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Thread: Scoliosis and TAMARS treatment

  1. #1
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    Scoliosis and TAMARS treatment

    After operating a TAMARS clinic for several years the conclusion is that scoliosis is, in most cases very treatable without surgery. We have had very good results, and the sooner we get the patient the easier the scoliosis is to fix.
    A very common cause of the scoliosis appears to be a fall on the bottom - falling on ice or off a trampoline are regular culprits. This compresses the spine and the spine then gradually twists. If the fall happens at a young age then, with growth, the scoliosis increases in severity. Other symtoms that regularly occur are low back pain, shoulder pain, headaches etc.
    The TAMARS treatment frees up the spine and removes the twists, sometimes very spectacularly.
    Ray

  2. #2
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    That's interesting, Ray! I'd like to ask some questions....

    - Who has been doing proper research into this effectiveness of this system? I mean, which scientists?
    - Is the treatment administered by a medically qualified doctor, or just an osteopath, chiropractor or other such practitioner?
    - Do you make use of standard diagnostic tools such as x-rays and MRI scans?
    - By what criteria is treatment deemed a success?
    - Is this treatment available on the NHS? Surely the NHS' scoliosis specialists must be very excited about it?
    - How is it possible to say that scoliosis is caused by "a fall on the bottom" when everyone you ask is likely to remember falling thus at some point in the past, but only a handful of people develop scoliosis?
    - Why would a brief shock to the spine cause it to "compress and twist", if there is no damage to the shock-absorbing intervertebral discs?
    - Where does infantile idiopathic scoliosis fit into this, where a baby has developed marked scoliosis before it has even sat upright for the first time?

    Thanks

  3. #3
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    Toni,
    Great questions, it will be interesting to see if he answers
    SandyC

  4. #4
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    Scoliosis and TAMARS

    Hi There,
    Because the treatment is reasonably new, full clinical trials have not been completed yet. However Advanced Spinal Technologies in America are proceeding gradually down this route. They have opened a clinic in Florida and initial results of a small sample group have been published.
    The treatment need to be administered by someone trained in the procedure. Inexperienced practitioners will get good results with normal back problems, but to resolve complex curvatures needs a lot of practice generally. In Florida machines have been placed in medical clinics with treatment performed by physical therapists.
    X-rays and MRI scans are useful but not essential to treatment. The practitioner actually gets an excellent feel of the condition of the spine just by treating. MRI's will obviously highlight nerve pressure etc. but the treatment does not change. You need to observe the treatment to fully appreciate it.
    Success is measured by complete removal of pain and or large reduction if not complete removal of curvatures.
    The Orthopaedic surgeons in this region are aware of the treatment and are giving favourable comments, but the N.H.S. will probably not adopt the treatment until a clinical trial is done. In this clinic we do not advertise more than perhaps once per year but results are giving us patients from mainland U.K. and even the USA. All word of mouth.
    The reason I state that a fall on the bottom is a cause (and I mean obviously only one possible cause) is because I have identified this as a factor in a large number of patients from 7 years to 90 years of age. eg I have had several patients with kyphotic and scoliotic lumbar spines as a result of an ice skating fall. The treatment removed the kyphosis and the scoliosis. A 15 year old female patient was told she would never play sport again. She had fallen on her bottom very heavily off a trampoline 2 years previously. She had cervical, thoracic and lumbar curvatures with severe pain in the upper lumbar region. Her spine is now straight, and she broke athletics records 4 months after treatment- totally pain free.
    It is aso surprising how people forget their falls. Some patients have been in hospital after a fall but forget about it whe initially asked. Also a large number of patients develop a slight scoliosis that is not diagnosed. They merely complain of back pain are treated accordingly by their doctor.

    A sharp impact on the end of the spine is, I assume,compressing the facet joints. Again when measuring the height of the previously mentioned 15 year old, she was 2.5 cm taller after the first treatment and this remained in the weeks following. The impact will probably not be central which would give uneven compression.

    Infantile idiopathic scoliosis is possibly genetic. A proper trial is the only way to prove whether something was done at birth. I have seen patients developing scoliosis after surgery so I am open to all possibilities.
    Hope this is of some use.
    Ray.
    Last edited by Rayknox; 06-06-2007 at 09:28 AM.

  5. #5
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    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your reply. It's good to have a practitioner of an "alternative" treatment for scoliosis actually reply to my questions!

