Dear Dr. Gould,
In 1989, after years of chronic lower back problems, I suffered an attack in my lower back for two months, during which time I was nearly incapacitated. After weeks of treatment which consisted of hot compresses, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs, I was referred by my family physician to an orthopedic surgeon. This orthopedic surgeon I was told, was one of the best in the Dayton area.
After one visit to the surgeon, I was told my condition was “degenerative”, that I could either learn to live with it, or when I was tired of it, I could have the culprit bulging disc removed. I received this diagnosis without the benefit of x-rays, MRI or any other conventional test one might expect from a medical doctor of this specialty.
Like most people who are confronted with possible surgery, I was disturbed, especially since no other alternative was offered. What also bothered me was the fact that I had known friends who had undergone this surgery, with equal success and failure. In short, no guarantees would ever be associated with this surgery, or even addressing the underlying problem. I could not believe this was my only option.
By late 1990, after seeing another referred orthopedic surgeon, again after a severe “attack”, I was admitted to the hospital; put in traction, given cortisone shots every four hours and the usual course of muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory drugs, etc. The myelogram test (a painful spinal tap) showed a bulging disc between L4 and L5. The electromyogram (also painful) showed no significant nerve damage. After nearly a week in the hospital, I was discharged with no surgery, 10 pounds heavier than I was when I was admitted, and with the intuitive belief that nothing had really been accomplished. I limped along for several months in pain.
By 1991, having exhausted all “conventional” medicine I attended a free spinal screening held by a chiropractor in Dayton, as a last resort. I figured I new my medical history fairly well and was interested in hearing the diagnosis. The chiropractor examined me, and told me that I probably had lumbar vertebra displaced and possibly disc problems, and the pain she said was obvious by the way I was I walking. “I can’t heal the discs but they can heal on their own, if the vertebra is realigned. Without vertebral alignment, they will never heal properly.” I probably should have seen that chiropractor, but like most people I had always been somewhat skeptical of chiropractic care.
By May of 1991, having suffered another attack in my lower back, and as a last resort, I received your name in reference. Your diagnosis of my problem was virtually the same that I had received only a few months before at the free screening. I have to admit I was somewhat apprehensive of chiropractic care. However, you carefully explained my problem to me, what treatment would entail and how long it might take to affect the cure. You also asked me to trust you, which was difficult considering my track record with “conventional” medicine.” After nearly two months of care, I achieved a level of health that I had not felt in years. The pain in my lower back was gone, the numbness in my foot was gone, and I felt normal again.
It has now been four years, I still have problems occasionally but I understand them and know what it takes to fix them. When I do have subluxations, I don’t even think about going to my family physician, I know what medicine he would prescribe. I call you up, explained what has happened and come in to get the problem corrected. I don’t know why people consider Chiropractic Care “alternative medicine”, that term is certainly ironic since we both know there are no drugs involved in the cure.
James W. Hart