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tomhammerton
01-02-2004, 09:41 AM
:) Good morning. I'm a new comer. I'm 53 and have a 70/80 degree Lumbar Curve to the left. I recently attended the Copes Clinic in Baton Rouge, LA. I have a custom brace that I wear as much as possible, however, I experience discomfort after 6-7 hours and remove it.

I was initially impressed with the clinic. Dr Copes spent most of his time with me. I certainly gave him a barrage of questions. He performed a series of tests such as saliva, urine, hair sample and the big one which was a non invasive probe that was dipped in water while I held on to a wet tissue wrapped around another probe. The technician then took readings from my right hand and foot.

These tests suggested I had a parasite somewhere in my colon. I'd just completed both a colonoscopy and gastro endoscope a few weeks before, so this came as a surprise. Dr. Copes then prescribed 21 different vitamins, herbs and enzymes that he said I should start taking to remove the parasite and get my system back to normal.

The 21 items cost $500 for about a month's supply. I became very anxious upon returning home with all this information and so contactd my GP in Chicago. We did another blood panel covering all the basis, which came back perfect, he was gracious and concerned enough to arrange a number of conference calls with Dr. Copes and extended the invite to Dr. Copes. We wanted to know what kind of parasite and where it was.

The Copes Clinic has yet to respond though they swear to me they can never get hold of my GP. My GP and I contacted a former homeopath/MD he knew and we went through all the pills I had purchased and I'm now taking two of the 21.

I have since given up waiting to get info from Copes. I have however continued with the excercise program and the diet but on a conservative level. I don't do twenty-minutes of everything daily. My GP has assured me via all the tests we've done that there's no parasite in my system.

The Copes program probably does help to improve the curvatures in some people. They do come from around the world to his clinic. However, he's developed a great website (that's how I found him). He also offers a dream solution but it requires hard work and determination. I talked to only a few people who had been to his clinic and only one of them was really bubbling with joy but she said you need to be willing to do all the stuff for 3-5 years.

Copes places most of the importance on the diet and the pills he is sure to suggest. However, he does not take into consideration your metabolic rate. I dropped 10 pounds inside two weeks. I was only 165 when I went to Copes. I turned into a "stick-man" in short order.

I'm no longer on the total diet. My GP has suggested the South Beach diet.

So far I'm lucky. I don't have alot of pain and I'm very mobile and flexible. My biggest problem is the panic/anxiety attacks that seem to have developed since returning from Baton Rouge. Everytime I get a muscle spasm I think it's the end of my world.

I'm very pleased to have found this website. I'm pleased you guys are there.


Happy New Year, here's to '04

Tom Hammerton
thammerton@hotmail.com

LindaRacine
01-02-2004, 10:05 PM
Hi Tom...

I've heard of others who have had anxiety attacks while wearing a brace for scoliosis. Perhaps you might want to discontinue the brace to see if that helps your situation. There is not even a single published case that shows that a brace will permanently reduce scoliosis curves in a person who is skeletally mature, so wearing the brace is unlikely to have any positive effect for you anyway.

Regards,
Linda

tomhammerton
01-03-2004, 07:51 PM
Linda, thanks for your response. The brace probably does not reverse the curve though it will stop it. Though Copes states it will. The anxiety/panic attacks started just prior to my attending Copes Clinic. I was absulutely overwhelmed with fright at all the stuff he loads on to you.

Then he tops it off by telling you you've got a parasite.

Tom Hammerton

LindaRacine
01-04-2004, 02:12 AM
Hi Tom...

Actually, there's no proof that the Copes brace will even stop the progression of curves in adults. It can temporarily reduce curves, but when the treatment is stopped, the curves will go back to their original position, or progress. Structural scoliosis involves the wedging of both vertebrae and discs. That wedging effect increases as the spine degenerates with age and use. Applying a brace to the outside of the body does absolutely nothing to resolve that wedging.

Regards,
Linda

tomhammerton
01-04-2004, 11:52 AM
Linda, hello again. Do you have scoliosis. Additonally, I've recently had conversation with a Dr. Duetschman from NY. He used to be connected with the Copes foundation. He also offers a non surgical approach to improving/not correcting the scoliosis curve.

