her reflexes, bend forward, and here's a prescription for pain pills, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory drugs.  Unlike him, I am completely convinced she is a GOOD CANDIDATE for Spinal Decompression and will get dramatically better with a good SPINAL DECOMPRESSION PROTOCOL.
Mountain View, Missouri (West Plains / Willow Springs / Winona / Cabool / Summersville) ---- Spinal Decompression Doctor, Russell Schierling, presents another blog article on Spinal Decompression Therapy.


Unlike most other doctors who do Spinal Decompression Therapy, I do not require an MRI.  Although there are numerous reasons for this, the chief one is that between 50%-70% of the adult population of America has DISC HERNIATIONS that show up on the MRI ---- yet cause no back pain, SCIATICA, or other overt symptoms (HERE).  Disc Bulges on MRI are an easy thing to point to as the cause of pain, when the reality is, it can be QUITE DIFFICULT TO TELL WHICH TISSUE IS CAUSING A PATIENT'S PAIN ---- frequently to the point of being impossible.  So, what's a person to do if MRI cannot be trusted to deliver as accurate a result as you have been led to believe?  How about a good Physical Examination and some inexpensive x-rays?

Although spinal x-rays cannot show us Disc Herniations, they do a fabulous job of showing DISC DEGENERATION (sometimes called "Spondylosis").  However, there are some very basic Examination Findings that provide a big clue as to whether or not a person is dealing with a Disc Problem.  Although there are all sorts of Neurological and Orthopedic tests that can provide some valuable clues, there are three chief signs that your problem is likely disc-related.  If you have all three, you can be pretty sure that you are dealing with at least some degree of DISC RUPTURE.


  • ANTALGIA:   An antalgic posture is being pulled to one side or the other (or to the front).  If the disc's jelly center (Nucleus Pulposus) "slips" or herniates to the right, most of the time people will lean to the left and vise versa.  This is an automatic reaction of the body as it tries to pull you off of, or away from the disc bulge.  Often times you will notice that the belly button is pulled away from the body's center line.
  • POSITIVE VALSALVA or DeJARINE SIGN:  This is pain when you cough, sneeze, or strain on the stool.  When you cough or sneeze, you develop a great deal of momentary internal pressure.  Because force always takes the path of least resistance, the pressure released by a cough or sneeze pushes on the bulged portion of the disc.  I frequently hear people tell me that if they know they are going to cough or sneeze, they hold themselves up in a counter or table so their legs do not collapse out from under them in sheer pain.  Speaking of legs......
  • SCIATICA:  The nerves from either side of your low back area grow together into one nerve ---- the Sciatic Nerve.  The Sciatic Nerve is not only the longest nerve in the body, it is the biggest as well.  If you cause pressure on one of the nerves that makes up the Sciatic Nerve, you can end up in a world of hurt.  This can be in the form of pain.  But it can also be in the form of numbness, tingling, weakness, odd sensations (paresthesia), etc.  Sometimes the pain will do odd things like start at the knee and go down, or skip certain areas.  Sciatica can also mimic knee or hip problems as well.


Disc Bulges cause pressure on nerves that automatically pull you away from the pain into an "antalgic" position.  You have no control over this.


ABOVE:  Pressure generated by coughing or sneezing causes pressure on Herniated Discs that can cause paralyzing pain.  RIGHT:  When injured or degenerative lumbar discs press on nerves, you will get symptoms in the leg(s).


If you might be wondering whether or not Spinal Decompression Therapy might be the solution for you, please call Tracy at (417) 934-6337 to set up a free, no-obligation, consultation with Doctor Schierling.  Not everyone is a GOOD CANDIDATE for Spinal Decompression Therapy.  If he thinks that you can be helped, he will tell you so.  If not, he will tell you that also. 
Mountain View, Missouri (West Plains / Willow Springs / Cabool / Winona / Summersville, Thayer, Mountain Grove) ---- Spinal Decompression Doctor, Russell Schierling, presents another blog article on Spinal Decompression Therapy.


If you suffer from chronic, unrelenting low back or neck pain, you very well may have heard these two excuses before from your doctor.  They're convenient.  They blame the situation wholly on you.  Not to mention they require no effort as far as finding a solution to your problem.  No solution, of course, other than drugs or surgery ---- things we know not only do not help large percentages of suffering people, but frequently result in making things worse (HERE).  No, I do not even hope to claim to have all the answers, but in all honesty, why would you not try our SPINAL DECOMPRESSION PROGRAM before jumping in to a SPINAL SURGERY?  Although Spinal Decompression Therapy routinely helps people who have already had spinal surgery, the odds of you getting better with conservative means begins to decrease sharply each time you go under the knife.  Oh, and here are The Big-Two Excuses.
  • Well, Mrs. Jones, you just aren't as young as you used to be.
  • I'm sorry Mrs. Jones, but you are just going to have to learn to live with the pain.
Like I said, excuses like these are simple.  They require little from your doctor.   They put all the blame back on you.  After all, you're just "too old" to have any hope of improvement.  Mind you that you will hear this excuse whether you are 35 or 85.  It's usually a simple cop out.  And because doctors are more than aware of just how poorly their bag of tricks for dealing with THE BIG FOUR really is, they tell you to just learn to live with it.  Listen up folks; don't take this sort of advice lying down.  Your health is up to you.  Leave it solely up to your doctors and you'll end up like so many patients I have seen over the years ---- Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead!

