Sounds like at least one spine surgeon is in danger of working himself out of job. Several years ago, David Hanscom, MD in Seattle developed an alternative to spine surgery called the Defined Organized Comprehensive Care (DOCC) program. He says it helps people suffering with chronic back pain to calm down their nervous systems, starting with the anxiety and anger that chronic pain causes. He offered the DOCC program to patients when he wasn’t sure that surgery was going to relieve their pain. A lot of them got remarkably better — so better that they declared themselves pain-free. The number of surgeries he did dropped, but his patient outcomes improved overall. The non-surgical patients got better, and the surgical ones did too — because now he was only operating on the ones where it was crystal clear they needed the operation.
Then he took it up another notch. Based on the success of the DOCC program, Dr. Hanscom decided to try using it to prepare people who had already been scheduled for surgery to have a smooth post-operative recovery. We’re talking about people with horrible-looking MRIs that revealed structural problems entirely consistent with their symptoms. The result has stunned and delighted him. He says that more than 40 of these people have decided they don’t NEED surgery anymore after the DOCC program because their pain has pretty much gone away! See more about this surprising development on his recent blog posting.
And if you work with people with back pain, or have the problem yourself, go to Dr. Hanscom’s website Back-in-Control.com and start calming down YOUR nervous system too. The DOCC program is all laid out on the website — and it’s free. All that’s needed is an open mind and the willingness to try a different path up and out of that deep hole.