"Hi, I'm Sandy. I started coming here about a week and a half ago. When I started here I could barely walk without pain. I had swelling in my back. I went to my primary doctors and all they gave me was, “Hey go on a rest and here's some medication to relax your muscle”. Then I came here and with the treatment they gave me four different appointments, I was able to see a huge difference from not able to walk, to being able to go on a hike. I went from not being able to bend over, to, “Hey, I can lift up this pen on the floor now." I was able to lift some weights, which is amazing in my opinion.
Hello, all. This blog post covers the story of Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Scott Sigman, MD, and his stunning success in using MLS cold laser therapy, a non-surgical solution he uses to treat his patient's long list of injuries, aches, and pains. For years now, we've treated the great citizens of Austin with this same MLS cold laser technology and techniques that Dr. Sigman describes below. Like us, Dr. Sigman is on a focused professional quest to systematically reduce invasive surgical procedures in exchange for non-invasive and opioid-sparing surgeries. The success of chiropractic treatments (that include non-invasive MLS cold laser and its opioid avoidance trait) are systematically driving Americans away from surgery centers and into chiropractic treatment centers like ours here at South Austin's TexStar Chiropractic.
As you read Dr. Sigman's testimony, keep in mind that non-surgical pain relief is available immediately to all of you right here in Austin. It's just a phone call away!
Enjoy Dr. Sigman's story.
CHELMSFORD -- Dr. Scott Sigman hopped up on the examination table in one of Ortho Lazer's treatment rooms on a recent November afternoon, and technician Keri Rouleau positioned the M6 Class IV cold therapy laser over his left heel.
Everyone in the room put on their green protective eyewear. Rouleau fired up the machine, and it emitted a bright red light that was trained on a problematic spot on the back of Sigman's foot. The doctor became a patient of his own practice.
His Achilles tendinitis is a condition that is often vexing even for orthopedic surgeons like himself to treat.
Other ailments such as plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow, Sigman said, also don't have very good options for treatment -- but Class IV cold laser therapy is showing great promise to treat these and many other acute and chronic conditions, including osteoarthritis, nerve, muscle and ligament injuries.
The treatment is popular around the world in both human medical and veterinary use, but has been slow to gain acceptance in the U.S., he said. It doesn't change the course of a disease, but it can successfully treat symptoms and provide relief, Sigman said.
"It can be to help prevent the need for surgical intervention," he said. "It can be used after surgery as well to reduce pain and inflammation, reducing the need for post-operative medication.
It also works exceptionally well for acute injuries."
The therapy works by stimulating cellular mitochondria in the affected area, Sigman said. Often called the powerhouse of the cell, mitochondria creates energy through production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, he said. Activating the mitochondria helps increase the rate of cell growth and repair, and down-regulates the nerve "so that it doesn't continue to send those signals to your brain that this thing hurts," Sigman said.
Dr. Scott Sigman at his new facility in Chelmsford, Ortho Lazer, which uses cold therapy lasers to treat orthopaedic pain. SUN/Julia Malakie
Sigman is well-known across the country for the successful opioid-sparing approach to surgery he and Dr. David Prybyla began at Lowell General Hospital five years ago, using a combination of non-addictive medications and long-acting anesthetics.
Since then, he said opioid-sparing surgery has become his passion and he's continued to look for alternatives to reduce the need for surgery and exposure to narcotics. He became aware of Class IV cold laser therapy through his travels, and after months of research, decided it was something worth pursuing.
Sigman first began offering the Food and Drug Administration-cleared therapy to patients in July at North Chelmsford-based Orthopaedic Surgical Associates of Lowell, where he is a partner. Because of the successful outcomes and demand, he decided to open Ortho Lazer as an independent company at 227 Chelmsford St. on Sept. 24.
He said he's in the process of also setting up an Ortho Lazer Foundation, which will take a percentage of the practice's revenues and contribute the funds to local organizations working to combat the opioid crisis and help those in recovery, such as Megan's House in Lowell, which recently honored Sigman for his work.
After only a couple months in operation, growing interest, spreading mainly through word-of-mouth, has already brought Ortho Lazer to 80 percent capacity, treating about 70 patients per day, Sigman said. There are five laser technicians, with three operating at all times. Sessions are about eight to 10 minutes each, and patients can't feel the laser, Sigman said.
Ortho Lazer is only open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, but he said he hopes to expand to offer evening and Saturday hours within the next couple months.
