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My first back surgery was in Thailand in 1976 and my second was in Marin County in 1979. Both were laminectomies with fusions. Although neither fusion was successful, both laminectomies reduced my back pain. I enjoyed pain-free years, as long as I was careful about the activities I engaged in and was conscientious about exercising and stretching regularly. From time to time over the years I experienced bouts of severe back pain that immobilized me. I usually treated the pain with drugs and physical therapy and got acceptable results for a short time.

In September 2004, I began having severe lower back and hip pain with radiating pain down my left leg. I started taking pain and anti-inflammatory drugs and stopped working. I also sought traditional chiropractic care. When my pain did not decrease, I saw an orthopedic surgeon who took x-rays and an MRI. The medical diagnosis was that I had advanced degenerative disease of the lower lumbar spine (low back) with laminectomy and fusion of L5-S1; mild central canal stenosis (decrease in spinal canal size) at L3-L4 due to a moderately bulging, mildly degenerated disc; and severe loss of intervertebral disc space between L4-L5 and L5-S1.

The orthopedic surgeon recommended back surgery to correct the problems. I wanted to avoid another back surgery so I began exploring alternatives.

I decided to see Dr. Wellens because he was a board certified chiropractic neurologist, and thought he might have a different treatment approach than what I had already experienced. After my first visit to Dr. Wellens, I experienced a decrease in pain. After one week of care, I was up to two consecutive days without pain. I began an anti-inflammatory diet (no wheat, gluten or dairy) and water aerobics in a deep water pool (where I wore a life belt and “hung” in the water). Dr. Wellens also recommended a natural anti-inflammatory. After one month of care, I experienced so much improvement that my pain was down 50%. After 1 _ months my back pain was down 80%. Today, I go days and weeks pain-free. From time to time, when I neglect part of my exercise or diet, or engage in activities that aggravate my back (like sitting for long periods of time), the pain returns, but at a greatly reduced level. When this happens, I visit Dr. Wellens’ office for a chiropractic adjustment (and a reminder that I need to make my new exercise and diet plan a way of life), and I am back to enjoying life with very little or no back pain at all.

I highly recommend Dr. Wellens and his approach to wellness. I appreciate that he explains every exercise and supplement he recommends, so I completely understand my treatment program. I also appreciate that he performs a thorough initial exam and establishes goals for my treatment program. Most important of all, his treatment has achieved the results I wanted – the possibility of enjoying a pain-free life.