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MedX machine used at The Center for Total Back Care in Mesa

Posted 4/12/24

Nearly 65 million people report a recent episode of back pain, with 16 million of adults experiencing chronic back pain.

It begins innocently enough — muscle spasms, aches or stiffness. …

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MedX machine used at The Center for Total Back Care in Mesa


Nearly 65 million people report a recent episode of back pain, with 16 million of adults experiencing chronic back pain.

It begins innocently enough — muscle spasms, aches or stiffness. Then one day something as innocuous as bending over results in excruciating pain.

The figures are especially grim for nurses. Back pain and injuries affect approximately 38% of nurses in the U.S. With new restrictions on opioids, pain relief could appear dire for both patients and the medical staff who serve them. But there is hope, according to a release.

Dr. B. Jeffrey Jolley, a chiropractor and clinic director for The Center for Total Back Care in Mesa, has had success using MedX lumbar and cervical extension machines to treat acute and chronic neck and low back pain.

It is one of a handful of clinics in the Valley with this specialized equipment. The MedX device uses a unique method of stabilizing the pelvis, providing true isolation of the deep muscles of the lumbar spine. Strengthening these muscles is important because, when weak, the deep muscles of the lumbar spine are more susceptible to low back pain and injury, the release states.

The MedX equipment is used on adults of all ages, but is particularly helpful for those who endure long hours on their feet and have repetitive body movements such as reaching up-forward, holding, clasping-hugging, lifting and turning, it states.

“Evidence shows that 80% of chronic spinal pain is due to muscle weakness, which increases as damage to the spine worsens,” Dr. Jolley said in the release. “A strong healthy spine provides a strong foundation which helps prevent spinal compression and allows you to perform your normal daily activities and demands of employment pain free.”

The clinic treats patients with lower back pain, neck pain, bulging and herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, upper and lower extremity pain, headaches and migraines, vertigo and more.

Emily Brandt, 32, a certified nursing assistant, powered through discomfort at work. She was young, in good health and a long distance runner who clocks 15 to 20 miles a week. She was proud of her physical strength and endurance, the release states.

But one day after bending over a patient’s bed, searing pain ripped through her mid back like a torn muscle.

“The pain was unbearable. It hurt to breathe,” Brandt said in the release. “I was new to Arizona and didn’t know any health providers. I checked Zocdoc on my phone and read the reviews. I called Dr. Jolley’s office and they were able to see me.”

Her treatment included stretches, chiropractic adjustments and riding a stationary bike. Eventually her therapy included workouts on the MedX lumbar and cervical extension machines to strengthen her neck and back.

Brandt’s treatment ended in December 2023. She enjoys improved sleep and less pain, but continues a daily regimen of stretches at home, the release states.

“Treatment is great, but prevention is key. When I approach a patient’s bedside I remind myself to elevate the bed and not bend over it. I also use smart body mechanics, like squatting and not bending at the waist. It’s easy to forget but not worth the risk. I need to care for myself as well as my patients,” she said in the release.

Cindie Uesele, 64, spent most of her professional career as an ICU nurse. Long hours and repeated muscle strain took its toll. She experienced chronic pain, but did not want surgery or daily medication for relief. Instead, she made an appointment with Dr. Jolley, the release states.

“I had a bad back and arthritis for a long time. I liked the proactive concept of strengthening the muscles around my spine. Dr. Jolley explained how even a person who goes to the gym on a regular basis is not working the deep muscles that help prevent back injuries. The MedX equipment is very unique in that regard.”

After her treatments Uesele felt a difference, but she continues her doctor-recommended stretches. She rarely misses a day. She also follows work safety protocols and encourages her colleagues to do the same.

“My pain and strength improved about 50 percent after my sessions at The Center of Total Back Care,” Uesele said in the release. “It is not a cure-all for a lifetime of strain and the onset of arthritis, but I am better. I highly recommend daily stretches, and booking sessions with Dr. Jolley’s MedX equipment before an injury occurs.”

Additional back-saving advice, according to the release, includes:

• Use your legs, not your back when lifting objects.
• Place heavy and frequently used objects near waist level to reduce bending and twisting when reaching for the object.
• Use dollies or carts to move heavy objects rather than carrying them.
• Pushing an object is easier on the back than pulling it.

Dr. Jolley’s website, www.totalback.com, has videos and examples of stretches that anyone can use to save their back for the future.