Monroe Township, NJ
Medical Condition: Low back pain, post surgical pain, shoulder pain
Active senior manages chronic pain from back surgery, fractured vertebra and broken shoulder
Carol Beaumont, a professional writer, experienced a series of serious orthopedic issues over the span of just a few years ─ severe back pain requiring surgery on her L3 disc; a fall after the surgery fracturing a vertebrae (and eight months of wearing a back brace); a broken shoulder and a not-too-funny pratfall on slick winter ice. She was also diagnosed with osteopenia, a condition where bone density is below normal peak density but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis.
“Even in my 70’s, I am healthy and active but all these injuries took a toll on me,” Carol explains. “I was living with chronic back pain that was barely lessening with time or rehabilitative therapy.” Forsgate Physical Therapy, where Carol was undergoing treatment, recommended she contact physiatrist Dr. Perry Herman for specialized pain management care.
“I could see from our first visit that Carol was very sharp and active but the chronic pain had kept her from doing the things that were important to her,” Dr. Herman says. “Non-stop pain can diminish anyone’s quality of life.” Dr. Herman took a detailed medical history and devised a treatment plan to improve Carol’s health and daily life.
Her treatment protocol began with lumbar epidural injections of (customized) anti-inflammatory medication to relieve her severe back pain. He then introduced a series of specific stretching exercises for her to do independently. “Dr. Herman looked at my overall health and wellness ─ not just my injured back and shoulder. He also advised me to work with his nutritionist, Tracy Capell, to get my nutrition up to speed,” Carol explains. “And he warned me constantly that progress was going to be slow . . . years, not months.”
Today, two years after her first appointment with Dr. Herman, Carol is a happier woman. She is twenty pounds lighter. She rides a tricycle two or three times a week, works out at the Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center four or five times a week, where she particularly enjoys swimming and a pain-management fitness and longevity program called the “Melt Method” that focuses on movements to help lessen pain.
When Carol looks at the pain management treatment she is receiving from Dr. Herman she says, “After years of living with continual pain, I am now able to do things that keep me feeling healthy and active. I have many exciting projects in the works for the future, which looks bright. I’ve been given tools to manage my pain. The pain will always be there, but so long as I continue to do my part of the program, I have a quality of life that’s worth living for.”