Lisa Reinert woke up one morning last summer and couldn’t move her neck or left arm without pain. She felt fine during the previous few days and was shocked by what she was feeling.
As an occupational therapist who had studied nerve pain, Lisa assumed she had a herniated disc but had no idea what could have caused it. She called a chiropractor friend who recommended Dr. Proodian at Natural Healthcare Center.
Dr. Proodian took a conservative approach and immediately recommended an x-ray. He suspected the pain was being caused by a herniated disc and performed minor treatment. An MRI confirmed this diagnosis.
A few days later, the pain was so excruciating that Lisa couldn’t sleep through the night.
“I went into Dr. Proodian’s office literally crying the next day,” Lisa said. “He was so comforting and talked me through it. He explained the science behind it and said I would probably need an oral steroid before continuing treatment.”
It took about 48 hours for Lisa to begin feeling relief from the steroid and start treatment. She was still very worried because she would have to return to work in a school system in September. She had serious doubts if she would be able to do it.
Although the MRI revealed a level of herniation that often requires spinal surgery, Dr. Proodian said he was confident that Lisa would feel well enough to work by the second week of September with non-surgical treatment. The recovery process, however, would be a long one.
For the first six weeks, Lisa received treatment from Dr. Proodian three times a week. Dr. Proodian used Cox Technic Flexion Distraction and Decompression Therapy, which gently and safely reduces pressure on the spine to allow discs to heal.
“Mike the massage therapist (Michael Walsh) would work on areas that were sore and tight before I was treated by Dr. Proodian,” Lisa said. “It wasn’t the typical ‘crack your back’ adjustment that most people associate with chiropractors. It was a gentler manipulation that relieved pain to my left shoulder and down my arm. The combination of therapies made a big difference.”
Gradually, treatment frequency was reduced to twice a week, then once a week, and once every other week in December. She is also doing physical therapy once a week.
Returning to Work
About three-and-a-half weeks after starting treatment, Lisa returned to work. There were certain activities that Lisa was not able to do with students at school in September.
For example, she struggled to help preschoolers learn to handle buttons, snaps, and small zippers. She really had to concentrate when performing therapeutic hand techniques with the students because of the tingling and numbness in her hand.
By the end of November, Lisa had regained much of her strength and didn’t really think about her hand anymore. She feels like she has just about returned to her pre-injury form with minimal limitations.
A Long Journey
Excruciating pain that occurs out of nowhere can be scary. Learning that recovery will take months can be frustrating and deflating. However, Lisa is relieved to be virtually pain-free, especially when she thinks about how awful the pain was at first.
“I went through labor without medication twice, just natural childbirth,” Lisa said. “And this was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. I couldn’t sleep and I wasn’t comfortable in any position. I walked around the house with my left arm up behind my head because it gave me minimal relief, but I was in constant pain from the back of my neck to the tip of my left hand.”
As of this writing, Lisa was still dealing with minor tingling in her fingers. Even in the past few weeks, however, after months of treatment, she’s noticing significant improvement. She understands that recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and she’s grateful to have Dr. Proodian as her partner on this journey.
“Just his overall wealth of knowledge and the questions he was able to answer made me feel so much better,” Lisa said. “He knew I had to approach treatment with the right mindset. When I think about where I was to where I am now, it’s something I can’t put into words. I can’t thank Dr. Proodian and his team enough.”