Back Pain Among Top Reasons For Doctor Visits

Jul 31, 2014 11:44 AM by Alex Backus

Doctors in the Chico area say back pain is one of the most common reasons patients come in for a visit. Though more often seen in older patients, back pain can affect all ages for various reasons.

Chico native Sean Reynolds was a sports-lover his whole life. After a successful career playing football and basketball at Pleasant Valley High School, Reynolds went on to play football at Butte College and now, full-circle, is coaching football at PV.

But for the 24-year-old, things quickly changed in March of this year, after a basketball injury.

"I went to physical therapy and it wasn't getting any better," Reynolds said. "It got to point where I couldn't get out of bed, I was getting less than an hour of sleep a night, I had to combat crawl to the bathroom."

After two months on crutches, Sean went to Chico Neurosurgeon Dr. Jeff Mimbs, DO.

"I remember meeting Sean in the exam room," Dr. Mimbs said. "He was laying on the floor with his feet up in a chair and some very concerned parents."

"Dr. Mimbs came in and was like, ‘yeah, you're going have to get surgery,' Reynolds reflects. "We were in shock, [be]cause we didn't know how bad it was."

What Sean thought to be a muscle spasm was a defect that disconnected his vertebrae and spine.

"When you do a surgery like that, you're basically disconnecting the top and bottom half of the body," Dr. Mimbs explained.

After surgery in May and a month of recovery, Reynolds headed back to physical therapy. His therapist told him, "my back was so twisted up, I could have been paralyzed in high school from one bad hit."

Though more typically seen in older patients, back pain is one of the most common reasons people see a doctor.

"I see back pain all day long, every day," Dr. Mimbs said. "I see it walking around the supermarkets, I see people walking around in funny positions, I see people with deformities."

Of the 30 patient Dr. Mimbs sees in a clinical day, about 90 percent are for back pain. Each is a different type, some congenital, acquired, deformities or neurogenic problems.

Dr. Mimbs tries conservative therapy and only invasive surgery like Reynold's when absolutely needed. However Sean is walking away with a new perspective.

"When you don't even have the ability to even function as a human being, you have to have everybody doing everything for you, it really kind of puts things in perspective," Reynolds reflects. "I'm just thankful to have a life back."

Reynold's physical therapist says he is two months ahead of schedule in his recovery. He will be able to play basketball again in about six months.

Tonight, Dr. Mimbs along with two other neurosurgeons are answering questions about lower back pain including: causes, surgical and non-surgical treatments. The panel is taking place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Enloe Conference Center, located at 1528 Esplanade in Chico.

Registration is free, call: 1 (877) 365-6363 or click here


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