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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Back or Neck Pain? Not on The Sarasota Disc Center’s Watch!

by Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer 


The American Chiropractic Association estimates that 80% of people in the United States alone will experience back pain to some degree in their lives. This statistic might seem bleak, and for those impacted by this condition, surgical procedures might appear to be the only available course of action, but the reality is, the end of suffering is within reach—and it’s much less extreme or invasive than many people think.  

Enter: Dr. David Cifra, DC, the Director of Disc Centers of America, with clinics in both Sarasota and Syracuse, New York. Dr. Cifra has been instrumental in the expansion of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression as an alternative to painful and often risky surgeries. His treatment method is unique and revolutionary in that it activates the body’s natural intelligence to heal and restore itself.  

The process sounds complex in theory, but it’s actually straightforward in execution—and to learn more about how Dr. Cifra harnesses this method to bring continuous relief to patients who have experienced minimal success elsewhere, I spoke to him directly. If you are one of the millions who suffer from this common yet debilitating kind of pain, I hope our conversation below offers reassurance that you are not beyond healing.   


Natural Awakenings: Can you summarize what “Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression” means, how it works and what the unique benefits are? 

Dr. David Cifra: Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is a medical breakthrough technology that relieves pressure on the pinched nerves—called neural impingement—of the spinal column without the use of medications, invasive surgeries or painful injections. 

As an innovator of this method, my practice is at the forefront of technology that offers conservative treatment options to patients who deal with severe spinal issues such as neck or back pain, herniated or degenerative discs, sciatica, stenosis, facet arthrosis, facet syndrome, failed neck or back surgeries, numbness or tingles, and arm or leg pain.  

I am the only physician in the Sarasota area who is trained and certified by the International Medical Advisory Board on Spinal Decompression (IMABSD) which is the gold-standard in this Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression. In the practice of this modality, I use innovative technologies to apply a distraction force that releases the nerve compression often associate with lower back pain and sciatica.  

Spinal decompression then creates a negative pressure—or vacuum—inside the disc. This effect causes the disc to pull in the herniation, and that increase in negative pressure also causes the flow of blood and nutrients back into the disc which allows the body’s natural fibroblastic response to heal the injury and rehydrate the disc.    


NA: What are the potential hazards of spinal operations, and how is your method both safer and more effective for patients in the long-term? 

Dr. Cifra: One of the largest statistics in the practice of medicine is failed back surgery—in other words, the success rate for that kind of procedure is low. On the flipside, Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression has been researched and proven to yield an 86% to 90% success rate which is the definition of conservative care. There is no risk with conservative care if the Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is performed by a trained and certified practitioner.  


NA: Which kinds of people would be the right candidates to receive this Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression treatment protocol? 

Dr. Cifra: The following patients would benefit from Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression: anyone who has been informed they need an operation but would rather avoid it, who has experienced a failed back surgery, who does not respond to other options—medications, physical therapy, injections, chiropractic or acupuncture, who has been told there are no other available treatments for their condition, or who wants to relieve pressure on their pinched neck or spinal nerves with a conservative method that does not use drugs and surgery. 


NA: Can you recount one particular “success story” from a patient who stands out to you and reinforces the efficacy of this approach? 

Dr. Cifra: A man named Ron from Bradenton had suffered for 12 years from a compressed vertebra which debilitated him to the point where he could barely walk. This pinched nerve caused spasms in his left hip which left him with a pain that continued to worsen over time. Ron went the traditional route and saw his physician for both a diagnosis and treatment, and he even tried epidurals which did not provide a lasting effect and ultimately stopped working.  

Next, he underwent ablation which initially seemed to work, but after four months, his pain returned. Finally, Ron visited a surgeon who recommended an MRI, but this surgeon then concluded an operation would not help the issue. Out of frustration, Ron asked his physician if Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression might be effective. The physician was not aware of this treatment but agreed it could be worth an attempt since he was out of traditional options.  

Ron met with me for an evaluation and found that he would, in fact, be a candidate for a three-month treatment plan with visits three to four times a week. Initially, I asked Ron where his tender spots were, so I could precisely address them. After three weeks of treatment, Ron confirmed that his tender spots were nonexistent six out of seven days a week. He also noted, “I can stand up straight now—I could not do that before!” 



Dr. David Cifra, DC, is the Owner and Director of Disc Centers of America/Sarasota Disc Center, located 2415 University Parkway, Bldg. 3, Suite 216, Sarasota. He is certified by the International Medical Advisory Board on Spinal Decompression, and has received advanced training on disc disorders. Dr. Cifra is also a recipient of the Excellence in Healthcare Award in 2015 and the Best Spinal Decompression Physician in America in 2017. For more information, call 941-358-2224 or 315-345-7390, email [email protected] and visit 


Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer is the Managing Editor of Natural Awakenings Sarasota–Manatee. She also works as a freelance writer, blogger and social media marketer. Her personal blog features practical tips for embracing an active, nutritious and empowered lifestyle.  



Natural Awakenings of Sarasota July 2020 Digital Edition


Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression