by William K. Summers, M.D.
Low back pain (LBP) is common – often involving the muscles, nerves, and bones of the back. Pain can vary from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp feeling. When this becomes chronic, treatments often include opioids, surgery, chiropractic care, and herbal remedies. All frequently fail.
Chuck was a 63 y/o California real estate dealer unable to function due to the severity of his low back pain. He injured his back while on his lawn tractor 5 years prior and it had become progressively worse. 5 months post-injury, a laminectomy was done. The pain returned and two additional lumbar surgeries failed. A “Tens Unit” was implanted providing some relief. He was then managed with addicting doses of opiates and benzodiazepines.
When first seen after his flight from California, he could barely stand. “Catch-like-spasms” and painful facial grimaces were present. The pain level was so severe, he could walk only a few steps. All this, and he had taken more than his usual amount of morphine, dilaudid, Ativan, and butabarbital.
We discussed the benefits of Neuro therapy, and he elected to “give it a try”. Examination showed a 2.5” circular area of skin with a “spongy” quality (an apparent reaction to the three previous spinal surgeries). I cleansed his lumbar area with 91% alcohol and 8cc of 1% lidocaine (strategically injected into the skin with an ultrathin 30 gauge needle). One hour later, he was able to stand with only occasional spasms. His gait was near normal. He was able to tolerate a brief car ride, walk into a restaurant, enjoy dinner, and return to his motel without event.
Often in such severe cases, repeated treatments with a management plan for the opiates/tranquilizers are necessary for a good long-term outcome. Neuro Therapy is an alternative treatment that’s often quite effective for Low Back Pain and used properly, reduces or eliminates the opiate/tranquilizer burden.