I do have one question however, concerning your status. Your position states you are a moderator. In your opinion, whats the best solution to our dilemas. Do you feel an aggressive excercise program with help to maintain at least the flexibility and mobility to continue on with life or should we all consider the surgury and accept the outcomes.

I'm pretty mobile and flexible at the moment and continue to dance. My biggest complaint is the anxiety and worry about the progression of the desease and what the best form of action to take.

Comments/Suggestions

Tom Hammerton

LindaRacine
01-04-2004, 12:54 PM
Hi Tom...

I had scoliosis surgery at the age of 42. My pain had started severely limiting my function, so I felt I had little to lose. Before submitting to surgery, I tried extensive chiropractic, along with acupuncture, Pilates, and physical therapy. Nothing helped.

Each of us is the only one who knows what is right for ourselves. If something is working to help your pain, then that's great. To actually keep increasing scoliosis curves from increasing more (remember, most curves won't increase after skeletal maturity anyway), I believe that one would have to devote a significant amount of time to a therapy. I think that most of us don't have the time, money, or commitment for that.

Your curve is definitely at risk of increasing, but if you don't have much pain, and have not lost much function, there's a reasonable possibility that you'll be able to avoid surgery indefinitely.

Regards,
Linda

tomhammerton
01-04-2004, 02:29 PM
Linda, again thank you some much for reply. I do respect your opinion so much more now that I know your one of us. Just so you're aware, my GP has worked very closely with me and my spinal scoliosis specialist. Neither of them wants to perform surgury on me.

I've gone through tests, xrays and consultations with both of them. The prognosis is that the spine has calcified starting at the upper curve and so has become fairly stable. My GP and my specialist have both stated that I should leave things as they are and enjoy life. They're both looking 10-15 years down the road before they think I'll need surgury. I'm also working with a PT who was recommended by my scoliosis surgeon.

However, I still want to improve things if I can. I'm still of the belief that if I can strenghten the muscles on my right side (this is where my rib cage enters the pelvic cavity and most of my discomfort lies). I'd feel much better. Again my biggest problem is physcological (sp). I don't know what's coming.

Thanks again

Tom Hammerton

LindaRacine
01-04-2004, 03:16 PM
Hi Tom...

You're very welcome.

It's entirely possible that you'll end up being one of the lucky few with a large curve, but relatively little pain or loss of function.

If you want to pursue an alternative treatment that won't cost you an arm and a leg, and which I believe may be of help, I suggest you contact Elise Browning Miller. Elise has scoliosis, and has managed to avoid surgery by doing and teaching yoga. She's one of very few "therapists" who seems to understand that we each need exercises customized to our curves. She teaches yoga teachers, so she may be able to recommend someone in your area. You can find Elise at:

http://www.ebmyoga.com/

Again, the best of luck.

Regards,
Linda

savedbygrace
01-05-2004, 11:55 AM
I recently ordered the scoliosis video tapes from the Elize Browning Miller website. Has anyone tried them? Do they work?

fina14314
01-31-2005, 02:18 PM
Please, please do not do the COPES program, it is a huge scam and has HURT my back and made me much much worse, 38 degree to 49 degree curve in 6 weeks. (after maintaining my curve for over a decade) If you have any questions about the program please send me a message. But please for your own good DO NOT DO THE PROGRAM. Call the Louisiana Medical Board to confirm that this man IS NOT a doctor. I wish i did before i went there....

phaden
01-31-2005, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by savedbygrace
I recently ordered the scoliosis video tapes from the Elize Browning Miller website. Has anyone tried them? Do they work?

It depends on what you mean by "work". If you mean will this yoga practice reduce existing curves in a skeletally mature adult -- almost certainly not. And I haven't seen Ms. Miller claim that they will. If you mean will they help you maintain a strong and flexible back and perhaps help manage pain -- I would definitely expect so. The tapes describe a good yoga practice in a sensible way. I have really enjoyed doing them, even though I don't have scoli (we got the tapes when our then 12 year old daughter was diagnosed).

Patricia

letty
02-01-2005, 11:56 AM
Final,

Can you please elaborate on the copes thing. What do they do and how did they mess up your back? A lot of people like us are interested in knowing more about them. Thanks.

Letty

fina14314
02-01-2005, 08:33 PM
sure - like i stated before i went from a 38 - 49 degree curve after maintaining it for almost 10 years. I mailed my brace in for "air injections" and they were injected incorrectly (thats why i got worse) I tried to contact them on many occasions and they NEVER return your phone calls (after you pay) but before you "enroll" they call you back within the hour. I tried emailing the "dr" writing letters, calling everyday to ask what i should do about the brace, and I am still waiting for a return phone call. He put me on 12 vitamin supplements that are NOT APPROVED (the patent is "pending") and I had severe internal bleeding from them, i asked for a copy of Xrays - i was told they were lost, i asked for a copy of my medical records, I was told, I didn't need them, so i told them they could mail them to my doctor, and they said NO " he doesn't need them either" THe office staff is underqaulified, and irresponsible, NOT A SINGLE one (including the "dr") has a degree. INcluding the "physicians" who put air in your brace. I'm sure it sound like a good program to you all on the outside, coming from someone with scoliosis, I know you want to "fix" your back. I can't explain

fina14314
02-01-2005, 08:43 PM
sorry computer frose, I can't explain how much this man hurt me, cause i will never really know what those "vitamins" did internally, THank GOD for the bleeding or I would have kept on taking them. I was told (from "dr" copes) that I needed more vitamins to counteract the BLEEDING- that's crazy - keep inmind this man in on the board of the Vitamin Supplement Company. If I could, I would protest everyday in front of his office to help ward off as many patients as i could. HE has been sued many times before - please read up on him (search Copes on this forum) I, i'm sure like yourselves wanted to fix my scoliosis, but keep in mind that you can have a VERY full life with scoliosis, I have started Yoga and doing special exercises for my scoliosis and I only wish i thought of these things before. I know that the program sounds like it would work. I had my chiro look it over before i went through with it, but there is NO patient follow up, at serious things can happen when you are not monitered properly. That being said, if you really think that you can retrain your mind to "think Straight" think again. you can email me if you want penadoodie@hotmail.com - good luck and PLEASE do your research. I thank God everday that those people were ineffecient, becuase that forced me to do my research and i could have gotten alot worse.

lrmb
02-01-2005, 09:18 PM
I think I had read somewhere else that you have to be very careful that the "air injections" are done correctly and that there is a big margin for error- I will try to find the site and post where the information is. ~Laura

lrmb
02-01-2005, 09:22 PM
There is a thread on Copes also at this other "scoliosis support form" -

http://forums.scoliosis-support.com/index.php?

There seem to be a number of messages that are critical of Copes, and a few by people who claim it has helped them.

Hope this helps... ~Laura

jennmark_20
04-18-2005, 09:30 PM
Has anyone heard of International Scoliosis Treatment Center (ISTC)? They seem to do the same exact program as STARS but with real licensed doctors, more therapy and less supplements. ISTC even builds a customized air brace like copes but more comfortable and for less money. Finally there seems to be some hope and as far as I know these guys don't talk about parasites and add ridiculous amounts of air to patients braces so they can't even wear them. Let me know if anyone has any more info.

Jenn

green m&m
04-18-2005, 09:52 PM
Has anyone heard of International Scoliosis Treatment Center (ISTC)? They seem to do the same exact program as STARS but with real licensed doctors, more therapy and less supplements. ISTC even builds a customized air brace like copes but more comfortable and for less money. Finally there seems to be some hope and as far as I know these guys don't talk about parasites and add ridiculous amounts of air to patients braces so they can't even wear them. Let me know if anyone has any more info.

