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No More RSD

Dear Dr. Ray and Dr. Mary –

It is with incredible excitement and praise I write this testimony to conclude a long journey that my thirteen-year-old daughter has been on. God is miraculous – here is her story!

On May 24, 2008 Abby was playing in a competitive basketball game; she went up for a rebound and came down with a slight tear to her ACL and a bruised tibia. (We thought this common injury would heal quickly and after some physical therapy, she would be fine.)

Four weeks after her initial injury, the pain and swelling in her right knee continued to increase. The orthopedic surgeon repeated her MRI; her injury had healed, she wasn’t any better – actually, she was much worse. The doctor suspected RSD (Reflux Sympathetic Dystrophy), a disorder of the sympathetic nervous system. Her sympathetic nervous system had gone crazy and was causing significant pain. The diagnosis of RSD was a life-changing, life-adjusting event for her and our entire family. Our research indicated that she would live with significant pain, perhaps for the rest of her life. There is no cure for RSD, the only hope is to treat the symptoms and pray that it will go into remission.

Her diagnosis was confirmed by several medical doctors. We then proceeded with “treatment” – Darvocet, Lyrica, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Celebrex were among her daily medications. In addition to the medications, she underwent three lumbar spinal injections, acupuncture, and topical treatments. She received a little relief from some of the treatments, but not for long and in comparison to the pain associated with the treatment itself, it wasn’t significant.

Our precious, energetic thirteen year old was facing a life of pain and coping with how her life would not be active. She was prepared to give up basketball, for that matter, she could not even take a walk with the family around the block. She remained strong in her faith and attitude was incredible, but the pain was constant. In an effort to “break the cycle of pain,” we increased her daily dosage of Lyrica to 300mg. Not only was she in pain, but she was a walking zombie, frequently falling asleep at the table or during school.

Then early October, a dear friend heard about Abby and recommended not just another doctor, but a specialized technique call Brainstem Care. We decided to make an appointment – after all what did we have to lose? Abby was simply suffering the side effects of Lyrica; she was increasing her dose by 50mg every three days and just getting more and more tired. We were looking at another MRI and the next step to try to help her was a very invasive process called a spinal cord stimulator. Her pain was constant in her knee, right hip, lower back and right ankle – about a 6-7 on a pain scale.

I called Marshall Spinal Care and spoke with the office staff; they were very sweet and told me that Dr. Ray would call me. My first interaction with Dr. Ray was on the phone – I asked him if he was familiar with RSD? He said, “Yes, we can help her.” I thought, “He doesn’t really know what RSD is.” But again, we were willing to give him a try. On October 25, Abby had her evaluation in the morning – that same afternoon she had her first Brainstem Care Treatment. The actual procedure took about 15 seconds. She had a period of rest time in the office and she walked out – PAIN FREE!!!

Here’s what was happening and what triggered her RSD. When Abby was 18 months old, she fell and hit the back of her head on the fireplace hearth, this is most likely the original injury that got her spine out of alignment – throughout the years her body functioned seemingly well, but her system was not in balance – the knee injury is what put her nervous system into overdrive. Her head was not in alignment with her spine and the nerve impulses, which originate in the brain, were interrupted – this ultimately caused her body to reach a state of dysfunction. So once the impingement on the brain stem was removed, her body was able to return to a healthy state!

Abby did have RSD – we found the key to get her nervous system to settle down – Upper Cervical Alignment – it just needed to be able to work normally as God designed the body!

Currently it is the middle of November – Abby has had two more alignments and has actually held her corrections. She is well into her healing process. We have been slowly weaning her off the Lyrica (she’s down to 50mg/day) and hopefully by the end of the week, she may be medication free! If her story can help just one person, she will feel that it was all worth it.

With complete Glory to God and thankful hearts we are PAIN FREE!

Kevin, Alisa & Abby
Tulsa, OK