    The treatment sounds fascinating. I don't however believe that you can properly treat scoliosis without at least having x-rays done so that you can see what you're dealing with. How do you determine the degree of someone's curvature? And it's impossible to feel the anterior spine by touching with one's hands. How can you possibly know whether the scoliosis is idiopathic, or is caused by neurological or congenital deformities which have only just presented with symptoms? This does happen quite frequently, I help to run another scoliosis forum and have conversed with people both here and there who have experienced this. Also I would imagine that it would be downright dangerous to treat someone with scoliosis due to an undiagnosed Chiari malformation.

    According to a website on this treatment, "severe" scoliosis can be completely cured after just a few sessions. How do you define "severe" scoliosis? What's the biggest degree of curvature that you have successfully removed? I can imagine physical therapies managing to "cure" slight curvatures that are still very loose, but I find it hard to believe that a large, rotated curve of say 80 degrees could be permanently "cured" in just three or four sessions.

    I'm surprised that clinical trials have not been done as a matter of urgency. If this treatment can cure scoliosis, that would save the NHS a lot of money every year - it would remove the costs of bracing and surgery, at least. What do the top surgeons in the Scoliosis Research Society say? Surely they must be very excited to hear of this and are pushing for clinical trials?

  6. #6
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    Question For raynox

    Mr. raynox:


    What is your education and professional credentials???
    Do you give a money back guarantee??
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  7. #7
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    For Karen Ocker

    I am a graduate engineer and an ex international athlete. I employ medically qualified personnel. I was trained by the developer of the equipment who was also an engineer. Thinking like a medic does not help to treat patients. Logic and common sense are just if not more important.

  8. #8
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    For Toni

    Can I state first of all that I got involved with this treatment because I had a son with 'idiopathic' scoliosis - lumbar and thoracic curvatures and a 2cm rib hump. I also had bad sciatic pain myself that I could not get cured and my wife had a very badly twisted spine that was untreatable. We all now have backs that are practically normal. My son's scoliosis is 95% gone and there is no rib hump.
    If I can try and answer your questions one at a time.
    You would be amazed what you can feel with the equipment - you do not feel with your hands except through the treatment tool. I find that x-rays are of very little use except to be aware of fractures. Congenital deformities will usually be spotted early in life if they are of any severity. Idiopathic is as it says - cause not known - my son's idiopathic scoliosis was due to a crash at 14years.
    Chiari malformation is very rare and the symtoms can be caused by a twisted cervical spine. A twist of this type can be cured with this treatment and our success rate for even long term headaches, dizzyness, etc is extremely high.
    The treatment is very safe and does not compare with the high velocity thrusts used by other treatments.
    80 degree curvatures are obviously much more difficult than actually getting patients before they have been allowed to progress to this stage. Especially if the scoliosis began in childhood. Every patient is different - some respond very quickly, some are very hard work but they all show a reduction - many to zero. Very few of the patients are 'loose' most have suffered for years and have tried all sorts of treatment. Three or four treatments again is rare but to mention another case - a cerebral palsy patient, awaiting harrington rods to cure his scoliosis had his mainly lumbar curvature removed in two sessions. Unusually quick but true nevertheless. He returned a year later, out of his wheelchair with his spine in the same condition, and now riding motorcycles.
    In his words the fourth wonder of the world.
    Clinical trials cost a lot of money. Money neither I or the inventor have. This is why we are waiting for the American company to fulfill this role.
    Again as I say to everyone - seeing is believing- My door is open!
    Last edited by Rayknox; 06-03-2007 at 05:50 PM.

  9. #9
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    Hi Ray,

    I am a little concerned that you mention a patient awaiting "Harrington Rods". This instrumentation is obsolete and has not been in use in America or the UK for many many years. I would expect a medical professional to be fully aware of this, yet many alternative practitioners refer to them!

    Can you elaborate on the "medically qualified personnel" that you employ - are they doctors? "Medically qualified personnel" can mean anything from nurses and physiotherapists to consultants. I wouldn't trust anyone other than a qualified doctor specialising in spinal problems to take responsibility for the care of my spine, and I'm afraid that I would insist on x-rays.

    It is not true that congenital scoliosis always presents itself in childhood. We have seen several people who have previously unknown congenital problems that suddenly manifest themselves in adulthood. Only an x-ray would be able to diagnose this.

    Your treatment sounds amazing - please could you let us know what the Scoliosis Research Society have said about it? I mean, it's an amazing cure - surely you have brought it to their attention? They are after all the most important and influential group of scoliosis specialists in the world, and could help enormously with organising clinical trials.

