Spine Zone puts surgery as its last option

Spine Zone puts surgery as its last option
Spine Zone Clinic Director Dan Noel demonstrates one of the exercise machines to treat back ailments. Photo by Tracy Moran

COAST CITIES — You’ve probably felt it — whether it’s a dull ache in your low back or a sharp pain across your shoulders, the majority of Americans will experience back pain at some point. 

The causes are myriad — on-the-job injury, sedentary lifestyle, aging and stress can all be contributing factors. Sometimes the cause is elusive, though the pain can be excruciating. Treatment options abound — ice, heat, rest, physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, decompression, medications, injections and surgery are just some of the healing methods people turn to seeking relief.

While spinal surgery has become increasingly popular, San Diego County residents seeking back-pain relief have another option — the Spine Zone clinics, co-founded by brothers Kamshad and Ramin Raiszadeh, orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the spine. Their medically supervised Spine Zone clinics offer strengthening and stretching programs designed specifically to alleviate back pain and to prevent its recurrence.

“The joint is only as good as the muscle support around it,” said Kamshad Raiszadeh. “We really focus on getting that muscle support.”

While some people may shun exercise when their back hurts, according to WebMD, it’s “a big myth that exercise is bad for back pain.”

“Regular exercise prevents back pain,” according to the site. “For people suffering an acute injury resulting in lower back pain, doctors may recommend an exercise program that begins with gentle exercises and gradually increases in intensity. Once the acute pain subsides, an exercise regimen may help prevent future recurrence of back pain.”

That’s been the experience for the Raiszadehs. Ramin Raiszadeh noted that 90 percent of patients he sees will improve with some sort of physical therapy, and the specific equipment and protocols incorporated at the Spine Zone are “a proven entity to afford excellent improvement in quality of life, without the need for surgery.”

Patients who choose Spine Zone enjoy a level of confidence in their treatment protocol, said Kamshad Raiszadeh, because they are receiving “a spinal surgeon’s perspective.”

While he cautioned that, “there’s no quick fix out there,” those who choose Spine Zone are “empowered to treat (their) problem.”

This concept is important to him, as he would like to change the paradigm of non-operative treatment to one of empowerment, he said.

“I’d like to see this paradigm get added to every spine professional’s thought process,” he said, “so people really understand and harness the body’s own power to heal itself.”

Dr. Steven Pratt, a San Diego ophthalmologist and New York Times-bestselling author on health and longevity, is an advocate of the Spine Zone. Pratt was feeling the cumulative effects of a lifetime of physical activity, and the lingering effects of sports injuries, when a tennis-pro friend recommended Dr. Kamshad Raiszadeh.

“I’m a firm believer in exercise, stretching and gaining muscle strength,” Pratt said, “which is why I loved the concept (of Spine Zone) … I’m 100 percent behind what he’s doing there.”

Pratt said his back “was not an easy fix,” and he was “open to any and all suggestions” on healing it, including surgery.

“As a surgeon myself,” he said, “I know there are some things you can’t fix with rehab.” However, Pratt avoided surgery and was able to heal his back through the Spine Zone program.

Dan Noel, Spine Zone clinic director, often sees results like Pratt’s.

“That’s why I want my parents, my friends, people on the street to know about this,” Noel said.

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