Jenn


Hmm that webpage is copyrighted to a DC.. That fact alone is enough to drive me far far away. I do belive chiropractic medicine has it's place in healthcare. But never ever in scoliosis treatment. I speak from a personal experience. Unless there are spinal specialists (MD, DOs) involved in that program, I wouldn't give it much credit... Anyone can whip up a webpage like that.
...and the fact all your posts so far is on that program is well, concerning.. to put it nicely.

jennmark_20
04-18-2005, 10:07 PM
I only posted things about it because I'm thinking about trying it. My chiropractor just told me I had scoliosis, and I confirmed it with my medical doctor who happened to miss it. I really don't want to have surgery or go to copes. I was just wondering if anyone has heard of ISTC or been there. Sorry if I don't like the medical approach, I just know how little they can do without surgery. Thanks

Jenn

green m&m
04-18-2005, 10:13 PM
Needing surgery/brace would depend greately on your age and curvature.

Not everyone needs bracing or surgery. Good number of people with scoliosis never really need treatment, just observation

LindaRacine
04-18-2005, 10:59 PM
Jennmark...

No offense, but I personally feel it borders on irresponsible to encourage people (e.g., posting to three threads) to try something for which there's not a shred of evidence that it works. Charlatans have been selling similar scoliosis braces to adults who hope that they'll reduce curves for many years. I have never heard of a single adult who had a permanent reduction in their curve(s). If you're interested in the truth, here's why bracing won't work for adults:

http://www.scoliosislinks.com/AlternativesDontWork.htm

When you find something that works for you, that's the time to encourage others to try it out.


--Linda

Searching
04-19-2005, 02:56 PM
I went to the website and noticed that the chiropractor is Duane Santilli who just recently was the chiropractor at Copes' clinic. Maybe he is copying Copes!! Maybe Copes is behind it!! All I know is that I personally met with Santilli and wasn't impressed with his treatment. He was the final straw for me with the STARS. I won't go in to the details but there is quite a story!!

LindaRacine
02-24-2006, 11:57 AM
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2006/02/24/65896.htm

Scoliosis Treatment Center Owner Charged with Fraud in La.

February 24, 2006

Louisiana Attorney General Charles C. Foti, Jr., reported that Arthur Copes, 5710 North Shore Drive, Baton Rouge, La., surrendered to Attorney General Special Agents on 117 counts of insurance fraud for his alleged involvement in a medical billing insurance scam and practicing medicine without a license.

Copes is the owner of the Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System Clinic, 8108 Picardy Avenue, Baton Rouge. Copes purports to have developed a back brace and treatment system that he claims is successful in the treatment of scoliosis. The clinic is now closed.

According to the AG's Special Agents, Copes allegedly treated patients and then sent bills to insurance companies indicating they had been treated by a licensed chiropractor. However, according to the Louisiana Board of Chiropractors, Copes is not a licensed chiropractor. Special Agents allege that Copes performed all the treatment on scoliosis patients as though he were a licensed chiropractor.

Special Agents further allege that even though Copes performed all of the treatment, he submitted numerous bills to insurance companies using the names and signatures of licensed chiropractors, without their knowledge and in many cases long after they had left the clinic.

The AG's office said Special Agents learned that the patients were charged a large sum of money, up to $10,000 in one case, and advised that their insurance company would cover a certain percentage of the cost of the treatment. Special Agents estimate that Copes allegedly fraudulently billed insurance companies over $138,000.

Copes faces a possible sentence of five years and/or a $5,000 fine per count on the charges of insurance fraud. The possible sentence for practicing medicine without a license carries a possible sentence of a fine not more than $3,000 or prison for not more than three months, or both, and each day a violation continues is considered a separate offense.

Copes was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison; bond was set at $10,000.

Anyone having information on Copes or the Scoliosis Recovery Treatment System is encouraged to contact the Attorney General's Office at (800) 256-4506.

dying2die
02-24-2006, 04:47 PM
hello
well i had heard a lot of Dr. Copes 4 years back .. and had planned to get over to him some times in future .. but well i think id not ... coz i already have killed myself with all the pain ... i seriously dunt have a proper doc .. and as my case worsens .. i sit here waiting for the right time a sever
God bless u all and heal u all on my expense .. amen