    Cheers,

    Toni

  10. #10
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    For Toni

    I beg to differ. Maybe in america they are not used but they are being used here. Surely one of the Royal Family had them inserted a few years ago. I also know patients that have had them inserted in the last 12 months.
    If you search these forums you will see patients describing Harrington rods being inserted this year in America. The discussion following debates the term Harrington rods but the post I read has the patient saying he was told they were Harrington rods. At the very least they are placing metal bars in the patient attached to the spine.
    I employ physiotherapists. I also consult with G.P.'s I also treat G.P's by the way, and lots of nurses and the occasional consultant. As I have said the medical profession will not take this on board until there is a trial done. I have not consulted the Scoliosis research body. I have been evaluating this treatment for several years now, mainly with the aim of curing back pain. I am only contributing to this forum to inform anyone who is interested of the results that I am getting with scoliosis patients. You have your own opinions, but don't close your mind to new ideas without actually seeing the treatment.
    Last edited by Rayknox; 05-24-2007 at 04:25 AM.

  11. #11
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    People sometimes use the term "Harrington Rod" as a generic term for metal implants, because these were the only rods available for several decades. Actual Harrington Rods have NOT been in general use for many years though. They have been superceded by segmentational instumentation that attaches to vertebrae and can derotate the spine.

    In addition, Princess Eugenie did not have Harrington Rods implanted. I know this for a fact because her surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore has treated several of my friends and he has never used Harrington Rods. Indeed, they haven't used Harrington Rods at the RNOH for over 15 years.

    I'm not closing my mind to anything new that can help scoliosis patients, but you must understand that I am very wary of alternative treatments that have not yet been formally scientifially tested nor even brought to the attention of the SRS, which claim to cure severe scoliosis in just a few sessions. Why do you need to evaluate the treatment for several years when you are able to cure scoliosis almost immediately? Is it because the scoliosis returns? It sounds miraculous, and I presume that you charge for this? Do you give a money-back guarantee?

  12. #12
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    I assume you are in the UK from your comments. Come and look at the treatment and then decide. Talk to patients - see if they are happy- do we charge for the treatment? If it did not work I would not be interested in the slightest, and would not run clinics. What is your medical background? You just sound cynical which is understandable. As for the Harrington rod question, whatever is placed in the spine is certainly metal, it does not fully cure the scoliosis and there is a hugh risk involved.
    This clinic is not an evaluation clinic. as I stated the treatment is primarily for curing back pain. The scoliosis results came about from treating scoliosis patients with back pain. If no-one is interested in these results then no problem. But it will come into the medical domain eventually as the results are too good to ignore if carried out by a competent person.
    I have not contacted the SRS but we are currently in contact with a london university to get a study started.(this just in the last few weeks)
    Do the surgeons give a money back guarantee when treatment does not work? or are they infallible?
    If you had read the previous cerebral palsy case that should have answered your question
    Last edited by Rayknox; 05-24-2007 at 09:23 AM.

  13. #13
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    Hi Ray,

    I was diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis at the age of 6 months, with a double curve of 62/40 degrees, left thoracic, right lumbar. I wore plaster bodycasts and Milwaukee braces until the age of ten when I had my thoracic curve fused from T1-T12 with a Harrington Rod (this being in 1986), following a few weeks in halo traction. My thoracic curve had been 76 degrees and it was reduced to 45 degrees. I had further surgery at the age of 18 (in 1994) to fuse my lumbar curve, extending the fusion down to L4 using Zielke instrumentation, bringing the curve down from 55 degrees to 35 degrees. I also had a costoplasty at this time, and a further costoplasty in 2001. My back now looks fantastic My surgeon throughout my life was Mr Michael Edgar FRCS, who was one of the top scoliosis experts in the UK and is an emeritus fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society.

    Since late 2001 I have been very active in scoliosis support forums and am a member of staff at scoliosis-support.org, which is based in the UK and has 1000 members. I am on there nearly every day providing support to people with scoliosis and their parents. In addition, I read the other scoliosis support forums and post if I can help in any way because it doesn't really matter where people get support, so long as they get it.

    I'd be extremely happy if a device such as yours could cure scoliosis. Of course I am cynical - we have people (especially chiropractors) claiming that they can cure scoliosis and kyphosis all the time. Sometimes people pay a lot of money for treatment that doesn't work, and in the meantime their curvature has progressed to such an extent that they require surgery where they may have avoided it with conventional treatment. I do not want to see this happen to the people I help to support in forums such as this one. You will get hard questions from people like me, but if your device is as successful as you say, then it will eventually prove itself to be a fantastic breakthrough in the treatment of scoliosis.

