IDD Therapy – “Intervertebral Differential Dynamics” is the fastest growing non-surgical spinal treatment with over 1000 clinics worldwide – 34 of them in the UK alone. I talk to Michael Furlong, an osteopath for over 20 years and Clinic Director at Balance Health Centre in Liverpool. Michael is passionate about spine care and so is the perfect person to answer my questions about IDD Therapy and back pain in general. Hi Michael and welcome! 😊
Hello 😊 My name is Michael Furlong. I am 55 years old and have been a registered osteopath since 1999. I have two sons and the younger is also training as an osteopath, and two cockapoos: Bobby and Dexter.
What are the common causes of back pain?
The most common causes of back pain I see regularly are predominately muscular skeletal lower lumbar sacro-iliac with related disc problems. This then causes symptoms throughout the body causing knock-on compensatory symptoms.
Why is it important to get treatment as soon as possible for back pain, neck pain & sciatica?
It is important to seek help immediately once you are in pain. If you leave it too long, the problem becomes chronic. Chronic pain basically means the problem has been there for 6 months and longer.
That means you have been living with pain for a long time, this becomes harder to treat and takes more time to improve due to compensatory changes in the body.
There does seem to be an order for back pain. The patient will try medication, then their GP, who will refer to a physiotherapist, then the client will try acupuncture and / or sports massage. Then they end up at the last chance saloon, which is me. This pattern only changes once the person has attended my clinic.
One of the treatments you offer is IDD Therapy – what is this treatment?
IDD is a non-invasive spinal disc treatment. Basically, it means non-surgical spinal decompression! In other words, it’s a very specific scientific traction that works on a particular segment of the spine and not just general traction. This allows the discs to heal naturally in a controlled, safe way.
IDD has been a revelation for me personally. I discovered IDD after I had a disc problem causing complete numbness from my knee down into my whole foot. I attended the Buxton clinic where Phil sat with me, explained everything and recommended two sessions a week, with a minimum of 10.
Every session there was an improvement until I had feeling back. Amazingly, I had so much more movement in my spine that I actually started laughing in my yoga session at the increase.
Who are the typical candidates that you would recommend for IDD Therapy?
Typically, a candidate for IDD needs an up-to-date MRI scan. This will show up people with trapped nerves, bulging discs and arthritic changes in the lumbar spine causing bony growths known as spurs which pinch the nerves. Age is not a factor. I have had 20-year-olds up to 90-year-olds. As long as it’s safe to do so, you can treat anyone.
Although you are based in England, is IDD therapy available to use throughout the UK and worldwide?
IDD is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. In the UK it is becoming widely available, with more clinics adding this amazing treatment to their new and established clinics.
You have been an osteopath for over 20 years – have you always wanted to be an osteopath or did your career aspirations lie elsewhere?
When I was younger I was a youth player with a professional football club. I received an injury that effectively stopped me from playing. Quite simply, it was an injury that wasn’t diagnosed properly. After 3 years of incredible pain I ended up at the door of an incredible osteopath, who not only diagnosed my problem but eventually relieved the suffering.
That was it! I wanted to be an osteopath. There was no internet or mobile phones to research courses but, after a few years, I eventually got accepted into Oxford Brookes. I have never looked back. I love my job and I am learning new things constantly.
Apart from IDD, what other treatments do you recommend for back pain?
Apart from IDD I truly believe that any therapy that helps you personally has a place in treatment. Obviously, I am an osteopath but physiotherapists and chiropractors all do incredible work. Massage and acupuncture both work. I am a firm believer of prevention, so yoga, Pilates and tai chi are also high on my recommended to do list.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I am from Liverpool, so there seems to be a uniform ethic with clothes. The influx of students brings an amazing, eclectic style.
During the week, for getting to work and dog walking, I am a North Face Berghaus style; comfortable weather proof. I love North Face reaction t-shirts.
At weekends, its more jeans or chinos, but definitely Hugo Boss. I love their fit and the quality is very good.
I am a bit off a coat freak. I have way, way too many coats but I love to layer my coats when I can.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
I am always amused, every year how a fashion brand can update the good old polo t shirt. I have tried so many styles, but Hugo Boss fits me perfectly. Ralph Lauren and Sunspot do nice polos.
When it comes to sunglasses, Oliver Peoples does amazing designs and Persol always look classy.
Online, I use a site called Thread. They give you a personal shopper and tend to style for age, I have bought from them a few items.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I have just ordered a nice Harrington jacket from, again for layering and am getting into new balance trainers. They do some nice designs for the older person.
Boots or shoes?
Boots all day. I love Ben Sherman desert boots and have 4 pairs in all colours. They look amazing and feel amazing. I like the lightweight Timberland boot for everyday wear.
Facebook: IDD Therapy Europe
Thank you for explaining all about IDD Therapy, Michael, and it is really a privilege to meet a coat freak !!
All photographs have been published with kind permission from Michael Furlong / IDD Therapy UK