Of course, you should watch our videos and think seriously about Spinal Decompression Therapy.  But the truth is, I am not interested in helping people who refuse to help themselves.  Sounds callous doesn't it?  It's not.  The promise of modern medicine is, "What can you do for me doc?".   For many people this means, "What can you prescribe me or do to me that will fix my back pain and sciatica but let me continue to live the same self-destructive lifestyle I always have?".   If people are not willing to take some baby steps and do some of the things required to help their own cause, odds are I will not be able to help them.   What can people do to help their cause?  Glad you asked!

(Self Help Tips)

  • LOSE WEIGHT:  I had a patient who had incredible results with Spinal Decompression Therapy.  Unfortunately, he was severely overweight ---- all right in the belly.  I warned him that this would affect his results.  It did.  After a few months, he weighed more than when he started our program, and was right back where he started as far as his pain was concerned.  To learn how to get excess weight off and keep it off, visit THIS PAGE.
  • EXERCISE:  This is not just a weight issue.  All the joints in your body (including your Spinal Discs) require motion / movement to remain healthy.  Without some exercise of some sort, healing a Disc Problem is going to be difficult.  By the way, sitting puts four times the amount of mechanical stress on your spine as standing does.  If you can stand it, walking is great exercise for a disc --- just try to stay off concrete.
  • AVOID INFLAMMATION:  Inflammation is not synonymous with swelling, it is a group of normal Immune System chemicals that attract swelling to them.  Although using local ice is beneficial to help limit these chemicals, you will have to avoid the foods that cause INFLAMMATION.  This means that you need to be avoiding sugar and junk, while eating lots of vegetables and a certain amount of lean protein.  You will also have to learn the difference between good fats and bad fats (HERE), because this is a factor that can seriously drive inflammation or substantially inhibit it.
  • GIVE UP THE CIGS:  I know that this is a tough one.  Unfortunately for you, the research says that if you smoke, you will have significantly greater amounts of SPINAL DEGENERATION in your spine than your non-smoking counterpart.  The disc has a poor blood supply to begin with.  This is why we use OXYGEN THERAPY as part of our standard DISC PROTOCOL
  • TRY INVERSION:  I bought my first Inversion Table years ago.  It is interesting to note on the "customer comments" sections of huge sites such as Amazon dot com, just how many people with the same problems you are dealing with are helped by this simple / inexpensive therapy.  However, it must be done correctly.  HERE is my Blog Post on which table to buy and how to use it properly, as well as the best research studies on the topic. 
  • USE AN EXERCISE BALL:  The instability of the ball builds stability into your back.  Also, the bouncing motion pumps fluid in and out of the disc.  This is how exchange takes place in a disc in lieu of a blood supply.  CORE STRENGTH AND EXERCISE BALL PAGE


When the things above do not work, it is time to move to plan "B".  All I mean by Header Title is do your own research.  Do not automatically assume that any doctor you consult with is telling you the truth or looking out for your best interest --- after all; Spinal Surgery can be a huge money maker.  I personally want patients who ask questions and do their own research.  The truth is, CHRONIC PAIN patients are a group of people who are easily taken advantage of.  This is what desperation brings out in people.  At Schierling Chiropractic, LLC, my goal is to not only help you as much as you can be helped, it is to help you help yourself. 

After a free consultation where I review your history and tests (MRI's, CT's, X-rays, etc), I will tell you whether you are a GOOD CANDIDATE for Spinal Decompression Therapy.  Unfortunately, for all sorts of reasons, about half of the patients I consult with are not good candidates.  If I think I can help you, I will tell you.  And if I think I can't, I will tell you that also.  We had a person recently, whose problem was not disc related, but instead a PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME that was easily resolved with TISSUE REMODELING.  If you would like to schedule a free, 100% no-obligation consultation with Dr. Schierling, just call Tracy at (417) 934-6337.


Mountain View, Missouri (West Plains / Willow Springs / Cabool / Winona / Summersville) ---- Spinal Decompression Doctor, Russell Schierling, presents another blog article on Spinal Decompression Therapy.

