The secret of the pain
of disc herniation,
whether it is just
starting to bulge or
worse, is that there
two sources.  The
reason why physical
therapy will
always fail
is:  1). the fallacious
belief that exercise will
stabilize the muscles
which  will relieve the
pressure on  the
impinged nerve and
2). in addition to direct
pressure on the nerve,
every bulging disc,
causes a reflex
segmental spasm at
the level of the
herniation (and the
adjacent segments
above and below).

The key, prior to
starting any physical
regimen, is that the
spasms need to be
addressed. This can
only be achieved  with  
OMT.  This would take
3 minutes to do and
30 minutes to explain.

With this proprietary
knowledge of the DOs,
my general rule is for
every mm of disc
herniation, that is how
long in months it will
require to relieve the

Skill, talent, and
experience are
variable among
traditional osteopaths.
You will have to find
the right one for your

I took me, a physician,
several long and  hard
years after medical
school and training
(11 years) to figure
out the secret of
herniated discs.  Do
not believe that
anyone with less
education and
experience tell you
that they can help you.
(Sure they can, only
after the strains are
removed, then
physical therapy can
help to bring back
muscle tone and

The secret is so
profound and beautiful
and I would only be
able to teach and
communicate it to an
American trained DO.  
MDs will never be able
to understand me and
well meaning
therapists do not have
the scientific nor
medical background to

Once the pain and
tingling are relieved, I
warn patients that the
herniation is still
present (I'm not a
miracle worker! - my
patients will dispute
Disc herniations (2)
Massive disc herniation (Total visits - 8 ):

Stephen is 47years old. He had R leg pain for 1wk.  He was cramping constantly and it caused
him to limp.  He knew about me already from his sister-in-law. [She fell off a ladder 10years
ago, no neck pain and no headaches, just dizziness when she looked up -1 visit]  On first
examination, his buttock and the whole R leg were in spasm.  I would calm a spasm in one
muscle down, then go to calm down the spasm in another muscle.  When I returned to the first
muscle, the spasm returned.  I was chasing spasm after spasm.  I was convinced that
something was seriously wrong.  I ordered an MRI.  He called 2 days later and asked to be
treated again.  I refused until he got the results.  He had 2 herniated lumbar discs.  L4-5 was
herniated by 2mm.  L5-S1 was herniated by 6mm and it was not just a simple herniation (most
discs simply bulge, or herniate back and to the side).  His disc had herniated back, to the side,
and down (3 dimensions!!!).  Technically, this was a disc extrusion (similar to an Oreo double
stuff oozing of the disc).  It took 8 visits in two months for him to be pain free.  I discharged him
from treatments.  I then went on vacation and cautioned him to take it easy on his back.  Upon
my return, I found out that he hurt himself and ended up in an orthopedic (MD) office.  The MD
was told about the disc problem and sent him to another MD back specialist.  The MD looked at
his MRI and was shocked that he had ZERO pain.  He told my patient that had he seen him
initially, he would have taken him to surgery immediately.  My patient and his wife told me that
the specialist was “very impressed with my results.”  They encouraged me,
several times, to
meet him so that he could refer me cases (yeah, right).  I subsequently made an appointment
with him.  Our conversation went something like this:

“Dr. Hoang, how long have you been treating patients for chronic pain?”

“Seven years.”

“Where did you train?”

“Loma Linda Pediatrics.”  (He paused, momentarily caught off guard, because he thought that I
was an MD anesthesiologist)

“Your office is in Arcadia.  Which doctors refer patients to you?”

“They don’t.”

“Who else knows about you and your work?”

“There’s a guy (MD anesthesiologist) out in Glendora* who knows about me because I helped
his patient.”

“How did you treat Mr. SL?”

“ I just laid him down…and simply removed the traumatic forces that cause compression, torque
and strain at the level of the injury.”

He stood up, offered me his hand,  “ I commend you for your good work.  Thank you for
stopping by.”

Most of my patients come from word of mouth referral.  I can track the degrees of separation
that brings a patient in.  People are more hopeful and trusting if they know someone first hand
who has been helped by osteopathic treatment after years and years of searching for answers.

Headache and Pelvic Pain
* This MD anesthesiologist in Glendora called me up one day, out of the blue.  His patient told
him about how I helped her with her headaches.  He wanted my opinion.  This was a first!  I told
him that I was quite shocked to have a specialist ask my opinion.  Most people are not
intellectually honest enough to inquire.  I was only a pediatrician, what did I know about pain
management?  This girl, his patient, had headaches for 6 months.  His colleagues thought that
she was faking, and they questioned his use of pain meds, and thought him "crazy" to use so
much.  She would land up in the ER and he would dose her very heavily on narcotics.  I told
him, “Her headaches are real.  You were right to treat her.  Her headaches are coming from
her R pelvis.  What happened?”  One month prior to the onset of her “fake” headaches, she
had abdominal pain.  She did not have fever, no vomiting, and no diarrhea.  They thought she
was faking to get out of school.  Finally, someone ordered a CT.  This girl was walking around
for a month with a ruptured appendix and pus all over her abdomen [When there is an
infection, as a protective measure, the body usually tries to wall it off in an abcess;
unfortunately, she did not].  They cleaned her out and she ended up with a lot scar tissue.  
Now she has excruciating, debilitating headaches.  Twice, in less than a year, this poor girl was
assessed by professionals as LYING, for secondary gain, when she had  two SERIOUS,
DEBILITATING medical issues.  

Three Disc Herniation (Total visits - 11)
Melissa is 26yrs old.  She has had intermittent numbness and tingling in her L leg x 1yr.  She
came to see me because a family friend referred her mother and both responded exceptionally
well. In the year prior to the onset of symptoms, she and some friends went camping.  They
decided to dive off a cliff.  She was told that she "landed in the water wrong."  They all laughed
it off.  Her MRI showed 3 herniated discs, one on top of the other. The first was herniated 1mm,
the second 2mm, the third 3mm.  

As we started treatments, she opted to see an orthopedic surgeon.  As expected, she was not
a surgical candidate.  The surgeon too, had a herniated disc and he referred her to
physical therapist.  She was advised to do exercises to "strengthen her core muscles."  She
reported that everything she did caused pain (of course!). By her fourth OMT visit, she had
seen the physical therapist x 3 and decided that it caused too much pain.  She diligently
continued her OMT visits with me until she became symptom free; no pain, no numbness, no

After 8 weekly visits, we were able to space out her treatments to 3 more visits over the next 2
months; although Melissa is half Stephen's age it takes her just as long to recover for a smaller
degree of herniation because she waited a whole year prior to initiating treatment.  

Two Disc Herniation (Total Visits So- Far  )  
Hank is 50 years old and has 2 herniated discs.  He came to me to help him get off his physical
dependence on narcotics.  I told him that he would only succeed if the pain from his herniated
discs were controlled.    to be continued...