Alan’s Story

As many of my family, close friends and fellow musicians know, I’ve been struggling with lower back pain for many years. The pain started in my early 30s as minor flare-ups once or twice a week but progressively got worse in my 40s. Before receiving treatments at Backfit, my lower back pain was a daily companion, ranging from moderate to very intense and often affecting my ability to practice and perform as a musician. I don’t recall a specific event that injured my back but I it was likely damaged from many years of lifting and carrying heavy and awkward band equipment – often over long distances, up and down ramps and steep narrow twisty stairwells into halls and clubs. I’ve
seen several chiropractors, massage therapists, and physiotherapists over the years. Some treatments and therapies helped reduce the pain and keep it in check but ultimately the pain got worse no matter how many treatments I received. I also went through a few years of taking significant amounts of extra-strength ibuprofen and various NSAID prescriptions to fight the pain. This gave my family doctor concern when she saw indicators that the drugs were affecting my kidneys. CAT scans later showed that my kidneys were fine but it was recommended that I stop taking NSAIDS altogether. They helped control the pain but only masked the real problem. Two CAT scans of my lower back taken in the last 8 years confirmed disc bulges and herniation in my lumbar spine.

A few years ago my family doctor referred me to a back specialist who suggested that lower back surgery could be a viable option if the pain continued to worsen. He also referred me to a sports rehabilitation clinic in Edmonton. The clinic recommended injecting cortisone directly into my lower back pain areas (left and right sacroiliac joints and some facet joints). Four injections spread over six months gave me some immediate pain relief after each injection but the pain always returned within a few weeks. The only thing that kept me functioning was regular strength training at the gym – but I was only working muscles that allowed me to work (computer job), perform at gigs, and do minor lifting without engaging my back. When I did activate my back (yard work, unavoidable heavy lifting), it always resulted in significant bed rest and inactivity for several days.

My wife and I moved to Vancouver Island in January 2012. We were introduced to Backfit at a spring home improvement show and I was impressed with their approach to treatment. I decided to give them a try. I was examined by Dr. Bartlett in April and soon discovered that I had phase II degeneration and arthritis in my lumber spine and cervical misalignment in my neck. After 90 days of treatments and home therapy exercises, my re-examination showed dramatic improvement in my lower back and neck alignment and vertebral spacing. My back felt much better and pain was reduced to occasional flare-ups. I decided to continue treatments for an additional 90 days which
turned out to be another great decision. My back improved more and my second re-examination showed greater spinal improvement. I continue to receive weekly treatments at Backfit under a maintenance program and enjoy many pain-free days.

From day one, Dr. Bartlett made me feel special and gave me hope that my pain would be reduced and manageable. He’s proven himself good on all counts. I also appreciate that he takes the time to discuss my flare-ups and makes great suggestions to help me avoid pain while doing yard work, performing at gigs, walking the dogs, and doing other daily activities. I am very grateful to Dr. Bartlett, Dr. Eisert, and the wonderful staff at Backfit for keeping me rockin’. Backfit rocks!