IKEA changed my life. And as incomprehensible as it may seem, it has nothing to do with the wonderfully adjustable Bekant desk I work at, the Kivik chaise lounger I read on, or the Upphetta “Nordic” french press I brew my coffee with each morning.
The shocking and totally unexpected death of 57 year old music legend Prince on April 21, 2016 has been shrouded in mystery. One of the only leaked details of his sudden passing was the presence of high dose prescription opioids (pain killers) in his residence and on his plane. In the coming weeks, toxicology and autopsy reports will undoubtedly add clarity to the otherwise healthy singer's last days. But this tragedy does bring to light a very serious issue that is indiscriminately affecting households across our country.
How do we best support others when they trust us enough to let us into their suffering?
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words...do not hurt me?
What makes someone truly extraordinary?  A unique skill-set? Fame? Being regarded as the best at your profession?
Spinal Fusion surgery provides life-saving stability to people with major spine injuries, most commonly, unstable spine fractures and dislocations. But when it comes to intervertebral disc injuries such as herniations and disc ruptures, is fusion still the gold standard? Let's take a quick look at the procedure.
I had the privilege of meeting Bev in 2014, after speaking at the church I grew up in as a teenager. It was a miraculous connection and every time I reflect on it, I believe less and less in coincidence and more and more in the bigger plans God has for each of us. Bev's path to healing is a winding one, starting off with a chilling, hopeless diagnosis. But that was just the beginning. A series of incredible doors and opportunities opened up for her, in just the right timing – and through a lot of perseverance, faith and willingness to step forward, she had her life changed in the coming months.
This is Clarie's spine story. I had the opportunity to meet Clarie at an ONZ spinal patient reunion in June 2015, where she immediately approached me and mentioned this website had helped her take the plunge to go to Germany, what a blessing to hear that! Clarie is energetic, immensely positive and someone with both a deep faith and a zest for life. Her journey encompasses an active life of hard work, some tremendous suffering as a result, and an amazing solution that has turned her story around. Enjoy!
There is so much to know when it comes to any spinal surgery. Artificial Disc Replacement is no exception. In this article I go in depth about the entire process of ADR and provide you with animations of the procedure as well as the documented academic sources I used while researching the procedure for myself.
61 lives saved from pain and impending paralysis - 61 reasons to believe life change is possible!
Getting healthy often means trying new things and pushing out of our comfort zones. This simple fact is actually the basis for two of the most important universal principles in the world of fitness training. The Law of Progressive Overload and the Law of Variation.
Following my neck surgery I have tried almost every physiotherapy/recovery modality I could find. Of the many methods I've explored, Aquasize has been the most positive and impacting – by far. I believe that anyone would benefit from this type of exercise, but specfically I would absolutely indicate it for anyone who is recovering from an injury or surgery. If this is you, then please read on, but be sure to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist as well.
Exercise doesn't have to be tedious and it certainly doesn't have to be torture. Said every personal trainer, ever. The reality is that most adults, facing a long day and under the constant stress of a million responsibilities split between work and family, easily place the burden of daily exercise on the same level as waterboarding.
Intervebral disc injuries are more common than you might think and surprisingly, you may not even know you have one. In studies using MRI testing on adults who had not reported any significant back pain, more than 50 out of 100 of those examined actually came back with evidence of a bulging disc. In the absence of symptoms, pain or impairment, many people are able to continue living and functioning normally, no worse for the wear. But how about those who have been diagnosed with a disc injury that does manifest in pervasive pain and a decrease in mobility and functionality? Currently our system takes a "wait and see" approach when diagnosing such cases, and while this approach may be prudent for a time - how long should you wait before seeking more answers? And what is the long term impact of these types of injuries?
Consistent massage therapy is one of the best investments you can make for your health, if you don't believe me, Google it.
Today almost fooled me. I almost believed it was just another Thursday. I awoke this morning as per usual, at 7:25am to the loathsome sound of my alarm. I rolled out of bed closer to 7:45, grudgingly I might add, to the familiar stiffness in my neck and shoulders. Not too much pain but definitely feeling the effects of my physiotherapy the night before.
A rare diagnosis. A wakeboarding accident. 3 Spine surgeries in six months. Surfing, super-marathons and a whole heap of resilience!
I don't know what you believe, or don't believe. I don't know where you find your strength in times of adversity, from what source your joy in life springs, I respectfully leave that entirely up to you. All I can say is that in the final hours and moments before receving my spinal reconstruction surgery, I had no desire to be my own source of strength.
A Myth is a widely held, but false belief or idea. With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, lets dig into the myths surrounding spine surgery and specifically, artificial disc replacement. In an age of Google searches and the gross over-sharing of unqualified opinions via social media, how do we navigate towards the truth? One solution is to turn to credible peer-reviewed journals as your source material. Another helpful tip is to broaden your vision and research to a global level. In my quest for answers regarding disc replacement surgery, it was only as I expanded my search to European studies that I realized the vast clinical success and research available from decades of ADR procedures in Europe. When compared to the minimal amount of data, trials and reviews here in North America, the discrepancy was outright disturbing.
When someone says you have "no backbone", what they are actually saying is you have don't have the ability to stand up for yourself. Anatomically speaking this is true! In an adult, the spinal column is about 70cm (28 inches) long, and it is the most critical weight bearing structure in our body.
Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) is an incredible step in the evolution of spinal surgery. What may surprise you is that contrary to popular belief, total disc replacement has been around since the mid 1980's! (*partial disc implants have been around since the 1970's and Dr. Ulf Fernstrom implanted special steel ball bearings between vertebra as far back as the late 1950's with shockingly positive results!).
My medical journey has unfolded over 6 years, encompassing a misdiagnosed severely fractured neck, countless appointments with medical professionals – some extremely helpful, others not so much, and an eventual trip to Europe for surgery that has preserved my ability to move. My Advice?

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