Comments on treatment

Regina Arline, office manager: Dr. P.,  I know I’ve said it already, but thank you. I’m getting teary saying it. I feel so much better. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. For the past 25 years I have suffered with headaches, neck & back pain, stiffness & discomfort; also pain while simply standing in line at the bank or grocery store. Any other physical activity would have repercussions the following day. When I would get out of the car, I’d hear from my back. When I’d get out of bed, I’d hear from my back. All of this while under chiropractic care for the past 16 years. Then enters Dr. P. A noticeable improvement was experienced the very first visit. By session five, the only words to describe it areabsolutely amazing”. Now I can wash my hair without feeling the pain and pull on my back. I feel free from that bondage I was in. Ladies & gentlemen, let me introduce you to Dr. David Pellington.

Jack Cantrell, Cantrell Properties. “Before I came to see you the pain had gotten so bad I was ready to start knocking on neurosurgeons’ doors. I’m glad you care so much that you take the time with your patients that you do. You care more about your patients than any doctor I’ve ever been to.”

Betty Brown, retired: “You’re the 9th doctor I’ve been to for this. You’re the only one who has been able to help me.” More than a year of intense, daily, debilitating pain. Previous: X-rays, MRI’s, nerve studies, pain medication, muscle relaxors, epidural injections, trigger point injections, physical therapy… all with no relief. She was told she had a herniated disc. “My doctor gave me pain medication and that just made me feel drunk. I’d wake up from that and the pain was just as bad. It didn’t help at all. No one could help me. It got to where I didn’t want to leave the house. I would just cry, it hurt so bad and nobody was helping me. I was getting so depressed. I had 5 injections (cortisone and epidurals). They didn’t help either. I left there and didn’t feel any better. I wish I’d come in earlier.” “You’ll like Dr. Pellington. He explains everything to you.”

Tony Pringle, mechanic. Over a year of severe hip and leg pain, “numbness and tingling.” “I can’t stand still for more than 2 or 3 minutes” without “sharp, stabbing pain.” After working all day “I have to lie on the sofa for an hour and a half.” Just a week after beginning treatment, he was able to pressure-wash his deck for five hours. And now… he has no pain at all. NONE. “I’m loving it! I don’t even think about backing off. Used to be 3 hours on a motorcycle and 6 hours lying down. The difference in the way my body feels is tremendous. It feels so good to feel good, and able to do anything I want to, instead of not wanting to. Afraid to, I should say. I always wanted to but I was afraid to. Now (the pain) is just a memory! Just a fading, bad memory.”

Cheryl Roddenberry, teacher. “I’ve seen improvement every visit. The convenience of not having to wait to be seen… Not to mention, I can use my arm without pain in my shoulder or tingling in my arm. Your treatment has been very clear and concise. I’m very pleased.” From a serious fall, Cheryl had had pain in her left shoulder, radiating into her arm and hand for about 3 years.

Mark McKercher, Respiratory Therapist. Chronic neck pain and frequent headaches. “Bad ones. Throbbing, my entire head.” Now… no headaches, no neck pain. “I was convinced I needed surgery. I just came to get some relief, not to get fixed. That was my mindset. I have no pain at all. I never thought we could make this much progress this fast. I’m frankly amazed. It’s nice to be functional again.”

Bonnie Mays, Paralegal. Upper back and neck pain for “twenty plus years.” Bonnie had gone through physical therapy, numerous chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, TENS unit, with no lasting improvement. She had been taking medication, daily, for more than five years and was concerned about the long-term affect of the medication. “My life revolved around beating pain.” She changed careers because of the pain. One orthopedist had told her to “live with it.”  After 4 weeks of treatment and a specific, at-home stretching and strengthening program, Bonnie was able to discontinue the medication, with the guidance of her M.D., with no recurrence of the pain.

“What I was running into before was people would say ‘I’ve heard of Trigger Points,’ but no one knew how to treat them effectively. I felt like I was handed information and I had to act on it. It’s exciting to me. I’ve fought it so long and so hard. I feel better now at 60 than I felt at 40.”


