The number of neck and back surgeries continues to rise with the percentage of them being considered failed back surgeries now about 50 percent. The money being spent on pain medication alone per year is about 20-30 billion dollars. The number of those becoming addicted to this medication, including the children of individuals prescribed the medication, is seemingly out of control. The time that people are sustaining pain has clearly increased to measurements in years, no longer months.

It seems to me as if pain management clinics abound with the purpose of handing out medication but with no intent on establishing cause so that it can be resolved. Many feel that almost every initial physician visit ends with a prescription to get an MRI or x-ray. This continues even though every study coming out shows that as many people with no pain have the same MRI findings such as herniated discs, arthritis, stenosis, degenerative disc disease and meniscal tears in the knee at those who have pain.  Many studies even conclude that there is little correlation between the test findings and pain. And yet, these tests remain the gold standard for establishing the cause of pain from which every treatment to resolve your pain derives from.

There is a perversity to this situation that is beyond logical understanding. A system that utilizes tests with no validity and surgeries only performed because no other treatment protocol has worked. In most cases, after an initial surgery didn't work, the answer is another surgery to cut out an additional structure. One such case was a patient of mine who had pain from the gluteal region around to the hip region. He was told it was from arthritis of the hips. He was given bilateral hip replacements. This did not resolve his pain so his physicians then decided that the pain was from stenosis of his spine. He was given an epidural nerve block which didn't work and he was then told surgery of the lumbar spine was necessary. When he decided to have me evaluate him, we found his symptoms were the result of muscle strains of two muscles both located at the gluteal region and hip region. The evaluation clearly indicated the symptoms could never have come from his hips or lower back. With just one treatment his symptoms were severely reduced.

I was enraged to hear that he had surgery for these symptoms when it was so obvious that the cause was muscular. But then again, the surgeons would never have given him that diagnosis because an x-ray showed arthritis at his hips. What most people don't know is that many people with no pain can be found to have arthritis at their hips. If this man's doctors had done a thorough evaluation, they would have determined that his pain was not at the hip joint but above it in the belly of a muscle.

It is my goal to prevent patients from undergoing unnecessary surgeries or taking narcotic, addictive drugs that at not needed. In many cases, the individuals felt that the surgery didn't make sense but they were told this was their only hope. They were told this by multiple physicians. Well wake up folks, treatment isn't a one-size-fits-all method. The method of diagnosing I use determines the cause of pain with an extremely high success rate. Ninety to 95 percent of the cases I have treated found the cause of pain to be a muscle weakness including strains or muscle imbalance.

It is my quest to provide patients with an alternative to common pain practices. Be active in your role as a patient. Ask questions. Do not accept anyone's diagnosis if it doesn't make sense to you.  After all, it is your care. The system can only change if individuals recognize it is not working for them. I am providing a clear alternative for your perusal. Now, the choice is yours.