I'm usually not the type of person to leave testimonials or do case studies but when something has helped me as much as this therapy has I can't help but want to spread the word.
I have been struggling with back pain for about 6 years now. During this time I have had 3 MRI's, visited two chiropractors, four physical therapists, one spine surgeon and countless doctors. Needless to say I was also taking LOTS of pain medication as do most people in similar situations do. It was tiresome hearing the same diagnosis, mildly herniated disks ranging from my L4-S2, that were possibly pushing on the nerves. These were most issues that women only 30 years of age did not have to deal with.
The pain rendered me helpless. This was the kind of pain that I didn't wish upon anyone. It would keep me up at night because there was no possible position that I could give me any comfort what-so-ever. It eventually lead me to sleeping on the floor, I did this for months. I eventually graduated to an air mattress. I would ask myself if this is how it was going to be the rest of my life. It was very depressing. All the things I loved to do like working out, hiking and even my job were being compromised by the shooting pain down my leg. I could barely walk at times and needed to be helped off the floor and up from the bed occasionally when the pain was unbearable.
Before my treatment at Northstar Pain Care & Neurological Clinic I had been too many doctors and therapists and this was the first time I had heard about myofascial release therapy. After my initial consultation with Dr. Trobiani I was impressed by his level of knowledge and certainty that he knew exactly what was causing my pain. I started therapy soon after our consultation. I was shocked at my level of pain relief after my very first appointment with Mike, my myofascial release therapist. The doctor suggested that he work on my psoas muscle, amongst other muscles such as my pyriformis, which is something that I have never heard up until now that could be causing my pain. The more I thought about it the more it made sense though. I sit for 8 hours a day at a desk, the psoas muscle is directly involved in this unsuspecting activity. Not to mention the pyriformis muscle sits right over my sciatic nerve which would make sense on why I was getting shooting pain down my leg.
Following the doctors recommendations was prescribed twice a week therapy with Mike to combat the pain. The doctor also incorporated trigger point injections to help expedite the process of relaxing the muscles that were causing me the pain. During my conversations with the doctor and my physical therapist I became familiar with the inner workings on my body and how all my muscles play a part in areas of my pain, which made complete sense. They taught me helpful stretches to do on my own on a daily basis to complement the twice a week therapy I was doing in the office.
Therapy was going well and the pain relief was getting better each time I visited. I unfortunately had a setback though when I was involved in an apartment fire. The stress and shock brought the pain back. I sat back down with the doctor and we discussed Botox injections in my psoas to help temporarily relax the muscles that were causing the pain, in hopes that this combined with my therapy would help get my spasming muscles to release. The injections were quick and fairly painless, and like the doctor said it relieved a majority of the pain almost immediately. Knowing that this was only temporary we kept working on the therapy until I was able to move again without any pain, even after the effects of the Botox wore off.
I was a difficult case at times and it took awhile to get my body on track but I'm happy to report that I have been pain-free for 6 months now!! I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am for the services that Northstar Pain Care provided to me. I thought I was at a dead end with my pain and though their knowledge and excellent services I was able to get back to doing the things I love again! I know how hard it is living with pain day in and day out and I would suggest to anyone in this same situation that you deserve to feel good again.
I want to thank EVERYONE at Northstar Pain Care for bringing hope and things I love back into my life!! - R.M.
D.Y. is a 45 year-old man who had developed back pain in 2000 which led to a lumbar fusion in that year. He did well until 2008 when he developed back pain extending down the back of his right leg to the foot. This led to a laminectomy later that year followed again by a resolution of pain. In the spring of 2009, he experienced a recurrence of back pain due to a disc herniation at another level. This was successfully treated with another laminectomy and he was working fulltime by October of 2009.
In December of 2009, D.Y. was involved in a motor vehicle accident and again developed back pain extending down the back of his right leg. He was seen by his surgeon who did not identify any new disc injury as the source of his pain. He underwent a course of physical therapy without benefit and then consulted a chiropractor but still obtained no relief from his back and leg pain.
In April of 2010, D.Y was seen by another orthopedic surgeon who performed a myelogram and post-myelogram CT. These studies again showed no new injury which would respond to surgery. A rhizotomy work up was performed which was negative and excluded the facet joints as a source of pain. It was concluded that his pain was consequent to chronic degenerative disease of the lumbar spine and he was referred to a chronic pain program.
