Reboot Hero | Dr Gregory Gumberich

Is Dr Gregory Gumberich the best back doctor anywhere?

My New Year’s resolution this year was to exercise, regularly, every day for an hour. Exercise is my bete noir - I just cannot seem to find it fun, but finally I was determined to get over it. Three days a week I would walk briskly for an hour, three days a week go to the gym and then have Sunday off; and each and every day I was going to do twenty minutes on a vibration exercise machine called the Turbosonic. Developed by Tai Chi masters in Korea, this remarkable machine has been scientifically proven to stimulate weight loss and a whole host of health benefits simply by using it for a few minutes daily. People who use the TurboSonic Vibration Trainer for 10 minutes, three times a week, apparently lose significantly more fat than those who engage in aerobic activity for one hour three times a week! Sounds like the perfect machine for me.

So, 7am, day 1, I started. The Turbosonic programme is simple and sweat free. Perfect. You can check the calories you burn, and the rate at which they clock up is thoroughly satisfactory. I finished and thought, why not just repeat it? Twice the time must be twice the fitness and twice the calories lost. So, I did, and then, hooked on the inspiring picture of the new fit me, I did it again. All good, and off I went for my speed walk in Battersea Park.

The next morning, however, when I tried to get up I simply couldn’t. I was bent at a 65 degree angle - fixed. Stabbing pain ran through my spine and I couldn’t straighten. Terrifying really. What if I was stuck for ever and it never released?

I managed to struggle into a taxi, and there began the round of various lovely, skilled and helpful osteopaths, chiropractors, bodyworkers and massage therapists. They got me back to vertical over the next week or so, but I had a trapped nerve in my shoulder and a stabbing pain in my right knee that just wouldn’t shift.

And then I remembered. Long ago I was involved in a car crash that left my spine in a bit of a mess. I was put back together by a collection of physiotherapists and back specialists of various kinds but again, for 10 years or more, each and every time I moved a chair or lifted a suitcase ‘out’ it would go, and off I would trail, yet again, on the search for the magic back doctor.

I eventually found him - in Florida. Entirely by accident. I went for a treatment simply because I was in the area and I had cricked my neck on the plane. In one session, it was permanently sorted. Just like that. And amazingly, with no crunching, no cracking, no pain. Just five minutes and a very precisely angled machine. And it had stayed that way, all these years since, until I overdid the exercise this time (clearly a message from the gods that exercise is not for me...).

Dr Gregory Gumberich has been in practice for over 30 years. He is trained in Orthospinology and specialises in Upper Cervical Specific, which is not something we have in the UK. In a nutshell, and this is only my interpretation of a very scientific procedure, it corrects any misalignments that have happened right at the top of your neck - C1 and C2 to be precise. And in correcting those two vertebrae, like a line of dominoes, the rest of your spine simply shifts back into balance. Each time I have had it done, when I get up off the couch, my head feels like it’s floating, free and unattached in the air. Not obviously connected in any way to my spine. There’s no strain, no pain and my muscles just seem to let go of their habitual desperate attempts to hold me in place.

Dr Gumberich’s approach to your spine is different from anything I have come across before. At your first appointment (which is often your only appointment) he takes three X-rays to pinpoint precisely how your head and neck are aligned. Or, more likely, mis-aligned. And then he works out to the tiniest degree, on a computer, the angle that you are off what would be ‘perfection’ in an ideal world. Mine was four degrees out; some people are more. Painful knees? Frequent headaches? More than likely to do with your neck being out of kilter.

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Once he has done his calculations, he lies you down on his therapy couch, performs various checks on the length of your legs, and on your arm and shoulder function, and then proceeds to the fascinating bit. He has a large metal machine, with a small ‘arm’ that he lines up in the correct position on the side of your neck, close to where it joins with your skull. He then simply presses a button so that the arm very gently but precisely clicks into the exact point at the right angle. He repeats it twice more - it is entirely painless - and then, Hey presto! Up you get... unable to believe the difference. Before and after on that couch is - for me at least - nothing short of miraculous.

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Light, free, straight, pain-free - I could go on, but until you experience it for yourself you will not really understand. And Florida, I can hear you harrumphing - what is she on about? I had that thought this time too. Ridiculous to go that far, and ridiculously expensive too? But comparatively, actually not. I spent four months going to see everyone I could think of, repeatedly, week after week. And although they made me mostly better, not one of them solved the problem completely. I added up the cost of those many appointments, added in the flight and a night or two in a hotel, and it came out more or less the same. One way you are pain free in a matter of days – the other, for months and even years. Your choice, but those of us who have suffered with long term back pain know quite how debilitating the whole thing is. Over 70% of us will have back problems at some times in our lives, and currently the UK loses around 10 million work days each and every year because of it, a cost to the economy of billions of pounds in lost revenue.

Pain casts a shadow on your day. Actually on your life. So although I know that logically it’s impractical and inconvenient to fly to Florida, for me, it’s worth every penny, and I will never again, should anything happen to traumatise my spine, waste a second quibbling about getting on that flight.

As for the exercise that got me into trouble in the first place - I am reverting to my old habit of ‘less is more' forthwith!

Contact Dr Gumberich:

Gumberich Family Chiropractic,  
6426 Lake Worth Road,
Lake Worth,
FL 33463
Telephone 561-964-1600

Find out how Dr Gregory Gumberich fixed my back in this video:

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Written by health advocate Sara Davenport, founder of one of the UK's leading breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Haven. With over twenty years' experience in holistic health, Sara's digital dose of wellness teaches you to listen to your body, tweak your lifestyle and improve your health. 

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