Laurie R. Oliver, LMT, Life Dance Wellness Center

What’s different about Dr. Pellington? One of the things is that he doesn’t want you to need him forever.  He cares deeply about people and wants you to do well.  He wants you to understand your body and to be able to keep pain from returning.  Bodywork is as much an Art as it is a Science.  Dr. Pellington has been in practice for over 30 years and specializes in combining Muscle Therapy, Chiropractic and Physical Rehab together and he is one of the best teachers/educators I have ever met. He has the ability to explain things about the body so that even someone with absolutely no knowledge about anatomy can truly grasp what is happening in their body; why they hurt; what is happening physiologically; and what THEY can do about it.

Another difference is that your time with Dr. P is reserved ONLY for you.  You are not left alone on a machine or with an assistant while he sees other patients.  He spends 30 minutes with each patient each time – doing the hands on bodywork, teaching you rehabilitative stretches and exercises, and making sure you totally understand what’s going on with your body and what you can do to get rid of the problem or manage it.

At Life Dance Wellness Center, we specialize in massage therapy for pain and stress relief.  But sometimes, people need more help than a massage therapist is able to provide.  I call Dr. P “the Big Gun”.  His patients exclaim over and over how he was able to help them when all other avenues they had tried, including other chiropractors, failed.  The body CAN heal!  It’s all about getting the right combination of treatment and tools for your particular situation.


When Pain-Killers Just Take “the Edge” Off

When Pain-Killers Just Take “the Edge” Off

Imagine if someone had hold of your finger and was cranking it backward. You could take all the pain-killers, all the anti-inflammatories in the world and it would not stop the pain.

The cause of the pain is not chemical, it’s caused by the mechanical stress on the joints, ligaments and muscles.

The pain (headaches, arm/shoulder pain, back pain) will only stop when the mechanical, the physical cause of the pain is eliminated. Medications may “take the edge off” temporarily, but they don’t fix the problem because the pain isn’t chemical, it’s mechanical.

Muscles are the line of first defense in any injury. They take the hit first to protect, and hopefully spare the deeper, more vital tissues.

As an example:
Think about a car accident… the head weighs about 12 to 14 pounds. It’s supported by a relatively delicate cervical spine. During the impact of a collision, the muscles suddenly, forcefully contract to decelerate the head. If the muscles get torn but protect the more delicate and vital structures, i.e. the ligaments, the spine, the spinal nerves and the spinal cord, they’ve done their job. Clearly muscle injury is less threatening to our survival than is spinal cord injury. The muscles have done their job, but they’ve suffered the damage.

Of course, if the trauma is greater than the muscles can successfully protect against, then even the deeper, underlying ligaments, etc. will also be damaged, and the degree of injury will be greater still. With any injury, the muscles are always involved.

Now, it’s important to remember, it doesn’t matter whether the injury is the result of one single traumatic event like a car accident, or whether it’s the result of small, seemingly insignificant injuries accumulated over time, (ex: the damage to the neck, upper back and shoulder muscles that affects hairdressers & computer operators, and the damage to the arm and hand muscles in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome), the muscles are still affected the same.

This is the process in a nut shell:

Injury > inflammation > scar tissue adhesions (& pain) > muscle shortening (& pain) > (now comes the) joint restriction (& pain) > muscular weakness, stiffness (& pain) > decreased function > more damage due to more weakness and less function > more inflammation, adhesions, weakness and PAIN. It becomes a vicious cycle. Medication does not address the physical mal-adaptation, and leaves the underlying damage untreated. With time, it will ONLY get worse.

Now ~ this process of maladaptation and dysfunction does involve the joints by altering the mechanics (unequal muscle pull on the bones that make up the joint), creating loss of normal motion, fixation and predisposing the joints to an accelerated rate of wear and tear (degenerative arthritis), BUT ~ it is NEVER JUST A JOINT PROBLEM. IT’S A MUSCLE PROBLEM ~ OR a MUSCLE AND JOINT COMPLEX PROBLEM.