    Surgeons do not make promises of "curing" scoliosis. They always explain the (very minimal) risks, and explain that scoliosis cannot usually be totally removed. However, practically everyone who has the surgery has great results that they are very pleased with, and then go on to live their lives as normal. It's just those few that have ongoing problems (mostly the older generation with Harrington Rods) that turn up on support sites, which makes surgery look more problematic than it actually is.

    As you know, in the UK we rarely pay for scoliosis treatment so the situation of "asking for our money back" if we were unhappy with the results of our surgery could not arise. And, as I have said, surgeons are careful to explain the risks and the amount of correction they hope to achieve - they do not make promises. I would imagine that if anything went horribly wrong then a patient could claim compensation, but I have never heard of this happening in the UK.

    If you have a London University (which one?) doing studies, and if you contact the SRS, I would be extremely happy to support you. Perhaps you would be willing to treat one of our members (of SSO) for free in order to prove that your treatment works as you say? If they could report back favourably then I would have no problem at all in recommending that people try your treatment.

    Could you tell me what the largest degree of curvature you have "cured" is? In large curves the vertebrae often become wedge-shaped, so I am curious as to how it is possible for you to straighten a spine with wedged vertebrae.

    Regards,

    Toni
    Last edited by tonibunny; 05-24-2007 at 09:57 AM.

  14. #14
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    Hi again Toni,
    Thanks for that explanation and description of your experiences. I have always run up against cynicism since the clinics were opened and understandably so. I would be as cynical as the rest until I saw a positive outcome.That was the reason we have promoted ourselves so little. The vast majority of our patients and an increasing no. of scoliosis patients come recommended by other patients. My view was that if the treatment did not work then we would have no patients. The treatment has been around for a few years now and I initially opened the first clinic to prove the concept to myself. I eventually came to the conclusion that lack of experience was the downfall of the treatment. I reckon that a practitioner needs up to two years hands on experience to do the treatment justice. As I think I mentioned I was trained by the inventor of the equipment, who was of an engineering background like myself. Because we would have run across specific complaints maybe only a few times a year, it took time to build up a picture of the results. If we treated a patient with a complaint we were unfamiliar with we did not charge. When we saw that it worked we charged. so we completed many hundred of free or reduced price treatments at the beginning.
    My first attempts at severe scoliosis ie>60 degrees were not very successful - there were improvements but not enough for my requirements. However with time and practice I now expect good results. I have a number of severe and not so severe patients under treatment at the moment, ranging from 16 years to 50 years. Very considerable improvements have been made in all of them and pain is gone in all but the oldest patient who has had severe sciatica for many many years now.
    We are talking to Kings College at the moment and they have expressed an interest so we will pursue this line in the coming weeks.
    Wedge shaped vertebrae - this condition is seen as a major cause of kyphosis in ageing people. Generally we can remove this kyphosis, wedging or no wedging, and we find that there is a twist through the kyphosis. When the twist is reduced the kyphosis is reduced. We remove dowagers hump in the majority of patients.
    Idiopathic scoliosis that has been allowed to develop as the child grows causes the most problems. The twists initially reduce quite considerably and then stabilise. The final untwisting we then treat over a longer period to allow the spine to adjust.
    I would be quite happy to treat someone you send, free of charge. But try me with someone that is not completely impossible with 90 degrees of curvature. If you wish to do this the patient would have to stay here for a few days and I would need a few days to make a difference.
    You will then be free to call me deluded if you wish.
    Last edited by Rayknox; 05-24-2007 at 10:55 AM.

  15. #15
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    Hi Ray,

    Thank you for your response! It is very, very good to know that you have so much faith in your treatment that you would be willing to treat someone for free. I'm also pleased that you have been totally honest and said that curves of over 60 degrees would be problematic and 90 degrees would be nigh on impossible. Not all alternative practitioners are as honest as this, and I appreciate it.

    Personally I see a 60 degree curvature as moderate rather than severe, but it sounds like your treatment might be of most benefit to people with smaller curves that wouldn't need surgery, but cause a lot of pain? Anything non-invasive that can relieve pain is of course to be welcomed anyway.

    I think that it will be difficult for you to "prove" that you are curing scoliosis without the use of before and after x-rays, but I do wish you very good luck with getting proper scientific studies into your treatment sorted out with Kings College. They would give it a lot of credibility. DO let the SRS know about it too; they may be able to help.

    I'd love to know how you get on, please keep in touch :-)

    Cheers,
    Toni

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