Chiropractors receive four years of graduate level training. Chiropractic orthopedists receive five years of additional training in the non-surgical care of spinal and orthopedic conditions.
Chiropractic Orthopedists have a deep understanding of the mechanics of the human body, how we injure ourselves and the means and methods required to heal. We treat all orthopedic conditions.
Why would I want to see Dr. Hargis when I have been everywhere and done everything and am still no better?
When was the last time your doctor ask you in what position you slept? What exercises you do? How far you commute, checked your car seat position or asked if your work environment was ergonomic? Do you watch TV or read in bed with pillows propping you up? What stretches do you do and are they really good for you? Is that massage really a good idea? Would your doctor be able to touch your back and determine if it were strained as opposed to being in spasm?
We get to know our patients, their habits, postures and routines. We have to because over many years and working with thousands of patients we have learned that most of the things you are doing and have been advised to do, up to now, are wrong and will keep you injured! That’s why only one in five patients with chronic pain ever get better but we would consider our record very poor if four out of five of our patients weren’t significantly better within a few weeks of beginning treatment in our office.
To put it simply, few doctors or therapists are truly knowledgeable or skilled in understanding the nature of their patient’s injuries and the steps needed to get their patients better! Most often they give their patients terrible advice! With over three decades of experience, working with patients directly, day in and out, while diagnosing, advising and treating each one as an individual, we have learned what does and does not work to restore our patients to health in the fastest possible time frame.
Spinal pain is best evaluated as an engineering problem. The spine with its twenty-four moveable vertebrae, three part movable pelvis, two supportive legs (one of which might be shorter), a twelve pound head, multiple discs, joints, ligaments, nerves and tendons capable of rotating and jamming, renders the spine a truly complex entity. One that requires a great deal of skill and knowledge to evaluate the many possible mechanisms of pain and to formulate a pathway of effective treatment and correction. Successful spinal treatment is not just about pain cessation, it is about ensuring that your spine can operate maximally, without abnormal pressure or stress, to prevent spinal degeneration and to keep your spine working well for a lifetime. Few doctors understand the spine’s complex puzzle.
In diagnosis we perform any and all standard medical testing indicated but have a preference for weight bearing MRI’s of the spine as these are more precise in terms of their ability to demonstrate the magnitude of spinal pathology. We also utilize weight bearing or standing x-rays of the spine as these give much more information about how the spine may shift or change under pressure. The spine is complex and weight bearing x-rays help us to understand the engineering stresses on the spine as we go about our daily lives. We also perform casting, bracing, custom rehabilitation and exercise programs, healing therapies of many types including ultrasound and a detailed ergonomic evaluation and plan. We also prescribe, cast and provide, custom podiatric grade orthotics and custom braces many of which have been designed by Dr. Hargis.
Spinal manipulation is often used in the practice but that depends on the condition. In many cases manipulation is contraindicated and is not performed.
First let’s begin by knowing that the nerves from your spine innervate and direct the function of every single organ and tissue in your body. If that seems hard to believe ask your medical doctor. He’ll admit the same but somehow over the many decades most MD’s have lost the logic of this simple observation. They have turned largely to medicines to cure one’s ills and forgotten about the spine and it’s very important effect on health. Cardiac arrhythmias, infertility, indigestion or gastro-intestinal problems, asthma, headaches and a host of other conditions can sometimes be improved or resolved with a few simple adjustments of spinal vertebrae.
Baby’s with colic or wry neck often have tiny vertebrae out of place following the traumatic journey to birth! Their little spines adjust very easily and they respond beautifully to gentle spinal manipulation.
Children with chronic ear infections, asthma, headaches or other potentially spine related conditions often do very well with spinal manipulation.
Seniors do well with chiropractic care and any manipulation of the spine is geared to their tolerance and gently performed as indicated. Seniors who get chiropractic care are healthier, more flexible and able to do and enjoy more. Further most Medicare plans cover chiropractic care.
We are well versed in the conservative care and early intervention required in scoliosis cases to reduce abnormal spinal curvature and to prevent scoliosis progression.
Cluster and Migraine Headaches. Cluster and migraine headaches respond quickly to a combination of therapy and linear axial or tractive spinal manipulation. It is extremely safe and effective. Most of our migraine and cluster headache patients are substantially better in three weeks or less.
Of course any form of spinal pain or nerve pain radiating from the spine.
Scoliosis. Scoliosis is treated improperly in this country for a number of reasons. The major one being the failure to recognize a short leg or tilted spinal or pelvic structure following x-rays. Radiologists do not usually report on an uneven ‘femur height’, (short leg), even if seen on an x-ray as they maintain that this distortion could be due to positional considerations. In any case, whether or not a short leg or uneven pelvis is noted on x-ray, the orthodox medical approach to scoliosis is to do nothing until abnormal spinal curves measure 30 degrees. This response is much too late as early intervention, when curves are just a few degrees, can be completely restored and spinal balance corrected if intervened in a timely fashion. (See my website DrHargis.com where you’ll find a three-page section on scoliosis causation and treatment.)
