My name is Dean, and I’m not just a back pain specialist, I’m a back pain patient.
In November of 2016, the decades of competitive athletics finally caught up to me. When I was in chiropractic school, I would read the lists sports most abusive to the lumbar spine and it looked like a copy of my athletic resume. Golf, tennis, diving, weightlifting, all of the above, check. However, it was an overly vigorous workout on a rowing machine during a CrossFit workout that finished the job. I was thrown into the process of managing yet another lumbar disc herniation, only this time, the disc was mine.
I dealt with pain. Severe pain in my back that travelled into my right leg. Pain that shot through me with any change in position, or cough, or laugh. Pain that stopped me from doing many of the things I loved, and threatened my career.
I dealt with fear. Being active in my hobbies, living life fully with my family, and being able to do my job were all threatened. Would I be one of the unfortunate statistics that became stuck in the downward spiral of chronic pain?
I wasn’t always a good patient.
I worked when I should have rested. I put the interests of my patients ahead of my own self-preservation. I aggravated my injury again and again in my efforts to alleviate the back pain of others.
And then, I listened, ironically, to my own advice. I did the rehab, received treatment, and I stopped doing the things that kept aggravating my injury, and I recovered.
I fully recovered from my pain, regaining function, living a full, active, and pain-free life. My physical recovery still amazes me. I still appreciate being able to put on my socks, brush my teeth, or laugh, without that startling, familiar, pain. When my family moved to Cheyenne, I lifted, and carried, and bent, and twisted, and there was no pain. It was an immense amount of physical work, and I was still pain-free. Thankful.
My story affects everything we do within the Spine+Fit System.
How we manage pain, how we perform rehabilitation, our exercise and strength training program design, and even our athletic development program are designed to achieve excellent results while preserving maximum safety for the lumbar spine. Fortunately, “that which prevents injury, enhances performance” and we are able to achieve the best of both worlds through careful program design and high level movement instruction.
As I look back, I’m thankful for this experience.
I’m a better health care provider because of my experience. I’m more passionate than ever to develop the best options for back pain patients within The Spine+Fit System. I do this because I not only know a what my patients are experiencing, I understand it.