By Guest Blogger Carol Conduff, founder and executive director, The Spine Health Foundation
“I got to the point where my life wasn’t worth living. I was standing on the edge of the bridge, figuring it was better to jump than to go back to where I was. I have a new life now.”—Bill Walton, NCAA and NBA legend as reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune, on April 17, 2010.
Bill Walton had suffered with back pain for years and tried many noninvasive treatment options, to no avail. Everything changed when he was introduced to a surgeon offering a new surgical technique. The surgery was a success, and Bill went on the record stating his surgeon saved his life.
One out of 10 Americans is affected by chronic back pain. Chronic back pain is difficult to explain and even more difficult for others to understand. Ongoing, chronic pain can cause depression, unemployment, pain medication addiction and family breakdown. These negative effects can lead to isolation, exacerbating the condition and situation. It’s a difficult and never-ending cycle for the affected individual.
Chronic back pain is a widespread epidemic in our country. The cost of back pain to Americans is estimated to be anywhere from $50 to $200 billion each year in lost wages, productivity, disability and medical care.
Access Help Through The Spine Health Foundation
The costs associated with chronic back pain are tremendous, and The Spine Health Foundation (SHF) is making a small difference in the total sum. But we are making a big difference in the lives of our recipients and their families by giving them back their lives.
Since 2011, SHF has provided access to more than 800 medical resources, including 34 spine surgeries.
Recently, a young working mother reached out to SHF for help. She has since seen a specialist, undergone medical treatments and spine surgery. She is now back at work and moving forward with her life.
“I have had back problems and pain for several years,” she said. “I went to see a doctor, but since I was uninsured, they couldn’t just get me the help I needed.
“One day, late last year, I had a fall and was taken to the ER. The physician recommended I call SHF. This is when I learned of this wonderful foundation. I am honest when I say that I do not know where I would be today if not for Carol and The Spine Health Foundation. She has helped me and others so much! I’m still receiving help through the foundation and I am grateful and blessed.”
September and October are spine health awareness months.