Chronic Pain

Denise led an active life with multiple minor strains occurring in her 20s and 30s, but did not have a chronic complaint until she woke up one morning unable to move her neck. After watching her walk, I diagnosed a postural imbalance from the strain in her leg, and following her first treatment, came up with some very specific stretching techniques and suggested a specific shoe to wear. She was surprised that her first treatment was so subtle, but noticed a feeling of relaxation and warmth in her leg and low back. She is quick to implement her stretching exercises, especially before and after a long trip or when life stressors cause increased soreness. Denise is now back to enjoying her active life—pain free.

 

Susan came to see me when she was 18 with the diagnosis of failed back syndrome. She had back surgery 3 years prior, prompting post laminectomy syndrome 2 days after surgery, where she awoke with a 10 of 10 pain level. After her first osteopathic treatment, Susan’s bladder symptoms of urgency and frequency resolved, but it took a few months for her pain to decrease. In our discussion about how pain affects the way your brain functions, I stressed the importance of recognizing that pain is not a warning sign of something dangerous, but that your brain is just “keyed up.” After watching G. Lorimer Mosley on Ted talks, Susan was able to separate her pain signals from her reaction to the pain, from which the suffering originates. I treated her once a week for 2 years and then every other week for about a year. Susan revisited me 5 years later,after wrenching her back. I learned that during those 5 years, she experienced a low grade ache—but all-in-all, lived a normal life. Susan enjoys water skiing, snowboarding and other activities, and her new friends never even knew she had suffered from back problems.

 

 

Sally fell flat on her back 30 years ago and was “hobbled up” for weeks, but forgot all about it after recovery. Three years later in college, she twisted her back and knee during a skiing accident. Chiropractic treatments and physical therapy alleviated about 90% of her pain, but Sally still noticed some increased soreness after long plane rides or when she became anxious or stressed. Five years later, she fell off of her bicycle, which resulted in a chronic low grade ache right in the middle of her back above the belt. Sally had regular treatments once a week over the next few months. She consistently left my office feeling the same but would have significant relief a few hours later.  I prescribed very specific stretching techniques, which she implemented twice a day for about a year. She still does her stretches before and after long flights or car rides, but otherwise lives a normal pain free life.

 

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