Hand-held unit helps determine if vertebrae are properly aligned

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By Nancy Hastings

For the Citizen Patriot

Troy Burk has been treating sore backs for 13 years, but he’s not ashamed to say that a machine can sense more than his hands can feel.

The Brooklyn chiropractor uses a hand-held device called a ProAdjuster to determine if spinal vertebrae are properly aligned.

nd_adjustment4.jpg.jpgNick Dentamaro | Jackson Citizen PatriotThe ProAdjuster is ready to be used in Burk’s office.Burk is the only chiropractor in Jackson County to use the device, which links to a computer. He said the ProAdjuster uses the same type of technology that allows engineers to determine points of weakness and stress on spacecraft.

“It’s definitely a jump in technology,” he said. “It’s a wave of things to come.”

Burk, a 1997 graduate of Logan College of Chiropractic in Missouri, has been practicing in Brooklyn for seven years. He’s been using the ProAdjuster daily in his office since April.

Instead of solely using the doctor’s hand and judgment to find which  vertebrae are stiff or rigid, the device measures levels of function. It can help the chiropractor isolate a problem faster and more accurately than manual procedures.

“The biggest thing is it senses joints not moving, ones that are fixated, where just pushing with a thumb feels muscle through that,” Burk said.

“ACA does not directly endorse this specific product and we cannot directly endorse any specific practitioner or chiropractic treatment technique or method for any given patient,” the American Chiropractic Association said of the ProAdjuster.

Burk said he uses traditional treatments for those who prefer and combines these treatments with the ProAdjuster for others. He uses the ProAdjuster for about 95 percent of his patients.

Not only is the ProAdjuster comfortable, it is consistent because it is computerized, he said.

“And patients like it because it’s able to show results and reanalyze,” he said.

“I’ve had several surgeries and procedures done to my back,” Holly Witte, a patient, said. “This is the only way I’ve been able to have my adjustments done because there is so little pain.”

Jeannie Breternitz, clinical manager for Burk’s practice, said patients tell Burk how they feel better, have less pain and can perform activities they haven’t been able to do.

“I love to hear how it has helped mothers of newborns better care for their babies without that neck and upper-back pain, and how grandparents can play with their grandkids without that low back pain,” she said.

Burk said insurance companies accept the technology, and the cost is about the same as traditional treatment.

Still, he cautions that even with new technology, the pain will not go away immediately, he said.

“The body has a healing process, and I tell patients it may take 90 days of healing time to feel a significant difference,” he said. “It helps the body heal itself by changing neuromuscular skeletal structure.”

— Nick Dentamaro, Citizen Patriot photographer, contributed to this report.


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