Listen or Read Dr. Ferraro’s Monthly Podcast Interview!
Topic: Ferraro Spine Program – Avoid Back Surgery
Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Peter Ferraro’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast. You can either watch the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!
RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the United States.
In today’s episode we are speaking with Dr. Peter Ferraro. Dr. Peter Ferraro is the founder of Ferraro Spine & Rehabilitation, a multi-specialty wellness facility serving northern NJ and the NY metro area for the past 18 years. He is voted as NJ Top Doc for 2015.
His advanced non-surgical approach to the treatment of many spinal conditions has awarded him numerous awards and accolades but none better than a high success rate through his self-designed treatment protocol, the “Ferraro Spine Method.”
Dr. Ferraro also is the Chief Clinical Officer of Optimal Wellness and Optimal Executive. These companies have given Dr. Ferraro the chance to be the Chief Wellness Officer of the NFL Alumni and Professional Basketball Association Alumni Wellness Challenges. Both of these events brought together sports alumni in a competition to achieve a greater level of wellness in their lives, post-pro sports careers.
Dr. Ferraro is widely considered to be one of the top chiropractors in the country and he is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.
Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Avoiding Back Surgery with the Ferraro Spine Program.
So Dr. Ferraro, how are you today?
Dr. Peter Ferraro: I’m doing great Liz thanks for asking.
RC: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for being here.
Question 1: What should people do every day to maintain a healthy back and spine?
RC: Let’s just jump right in to the first topic which is avoiding back surgery. Most people use surgery as a last resort, so we want to discuss ways to avoid it. What should people do every day to maintain a healthy back and spine?
Dr. Peter Ferraro: Well, the first thing we see with patients on a day-to-day is some of the simplest approaches really can make a radical difference in the health of their spine. One of the biggest things that we see is hydration; people seem to be somewhat dehydrated these days. The more hydrated they are, the better functions their muscles have as well as their discs. So we always try to give patients a formula and that’s typically if they are drinking half their body weight in ounces of water per day at least they have a goal and we know they are achieving as close to the appropriate amount of water as possible. The second thing really that we find is just some type of exercise whether it’s basic cardiovascular treadmill to just doing some core stabilization exercises, some sit-ups. All of those things can contribute to aiding a healthy spine that they can do on their own. One of the other things we see is nutrition. For someone that is having a lot of inflammation (inflammation is one of those things that can cause back pain), an anti-inflammatory based diet really is helpful to allow people on their own at home to do things that can help them.
Question 2: You designed the “Ferraro Spine Program.” Can you tell us what that entails?
RC: You designed the Ferraro Spine Program. Can you tell us what that entails?
Dr. Peter Ferraro: Sure. The Ferraro Spine Program has been built to offer patients a non-surgical approach to the treatment of both degenerative disc injuries and herniated disc injuries. What we found is that the disc injury, the disc herniation, is actually a series of injuries that are happening simultaneously. So unfortunately when most patients are going out to providers to treat a herniated disc, each provider is treating them in their own specialty and is really addressing more of the symptom and not the cause. Whereas our program, the Ferraro Spine Program has brought professionals and integrated them together so that we can utilize each professional’s expertise to alleviate the problems on all the different injuries that are happening simultaneously.
So for example, the disc is injured causing a nerve to be irritated which causes the muscles to go into spasm and then further causing the joints to go out of alignment. So we’re not affecting all of those issues at the same time; all we are doing is chasing symptom to symptom. So most people will feel better for a short term period of time and then the problem comes back.
For us, we use each one of our specialists to treat all of those issues at the same time. We use a spinal decompression machine to shrink the size of the herniated disc without surgery. We’ll use the chiropractic adjustments to realign the spine. Physical therapy to strengthen all of the core muscles, ligaments and tendons and we’ll even use some acupuncture to help reduce some of the inflammation. That system that I’ve created and the program is done at the same time so over the course of about a month and a half, we do a very comprehensive treatment plan that has a very high success rate.
RC: That’s great!
Question 3: What would you encourage people to do if they start to experience random minor pains? And can you give examples of what to watch out for like pinched nerves or tightness?
RC: Okay, so now to get down to the patient level. People are busy and tend to ignore little problems or tiny pains until they become moderate to severe. What would you encourage people to do if they start experiencing all those little random minor pains that like I said most people ignore, and can you give examples of what to watch out for? What do people need to keep in mind when they feel these minor tweaks in their everyday lives?
Dr. Peter Ferraro: What I find with patients is that when they first start to feel these random minor aches is that most people think that they’re going to be self-limiting and quite honestly most are. But a lot of times, they can be signs of something more severe that either has been dormant and has been exasperated by certain issues or is gradually progressing. So initially, when someone has some minor aches and pains then certainly a visit to a chiropractor to do a spinal alignment to understand whether or not their muscular system is balanced, things that can be done quite easily sometimes a series of just routine x-rays can really put an understanding as to what the alignment looks like.
Now if someone is experiencing problems more like a pinched nerve like tingling, burning, numbness. Those are signs that should not be overlooked and checked fairly quickly because at that point a potential MRI may be necessary to rule out whether or not there is something like a disc that could be pinching a nerve which would eventually lead to further problems down the line.
Question 4: What happens to people that pushes them to the point of contemplating back surgery? Are there some issues that are only corrected with surgery?
RC: Okay and can you talk about what happens to people that pushes them to the point of considering or contemplating back surgery? Are there some issues that can only be corrected with surgery?
Dr. Peter Ferraro: There are patients who’ve been experiencing pain for many years and have tried in their mind some conservative measures to no avail and they live in pain every day and it’s debilitating. Debilitating pain is a miserable place to be, it’s depressing. And when they meet with a surgeon who tells them “I have the answer. We’re going to do this procedure tomorrow and the next day you’re going to feel great.” People a lot of times will jump to that and unfortunately a lot of times they may not have actually tried to exhaust all conservative measures. Once surgery is performed, you can’t go backwards. You can’t take it away. We actually work with orthopedic spine surgeons and neuro spine surgeons who actually send us their disc herniation patients because they want us to try to offer a conservative means first. These surgeons are extremely good at what they do and they’re very busy doing traumatic surgeries that absolutely need to be done right away or those patients who have herniated discs that have severe neurological deficits. Such as someone who has bowel or bladder incontinence. Those are immediate surgical needs and conservative measures are not an option.
For patients that aren’t at that level, certainly an opportunity to go through a month or a month and a half of conservative management is prudent. If we see that the patient is not achieving results that we expect, then we already have a great working relationship with a variety of surgeons that we can call upon for evaluation and work together as an integrated team so that we all are on the same page with our patients.
RC: That’s excellent. I always respect that team approach and that makes a huge difference in patient care. So that’s fantastic.
Question 5: How important is Physical Therapy and Rehab to someone who has had back surgery?
RC: Lastly kind of along the lines of the team approach, how important is physical therapy in rehab to someone who has had back surgery?
Dr. Peter Ferraro: Physical therapy and rehab to someone who has had back surgery is so important. There are unfortunately times out there where patients get a procedure done, whether it be a minor spine procedure or a major spine procedure and the physician sometimes only cares about the fact that they did their job – they did their job well and that the patient will respond on their own without any kind of rehabilitation. In the eighteen years of doing what I do and really specializing in treating herniated discs, I have not seen really significant great results without an aggressive physical therapy program after surgery and quite honestly even before surgery.
We came up with a pre-habilitation program that offers some physical therapy before someone undergoes surgery so that we can strengthen all of those paraspinal muscles and all of the core that will need to be engaged and need to be functioning at its highest level so that once the surgery is done, the recovery should even be less time consuming. As long as you’re doing a post-surgical physical therapy with a group that really understands the disc injury, it’s extremely effective and it’s extremely recommended.
RC: That’s great advice. Thank you so much Dr. Ferraro.
Dr. Peter Ferraro: Thank you for having me it’s been a pleasure.
RC: Great. We know you are extremely busy, so I want to thank you for your time & help.
For our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Peter Ferraro, you can either go online at www.ferrarospine.com or call (973) 478-2212 to schedule an appointment.
On behalf of our entire team at razorcast™, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading industry professionals.