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Don’t Be Another Statistic

Doctor's Blog

Don’t Be Another Statistic

Recently, a potential patient came into our office looking for help. This person had had back surgery and was still having challenges. In fact, the person had had 4 back surgeries and was considering having another. The first back surgery happened when the person was in their twenties and they stated that one “lasted ten years”. The second back surgery “only lasted seven years”, the next one “lasted only three years”. You get the idea. The one they just had only “lasted six months”.


Failed back surgery syndrome is quite high. In fact, 20-40% of people who have back surgery are unhappy with the results. Now, I’ll be the first to say that there’s a time and place for nearly every medical procedure and there’s a time and place where many can absolutely be a tremendous gift for a person. However, if you listen to what this patient seeking help said then you’ll see the real challenge.


The back surgery “lasted”; here in lies the problem. The reference point is pain and the end result the person was looking for with the surgeries was pain relief. The determination of whether it was successful was whether the pain had gone away. I have no doubt that the surgery did what it’s supposed to do in terms of a health procedure. However, that doesn’t mean that the pain isn’t going to come back and it doesn’t mean that the underlying cause of why the pain is there has been addressed.


If someone is looking to restore themselves to a pain-free state with any kind of procedure, pill, potion, or lotion, they aren’t really addressing the underlying cause. And if underlying issues are not addressed, then secondary conditions or challenges still develop.

It’s only a matter of time.


If you approach a concern from a completely different vantage point then you’ll find different solutions. By thinking of the underlying wounds in the physiology in relation to the pain, you’ll find different answers and different courses of action. Instead of looking to get rid of the problem that’s currently in front of you, i.e., the pain, try seeking to reorganize, strengthen, improve function, improve structure, and change behavior. I contend that your experience of your body, life, and the world around you will change. There’s a connection between your perception of your body and the life you’re experiencing. If you choose to simply continue living life in the way you have been and continue to patch things, there’s always a price to pay. If you choose not to deal with it sooner, you always end up dealing with it later.


When someone in this kind of situation comes into our office, Network Family Wellness Center in Boulder, Colorado, where we’ve been practicing for seventeen years, I always wish the person had found us, or someone with an advanced approach to the spine, sooner. See, conventionally, most health care professionals that are looking at the spine are going to be looking at fixing a surface injury, reducing pain, helping someone move better, or a number of very important things that can give a person immediate results. The shortcoming I see so often is that the real underlying wounds are not addressed and come back to haunt the person later.


This is why we focus on what’s called NeuroStructural Reorganization, which focuses on changes in the spinal structure that are affecting a person’s physiology, neural behavior patterns, and perception shifts that are affecting how a person is able to move, act, and behave within the world around them. By addressing issues with appropriate spinal care, so often people can avoid more severe, more invasive interventions.


About a year back, I went to a great presentation by a number of very well reputed Boulder spinal surgeons. They stressed the importance of trying to find every solution, every action possible before deciding to do surgery. I couldn’t agree more. If you’re considering surgery for something, before you do, have you thought about finding room in your life to make your body healthier first?


If you’d like to find out if we could help you, contact us for a free consultation, which is simply a conversation to see if you might be a candidate for our specialized care.

By Dr. Daniel KnowlesFebruary 3, 2017

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