Patricia Considers Us A Breed Apart
Patient Sought Second Opinion After Being Told Surgery Was Her Only Option

We helped Patricia return to show dog competition using the Graston Technique to relieve her leg pain.
For three years, Patricia suffered from intense pain in her leg. She could barely walk, and had to give up her hobby of participating in show dog competitions. Patricia saw multiple doctors and received cortisone injections in her knee and in her back, but nothing helped. One doctor told her that surgery was her only option.

"As a retired surgical nurse, I knew I wanted to avoid surgery," said Patricia. "The shots weren't working, and when I was told I would need them the rest of my life, I knew it was time to find another doctor."

Patricia came to see physiatrist John Welshofer, MD, at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. After reviewing her MRIs and X-rays, Dr. Welshofer could see there were issues with her spine, but the source of her pain was actually tendonitis in her Achilles tendon. He referred Patricia to doctor of physical therapy Robin Tappy, DPT, at our Ballantyne office.

Using the Graston Technique, Robin used stainless steel instruments to place pressure on areas of chronic inflammation to break up scar tissue and fascial restrictions. Over time, this process can eliminate pain and restore range of motion. Graston Technique can be an effective treatment for Achilles tendonitis, carpal tunnel, lumbar strain and plantar fasciitis.

John Welshofer, MD
"I felt better after the very first treatment," said Patricia. "I could not believe it was possible to walk again with very little pain."

A year later, Patricia now walks more than a mile a day and has returned to showing her dogs in competitions, a passion that began 30 years ago. Patricia still has flare-ups of pain from time to time and comes back in for additional Graston Technique treatment as needed.

"Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates provided excellent care. Dr. Welshofer found a solution that actually worked when other doctors couldn't," said Patricia. "He was honest with me and told me that he can't promise that I will never need surgery, but we will try to avoid it as long as possible."

"This is a great example of how our physical therapy department is often able to immediately help patients feel better and improve their mobility without surgery, even with conditions that are not directly associated with the spine," said Dr. Welshofer.

To learn more about the Graston Technique and our physical therapy and physiatry services,
call 800-344-6716.

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