Having endured back pain, headaches and discomfort from Scoliosis for most of my life, I recently jumped at an opportunity for innovative treatment.
Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curvature of the spine. I have found that staying mobile, walking, yoga and receiving Osteopathic treatment helps me manage the discomfort better.
Eoin Flynn who has been my Osteopath for a number of years, recently suggested that since I had whiplash trauma in my teens I would be a candidate for atlas alignment treatment.
The atlas treatment involves the use of two systems. Firstly, a scan with the FCE Scan Motion laboratory which creates a 3D image of the spine, pelvis, legs, feet and their function.
Then the treatment part of the therapy involves the use of a machine that creates a pulse and vibration to the top of the neck, it is not invasive, and does not involve spinal manipulations. Once the treatment is completed the scan is performed again, in order to compare the differences and to show the improvements in the biomechanics of the spine.
It was a fascinating experience. I stood in my bare feet on a walking machine and the scan was taken from behind me, then I had to walk to see how everything was moving. Then to see the image of my spine on a monitor and see the improvement after the treatment was incredible.
According to Head of Diagnostics Shane Hassett, the FCE Scan Motion laboratory operates by using anatomical landmarks of the spine and pelvis to recreate a 3D image of the spine and pelvis using technology that has been certified as being as accurate as an x-ray.
It was invented about 25 years ago by Helmut Diers, who at the time was working for Phillips developing MRI’s, when he met a professor who through his studies found higher levels of breast cancer in scoliotic patients due to the breast tissue absorbing radiation from continuous MRI scanning.
“It was from this research that Helmut decided to invent the current system, as he wanted to come up with a method to reduce the risk of cancer but still be able to produce the spinal information from the scan.
“From here, Helmut linked up with Wim Lambrechts, who was developing his own foot and gait analysis system. They decided to merge the two together which is now the 4D Motion lab that we have,” said Shane.
Shane who has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Science and a Masters of Science in Sports Performance said, “We can analyse how clients function when standing or moving which is a huge advantage as the majority of scans only assess the body in a static position. The system also assesses the feet and legs using specialised technology. With these functions, it can identify, but is not limited to, spinal position and degrees of scoliosis, pelvic position and movement, ankle stability and gait cycle parameters.
“As our system is radiation-free, clients with scoliosis can monitor the progression or regression of their scoliosis more regularly. We provide the client with an analysis of their degrees of scoliosis which is very beneficial for them and their treating practitioner or GP. We also provide a very efficient service without waiting lists, so you can be diagnosed quickly and early diagnosis improves prognosis.”
Shane said the system can be used by anyone who wishes to book an appointment. A wide range of patients have already availed of this service, including children and adults with scoliosis, people with recurrent back problems, ankylosing spondilosis, foot problems, back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain and many athletes have used it to help prevent injuries they have sustained and to improve their performance.
The Limerick company was formed by a group of professionals who are working in private health care, with the aim of providing state of the art diagnostic scans in the physical health care field. They decided to base the initial system in Arthurs Quay House in Limerick city because of the city’s technology base, the proximity of the University of Limerick and the city’s future development plan.
Shane said, “since opening we have seen great benefits as it provides local practitioners with fast, accurate and reliable diagnosis of their patients. This allows them to see a greater number of patients in their clinics each week and it’s a very simple way of monitoring progression following their treatment. To the clients themselves they can rest assured that the treatment protocols being administered to them are working, by comparative scans post treatment if they wish.
“The system analyses whole body biomechanics to accurately pin-point the source and monitor an injury. The method is also beneficial to assess function pre- and post-surgery. It produces accurate data and removes any guess work to provide a greater patient and practitioner experience,” added Shane.
Since having the scan and Atlas treatment, I have been waking up without headaches, I have less back pain and discomfort and parts of my body like my knees, where I always had pain have realigned, and I feel much better, though I still have to make sure I keep active.
For more information see below.