It's not a walk-in clinic -- prospective patients must be referred by medical professionals for specific diagnosed conditions, or request their medical records be sent to Ortho Lazer for review by a clinician, Sigman said.
He said there is a large demand for non-surgical treatment options. Laborers such as electricians, plumbers ad drywallers, for instance, suffer a lot of shoulder problems and injuries, and will forego surgery because it means being out of work for an extended period of time, Sigman said.
A full rotator cuff tear will require surgery, he said. But cold laser therapy can help to relieve the pain of many partial tears and shoulder bursitis, pushing off the need for surgery for a period of time, Sigman said.
Unlike repeat cortisone shots, for example, that can affect other areas of the body and diminish in effectiveness, laser therapy can be done as much as needed without restriction, he said.
While the treatment has shown to have as much as an 80 percent to 85 percent success rate in providing significant pain relief for as long as 10 months to a year in certain cases, it currently isn't covered by commercial health insurance or Medicare, Sigman said. He said he does not anticipate that will occur until more extensive randomized controlled trials are performed in the U.S.
In order to make the treatment more accessible to local patients, Sigman said he set the price at $60 per treatment, the lowest in the country. He also offers discounts for what he called bilaterals -- full price for one knee, half price on the other if done at the same time, for instance -- and $45 per session for those who come back for maintenance treatments after the initial course.
Flexible-spending and health-savings accounts can also be used to pay for the treatment, Sigman said.
Jim Ahearn, 71, of Haverhill, was at Ortho Lazer recently for the last of six prescribed treatments following right knee arthroscopic surgery performed by Sigman earlier this month. Sigman also performed the surgery on Ahearn's left knee, which suffered from similar arthritis and meniscus tear, in 2012.
Ahearn said he had first tried cortisone shots and an initial round of cold laser therapy on his right knee, but it soon became apparent that surgery was necessary. A man who doesn't like to take painkillers, he said the relief from the post-operative cold laser treatment was immediate.
He's not quite ready to get back to doing the level of yard work that he's accustomed to, but said he's well on his way.
"I'm probably 99 percent pain-free, from the combination of (Sigman's) surgery work and laser treatment," Ahearn said.
"I came in about six weeks ago. I had some stiffness in my back it didn't want to let it get to the point where I was disabled but I knew something was wrong. I came in and everybody definitely understood, they're supportive of not waiting until it was terrible. I'm able to get my x-rays and see exactly what was causing the discomfort and they're able to stop it from getting any worse. I feel a lot better now and felt my posture is improving overall. Muscle balance is improved a lot and it's been very well worth the experience."
The big difference since I've started here at Austin’s TexStar Chiropractic is that the pain is not only decreased, but it does not accelerate during the day like it used to. It got much worse, you see. By 3:00 o'clock, I was in a chair with ice on my foot and my hip.
I'm hiking again. Short hikes but I'm hiking. I’m going to the park, which is really fun because the pain doesn't happen as often nor with the intensity as before. I'm sleeping through the night. I used to wake throughout the night because of the pain, especially in my hip.
I could only wear tennis shoes, and I'm now wearing sensible shoes but I'm wearing nicer shoes. It's fun and I really appreciate everything they've
done here at TexStar. It's been an amazing experience. I had kind of given up. I don't want to take meds for arthritis. I just want to use a healthy approach and that's what we're doing here.
I really appreciate the work they've done with cold laser therapy. It has really made a difference. Thank you.
Sheryl, we celebrate your significant liberation from pain and a return to the lifestyle that you love. Your experience, your story, and our relationship is truly rewarding and genuinely appreciated. We hope others with similar pains and ailments call us and experience for themselves how chiropractic treatment can change your lives.
As I’m writing this, it is the first week of the new year which for a lot of us is a time to reflect. This is the time when we think about what we accomplished in the last year or maybe didn’t. It’s also a time when we look forward, set goals, and make resolutions. The big factor that links last year’s actions and next year’s potential is habits.
Whether we realize it or not, habits dictate an incredibly large part of our daily behaviors. Everything from what we eat, to how we dress, to our exercise routines, and even how we think is strongly driven by habit. It’s just how our brains are wired.
This means that to make changes in our lives we must hack into our programming and rewrite some of these coded behaviors. For anyone who has tried to quit smoking, overeating, or any other difficult-to-change behavior we know that changing those patterns is much easier said than done. So today I want to talk about that and possibly give you some information to make that a little easier.