TMJ. Most temporo-mandibular pain is related to abnormal tension in the muscles of mastication; the temporalis, masseter, internal and external pterygoid muscles connected with chewing. Bite issues play into this and overtime the combination of bite dysfunction and muscle imbalance produces pain and irritation to the TMJ. Forward head carriage can also be a factor. Combining knowledgeable care from your dentist or prosthodontist and chiropractic orthopedist is usually a very effective path to ending TMJ pain.
Carpal tunnel. Most carpal tunnel today results from keyboarding and resting the inner wrist on a hard or jelly-like cushion surface. Dr. Hargis developed a patent pending ‘carpal sheild’ brace that is worn while keyboarding and allows no pressure to be transfered to the inner wrist. The brace is quite effective in reducing/eliminating carpal tunnel pain.
Forward head carriage and cervical rehabilitation. Forward head carriage is the number one cause of neck pain and headaches and plays a major role in many cases of TMJ. Furthermore, forward head carriage is accompanied by cervical curve reversal in almost all cases. Gymnasts, equestrians and other athletes that depend on excellent balance can never achieve perfect balance if they have forward head translation. That’s because the head, with an average weight of twelve pounds, is being carried forward and out of balance with the torso. It’s like taking a bowling ball held straight and balanced above ones elbow and then allowing the ball to move forward of its center of balance: the farther away you hold the ball from it’s balance point the more muscular effort must be exerted to keep it from toppling forward.
Forward head carriage places tremendous stress on the neck muscles which must support the head and is one of the leading causes of neck and upper back pain. The increased pressure placed downward and through the spine from the increased muscular force exerted to keep the head erect leads to early degeneration of the discs and joints in the neck and upper back. Finding no effective means of correcting this problem due to his dissatisfaction with the existing technology available at the time, Dr. Hargis invented and patented the ‘Neck Correct’, also known as the ‘Curve Restorer’ exercise device, currently sold on Amazon.com.. This device can effectively restore proper head balance over time with daily use. The Neck Correct is also an extremely effective device for cervical spine strengthening and rehabilitation of injured or degenerated spines. Using this device coupled with spinal manipulation can be very effective in ending neck and upper back pain.
Neurofeedback began in the 1960′s when a young research scientist by the name of Dr. Barry Sterman was working with a large number of cats. He was training them to press on a lever to get milk, as he monitored their brain waves via sensors placed on their heads. After the cats learned to press on the lever for their milk, Dr. Sterman decided he would play a tone during which the cats could not receive their milk. As they waited on ‘high alert’ for the tone to stop, they produced a brain wave frequency that had never been seen before. Dr. Sterman named this an SMR wave. It was a wave frequency of 12 to 15 cycles per second, just between the slower Alpha wave and the faster Beta wave. Next he decided that he would see if he could train the cats to produce the SMR wave to get their milk and within a few weeks they were! This was the first time that it had been demonstrated that the brain was capable of modifying its own brain waves with training and the start of neurofeedback! In a research article that rocked the scientific world Dr. Sterman became an overnight celebrity.
In 1967 NASA was having difficulty with the Mercury space program. Ground crews exposed to their ‘rocket fuel’, monomethylhydrazine, were going into violent seizures. Further, the astronauts orbiting earth were telling ground control that they were seeing the south pacific natives waving at them as they orbited earth! Understanding that the rocket fuel vapors were affecting the astronauts NASA needed answers fast. NASA hired Dr. Sterman to research the issue of exposure and what was happening in the brain to produce the seizures. Again enlisting a large group of cats and exposing them to rocket fuel all exhibited seizures but ten. Unable to explain why these ten cats were seizure free he and his staff began looking through their records and soon realized that they were from his earlier experiments where he had taught them to produce SMR waves! There was something about the increased level of SMR wave production in the brains of these cats and these cats only that prevented seizures! Extrapolating from these studies he went on to work and reduce or cure seizure activity in various groups of seizure patients. His work was embellished by Dr. Joel Lubar, at the University of Tennessee, who went on to treat and reduce or cure countless ADHD patients. (Dr. Lubar went on to become the Dean of the University of Tennessee and was there treating ADHD children at the same time I was there doing my undergraduate work.) In the 1990’s Dr. Eugene Peniston broadened this work to treat, with great success, individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and PTSD.
Today the military uses neurofeedback to treat returning soldiers with PTSD, depression and addiction. NASA continues to apply neurofeedback training to increase their astronaut’s focus and vigilance on long missions and hundreds of neurofeedback therapists around the world are changing abnormal brainwave function associated with a variety of brain related conditions.
