My story for anyone who is interested.
I am 40(ish) and you can tell from my blog 2 little kids…I spent about 7 or 8 years rowing competitively, suffered a few injuries and the upshot of it is I overstretched ligaments in my thoracic (upper) back. The lax ligaments (the fibers that hold all the tissues and bones together) have allowed for lots of movement in the bones of my thoracic back (subluxation) hence nerve compression etc etc… all of which for many people equals chronic pain. (sorry to be so simplistic I am sure you know all of this already…) Many people who suffer from chronic pain in various parts of their bodies suffer suffer because of lax ligament tissue.
I have had pain for 16 years in varying degrees. The last 2 years have become really difficult, I had to stop exercising, had difficulty sitting through a meal and could not carry anything (even to pick up my kids) not to mention was terminally grumpy. I read a divorce statistic regarding people who are in chronic pain and it was really high, I could see the road I was heading down and it was not good. My life had become way too pathetic for a formerly vibrant athlete and extroverted personality. I kept thinking OMG if I am only 43 I have a good 40 years left I am going to turn into one of those grumpy crooked little old women who complain all the time…NO WAY!!!
I have been trying to find a diagnosis since the original injury on about 1990, but since it is the soft tissue it does not show up in any diagnostic test. Suddenly it becomes phantom pain. I have had every diagnostic test imaginable, and saw every doctor I could find who might be able to help me. Nothing, makes you start feeling like a bit of a freak…
Last summer in desperation since the quality of my life had taken such a downward turn I took up the torch again and decided to try again to find help. I finally saw a sports medicine MD in The Beaches in Toronto, ( I can send you the name if you want who helped a friend of ours with his chronic back pain) and he diagnosed it, (finally) and recommended “Prolotherapy”. In his words the only solution for this type of chronic pain injury. So then I was on the research train on the internet and phoning every single person I could who practices Prolotherapy in Canada and all over the world, and had consultations with several docs in Toronto who practice it as part of their chronic pain clinics.
This process led me to Dr. Hauser. If you are interested there is a great deal of information on the internet regarding this topic. I have been going to see Dr. Hauser since September, and I am going back for my 4th treatment this Friday.
My quality of life has improved 100%. I still have pain but on a scale of 1-2 instead of 8-10 at the conclusion of the treatments (another 2-3) I should be pain free. The treatment is supposed to be permanent, the risks are low and though it may sound invasive (much less invasive than surgery) it offered me complete recovery. I take almost no medication now while I was previously been taking from 2-4-6-8 Ibuprofin a day to manage the pain. Prolo therapy promises a finite cure not band aid as other pain management techniques do.
The difference has been amazing, I am still experiencing subluxation (crunching) but much less and with no pain, eventually it will disappear altogether. Dr. Hauser says I will be running again in a year and could be running marathons (I scarcely dare to hope but if my present incremental recovery is any indication I have no reason to doubt his words.)
My life is almost back!!
My recommendation to anyone who has chronic pain and is curious is to call his office (the info is listed on the website.) Talk to the patient consultant (Matt) who will talk to you at length and in depth about your personal situation and answer ANY questions you may have. (put it this way I probably spent almost 1.5 hours talking to him over 2 phone call because I was so nervous). You can also have a phone consult with the doctor and if you persue treatment the cost of the phone consult (about the cost of a modest dinner out) will be deducted from your first treatment. Money well spent and a fair approach if I do say so.
Having said all of that the treatments for me are more than manageable. I walk back to my hotel after and fly home the next day.(!)
The site again can be found at caringmedical.com and the clinic is in Chicago.