Here’s how Solon Spine and Wellness Center helped local man Peter Politis get his life back

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At Solon Spine and Wellness Center, Allen Hoover, DC, offers non-surgical lumbar decompression, an innovative and non-invasive approach to healing. If you’ve been told you’re a candidate for surgery, chances are good you’re a candidate for non-surgical lumbar decompression. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Nina Polien Light

The pain was too much for Peter Politis to take. After injuring his back for the third time and using up most of his sick time at work, the surgical nurse and radiographer was desperate to find relief. But he was fed up with pain medications and wanted to avoid surgery at all costs.

“I wanted to get better so I could just live, but I didn’t want to be numb, either,” Peter says. “Your brain gets foggy with certain drugs and you get weak from steroids.”

His brother mentioned an acquaintance had been treated successfully at Solon Spine and Wellness Center, where Allen Hoover, DC, offers non-surgical lumbar decompression, an innovative and non-invasive approach to healing. Peter decided to schedule a consultation to find out whether he would be a good candidate.

At the initial meeting, Peter was immediately impressed with Dr. Hoover’s interest in his well-being. Before accepting Peter as a patient, Dr. Hoover asked him pointed questions about his injuries. Peter explained the first incident occurred in the late 1990s, when he had to brake quickly while pushing a heavy piece of medical equipment. That simple action resulted in him being out of work for two months.

Several years later, when a patient awoke suddenly from deep sedation during a heart catheterization, became disoriented, and began thrashing around uncontrollably, Peter was forced to hold down the patient, causing further back injury.

More recently, he experienced debilitating pain in his back and down his legs when he stood after bending to plug in a USB. Again, Peter was forced to take an extended absence from his job.

“I couldn’t move,” he explains. “It hit me hard.”

Dr. Hoover explains how most people don’t understand how broken they are until the most basic activities become a struggle.

“Bending over didn’t cause Peter’s injury. It was already there, and his pain meds weren’t doing anything to heal him,” he continues. “That’s the turning point for my patients. When the light bulb comes on, they call me.”

Peter told Dr. Hoover he is just five years shy of retirement and does not want to change jobs. He longs to engage fully with his family.

“I’m a very active person,” Peter says. “I’m always on my feet, either with a patient with sedation or when scrubbing in with doctors for the procedures with pacemakers. After work, I have three teenagers doing things and my wife is active. The last thing I want is to be on my back.”

After looking at Peter’s medical records and MRIs, taking a full history and conducting a thorough examination, Dr. Hoover knew that non-surgical lumbar decompression has treated far worse cases than Peter’s and that it could offer Peter a chance of fully recovering and getting back to his life.

“What makes Peter such a good candidate is he did experience temporary relief from spinal injections, which tells us if we can numb the area where the injury is, then we can actually heal it,” Dr. Hoover explains.

“He was also told he is a surgical candidate, and we know surgeons don’t take on many cases they can’t help. I know if a surgeon has told you they can operate, then I can help you heal without going under the knife.”

Dr. Allen Hoover, DC

Non-surgical lumbar decompression appealed to Peter because it treats the source of the injury rather than temporarily masking the pain, as is the case with medications, injections, and sometimes even surgery. The treatment involves relaxing for 30 minutes on a specialized table that applies the most current scientific research available. This equipment is now able to deliver a precisely-calibrated amount of negative pressure directly to the damaged portion of the spine.

“After each session of decompression, Dr. Hoover takes me to the exam table and goes through my spine and musculature to stimulate the areas affected by the pain and the subconscious adjustments my body may have made to try to avoid that pain,” Peter says.

“He manipulates different muscles and receptors in my back to help it heal itself and realign the way it should be.”

The care is attentive and personal, he adds.

“Dr. Hoover is thorough and explains what he’s doing, why it feels a certain way, and how my mind will use that information to reset and heal the spine,” Peter says.

“When he examines me and does the therapy, he talks to me and takes care of me like he really cares. He remembers what happened during the last session and anticipates what will happen in the next few days.”

After nine sessions, Peter is feeling about 60 percent better and his pain level is at just one on a 10-point scale.

“I’m telling you right now, two weeks ago I could barely get out of bed and now I’m back at work,” marvels Peter, who is continuing treatments and following Dr. Hoover’s instructions to exercise, eat well, get more sleep and reduce stress.

“I sleep well at night and my general disposition is better. Even my kids and wife can tell my mood is better. This has been so very positive.”

“The majority of my patients have this kind of story—an old injury that will flare up, triggered by the simple act of bending over, then standing up, ultimately preventing them from doing the things they love to do,” says Dr. Hoover.

“Most patients seek my care when they realize, as Peter did, that their quality of life is finally bad enough and that it’s time to act.”

Solon Spine and Wellness Center is located at 6175 SOM Center Road at the corner of SOM Center Road and Solon Road. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Allen Hoover, call 440-248-5070. Visit for more information.