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QLF vs Traction and Communication

Exit forum ID Forum Discussion QLF vs Traction and Communication

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by   Christopher Stepien August 3, 2016 at 11:41 am.

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    Eric Lambert, DC

      Looking for a little help with communication with my patients on this one guys

      I have had a patient recently that plateaued on QLF and was continuing to have lower back pain with radicular pain into his left posterior leg. I set him up for an MRI, and he decided not to do the MRI, without telling me, and go to one of the other chiro’s in the area with a spinal decompression machine. I spoke to his wife, who said that the other chiro took some X-rays and “saw the exact problem” and set him up with decompression. So he is no longer coming here or getting the MRI.

      Not sure how much experience anyone else has with these fancy decompression machine clinics.

      My question is, could decompression make that much of a difference if QLF plateaued out and he still had lower back pain with left radicular pain? Or will this just cause a reflexive change and it will come back?

      I have another patient who is having similar issues and they asked about decompression too.

      There is one of those chiro’s here with a very large clinic, who is advertising like crazy on TV and paper about how decompression cures tons of things. Pay him several thousand, up front, and it’ll be cured… I’m sure this is where people are getting this idea. I’m just looking for a ways to communicate it better for those people who I’ve had an issue with.

      Hoping maybe some of you guys can help on the communication side of this one and maybe someone has had more experience with QLF vs decompression.

      Thanks for the help.


      Christopher Stepien

        When I was on my externship in 2009, I saw an extremely successful doc use decompression on four patients. I asked every one “Were they better?” One said unequivocally, “Yes”. The others said “No change”.

        I can see decompression working, but it’s too much of a gamble in my mind.

        I had a patient reach out to us in January. She never came in. Fast forward to this June, she came in. She had gone to a conventional chiro for 15 visits with ZERO Change. After a few treatments with us, she was 75% improved.

        As soon as I started talking to her about the course of her action, she smiled and said “You don’t have to say anything, I get it.”

        If this patient happens to get results, ok. But if he doesn’t, he’ll back. And your care will only be more valuable Eric. He’ll respect you MORESO.


        William Brady, DC

          As with most technology based treatment there are lots of outrageous claims and no evidence of effectiveness.

          Your patient refuses the MRI and then pays thousands for nonsurgical decompression. This is sad and we have to stop it.

          You have to tell these patients that x-ray doesn’t show disc injuries. The doc that says he knows the “exact problem” from a x-ray is lying. Right now you need to get the MRI so we can establish the type and severity of your problem. Further treatment of any kind is not smart until we get the pictures (MRI).

          Don’t have the decompression fight until you have the images. Stay focused on the step you are on.

          In this case why did he refuse the MRI? What was your counter argument?

          Keep in mind, lots of patients will go with the doc that is “certain” and optimistic. We have to fight this salesmanship and bad advice by being prepared and compelling.


          Eric Lambert, DC

            In this case, he didn’t refuse an MRI, he just didn’t go get it. I had set it up and told the patient and he said he would go and a week later his wife came into my office and told me all of this had happen. I was unaware of his intentions to see someone else, or not to go for the MRI. His wife was also pretty adamant that she didn’t want to discuss him, as she was there for her appointment and he has not spoken to me about this since. She states that he is not upset with my treatment, he just wanted to try another option prior to going for the MRI. And I did explain to her that having the MRI did not mean he needs surgery, it just helps me confirm his diagnosis even more and allows me to help him more.

            Since I had another patient who has talked to me about decompression as well, I was also wanting to know others experiences with Decompression vs QLF, if any.

            Communication is something I’m constantly working on and improving, especially since I’ve been in ID and have improved my clinic skills past that of the average conservative care provider. Telling the patient how it is and making sure that they don’t go down these roads that lead to more wasted money of other therapies that don’t work is a constant battle.

            Thanks for the reply Dr. Brady.

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