A New Life at 72

Crystal is a woman from the southern part of Washington. When I first met her, she was over 70 years-old and lived on her own. She had severe spinal stenosis in her lumbar vertebrae at multiple levels. Stenosis is a condition where bone and ligaments grow around the spinal canal … Read More

Back Pain vs. Mouth Pain

I am a busy spine surgeon, yet I spend most of my time talking my patients out of surgery. When I do recommend surgical treatment, many, if not most, become apprehensive. They have heard that spine surgery never works and will relate stories to me about their friends, family, or … Read More

How Many More Neck Surgeries?

One middle-aged patient sought me out in Seattle from the East Coast for a second opinion regarding his neck. He had been disabled since 2001 with chronic pain over most of his body. He had at least 10 additional NPD symptoms of burning, aching, stabbing, and tingling that would migrate throughout … Read More

Enjoy Your Day-Today

  “Happy” We all want to become better, happier people, and we work pretty hard at it. The marketing world keeps reminding us that we are not even close to our potential and holds up endless images of perfection that reinforce that idea. The solution advertising offers is a better … Read More

The First and Last Day of School

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old.  They grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old. They stop pursing dreams when they are crushed by relentless anxiety… Gabriel Garcia Marquez … Read More

Pain = Anger = Abuse

I was raised in a chaotic household. My mother was physically and emotionally abusive. It was confusing for me to feel like I had a mother who would do anything for her family and then, within seconds, watch her unpredictably fly into a rage lasting several days. From a young child’s … Read More

Problems are Opportunities

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I was in clinic today and a new patient cancelled.  I had the chance to spend some extra time with Lisa, a patient that I am just beginning to get to know. We had a long discussion about the DOCC Project.  Although she was initially resistant to the DOCC Project, … Read More

A Bunch of Balloons

Much, if not most, of what the DOC project presents about creating a central nervous shift is 180 degrees different than how most of us are taught to deal with our conscious mind. One of the most important paradoxes to understand is that you cannot fix your nervous system because … Read More

Examiners from the Worker’s Perspective

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From my perspective, life in the worker’s comp system for my patients has never been more difficult.  The improvement in overall numbers belies the daily struggles of my patients who are admittedly an unusual group.  Many of them have been referred to me after “failed surgery” or have been in … Read More

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