Charles Duhigg wrote a great book called the Power of Habit and in it he talks about key habits and motivation. I want to break those ideas down a little and give you the highlights. Let’s talk about motivation first.
Motivation is the why behind our habits. Research has shown over and over again that people are far more likely to succeed in changing a habit when it is tied to a goal. This means that if you set a goal of working out three days a week just because you know it is good for you, your likelihood of turning that into a long-term habit is pretty low. On the other hand, if you set a goal, like being able to run a half marathon at the end of the year and you set up a training schedule as part of working toward that goal, then you have a really good chance of actually sticking with that routine even after you have reached your goal. The difference is that doing something just for the sake of doing it is not a strong motivator in our brains, but working toward something we want fires the reward centers in our brains and will keep us coming back for more.
Key habits are habits that have a trickle-down effect. We are not very good at changing lots of things at once, but when we focus on a goal and change a key habit in order to achieve that goal, the benefits can be far reaching. Let’s take our training for a half marathon example. If you are overweight, have poor eating habits, and never exercise you have a pretty daunting list of things to change. By setting a goal and then picking one habit to change that is related to the others, it will make it possible to change them all over time. So, in our example goal of running the half marathon the Key Habit would be adding an appropriate exercise/training routine. As our training routine becomes more demanding, diet will naturally change to accommodate it. It’s very hard to go for a 13-mile run after eating a heavy burger and fries. The weight loss will also happen without requiring too much specific mental and emotional energy directed at it.
Breaking bad habits is a lot harder than adding good ones. Whenever possible we want to replace a bad habit with a good one versus focusing on just stopping the bad habit. For example, when we do dietary counseling in our office one of the first things we do is look at where we can add things in. If you love chocolate cake and the first thing we do is cut it from your diet then you are not likely to stick with the diet changes we are trying to make because all you can think about is chocolate cake. On the other hand, if I tell you that you need to get at least 5 large servings of vegetables in per day but once you do the rest of what you eat is up to you, at the end of the day you don’t have much room for chocolate cake, so you cut back on that as a necessity. That’s called overwriting habits and it is a very successful approach to making lasting changes.
In closing, I want to wish everyone a very happy and healthful new year full of lots of great new habits!
Michael P. Henry DC
Clinic Director of TexStar Chiropractic
Our warmest Holiday wishes from the entire team here at TexStar Chiropractic. Calendar year 2018 was, and continues to be, a truly remarkable year and we take this moment to recognize the joy that each and every one of you has brought to our personal and professional lives. We exist because of your faith and trust in us.
As calendar year 2019 approaches, we reflect upon the foundational recognition that "your success is our success". Our New Year’s wish for 2019 is to nurture our positive and ever strengthening partnership and to deliver ever increasing value to you, your business, and your family through the entirety of 2019.
Throughout this Holiday season may you be blessed with health and surrounded by friends and family. All the best! Cheers!
We want to extend our warmest wishes to you and your family this holiday season from the entire team here at TexStar Chiropractic.
Calendar year 2018 was (and continues to be) a truly remarkable year for us. We have had a lot of exciting changes this year including a remodel of our office and the addition of Dr. Tran to our team.
What truly has made this year remarkable though, is how many wonderful people we have been able to get to know through TexStar. The joy that each and every one of you bring to our personal and professional lives is what makes all of us excited to come to work every day. This practice exists for you and because of you.
As calendar year 2019 approaches we reflect upon both the successes that we have shared together in improving your quality of life, as well as some of the setbacks in health or life that we may have had to deal with together.
Our New Year’s wish for 2019 is to nurture our ever strengthening relationship with our patients and to deliver ever increasing value and results for many years to come.
Throughout this holiday season may you be surrounded by friends, family, and those you love.
Lead In: Gabby H's story (see attached video) is an inspiring story about debilitating neck pain and how it once robbed Gabby of the quality of life she deserves. Gabby's smile throughout the entire video speaks to why all of us here at Austin's TexStar Chiropractic celebrate coming to work!
Imagine persistent neck pain denying you of a good night's sleep and unable to concentrate at work. Gabby and her entire chiropractic support team worked together to end that pain and this video of her smiling with neck pain in her rear view mirror is simply fantastic!
Gabby, we're happy for you and are all rewarded by working with and for you!
Here's here testimony:
Before I came in I had trouble sleeping, I couldn't work out, I was going to work in pain. Now, just after a few weeks, I was finally able to work out for the first time in months. My neck is finally in relief, I'm able to sleep, so YEAA!