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Local chiropractor uses new technology to help old problem

Millions of people suffer from back pain and, despite great advances, pills and even surgery often prove fruitless.

Now many people are reporting significant relief from a new means of treatment. It is called the DRX 9000 spinal decompression system, made by Axiom Worldwide of Tampa, FL.

Chiropractor Dr. Troy Wheelwright of Haverhill Family Chiropractic ( ) was one of the first in the area to introduce the technology into his practice, and he says it has been paying off.

“The machine is doing extremely well,” says Dr. Wheelwright. “The success rate is pretty high.”

Dr. Wheelwright first became familiar with this new technology in the mid 1990s.

“Since then,” he says, “the machine has leaped ahead of what it was before.”

According to Dr. Wheelwright, the DRX 9000 works by opening the joints and allowing the discs in the back to pull away from the nerves, relieving the pressure and the pinching so familiar to sufferers of back pain.

“At the same time,” he says, “it brings fluids from the bloodstream into the discs to allow them to heal. So, instead of cutting something out as the surgeons do, or [giving] drugs to stop the pain, we are doing something with the discs to get those discs to heal.”

Even for patients who need surgery, Dr. Wheelwright suggests that the DRX 9000 can help make the situation better.

“For patients who are already taking the treatment before they go for surgery,” he says, “there is a much better chance of getting better because, with the post-surgical patients, it’s not typically the discs. It is typically the cut tissue that has developed around the discs and around the nerves that creates complicated cases.”

Merrimac school bus driver Carol Hamman has long been suffering with two herniated discs.

“One of them was pressing down on my right leg causing extreme pain and I could not do anything,” she remembers. “I couldn’t even sleep!”

A candidate for surgery, Hamman saw an ad for the DRX 9000 and was intrigued.

“I was surprised to see how the machine took away my pain,” she says. “After the third session, I felt totally pain free.”

And Hamman is not alone. In fact, Dr. Wheelwright’s office is decorated with a photo collage of smiling patients who have found relief with help from his machine.

Another satisfied patient is Ernie Yanukakais from Rowley. Even after two operations, Yanukakais continued to experience pain and discomfort.

“The first operation did nothing to cure me,” says the retired store manager who has signed on for a series of 20 appointments. “Even the second operation could not correct [the situation]. But, after that, the DRX treatment has shown amazing results.”

When asked how the machine works, Yanukakais explains, “You get strapped to the machine with your face up. It [moves] you back and forth while you are lying down relaxedÂ…listening to music. The machine gives you relief by manipulation of your vertebrae.”

In a recent study by the National Association of Occupational Health Professionals, of 219 patients with herniated discs and degenerative disc disease, 86 percent who completed the DRX 9000 therapy showed immediate improvement and resolution of their symptoms, 92 percent improved overall, and only two percent relapsed within 90 days of initial treatment. The study also claims that chronic back pain patients with herniated or bulging discs, facet syndrome, and sciatica had shown improvements after being treated with decompression therapy.

After working with multiple doctors, Danvers resident Jerry Rosman signed up for 18 treatments with Dr. Wheelwright.

“I am a little better now,” he says. “But my pain is back again and it’s very tough now. I have to go to the doctor again.”

“Some respond better than others,” Wheelright admits. “There is not a magic pillÂ…but this can help.”