Ken is a Brilliant, 43 year old entrepreneur from Philadelphia who recently visited us in Florida with a Major Game-Stopping problem. He had built his Fitness Business from one small gym, into five thriving Fitness Centers that were ready to dominate the market and change many lives. A vision so important that he deserved all of our attentions.
But one problem was holding him back.
You guessed it … Back Pain.
Back pain was stopping his game.
Making him take a time out, when he was still ready to play. Making him ride the cart, when he really wanted to walk. Making him stop after 9 holes, instead of blazing through 18. It hurt him both in business and on the links. Here is how we evaluated him and got him back-In-the-game.
Ken had one major problem: a nagging low back pain, which stopped him from enjoying everything that had helped him become the man he is. Yet, he still is the only man who created all this fitness business. He did not want to lose it all to back pain.
After completion of our unique, Comprehensive Medical Assessment (CMA) the origin of his pain was starkly elucidated.
Taking a note from from basic osteopathic medicine, and looking at the history and physical findings, we quickly realized that the patient will tell you what their medical problem is, if you just listen to them long enough. Next we did a proper, old school history and physical.
No computer can yet do that. Yet.
The doctor does not control this process, even though she or he may think they do. The patient and their story control it all. The osteopathic way predates what is now called “Functional Medicine”.
We can see so far today, because we stand on the shoulders of Giants. Even if we don’t know who they were or what they contributed to human evolution.
Andrew Taylor Still M.D. was one of the earliest and biggest of those Giants in medicine, starting in 1892. He envisioned and then created the healing system of Osteopathic Medicine. Less drugs, less surgery, more touching and healing the patient. Real medical leaders.
When taking the comprehensive history of Ken, we had to look far back in his life. All the way back to the origin of his pain. Discussing it and analyzing it is also therapeutic. The patient had seen a dozen doctors, yet none of his previous providers had let the patient tell his story, in his own way, and listened to understand. He finally was able to fully share the rocky journey he had endured.
Prescribing a True Regenerative treatment plan including stem cell therapy , nutritional support or intravenous rescue, should never be a one size fits all, never a routine approach.
It is not off the shelf, It cannot be: “off the shelf”.
Your exact cells at this time and place are the exact cells your body needs to heal itself.
The purpose of our individualized regenerative medicine approach is that it is specific to this patient at this time based on the needs of this patient.
It is not designed for the benefit of the Doctor, the payment involved or the chosen intervention.
If only mainstream medicine would learn from the patient, what the patient needs, not what the system needs.
It requires a careful diagnostic evaluation of the patient’s entire medical history.
Each person has a unique physiologic historic timeline that’s influenced by several traditional medical treatments over the years. These surgical or pharmaceutical approaches may work for a while but ultimately fail to address the root cause of disease and its messy effects.
This is the Medical Masters, Osteopathic way.
This was exactly the case in Ken’s dilemma.
“Dr. Coleman, I’m having pain in my lower lumbar area which has increased over the last month or so. I went golfing yesterday and it aggravated the pain, mostly in my left hip. It’s a shooting, stabbing pain that leads to spasms and makes me tighten up,” he said.
Ken was obviously in peak shape for his age, having spent years playing athletic sports like football and golf. He certainly looks like a major fitness expert.
After detailed questions and additional orthopedic and neurological testing of the Spine and extremities, it emerged that two key incidents were the progenitors for his present condition. They both happened decades ago.
The details of the first event, that he only recalled with caring questioning , happened when he was just 18 years old while lifting groceries out of his car.
“I was leaning over and pulling stuff out of my trunk. I suddenly felt my lower back spasm. It was a strange sensation that I have never felt. After that, it would flare up every once in a while. Now it's out of control” he said.
In fact, after further prodding, it emerged that over a period of decades he would recall sometimes getting up from a seated position only to find himself spasming, literally rocking his body and unsettling his balance.
Then, suddenly it would be gone, and things would be good for a while. What gives?
The second incident(s) involved athletic activities like golfing or lifting weights where he sporadically experienced a sharp tweak or pinching pain in his lower sacroiliac joint. This pain was separate and intermittent, but often related to the other disc related back pain.
