I have dedicated my professional career to working with patients who are in chronic pain. It has become my life’s calling. I get so much joy and happiness helping people who say that nothing else had worked for them before they came to me.
Some people may think I’m a nerd, but I still get goosebumps when someone tells me how much better they are. I’ve been in healthcare for a long time but I feel like I hit the game winning 3 point shot in the NBA Finals every time a patient shares with me a great success story with all of the things that they couldn’t do before and all of the things they can do now.
I don’t believe in, recommend, or do pain management. To me, “pain management” is for the birds It’s sad, because it is a multi-trillion dollar industry but I don’t have a time and place for pain management.
Does Pain Management Help?
The term “pain management” implies that you will have pain and that it has to be managed. It’s too accepting for me. Why not fight and do everything in your power to have minimal or no pain.
Why do people just take the word of any other human being just because they have a degree and a white coat? We are all people right? No one can put a label on you and tell you that your life is going to be a certain way.
Also, pain management is centered around a pharmaceutical approach. Is numbing the pain away the answer? I don’t believe so. Admittedly, some people can’t be helped with what I do, and some of them have to go that route, but what if you are in pain and could be helped with what I do?
What would that be worth to you? I think it would be worth the sun, the moon, and the stars to live life not shackled by pain. I say, fight. Fight for your quality of life. Fight like your life depends on it, because your happiness and long term health very well could.
I exclusively utilize non-invasive treatments for my patients which have stood the test of time as being valid and extremely effective for most of my patients. On average, approximately 8 out of 10 patients get relief through my programs and many of them get relief that lasts for years.
What does Pain do?
This article is about pain and how it changes things. Pain can change everything for people. I have seen pain ruin lives, break up marriages, cause people to lose their job, ruin relationships with friends or family, and create bitterness and depression.
It’s understandable. Anyone who has had persistent pain can relate. We all go through different circumstances and situations in our lives that lead us to where we are today.
I thought that I would write about my story. I’m no stranger to pain. I’ve had pain from different trauma’s which are too many to mention here but I will write about some of the most significant ones that had the greatest impact on my life.
In the 80’s (when I was 14) I was playing baseball and smashed my face. I had to have major sinus reconstruction surgery and lost so much blood that I had to have a transfusion.
It was a bad time to find out that I have A negative blood and there was a shortage in Arkansas. So, a tri-state alert was put out so that they could get more blood if they needed it in order to save my life.
The pain was unbearable. The ear nose and throat surgeon (ENT) had to shove 3 feet of gauze up my nose. He said that it would stop the bleeding. It didn’t.
An ambulance took me to Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas where the ENT ran a surgical tube up my nose and into the back of my throat. The end in my throat was closed off and he took a syringe and shot water into the tube making a balloon in the back of my throat.
The ENT said that there was no way I could bleed through that and that I would have surgery in the morning. The next morning, the flood gates opened and I had blood rushing out of my nose and mouth. I had to pull blood clots out of my throat to keep from choking to death.
They bumped another surgery and rushed me straight in where a team of surgeons went to work to save my life. Then the recovery process began. It was hard and painful but I made it through.
When I was in the Air Force in the early nineties, I raced motocross which is motorcycle racing on a dirt track with big jumps. I had a lot of crashes but 2 were considered serious.
The first one was when I did a jump and something went wrong. My motorcycle landed on top of me and the foot peg stabbed me in the right side. They took me to the emergency room and told me that they thought the motorcycle had punctured my bowels.
The Dr. told me that they were rushing me through because if it did puncture my bowels, I could be going toxic and die within 30 minutes. Thankfully, my bowels weren’t punctured but the recovery was long.
You see, they had to leave the wound open. The Drs. explained to me that if they sewed the wound shut, that an abscess could form and I could get a deadly infection.
So, they made a drain out of tubing and shoved in deep into my abdomen and every day, I would have to go to the hospital where the Dr. would take the drain out. Then the Dr. would press all around the opening as if to squeeze a pimple to pop any possible abscesses or air pockets.
After that, he would shove a long wooden Q-tip deep inside of my wound and clean it out. That went on for weeks and was extremely painful.
Now, for some that would be enough. I get it. I fully understand. But I’m a lot older now than when I was 22 and I’d like to think I am a little wiser. Maybe?
The problem with me is that I’m an adrenaline junkie. I love the thrill of life and the excitement that comes with those thrills. So of course, when my injury was healed, I got back on the horse or in this case my motorcycle.
I had a passion for racing and jumping high in the air. There is nothing to describe the feelings of being on a crazy fast and powerful dirt bike and just going all out.
I guess I have to give a disclaimer here. When I was a kid, my hero was Evel Knievel. I thought he was the coolest guy on the face of planet Earth. I wanted to be just like him. It makes me smile even as I write this article.
So, I started racing again and working towards my dream of become a professional motorcycle racer. Things were going well until I had my most severe and “career” ending crash.
