Back pain is a major healthcare financial burden in the developed world. Besides it hurts… I have been treating patients with back pain for well over a decade. I call myself spine pain interventionist as I have been treating back pain with various non-invasive interventions, such as epidural steroid injection, facet joints injections, radiofrequency ablation and so on. And I have been trained by Spine Intervention Society and World Institute of Pain esteem Instructors, great doctors and teachers. And I have been fairly confident in my skills and training. But the trouble was that it didn’t work as well as I would expect… The pain didn’t go away or went away for a short while only. Overall the results were disappointing. And I didn’t want to disappoint my patients who were suffering genuine back pain. And this is how I came across regenerative orthopaedics. For me it’s been a paradigm shift. Let me explain. For many years we believed that spine pain was caused by one, sometimes two pain generator in the spine, namely disc, facet joint, nerve root and so on and our role is it find this pain generator, treat it and pain will go away. This is very “surgical” approach to the problem: find what is wrong, cut it off and patient is cured. I am not saying that this is overall wrong approach. Quite oposite, very often it is a life saving approach. But not in case of back pain. What I have learned from regenerative orthopaedics is looking at the spine and the rest of musculoskeletal system as a whole, as a well oiled machinery. And when one, even the smallest, element of this machinery fails the whole system brakes down. So if your disc doesn’t work properly, not only your facet joints will start suffering but even your knee joint will start hurting. And this is the beauty and wisdom of regenerative orthopaedics: to take you body as a whole and to treat it as a whole. And no intervention will help your back pain if it is not foregone by correct diet and supplements intake and followed by exercises and lifestyle change. That is why we always advise our patients to prepare for the treatment by reducing sugars, red meat and alcohol prior to the treatment, by taking supplements such as fish oils and turmeric. And there is no point to carry out the treatment if patient doesn’t commit themselves to healthy diet and lifestyle afterwards. My point is, that if somebody promises you a “quick fix” of your spine problem, run away, don’t fall into the trap of easy and quick solution. There is no such one. Back pain is always complex and we are here to help you to manage it but without your engagement and effort no intervention will be successful. (zk)
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