Spinal Reflex Therapy (SRT), 70 Years of Research in Chronic Pain Management
For hundreds of years, health care providers have been faced with unexplainable aches and pains, and many times have chalked them up to being “all in the patients head.” Thankfully, through technological advancements, we have the ability to see through skin to the deeper layers of the human body and figure out what may be causing some of these aches and chronic pain syndromes.
In the 1930s, neuroscientists in Holland attempted to figure out the root causes of some unexplained chronic pain syndromes and began to experiment on humans. Caustic substances were injected into the vertebrae of the test subjects to see the muscle reaction and pain outcome. They tested many people, recorded the findings, and in the 1950s the experiments were repeated, and the same results were recorded.
Fortunately, that kind of human experimentation is no longer considered acceptable.
In the 1960s, Dr. Janet Travell began her pioneering research on trigger points (a nodule of calcium that develops in a taut band of muscle and when compressed, refers pain to another area.) Her most famous patient was President Kennedy, and her work with him was published and peer reviewed. Dvorak & Dvorak’s “Manual Medicine” text, including much of this research, was a widely established source of expert information on chronic pain.
The culmination of all of this research and work in chronic pain management was put together by Dr. Lloyd Frank Jarrell, who developed Spinal Reflex Therapy (SRT.) He pulled from the research showing the result on muscle groups from trauma to the vertebrae, and the pain pattern charts developed through trigger point therapy, and figured out how to use all that information in a reverse-engineered way. He took the end results and traced it back to the root cause, and then figured out how to treat that cause of chronic pain.
Every human has inherent reflexes that have helped us survive and thrive through from the very beginning. That “sixth sense” you get when someone walks up behind you, someone you can’t hear or see, sets off that tingling sensation down your spine, maybe you get goosebumps, maybe your hair starts to rise up a little – that is all a survival reflex that gets us ready to run away or stay and fight – the “fight or flight” reflex.
Through a variety of repetitive motion, and even repetitive positioning, injury, or other trauma, those reflexes can get caught “on” in a positive feedback loop – they don’t stop until the loop is interrupted with the right signal to “turn it off.” This is called “Spondylogenic Refelx Syndrom,” or SRS. (Spondylogenic means it comes from the spine; spondy = spine, genic = origin.)
We experience this when we have that one spot that just won’t stop aching, but we just can’t pinpoint what is causing the pain. It’s “somewhere in the middle back” or “happens sometimes when I reach with my right hand.”
SRT narrows this down through a swift evaluation process. Not only can we find out whether the cause of your pain is coming from the neck, middle back, or low back, we can determine exactly which vertebrae within those regions is sending out the reflex signal that is stuck on. Then we turn it off.
SRT is a soft tissue manipulation that assesses and accesses the root cause of chronic pain. It works with the body’s natural reflexes that originate in the spinal cord to release muscles associated with a specific vertebrae. This revolutionary therapy is safe for everyone, and elicits a global release of muscular tension in the body, and uses the body’s internal systems to provide pain relief through the release of endogenous opiates – the body’s natural pain killers. SRT has been very successful in addiction therapy specifically for this reason.
The initial assessment takes less than 3 minutes and the treatment can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on which pain pattern requires treatment. How long the treatment stays with you depends on how strong your spinal muscles are, and whether or not you continue or change the activity that may have caused it in the first place. Most clients feel pain relief immediately, and only require 2-3 treatments over the course of a month.