Injured muscles contract (that’s all muscles can do to protect themselves from being torn further). They contract & pull on their attachments (think… bungee cords), and they hurt. When muscles have become weak due to injury or disuse, they are more easily overtaxed, (it’s a lot easier to hurt weak muscles than it is strong muscles) and they (relentlessly) contract in response.

It sounds simple, but no less true, “Nothing in nature stays the same.” It’s either getting stronger and more vital, or it’s (slowly or quickly) getting weaker and less healthy.

If that abnormal muscle contraction is not relieved, the body begins to physically shorten the muscle(s) with scar tissue. Adhesions begin to glue the muscle layers together. It begins to feel like “shrink wrap” around the involved area. This process of deconditioning and maladaptation nust be revversed to achieve any long lasting pain reloief and healthy function. Otherwise it leaves the muscles even weaker and more easily injured each time they are overtaxed.

Typically, (not always), pain from muscle contraction (spasm) is present first thing in the morning, but subsides to some degree as you begin to move around. Then it becomes increasingly more painful as the day progresses. Why? The capacity of the muscles to do work is less than even the daily routine demands of them. Then what? They contract even more in response to being overtaxed. Over time, the body responds by infiltrating the contracted muscles with cob-webby scar tissue, and sticky scar-tissue adhesions start to glue the muscle layers together. Adhesions HURT. The muscles become weaker still, and more easily overtaxed as time goes by.

No matter whether the injury is to the muscles alone (strain), or to the ligaments (sprains), or to the bones (fractures)… no matter what tissue is injured, the muscles, being the most FUNCTIONAL tissue responsible for protecting the deeper, more sensitive structures… no matter how deep the injury goes, the muscles are always involved. Always. (Read ~ Always)

The Downward Spiral

Pain hurts. To avoid more pain we use the parts that hurt even less. Even more weakness is the result of less demand. The muscles lose endurance (we can walk for 15 minutes, but not for 3 hours). The muscles are more easily over-taxed than they were before the injury. When muscles are overtaxed, they contract, they get (involuntarily) tight. They get tighter and tighter. They hurt. The body responds by shortening the muscles with more of the same scar tissue. Adhesions form between the muscle layers because they’re not being used throughout their full length. Adhesions hurt. The limb is used less to avoid pain. The decreased use results in more weakness, & less endurance. More pain. Less use. The muscles tighten even more. The contraction hurts. We do less to avoid the pain. The less we do, the weaker the area becomes. The weaker the muscles become, the more they contract. The more they contract, the more they hurt… the less we do… the weaker they become… the more they contract, the more they hurt. And on and on.

Our Bodies (and Minds) Take Shape According To The Things We Do Routinely!
The only fix (read ONLY fix) is to first eliminate the contraction (Trigger Points), the spasm within the involved muscle groups, and then to systematically bring the strength and endurance back up so that the capacity of the muscles is greater than any routine demand. This will restore the functional capacity to the involved area so that it is no longer the weak link that always fails first. This is what I focus on, giving you the tools to keep the problem from coming back on you.

It’s a lot more than relief from pain. It’s about being able to enjoy the things you love to do; things you may have given up, just trying to keep the pain at bay.

Pain is a miserable companion. Enjoy What You Love With More Vitality and Renewed Mobility!


Are Adjustments Beneficial?

Yes. Joints are designed to move. Joints that move properly don’t wear out (degenerative arthritis). Manipulation mobilizes fixated joints.

Are adjustments effective for long-lasting pain relief by actually healing the involvement? Not alone. Not if a critical component of the problem is muscular imbalance, weakness, scar-tissue and adhesions.

Adjustments without treating the involved muscles may provide temporary relief, but the contracted muscles & scar-tissue adhesions will continue to relentlessly pull on the joints. Continue reading