client stories

Rachelle's Story

“I was referred to Leonard at [IOCH] by my spine and pain doctor. I had been having ongoing pain in my back and down my leg but there wasn’t any one clear event that caused it, I hadn’t fallen or gotten hurt. As my doctor explained to me, pain is a very complex thing involving several factors: physical problems with the body, social/lifestyle factors, and emotional issues such as stress or traumatic events.

What I learned from Leonard is that the answer to pain relief lies in addressing all of the issues because addressing one without the others will not lead to long-term pain relief. I worked with my doctor on the physical issues that were contributing to my pain and with Leonard for the lifestyle and emotional things contributing to it. Leonard took the time to explain the pain process to me, it helped me a lot to understand how my mind and body process pain. This allowed me to be more in tune with my body and learn to listen to what it was telling me when I was dealing with pain.

Leonard helped me with some lifestyle modifications to help take the pressure off my spine and my knees to provide some relief. We worked on things like how I sit, recognizing when sitting became uncomfortable this could be alleviated several different ways, the first of which was to move my back and hips around until I found what was comfortable. We worked on walking, I had to figure out that little things like small adjustments to how my foot or knee is rotated when I walk can change the pressure points and alleviate the pain. I gotta admit, realizing that I needed to re-learn how to walk at my age was a bit odd but we got a few laughs out of it. This method helped immensely, but it took a bit to learn because pausing to try and figure out what was happening with me physically and emotionally when my back started to hurt while sitting at my desk was not something I was used to doing. I had to learn to listen to my body and consciously make adjustments to find my comfort zone.

The other thing that Leonard helped me realize is that my stress level or emotional state is a big contributor to my pain. We would talk through my feelings as it relates to the pain (anger, frustration, etc.) and discuss ways to process those feelings. He also helped me to realize that I was experiencing more intense and more frequent pain when I was under stress or upset. I realized that the pain was my body’s way of telling me that I need to pay attention. With Leonard’s help, I realized that I had been in a high stress mode for quite some time, resulting in my body being very tense 24/7. This is what contributed to the pain becoming unbearable. He helped me realize that I had been under so much stress and through so many emotional things that my body was tense and ready to defend me constantly. When one’s muscles are that tense for that long, it is no wonder that nerve pain becomes an issue.

With Leonard’s help, I have made minor modifications to the way I walk, the way I sit, and the way I mentally process things when I am experiencing pain. The end result is that I am no longer experiencing pain every day; in fact, I’ve gotten to the point of having more pain-free days than painful days. On the painful days, I know I need to listen to my body and figure out what is behind the pain to get it to calm down. I am so thankful for everything that I have learned from Leonard, it’s made a dramatic positive change in my life. Leonard is without a doubt one of the most caring health care professionals I have ever dealt with, even emailing to check on my progress when I hadn’t been in in a while. He is a very thoughtful, kind, and compassionate man and that fact that he cares about his patients is very obvious. I can’t recommend him enough!” 

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Rachelle's Story

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