I was riding with my buddy, Dan who happened to be a medical doctor in the Air Force. Dan and I were having a great time at the track. It was a beautiful day on the pacific Island of Guam where we were stationed.
There were a lot of people at the track watching us ride and I started showing off. I was doing big jumps and doing “whips” which is when you fly high in the air and turn your motorcycle flat at the same time.
Whips look cool and are hard to do. All I know is that something went way wrong and I had a really bad crash. My motorcycle hit me as we were both tumbling forward and somehow burned me under my chin.
Additionally, I fractured my hyoid bone and the C5 vertebrae in my neck. I used to be a tenor singer but the hyoid bone sits in front of the vocal cords and I have pain if I try to sing high for any length of time.
How hard is it to Fracture C5 in the Neck?
So, to put things in perspective: It is really hard to break a bone in the neck. The bones are like rectangles in the mid-cervical spine. Hollywood movies have everyone scared because with one twist of the head people get a broken neck.
It’s not that easy. Bones are dense connective tissue and have trabeculae running all through them which is like a spider web of bone tissue. It’s easy to break a bone in your arm because it is a long bone and acts a long lever. It’s hard to break a small square bone.
However, once a bone is “broken” in the neck, it is very easy for the bone to displace or move out of position and sever the spinal cord causing permanent paralysis.
The emergency room missed my fractured C5. I had really bad pain but they didn’t know why. I got a haircut a week and a half later and the cosmetologist pointed out that I had a really bad “lump” on the back of my neck.
I went back to the hospital where they did some new x-rays and they determined that I fractured my C5 and that is why I was having so much pain in my neck.
Thankfully, we caught it in time so that I didn’t develop and displacement and become paralyzed from the neck down. Needless to say, that was the end of my motorcycling adventure.
Mountain Bike Racing
So, what did I do next? In the first decade of the 2,000’s I got into mountain biking. I won the Oklahoma Mountain Bike Championship while in college there and subsequently won the Missouri Mountain Bike Championship when I was in Chiropractic College in Kansas City, Missouri.
I know what you are thinking. Yes, Mountain biking is still considered an extreme sport but at least bicycles don’t have engines and a throttle. Remember, I’m an adrenaline junkie.
It’s in my blood. I’ve had plenty of crashes and a few cuts and broken bones during the last 22 years of mountain biking but at least I’m not jumping 20 feet in the air, right?
I’ve shared with many patients my story of treatment in my clinic. I’ve been through the neck pain program 7 or 8 years ago when I was having neck pain and left arm and hand pain/numbness. All I have to say is thank God for the cervical program because it got rid of my pain and numbness and it hasn’t come back.
I also frequently share how I have been through my low back and sciatica / hip pain program with great success as well. I know what it feels like to have pain. It wasn’t fun and when I was suffering, it changed the person I had always been.
I was dealing with depression and thoughts that weren’t like me. I’ve always been a “do-er” I do what I want when I want and I do it my way. But, not when my neck was bothering me and not when I had really bad hip pain, sciatica and low back pain.
Pain Changes People
Pain changes people and that is why some people begin to feel isolated. When you don’t act the way you normally would, people stop coming around. It’s unfortunate but when you need people the most is when they seem to disappear.
Maybe it’s because they are uncomfortable because they can’t help. Maybe it’s because they don’t know what to say. I don’t know what it is for sure but it is a reality.
I think back to when I was doing some sports and pulled my hamstring. My family and I went to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. I was in pain and Silver Dollar City has a lot of hills. No one in my family was able to have real fun because I was a grouch.
I’m thankful that so many of my patients do well and get their life back. Just today I’ve been told several things: A patient who had major back surgeries that failed is doing really well in only his 2nd week of care.
He told me that he was able to go to church without his cane this last Sunday and everyone at church was asking him where his cane is and he told them “I left it with Dr. Currie”.
Another patient came to me 11 years ago for pain and sciatica in her right leg. She showed up a few weeks ago explaining that she has a different problem now and the she is having pain in her left hip and leg.
She said the treatments worked so well her before for her right leg pain that she knew that they would help her left hip. So today, she told me that she believes that she will live to 100 because she knows that she can come to “Dr. Fix It”.
Last week, I had a new patient come in who’s only goal is to be able to get back to being healthy and pain free so that she can go hiking with her daughter again. She told me that she doesn’t know how many good years she will have left so she wants to get to where she can at least enjoy life for now.
Today, during her 4th treatment, she told me that she has not had any pain for the last 3 days. She said that she is sleeping much better and also feels rested.
I get to experience these types of situations over and over again. I admittedly can’t help everyone. However, I try my hardest to help all of my patients and for many that has been life changing and lifesaving.
If you are suffering and need help, contact my clinic to see if we can move in a direction to help you get your quality of life back so that you can be happy and have joy again.
Happiness is Health,
Dr. Keith Currie