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Dear Dr. Gould,

It is amazing to me the progress that I have made since I started seeing you in May. What started out as a little back pain in March, ended up being a lot more than anyone expected. Three weeks into this minor problem, the pain became incredibly intense and I finally went to see my primary care physician. He took x-rays, the results came back normal. The spacing of my vertebra appeared to be normal and intact and there was no reason to suspect any kind of infection. He thought that I probably strained a muscle in my lower back. Over the weekend following my initial visit to him, the pain increased to a new level and I did not know how to make it go away. The medications he had given me, which included Vicoden, steroids and a muscle relaxant did not seem to have any impact on my pain. I had been taking them and the pain continued to increase.

As of the following Monday, he added an additional muscle relaxant and we set up an MRI to be completed on my back. Tuesday I went for the MRI. By Thursday, I was ready to go to the hospital because the results of the MRI had not come back and the pain had become unbearable (little did I know it would get worse). By this time, I had missed almost a full week of work. When I tried to return to work I would have to leave early due to the pain. To further my distress, I had to miss a lot of class and the new quarter had just begun. It was almost noon on Thursday when the doctor’s office called. The MRI report came back… everything was normal. I am not a doctor, but I knew when pain shoots down both your legs, everything is not normal. However, I took my doctors advice and started physical therapy. He was certain I was just having muscle spasms, even though the pain was extending from my lower back completely down the back of my legs.

I went to physical therapy three times a week and was there for two hours each visit. We did mobilization exercises and traction. At the end of each visit he put electrical stimulation on my lower back. So I felt good for roughly 20 minutes after I left, but then the pain returned. At this point I was struggling to walk because the pain was unbearable.

Once again, I contacted my primary care physician and he sent me to Christ Hospital for a bone scan. When the results came back, everything once again was normal. It was at this point that my primary care physician referred me to an orthopedist. I went to see the orthopedist a week later (all the while continuing physical therapy) who agreed with my primary care physician that it was only muscle spasm. He told me to continue with the physical therapy and to come back and see him in three weeks. However, at this point I left his office crying because I was upset at the lack of concern for the pain that was shooting down both my legs as far as my Achilles tendon. I would come home crying at night, the pain was so bad and the physical therapy was only making it worse.

Finally I gave up and was willing to try anything to get better. One of the ladies my mother works with highly recommended you, and even though I was the most skeptical person about chiropractors, I will never regret seeing you. My initial examination led to the discovery of a compressed disc as a result of my hips being misaligned. The one thing you did differently than everyone else was you took weight bearing x-rays. All of the other x-rays had been performed while I was lying down, but when I was standing up the picture was completely different and even I could see the problem.

I started seeing you three times per week and after the first week I noticed a difference, although the pain was still extreme. After two weeks I could walk comfortably and the pain in my legs now only went down to the knees. And now I only see you once a week, after two months of treatment, the pain is gone and I can function normally. We still have some strength to gain, but if it weren’t for you, I would still be suffering.

Dr. Gould, thank you for giving me my life back.

Ashley N. Eddington