Sports Enthusiast and Back & Neck Rehabilitation Patient
"I thought my active, athletic life as I knew it was over; but now, if I continue my physical therapy, I believe I can stay pain-free for life."
He's Back to an Active Life
One August day in 2006, Robert (Bob) Rocks of Midland wrenched his back in a bicycling accident. Out riding with his wife, Patti, and their son, Jake, Bob turned around to look behind him. When a bag he was carrying caught in the spokes of his front wheel, Bob went flying over the handlebars.
Over the next year, the 57-year-old sports enthusiast developed back pain that got progressively worse. As a former marathon runner, he thought at first that he could work through it, but eventually he stopped running, biking and even golfing, once a frequent source of recreation, had become a painful experience.
"A year after the accident, when I would walk nine holes of golf, I was all but crippled. I had to gingerly lower myself onto the couch and count on someone to help me to rise,” he said. “At night, I could only sleep on my back, because my nerves would pinch if I turned on my side. It was miserable. I thought my active, athletic life as I knew it was over.”
Skeptic Sees a Remarkable Difference
Bob took the problem to his family physician, Jack T. Pinney, M.D., who is board-certified in both family medicine and sports medicine. After X-rays confirmed that Bob had no serious problems, Dr. Pinney suggested he work with Back & Neck Rehabilitation, located in Midland and affiliated with MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland. Their program combines the McKenzie™ method of mechanical diagnosis and therapy with use of MedX rehabilitation equipment, supervised by medical specialists who focus solely on treating back and neck injuries.
"I was rather skeptical at first,” Bob said, “but I decided to see what they could do.”
After evaluation to find movement patterns that reduced his symptoms, Bob worked on a MedX machine to isolate and strengthen muscles at the base of his back. He also worked on general strength-building and range-of-motion during therapy and learned exercises and pain-management skills to use at home.
About 10 weeks of weekly sessions made a remarkable difference, according to Bob.
“I’m back to my own self. The other day, I played pain-free golf just like the old days. I stood and walked the whole day, and was just a little bit sore,” he said. “I can sleep on either side. I’m ready to try tennis again.”
"If I continue exercising, I believe I can stay pain-free for life,” Bob said, “and there’s a great incentive: I want to be able to keep up with Jake for the next 20 years.”
If you've tried other treatments and still suffer from chronic lumbar or cervical pain, Back & Neck Rehabilitation may be right for you. You will need a doctor's prescription and referral to make an appointment. Ask your doctor whether you are a good candidate for MidMichigan's specialized Back & Neck Rehabilitation or contact us by phone or e-mail for help with a physician referral.