If you read any of the comments from my LAST BLOG POST, you are aware that the blog was partially in reference to Chiropractic Marketing expert, Ben Altadonna and his relationship with Axiom; creator of the DRX9000 Spinal Decompression Table. Although the DRX9000 is great equipment (HERE), I am not convinced that it is any better than most other Spinal Decompression Equipment on the market today.  Anyway, from what I have been reading and hearing, it seems like the Marketing Campaign that Altadonna created for Axiom's DRX9000 was simply based on information that he was given by Axiom --- and at the time could not have known was not true.  

After checking around, most people think that Ben is a stand up guy ---- a guy who was essentially railroaded into a settlement with the government (something that is increasingly happening in numerous professions, including chiropractic).  For more on this, please read the comments under my last Blog Post.  Someone even wrote that, "Ben's one of those guys. Extremely successful but last time I checked, just drives a big truck and likes fly fishing."  Hey, sounds like my kind of guy.  Ben; if you ever get a hankering to come do some fishing in my neck of the Ozarks (HERE & HERE), just look me up.

$1.125 Million Fraud Settlement

Mountain View, Missouri (West Plains / Willow Springs / Cabool / Winona / Summersville) ---- Spinal Decompression Doctor, Russell Schierling, presents another blog article on Spinal Decompression Therapy.

If you have followed my Spinal Decompression Therapy Blog, you are already aware of some of the false claims that have been made by several manufacturers of Spinal Decompression Equipment.  At the top of the heap is Axiom Worldwide's DRX 9000.  As I have said, the DRX 9000 is good equipment.  However, there is nothing that really sets it out above anyone else's equipment.  It seems that the government agrees with me. 

Paul Thissen of the Contra Costa Times reported earlier this week that Danville Chiropractor, "Benjamin Altadonna created a fraudulent national marketing campaign for the DRX 9000, a device that aims to treat back problems using spinal decompression, according to a news release from the Monterey County District Attorney's Office, which joined District Attorney offices throughout the Bay Area in the fraud lawsuit."

Altadonna, a marketing guru, had been hired by Axiom Worldwide to create a marketing campaign for the DRX 9000.  His Marketing Package was sold to thousands upon thousands of DRX 9000 purchasers.  In turn, Altadonna got sales commissions for the DRX 9000 units sold.  During the time this was going on, the units were selling for anywhere from $80,000 to in excess of $125,000 each.  Both Axiom and Altodonna's businesses were raided by the FBI in 2007.  Some of the fraudulent marketing claims that came out in Altadonna's trial included
  • His claim that DRX 9000 technology was, "Patented". 
  • His claim that the DRX 9000 provided, "Breakthrough Medical Technology".
  • His claim that the DRX was the only device on the market that provided, "True Decompression" of the spine.
  • His claim that DRX 9000 technology was, "Developed by NASA".
The truth is that DRX 9000 technology is awesome.  If you want to see how effective it has proven to be, look no farther than Dr. Phillip Lloyd of Cherry Health's Spinal Decompression Therapy program in Springfield Missouri.  For years I sent people to him, and the majority had excellent results.  However, if you want a fair and balanced evaluation of the DRX 9000 Spinal Decompression Machine, simply read my previous post called, VAX D & DRX -vs- KDT.  Or better yet, go to our HOME PAGE, and see what our patients are saying about our SPINAL DECOMPRESSION THERAPY PROTOCOL.

_Mountain View, Missouri (West Plains / Willow Springs / Winona / Cabool / Summersville) ---- Spinal Decompression Doctor, Russell Schierling, presents another blog article on Spinal Decompression Therapy.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, but were Too Afraid to Ask

DEFINITION OF "ANTALGIA" or "ANTALGIC":   Assuming a specific posture or gait so as to avoid or lessen pain.

One of the three "Cardinal Signs" of disc problems is antalgia.  People who have an "antalgic" posture, are contorting their bodies (this happens automatically or unconsciously) to get away from pain.  When a person has a Disc Herniation we know that the Nucleus Pulposus (the disc's jelly center) begins to break the innermost layers of the ligamentous Annulus Fibrosus.  Although people can have "Posterior Herniations" where the Nucleus ruptures straight backwards into the Spinal Canal / Spinal Cord, Lateral Herniations are far more common.

In the case of a Lateral Disc Herniation, the herniation is slightly offset to either the right or the left.  Because the Spinal Nerves exit the Spinal Cord on both the left and the right side, a Lateral Disc Herniation will tend to compress, pinch, or irritate, those nerves.  Although this nerve irritation will frequently cause Sciatica or Radiculopathy (pain, numbness, tingling, weakness) that runs into the extremities (arms or legs), there is something that typically happens before this or right along with it.  Antalgia.

Because your body does not like pain, it will automatically contort your body into a position where there is less amount of nerve irritation.  It is actually common to see very subtle amounts of Antalgia. I frequently have people lift their shirts up so that I can see their belly button.  Often times the belly button will be pulled slightly out of center even though the body is not in a grossly antalgic posture.