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How Precision Spinal Care Can Help with Your Pain

by Dr. David Packer

Spine in painIf you suffer from episodic or chronic headaches, neck or back pain, you might feel like the road to recovery is hard to find. You may have tried drugs that only take the edge off, but don’t really help in the long term. You might be leary of the thought of surgery.

You might think chronic pain is just part of the aging process or that your neck or back pain is just annoying and something you have to live with. In either case, ignoring spine problems is not a good idea.

If you are reading this blog, you are already on the road to taking charge of your body, your health, and getting answers about what is causing your pain and what you can do about it.

At Precision Spinal Care, my priority is pinpointing the cause of your pain with a thorough examination and discussing all of your options for treatment, even if chiropractic is not the best option for you.


Over the years, I have treated thousands of people who were frustrated and have tried everything from painkillers, supplements, physical therapy and massage to neck braces, spinal injections and even surgery. Sadly, back pain is still the number one cause of disability and one of the main reasons for the opioid crisis.

I have been practicing NUCCA Chiropractic in Chesapeake since 2002. I am board-certified in NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association), which is a safe and painless, evidence-based approach to correct spinal problems. Pinpointing and alleviating the cause of your neck and back pain is our goal.

I also serve on the NUCCA Board of Directors as the Co-Chair of Education and I am credentialed in spinal biomechanical engineering through SUNY Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine. I am a fellow candidate for spinal biomechanics and spinal trauma through SUNY Buffalo, having studied and done practical rotations in spine surgery, pain management, neuroradiology, family medicine, and emergency medicine. I also serve on the Foundation Board for Chesapeake Regional Hospital.

At Precision Spinal Care, we use the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 5th Edition. This manual gives precise guidance to measurements and quantifies the “loss of motion segment integrity” when spinal ligaments are compromised. In other words, I use evidence-based evaluation in order to pinpoint the cause of your pain.

What Happens First?

There are three CRITICAL STEPS to treating your severe back, neck, headache pain or auto accident injuries and giving you the long-term relief you need.

Step One – Proper Analysis of Your Pain

There is no question that a comprehensive history, imaging, and examination are essential to diagnosing the cause of your pain versus just experimenting with treatments and drugs without looking at the facts. I only use what is medically necessary to accurately assess your current condition with an evidence-based approach to find the cause of your pain.

It is imperative to figure out if your spine pain is anatomical or mechanical. After a thorough assessment of your images and examination, I will meet with you to explain the evaluation results. If your pain is mechanical, chiropractic is an excellent choice.

If the results of your tests suggest that chiropractic is not a good fit for you, I will discuss your options with you and refer you to the best possible doctor to treat your specific condition. Likewise, If you have any pre-existing medical or physical conditions that would contraindicate the use of chiropractic care, I will prescreen you for those conditions and discuss those options with you.

Step Two – Proper Chiropractic Treatment of Your Pain

Based on your diagnosis, we will make sure you receive the proper treatment that addresses the cause of your pain. There is no BEST treatment for everyone, treatment options should be based upon the diagnosis of what is actually causing your pain and your diagnosis is based on objective testing that is medically recognized and accepted.

Before you begin any sort of chiropractic treatment plan for your spine, make sure you know what your options are. Like any other field of medicine, there are different options and different techniques. Chiropractic is a safe and effective method for the treatment of headaches, neck, and back pain.

At Precision Spinal Care, I use the most up-to-date methods of NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association). NUCCA is a gentle, safe, painless and effective technique that does not make use of the hard thrusting, popping or cracking of the spine that most people associate with chiropractic.

Step Three – Reevaluation of Your Pain

Proper re-examination to make sure you are responding to your treatment plan. Of the three crucial steps, this one is most likely to be missed. Whatever treatment plan or doctor you choose, regular re-examinations should occur. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan from subjective pain relief to objective improvement with functional exams and even post imaging studies.

How Long Should I Expect Treatment to Last?

How long treatment lasts depends upon your specific condition. Everyone’s body and situation is different. A typical scenario for treatment would be as follows:

Inflammatory Phase (within the first 72 hours of injury)

If you injure your neck or back and seek the care of your primary care physician or hospital emergency room within the first 72 hours of injury, they will most likely treat you with an anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxers, and rule out fractures or other serious pathologies.

Repair phase (8-12 weeks)

Evidence-based medical science indicates it takes 8 to 12 weeks to repair damaged spinal ligaments. Chiropractic care focuses on repair of damaged tissues of the spine. Therefore, it is reasonable to give chiropractic care 8 to 12 weeks with reevaluation of biomarkers every 30 days for objective as well as subjective markers.

Remodel Phase (after 12 weeks if necessary)

The goal of the remodel phase is to build strength and flexibility once the cause of the pain or injury has been repaired. This phase involves either self care at home, physical therapy, massage therapy, and/or chiropractic maintenance care (once a month or less).

How Much Does Chiropractic Care Cost?

The same services can have such a variety of costs based on what type of insurance you have and where you receive the service. It can be very frustrating to be in pain and unable to get a straight answer as to what your healthcare is going to cost until you get the bill.

Best practice guidelines for fees should be based on a published and widely accepted third party source, such as the PMIC Medical Fee book. Fee guidelines should take into account your geographic location, the cost of living in your area, and what is usual and customary reimbursement for the service rendered.

At Precision Spinal Care, an initial examination is $20 and if medically necessary, initial x-rays are $50. I will evaluate your exam findings, including x-rays and determine whether or not chiropractic is right for you.

I will sit with you and fully discuss your care plan, how long it will take and how much it will cost. Some insurance plans will cover all or a portion of your chiropractic care. If you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover chiropractic care, my staff will work with you to find various options for fee discounts and payment plans.

Getting Started with Your Chiropractic Care

At Precision Spinal Care, I will perform a thorough examination of you before any treatment is performed or prescribed. I will sit with you and answer all of your questions after the initial examination and evaluation.

If it is determined that chiropractic is not the best solution, I will explain your condition and recommend the type of specialist who is most appropriate for you.

We understand that you need to explore all your options when you look for expert chiropractic care. At Precision Spinal Care, we are happy to help you determine the best way to address your specific needs and discuss all your options with you and your family.

Call our office at (757) 382-5555 to speak to the doctor or set up a consultation. You can also set up an appointment through our webpage.

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