After further investigation, it emerged that the pain evolved and spread to his shoulder blades.
“I almost felt like a knife had been stabbed behind the left shoulder. I tried moving around to loosen it up, but this only made it worse, to the point where I started experiencing pins and needles in my fingers and even legs. My legs and hands would go just go very weak,” he said. Nothing, including manipulation, and traction decompression helped.
An MRI would later reveal a herniated disk requiring several months of physical therapy which provided some short-term relief but never enough to stop the pain train.
He was eventually compelled to undertake a Microdiscectomy surgery, which removes a small piece of bone over the nerve root with the goal of relieving the nerve entrapment. In theory, it should relieve the pain totally. In theory. But since the body is held together with an omnipresent connecting material called fascia, rarely is there one single problem that can be cured with the magic bullet approach.
This all too common, but incredibly invasive procedure, to relieve the so-called “bulging disk” did work for a while, but always, the pain would return, usually with a vengeance.
This really is a dilemma.
Ken confirmed that in the last five years he had seen a consistent increase in the stabbing pain and spasms, particularly when playing golf or moving from sitting to the standing position.
Forget swinging a club.
The last two months had been particularly unpleasant until he saw an old friend of his, a physician who had seen Dr. Coleman for severe chronic pain in both shoulders.
“When I met Dr. Len, I couldn’t get out of my chair. I literally could not walk. The pain shot through my lower back and I had repeated pain spasms.”
It was at this meeting that Dr. Len mentioned the successful treatment he had undergone at Medical Masters.org.
Ken continued to stretch and use physical activity like golf in an attempt to get the blood flowing and his joints loose again.
Then, two weeks ago, he woke up and his world was frozen.
“I was shocked. I could barely get out of bed and walk. I was in agony and literally bent over from the pain.”
This was the tipping point for his initial call to MedicalMasters.org, where we put him through a 100 Point Health Score and began to build a treatment strategy specific to Ken.
I informed Ken that once you experience disk issues it can have residual effects in surrounding joints and ligaments. This tightening effect along the lamina and adjacent vertebrae is also influenced by imbalances in muscle tone or general posture. The fact that he experienced pain while in - or moving to - a standing position offered additional clues as to the possible problems.
In his case, I believed that stem cell therapy involving the precise extraction of the patient’s own cellular cells including bone marrow (hematopoietic stem cells) and adipose derived stem cells (mesenchymal cells) and its re-injection into the lumbar and sacroiliac joint. would assist in returning normal body function and reducing overall pain levels. These injections do not specifically target nerve roots, but can benefit Neurogenic pain coming from smaller nerves.
The joints, ligaments and trigger points, do get targeted. Specifically the lower lumbar facet joints (see link) are excellent targets in those with arthritis in the back.
The procedure took around three and one half hours to complete and Ken reported a positive mood immediately after the same-day treatment.
“I feel a little sore but overall really great. I am super optimistic and excited. I am glad it’s done and look forward to the process of healing. The entire medical team made me very comfortable before, during and after the process.”
This quick procedure, which is done under local anesthesia only (level-1 anesthesia) is designed to be minimally risky while helping patients like Ken have less pain while performing daily activities with less limitations.
Ken will now be monitored, coached, and encouraged over the next 6 to 9 months as part of a patient centered, systematic regenerative approach to healing the human body.
This is more than he signed up for, and we are passionate about delivering it.
Because we care, and it helps us and all of humanity to act on this higher level. It also feels really really good to us in the trenches. This is our glory too. His improvement really matters to us.
While he may experience some physical discomfort over the next weeks, this is a common attribute of the healing process which includes powerful invisible cytokines at work helping with tissue regeneration.
Within a month of the procedure Ken should experience greater mobility and lower pain levels, signaling that this body’s own cells are at work strengthening the surrounding ligaments and tissue in his back.
We invite our readers to return to MedicalMasters.org or visit us on Facebook for follow ups on Kens’ recovery process.
We hope he will be back on the golf course,
Going for that Hole in One.
Hail to the Victors!
They have earned it through blood, sweat and tears.