Sciatica

Lower Back Pain and Sciatica Resolved Following Failed Surgeries

My name is Cody S, and I had suffered from chronic low back pain/radiation to my left lower extremity for approximately three years when I began treatment with Dr. Carla Warner. At this point, I had tried everything, or so I had thought. I had tried numerous pain medications, surgery, and physical therapy with not more than temporary results. A co-worker asked me if I had ever tried Chiropractic and I replied, “I think my problems are too serious for that, I don’t think it will help.” However, this individual explained to me that he had encountered similar problems and that Chiropractic had been crucial in treating his condition.

I sustained what I thought was a minor back injury in 2004 while on active duty in the Air Force. I went to the doctor, was prescribed some anti-inflammatory medications and put on light duty for a day or two, and moved on with my life (not ever thinking much about this injury). However, in March of 2007 I began to have low back problems, so again (at this time I was separated from the Air Force) I went to my primary care physician and he showed me some stretches to help with my problems and told me to take an NSAID for the pain. I went on just pushing through the pain and dealing with it because of my busy schedule, until one day in August of 2007 when I encountered major problems. The pain was debilitating; I was unable to sit for more than five minutes and could be on my feet for no longer than one hour. If I did any such activities, I found myself taking pain pills and lying in bed for hours waiting for relief. This problem got to the point that I could not even finish a shift at work, so I met with my supervisor and arranged to be taken off the schedule. I decided to have surgery because I had just started my first job since separating from the Air Force and was enrolled in pre-requisite classes for entry into a BSN program. I thought surgery would be the quickest and most direct/permanent fix for this problem.

After the surgery, minor residual pain remained, and I thought to myself, this is nothing compared to the pain I had been through over the past few months so I’ll take it, this is okay. Following the surgery in September of 2007, the residual pain faded to nothing and I was back to fully functional and on my way. I started my nursing program in September of 2008 and was taken by surprise in November, when while sitting in class one morning I began to feel an all too-familiar sensation. The pain had come back, but not constant like prior to my surgery. At this I would typically wake with it in the morning, but as the day went on it would ease up. As time went on the pain began to stick with me throughout the days and I found myself taking pain pills every day after work/school. In February 2009, I returned to my primary care physician and asked for a Physical Therapy consult.

After attending PT 2-3 times a week for just over a month, my Therapist told me that I had made such progress and that further sessions would serve as no advantage to me. Therapy did help; the pain was still present but in no way as intense as what I had experienced in the past, so again I accepted this. However, in June of 2009, my pain returned with a vengeance to a severity comparable to my pre- surgery pain level, a debilitating pain. I was not functional for about two weeks at this time and returned to my doctor, this time to try the epidural injections that I had hoped to evade with Physical therapy.

I began these injections in June of 2009, and after a total of five injections over six months I decided that this treatment had been futile and that I would receive no more. Between the months of June and February the pain was so bad that I was again living on pain pills. I would go to work/school and come home, take pain pills, and pass out on the couch…some life, right? I was unable to sit for any significant amount of time but could still stand and walk, so I just pressed on with school and work because I was far too busy to be slowed down by my health at the age of 30. As I mentioned, I could stand and walk, but I was so out of alignment that I could no longer stand straight; no matter how I tried, the muscles in my back were so tight that this was not only painful but impossible. I remember one night I was lying half on/half off the couch as was the position that caused the least amount of pain and my wife encouraged me to seek treatment at an Emergency Room, but I told her the only way I’m moving from this position is if someone picks me up just the way I am and physically moves me (I stayed in this position for an unbelievable 16 hours). At this point I sought out my surgeon once again.

At this point I did not know what I was to do, my pain management doctor seemed to think that I would get progressively worse and thought that I was too young to try another surgery, but I scheduled surgery so that I could have it over my summer break and continue with school in the fall. My co-worker mentioned that I should see Dr. Carla Warner, so I said why not; after all I was less than optimistic about another surgery. So I began regular treatment at Warner Family Chiropractic, three times per week.

At my consultation, Dr. Warner reviewed my old MRI and x-ray films that I had provided and took x-rays of her own. My treatment consisted of gentle massage, lumbar decompression, and adjustment. After about ten sessions, the pain became excruciatingly horrible; however, I was not surprised as Dr. Warner had explained to me that this was not an expectation but a possibility (upon consultation). I was unable to make my appointments for approximately one week, during which I miss school and clinical hours. Moreover, I was contemplating not returning for treatment, but I made myself go back because I knew that this was going to help me. I had missed over two weeks of school and work and was in danger of having to drop my classes, when the pain began to subside. I continued my prescribed treatment and it seemed that after about 18 sessions the pain was regressing after each session until I reached session 24, when my pain was greatly reduced. I would say that my pain level was a 10/10 when I began treatment and about a 1-2/10 by my 24th session. Dr. Warner explained to me that most patients require about 10-15 sessions, but that my case was one of the worst she had ever seen, and I believe her.

I was able to finish my spring semester, participate in a Student Nurse Extern program over the summer working in an Emergency Department, and move right into my final semester this fall. I am looking forward to graduating and—although I know it is a long shot—am in the process of trying to join the Air Force Reserves following my graduation.

I feel that Dr. Warner essentially gave my life back to me, and words cannot express my gratitude. As a full-time college student with a family, I was concerned about paying for the treatment because my insurance policy does not cover Chiropractic care (ironic how some insurance companies will not cover the one effective and least invasive treatment for this problem); however, Dr. Warner worked out an extended payment plan with me and happily took me on as a patient. I have never been treated with such respect nor felt such genuine concern from another practitioner. Dr. Warner and her staff are extremely professional and patient/family oriented. When I first met Dr. Warner she asked why I had not tried Chiropractic and I replied that I thought my problem was too severe; she made a joke and said that I probably thought that Chiropractors were like Witch Doctors. Dr. Warner, I still do not think you are a Witch Doctor, but you certainly did work some sort of magic. THANK YOU!!!