Back Pain Relieved… No More Falls

When Mike Radford was young, he played a lot of contact sports, which took a toll on his body. Over the years, he’s had both hips and his right knee replaced. He also had surgery on his back and shoulder. Then, he started struggling with horrendous pain in his left knee.Michael Radford and Irwin Rappon received individualized rehab programs from Charles Donley, PT, of Regional Rehab in Spring Hill.

“I was in a lot of pain with my knee, and it kept me from doing just about everything,” he shares. “I had problems going to the grocery store and doing other errands. The Veterans Administration got me an electric scooter, so I was getting around with that to do those things. Otherwise, I pretty much stayed at home and hobbled around.”

In fact, whenever he could, Mike stayed off his feet altogether. At 6’6” and weighing 300 pounds, and with a bad knee, he had trouble keeping his balance. He was unhappy being in so much pain and so immobile. Then, he met Charles C. Donley, PT, director of Regional Rehab in Spring Hill.

“When I went to Regional Rehab, Charles went to work on my knee, but then he started looking at more. He checked all of my muscles,” remembers Mike. “Then, he said, There’s a lot more wrong with you than just your knee.”

“Mike not only had a knee problem, he also had a great deal of muscle weakness overall,” notes Charles. “Since he had so much weakness and pain, he was fearful of getting up on his feet, so he moved around using a scooter.”

To reduce Mike’s pain, improve his strength and lower his risk of falling, Charles developed a comprehensive, individualized physical therapy program for him. The treatment plan was also designed to build Mike’s confidence on his feet and get him walking again.

Return Trip

Seventy-five-year-old Irwin Rappon liked to work. When he retired, he drove a bus for the Hernando County School District. The New York native only gave that up when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“I had surgery, but it did not get all the cancer, so I had to have radiation therapy. When you get radiation, you also get side effects. The tissue does not heal afterward,” he relates. “I developed a cyst on my buttocks, so I had an operation to have it removed, but it left a wound.”

Initially, the sore did not heal, so Irwin was sent to a wound clinic. There, it took almost seven months for his wound to resolve. When Irwin had a minor procedure that resulted in another wound, he decided to go back to Regional Rehab for laser treatment. He’d been treated at Regional Rehab previously for a different issue.

“Charles had the wound completely healed in ten days,” reports Irwin. Later, when Irwin’s back began to give him trouble, he returned to Charles, who evaluated him and developed a program specifically for his back condition.

“Last August, my back went out, and I was in severe pain. I couldn’t even move my eyelashes without pain. I had to stop all of my activities,” describes Irwin. “My doctor told me I had severe arthritis, and wanted to put me on opioid medications. I refused.

“Charles discovered what I needed was traction on my back. I didn’t need any opioids.”

Personalized Plans

When patients arrive at Regional Rehab, they are first given complete evaluations. The results of the evaluations guide the design of personalized physical therapy programs.

“Patients come to us with an issue, and they have a diagnosis from a doctor and many times test results, such as those from x-rays or an MRI,” explains Charles. “I’ve been a therapist for thirty-four years, and I perform the initial evaluations. Then, I compare the findings to the test results, and set up specific programs for the patients.”

Charles explains that some people live a high-activity lifestyle. They might require a more aggressive therapy routine to return to that level of activity. For people who are more sedentary, a less intensive program might be used to meet their needs.

“For the end result, regardless of their lifestyle, we want our patients to be able to perform at the level they desire, preferably their prior level of function,” adds Charles.

Regional Rehab is a state-of-the-art, full-service physical therapy clinic. Deep tissue laser therapy, with a Class IV therapeutic laser, is an essential part of therapy for many patients. It is often used for acute, chronic and postoperative pain. The laser was part of both Irwin’s and Mike’s comprehensive therapy programs – for Mike on his knee and for Irwin on his back.

“Charles told me the staff at Regional Rehab could help me with all of my problems, and do it all at the same time,” comments Mike. “They took a holistic approach with me, and I’m really glad they did.”

Relief and Mobility

The individualized programs designed for Irwin and Mike significantly reduced their pain levels. Irwin remembers the agony he was feeling before he went to Regional Rehab.

Michael Radford and Irwin Rappon received individualized rehab programs from Charles Donley, PT, of Regional Rehab in Spring Hill.

Irwin has resumed many of his activities, including raking his yard.

“On a scale from one to ten, my pain was a thirty,” he states. “Now, I have no pain at all.

“Now, I feel really good, and I’m pain free without any opioids or nerve medication. I take one pill a day for gout, period. And I’m seventy-five years old.”

“My pain level used to be a seven or eight all the time. Now, it’s a two,” offers Mike. “I’m very happy. My treatment is a success. I’m going to continue with the home exercise program, and I think I’ll continue to get better.”

Relieved of pain, Irwin is back to enjoying his activities. “I take my wife around. I fertilize the lawn. I do odd jobs around the house,” he reports.

Mike is less fearful of being on his feet, and has become less reliant on his electric scooter to get around.

“I can walk short distances without help. I sometimes use a crutch because it’s convenient, and I have a walker, but I don’t use either one of them around the house,” notes Mike.

Both men have achieved great results through therapy at Regional Rehab, and both have had exceptional experiences there. They are quick to relay their satisfaction.

“I definitely recommend Charles and Regional Rehab to others, and have,” says Irwin. “Charles is great. He’s real and really concerned. He runs a beautiful clinic and runs it right. He does everything right there. I guarantee he’s saved Medicare and my supplement thousands of dollars.”

Mike agrees. “I absolutely recommend Regional Rehab and Charles to anyone!”

FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photos by Jordan Pysz. Graphic from istockphoto.com. mkb
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    • Regional Rehab

      Regional Rehab's ultimate goal is to enrich people’s lives by helping to enhance their physical and mental well being, creating an atmosphere of quality care and optimum healing with a loving touch.... Read More

    • Charles C. Donley, PT

      Charles C. Donley, PT, is director of Regional Rehab. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy, graduating cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and Fl... Read More