"I HAVE BECOME MY KNEE"
I'll never forget the first time I heard a patient make a statement like this; "I have become my knee". I totally understood what he was saying. "Joe" had come to me for chronic knee pain due to an old high school football injury. Although he was much younger than me, he had already had five knee surgeries, and was struggling with terrible pain in his ITB. He was hoping to avoid a total knee replacement, but unfortunately, he had no cartilage left and there was little I could do.
Joe explained to me that after he HURT HIS KNEE and had surgery, the CHRONIC PAIN and DYSFUNCTION had set in, and nothing that any of his doctors did could relieve it more than temporarily. He went on to say that his knee was all he thought about any more. When people would see him on the street, it was not, "Morning Joe; how you doing?" It was, "Morning Joe. How's the knee?" I can relate to this. Not only on a personal level (an old foot / hip injury), but because of what my patients tell me ---- over and over and over again. I just had a woman come to me for a Chronic Pain issue who said she recently caused a minor automobile accident because she was thinking about her hip. It was, as the old Willie Nelson song goes, always on her mind. And what does thinking about your pain all day do to the brain? It's a no-brainer ---- it destroys it!
BRAIN ATROPHY LINKED TO CHRONIC PAIN
A patient recently told me that he thought that his chronic pain was making him, "dumber". I was not surprised. For years neuroscientists have known that Chronic Pain causes brain atrophy (shrinkage) which, on a brain scan, is indistinguishable from atrophy found in ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE or Dementia. More recently the Journal of Neuroscience reported on a study from McGill University's Research Center stating, "The longer the individual has had Fibromyalgia [Chronic Pain], the greater the gray matter loss, with each year of fibromyalgia [Chronic Pain] being equivalent to 9.5 times the loss in normal aging". Think about it for a moment. Every single year you live with FIBROMYALGIA (or other Chronic Pain Syndromes) is the equivalent of nearly 10 times the brain loss seen in the normal aging process. Re-read this paragraph until the urgency of your situation sinks in!
I was married in 1996. Soon after, I avulsed my ankle playing basketball with my Bible Study group. This was not the first time I had injured my ankle in such fashion. Then in 1998 I started having pain in the bottom of the foot that was not PLANTAR FASCIITIS. Although Shawn of XTREME FOOTWERKS, gave me my life back a few years ago, I lived with Chronic Pain for over a decade. Although I never did take pain meds, I did everything else that I could possibly do to help control the pain and keep it at a manageable level. At one point I told my wife that I was ready to have the foot amputated. So, when someone tells me, "I have become my pain," I get it.
Maybe that's why I have a laser-like focus on helping those who live with Chronic Pain get their lives back. I've been there. I've lived it. I have walked in their shoes ----- and I know how miserable it really is. But beyond simply empathizing with them, I have made it my life's mission to do something about it. No, I cannot help every person who suffers with Chronic Pain. But if your problem is being caused by adhesion and restriction of the elastic, collagen-based connective tissues (FASCIAL ADHESIONS and / or TENDINOPATHIES / TENDINOSIS), there is a good chance that I can help you. If you have given up hope, simply take a few minutes to view our VIDEO TESTIMONIAL PAGE. I have always said that there is someone out there who can help you with your problem; it's just a matter of finding them. My goal is to be 'that someone' to as many people as possible.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).