Neurofeedback is so effective that after looking at all the research studies conducted over the last ten years the American Pediatric Association recommended neurofeedback as a ‘Level 1’ best treatment for ADHD in November of 2012. ADHD is the condition most studied in terms of neurofeedback but at present and with further research neurofeedback seems quite effective in regulating brainwave function for those experiencing autism, Asperger’s, anxiety, bed wetting, OCD, insomnia, chronic pain, depression and a host of other brain related conditions.
Brainwave patterns used to be measured with hand held instruments and only time tested neurofeedback researchers, with years of experience could determine the correct treatment approach. Only a few doctors had this experience and they were mainly associated with higher centers of research and learning. Today with the advent of the modern computer, neurofeedback has become accessible to the general practitioner. Now your doctor, in just a few seconds, can access huge databases with thousands of studies and years of research to analyze brain wave patterns and formulate the most effective therapy to change and normalize brain wave function.
Neurofeedback facilitates the normalizion of abnormal brainwave patterns that have been associated with conditions like ADHD, anxiety, OCD, depression and a host of other brain related conditions. It does so naturally and without drugs. This is what chiropractic philosophy is all about. Chiropractors are always striving to solve health issues without drugs if possible. Doing my undergraduate work at the University of Tennessee I was fortunate to be a student while Dr. Joel Lubar was there working with ADHD children. He later became the Dean of the University of Tennessee. Dr. Lubar was a big inspiration for me to follow suit one day when neurofeedback became accessible to the general clinician.
First a comprehensive QEEG (Quantitative Electro Encephalograph) is performed on our patients using a cap with multiple sensors placed on the head as we monitor the position, magnitude and types of brain waves being produced. This information is then evaluated in our computer database against hundreds of thousands of normative studies and research collected over many years to establish a treatment protocol suited to normalizing brain function for that individual.
Therapy is performed by watching a DVD; movie or cartoon of one’s choosing. As the movie plays the patient is monitored in real time via two small sensors on the skull at the predetermined treatment locations. The brain is then in control of the movie! If the desired brain waves we wish to strengthen are being produced the movie plays smoothly, if not it stops! Over time the brain learns how to produce the desired wave forms to play the movie smoothly as it gradually strengthens with training. Over time the brain changes and and actually build new brain tissue; changes that can be seen on a pre and post PET scan!
Every ten treatments or so we re-map the brain to change our focus of therapy to ensure consistent progress toward normalization as the brain strengthens and improves.
Normally brainwave regulation can be improved in those experiencing conditions like ADHD, anxiety , depression and insomnia in as little as in forty sessions. Sessions are usually conducted two to three times per week over three to four months. (For those on a tighter schedule we can do neurofeedback daily.) Brainwave regulation in patients experiencing autism, Asperger’s, chronic pain, OCD, traumatic brain injury, post stroke, dementia or Tourettes usually requires more treatment.
Neurofeedback is generally not covered by insurance at this time. However, our office desires to make neurofeedback affordable to all. Therefore we remove financial roadblocks to receiving neurofeedback therapy by offering an in office payment system. The plan is simple. You authorize our office to withdraw two hundred dollars per month from your checking account until your treatment plan is paid in full. There is no interest change as long as monthly payments are enabled.
Treatment plans and prices:
All plans begin with a QEEG (quantitative electroencephalograph). The cost is two hundred dollars paid at the time of mapping. Following mapping if treatment is desired we will suggest the number of visits we feel would be appropriate however a choice or treatment plans is available.
***20 (forty-five minute sessions) is twenty-one hundred fifty dollars $2150.00. This includes subsequent mappings. Additional visit/plans purchased in groups of twenty are $2000.00.
***40 (forty-five minute sessions) is thirty-eight hundred and fifty dollars $3850.00 and includes subsequent mappings.
***60 (forty-five minute sessions) is fifty-four hundred and fifty dollars $5450.00 and includes subsequent mappings.
We offer in office financing. Our plan is simple and unique and reduces your cost to $50.00 per week! You authorize our office to withdraw $200 (two hundred dollars per month) from your checking account until your treatment plan is paid in full. There is no interest change as long as monthly payments are enabled.
The entrainment unit consists of a headset, light emitting glasses and a central control unit which has the capacity to display visual and auditory light pulses and tones at various frequencies. Along with the neurofeedback therapy protocol we also receive an entrainment frequency protocol that lets the patient train at home to strengthen the brainwave frequencies recommended during mapping.
Statistically changes have been shown to be largely permanent in the great majority of individuals and positive results are usually seen before the twentieth visit.
Neurofeedback is designed to be safe and to normalize brain function. Those special talents and gifts you cherish in yourself or child will not be affected. We ask that patients or parents give us constant feedback. If we see that a given protocol or location of treatment doesn’t seem agreeable we can quickly alter our approach.
Consultations are free and can be scheduled by calling our Warwick office at 845-986-5500.