In July of 2010, D.Y. was referred to Northstar Pain Care/Neurological Clinic. By this time, he had lost his job as a restaurant manager due to an inability to stand for more than 10-15 minutes. He was taking 6-8 Vicodin per day and Ultram 3 times per day and he was still unable to function as this was still not controlling his pain. Examination suggested that he was probably suffering from a right pyriformis syndrome and he was scheduled for a Marcaine injection into the right pyriformis under CT guidance to confirm the diagnosis. That injection produced 2 days of total pain relief after which the pain then recurred. With the Marcaine injection confirming the diagnosis of a right pyriformis syndrome, 100 units of Botox were then injected into the right pyriformis under CT guidance followed by complete pain relief within 1 week.
Today, D.Y. is again working full time and is off all pain medication. He does continue to require Botox injections into the right pyriformis every 3-4 months as the Botox wears off and his pain recurs. However, with this he is enjoying full physical activity with no restrictions.
H.P. was initially seen at Northstar Pain Care/Neurological Clinic in November of 2004. He had been involved in 2 prior motor vehicle accidents in which he suffered back injuries successfully treated with chiropractic care. He had begun an exercise program which re-aggravated his back pain. His examination did not suggest a discogenic source for his pain, nor did it suggest a soft tissue source for his pain. I was therefore concerned that his pain was emanating from the facet joints of the lumbar spine and an MRI scan was scheduled for evaluation.
The MRI did show degeneration in the facet joints at L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1. He was scheduled for steroid injection into these facet joints followed by complete relief of pain.
We have needed to repeat these injections in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011 but, with these injections, H.P. has been able to live a life free of pain and with no restriction on his activity.
M.K. is a 49 year-old woman first seen at Northstar Pain Care/Neurological Clinic in July of 2003. She gave a 30 year history of migraine which began worsening in 2001. By the time of her initial neurological evaluation in 2003, the headaches were confined to the left side of her head and had become continuous. She was managing the headaches with a combination of Imitrex, Toradol, Vicodin and Darvocet. She had been tried on a wide range of preventive medications for migraine without success.
Examination revealed marked spasm to the muscles at the left side of her neck and shoulder, suggesting that her continuous headache was not migrainous but myofascial.
With her permission, the muscles at the left side of her neck were injected with a local anesthetic followed by complete elimination of her headache, confirming the diagnosis.
From August of 2003 to May of 2004, M.K. underwent courses of myofascial release therapy and trigger point injections followed by complete resolution of her headaches. She has required no further treatment since May of 2004, is off all narcotics and requires no restriction of her activity.
R.S. is a 57 year-old man who was first seen at Northstar Pain Care/Neurological Clinic in September of 2011 with a complaint of episodic numbness and weakness in his left leg. His examination was largely normal. An MRI of the brain was requested to evaluate a possible interruption of blood flow to an area of the brain producing his symptoms. That MRI showed an aneurysm in the right midline region. Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) showed an 11 x 7 saccular aneurysm arising from the anterior communicating artery.
Following these studies, R.S. underwent a successful embolization procedure at the University of Minnesota-Fairview Medical Center to clot the aneurysm. With the use of Plavix and low dose aspirin, R.S. has remained free of symptoms and has resumed normal physical activity. Most of all, due to early detection, he has been spared from a rupture of a cerebral aneurysm which would have most likely proved lethal.
V.S. is a 51 year-old female who was first seen at Northstar Pain Care/Neurological Clinic in September of 2011. She gave a history of back pain and pain in both legs of 4-5 years duration, with continuous pain for the last year. Prior evaluation had included a normal EMG of both legs, a normal MRI of the lumbar spine and a normal Doppler/ultrasound study of both legs. Examination did reveal tenderness over the psoas and pyriformis muscles bilaterally and she was diagnosed with bilateral psoas and pyriformis syndromes. Marcaine injection into these muscles confirmed the diagnosis and Botox injection into these muscles resolved those sources of pain.
Following these measures, V.S. was left with pain in the lower legs and medial thighs consequent to a myofascial syndrome. Courses of myofascial release therapy and trigger point injections from December of 2011 to March of 2012 resolved those problems allowing for resumption of prior levels of physical activity.