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vertebrae. Instead, it uses a machine to decompress (stretch) the spine in the cervical and lumbar areas. Bello says, “It’s good for herniated discs, degeneration of discs, facet syndrome and any referring pain to the limbs. It helps decompress the spine, stretch out the muscles and open up the disc spaces between the vertebrae. When there is too much pressure on the discs,. There is no way for them to get nutrients through the process of diffusion, because there is no blood supply to a disc. In time, they start to wither away and degenerate.” The doctor explains that cortisone, a popular medical remedy for disc problems, is a temporary fix that only masks pain. However, Bello says, “Sometimes I actually recommend that people get them [injections] to get rid of the immediate pain so I can begin the long-term treatment, while telling them you have to take a break from the weightlifting, take a break from the tennis or take a break from the golf.” Spinal decompression therapy

is a very slow, gradual process. “My treatments are usually given over seven weeks (21 to 28 visits) to get the patient to where they need to be; slowly separating the vertebrae, opening up the disc space, taking pressure off nerves. People usually come to us as a last resort instead of a first resort. My treatment is safe, not invasive and painless 99 percent of the time. It’s also 100 times cheaper than surgery or epidural shots, and we have about a 75 percent effectiveness rate. Unfortunately, sometimes when patients start to feel better, they stop coming in before the entire treatment is finished and don’t receive the full benefit.”

Regarding surgery, Bello says,

“You should explore all the options before anybody opens up your body. Just going under anesthesia is life- threatening itself. Then you have somebody going in and fooling around with your spinal cord and nerve tissue, which doesn’t regenerate. If there’s any kind of problem down there and there’s an accident, you could be partially paralyzed or have issues for the rest of your life, so surgery should always be a last resort.” There

natural awakenings December 2013 27

are cases where surgery eventually becomes necessary though, and Bello refers patients to several local surgeons.

Bello says, “I have patients from children all the way up to an 88-year-old woman.” Decompression is not generally needed until the teenage years. He categorizes people that will benefit most from spinal decompression: “Those with any kind of prolonged back pain that shoots down into the arms or legs and those who may have been to other doctors

for injections and physical therapy and not seen results.”

Bello Chiropractic, located at 7311 Kennedy Blvd., in North Bergen, NJ, offers free consultations. For more information, call 201-662-8808, email or visit See ad on page 31, and Resource Guide on page 48. Hablamos Espanol.

Martin Miron is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings.


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