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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

How We Eliminate Back Pain, Herniated Discs

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:34 PM

I wrote a blog the other day about a patient her name was Fay and she had complete elimination of her herniated disc as a result of our treatment.  The one aspect of the blog that may be a bit odd is that she was a patient in 2007? So why have a story about a patient from 2007….  Because Fay was our first patient ever that we were able to identify, using MRI, that we could completely eliminate herniated discs with our treatment.

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I referred to this as the start of our revolution for back care. I feel that we have done some things that will start to change how the world treats chronic back pain and most importantly how we treat herniated discs. To better understand how this has happened you really need to know the story of how it all started.

  • If you don’t know my story I will summarize it here.  Also, I have created a video that you can watch; it’s a little long….. I like to talk but the story is worth your time.  Click the video to watch.


 Click for The Story of My Back Pain. 

As a quick review.
I hurt my back in 1988, I was a student at Indiana University and I jumped off a cliff into water.  We were swimming at the rock quarry made famous by the movie Breaking Away. I jumped off a cliff that was 70 feet high and when I hit the water I jammed my lower back. I had instant sharp pain and it was intense. Because I was young, I never had a pain that didn’t go away, and  I thought my pain would go away over time. 
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The sad truth is that it never did. I suffered for over 10 years with pain that was often up to an 8 and 9 on a pain scale of 10 (10 being the worst).  A few years after the initial injury  I had an MRI that revealed I had the Trifecta of bad backs… Herniated, Bulging and Degenerated Discs and I was in my late 20s.........spinal (1)

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After graduating Indiana University I decided to be a Chiropractor.  It was in my early years as a chiropractor that I realized  that our results for treating patients with chronic back and neck  pains was poor at best.  And I had chronic back pain and  I was getting worse. 
  • It got to the point where I either needed to get surgery, find a new career or find a way out or my pain. 
Knowing that if I got surgery I would probably have to find a new profession, I decided to see if I could find a way out.

  • I went on a journey to meet with professionals;  MDs, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists and anybody that was treating severe back pain. 

On this journey I was my own guinea pig. I was able would perform the treatments and identify what made me feel better and what made me  feel worse. In the end  I did more of what made me feel better and eliminated the things that made me feel worse. I slowly got better and eventually got 100”% better. To this day I have 0 pains and I am able to do anything I want without pain.

herniated disc resource center

After I was pain free I brought all the things I learned in to the clinics, and formulated a process and protocol to treat bad backs.  We call this process Functional Disc Rehyration.  

  • A few of the local NFL players heard through family and friends, that we were doing some great things for even the worst bad backs and necks and we started to treat them. Retired NFL player have some pretty bad backs.

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Dan Hampton is in the NFL hall of fame, and you don’t get into the hall of fame if you don’t play hard. Nobody has ever played as hard as the defense from the Chicago 1985 season.

“Once you have chronic back pain the world kind of shrinks. You have to pick and choose what you can or should do. I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have to go under the knife.   Then my wife told me about Dr Jeff and I was able to avoid the knife.  He has unique techniques that I have never seen before. I no longer am constantly thinking can I do this,  I just do it because I am pain free.”  Dan Hampton #99


Kevin Butler had a fusion surgery in 2001 and was still experiencing intense pain in his back when he came in to see us after his surgery.

“All my years in the NFL caused me chronic back and neck pain. One day I woke up and couldn’t even walk due to my spine collapsing.  I turned to surgery I got a spinal fusion, but I never fully recovered from it.  Then I met Dr Jeff, the founder of the Illinois Back Institute, and I was fortunate enough to receive treatment.  With Dr Jeff’s innovative noninvasive treatment I have been able to fully recover and get my life back.” Kevin Butler #6

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Steve McMichael, former NFL player, 1985 world champion and College Hall of Fame.

“How much pain do you think I have lived with?  I had Constant pain in my neck and back, at one point my back pains were so bad I had to buy a motorized scooter to get around. I couldn’t do anything. Then I met Dr Jeff, and shortly after starting treatment for the first time in a decade I walked a mile on the treadmill pain free. Now I can enjoy watching my little girl grow up and I can enjoy my life.”  Steve McMichael #76

Our success with really complicated back and neck pain patients including; herniated discs, bulging discs, sciatica, and failed back surgery syndrome led to the  decision to perform a study.   We determined that the best way to truly and definitively identify what was happening to the spine during our treatment was to do a study using MRI.

After consulting with a PhD researcher from a major Pac-12 University we decided that we were going to look at the nucleus of the disc and try to identify if we could get any changes.

For More information about our study click on the video.

We performed the study in 2007.  

  • The study consisted of an MRI a treatment and an MRI after the treatment.

Immediately before our treatment we performed an MRI and then we administered the treatment and then immediately after we performed a second MRI, all within 2 hours.  We then compared the two MRIs for each patient, and what we found was that our treatment could rehydrate the nucleus of the discs of the spine.

That didn’t mean the patients were better, what it meant is something changed as a result of our treatment.  So we then had the patients go through our full treatment of 36 visits to see what would happen to the discs after receiving the entire treatment. After the 36 treatments we performed a 3rd MRI. Our goal was to compare all 3 MRIs to identify the changes.

  • It was after the full 36 visits that we found things would really change.  We were looking at the hydration of the discs and we definitely changed the hydration in most cases by 80%, but what we really found was astonishing. 

We found that we were able to eliminate the herniated discs and bulging discs completely and this was a first. We had never seen this before and quite frankly we didn’t expect it…… the herniated discs went away.  Before our study all medical literature said this was not possible.  And now we know it is!

Fays MRI was the first MRI we received back from the MRI center, so she was the first. There were several at the same time but she was the first.  From that moment on everything changed. This was the beginning of our back pain revolution.  If we could replicate this we could start to change back care….. And we have.

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We now replicate this on a regular basis. We have had thousands of patients with herniated discs get better. There are several MRIs below that show the changes that we are able to make within the spine.

MRI allen gill

MRI thomas

MRI Gary

MRI Mary Jane

MRI Clair Lac

MRI cervial and lumbar

  • The following link will take you the testimonial page of our patients that have gone through our program.

herniated disc testimoinial

We have successfully treated from the minor bulging discs all the way  to  the major herniated discs.  Recently I created several videos about some big herniation’s and  Allen Gill is one of them. 

Click to see Allen Gills Story

Also, recently we heard from Charlene who canceled her surgery to give us try and her herniated disc was even larger than Allen Gills. She may have the largest……. Her story told in her own words is below.

Charlene Saved from Surgery and eliminated a Massive Herniated Disc.

To accomplish this process known as functional disc rehydration we perform specific unweighting techniques in conjunction with very specific exercises.  This is  all done without the use of any drugs or surgery, and it doesn’t hurt.

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In the past medical literature said that you couldn’t rehydrate a disc and you couldn’t eliminate herniated discs, conventional therapies really struggles getting these conditions better.  If you are using the conventional therapies and not getting better it can be a slippery slope.  


If you have a herniated disc and you are not getting better you should watch the following.


6 treatment options you need to know for a herniated disc.

 So the revolution started with Fay and continues with hall of fame football players and soccer moms and kids and dads and everybody that has suffered without any options till now.  So I want to say thank you to all the above patients that have helped us start our revolution.  If you have pain and want to change your world and live pain free call us today.

Call 855-401-9271 to Schedule a Free Consultation, or click on the link below:

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Topics: herniated disc treatment, herniated disc rehabilitation, herniated disc rehydration, back doctor, back and spine specialist