As both an athlete and military member, I am extremely concerned with my back health. Dr. Gillard’s consults have been pivotal in my successful outcomes. I had already been injured for 11 months, and then injured my back out one more time before my provider even conducted the first MRI. After I injured my back the second time and lay in debilitating pain, and my severe disc disease at 3 levels became apparent, I sought the advice of Dr. Gillard.
I want to ensure I have a high quality of life into my old age; not just a miserable existence of pain and inactivity. I realized that waiting for the typical provider to handout “boiler plate” advice of “don’t exercise and don’t play basketball anymore” was not going to work for me. I chose not to just settle for an answer like this. Rather than ignore the bad advice, I sought better advice. I chose to research my issue and understand the problem and consulted with Dr. Gillard. You get one back, no replacement parts in theory, and everything has a design life. If you think education is expensive, ignorance with your back is way worse. I know. Dr. Gillard’s website alone was an incredible resource that I used to educate myself. Use of his free website alone is worth the consult fees. I searched extensively, and have not been able to find a more comprehensive resource anywhere.
Dr. Gillard identified and reported specific key issues with my MRI images that neither my radiologist nor the neurosurgeon had ever reported to me. These points will help me to assist my doctors next time I am seen, and to steer questions and attention in the right direction.
Dr. Gillard has also helped me to better educate myself on the various treatments available if I ever need to have spinal surgery. Dr. Gillard does his homework and immerses himself both in published literature and in consulting with real, every day people. He pays attention to all of the underlying nuances that he can gather from a case, and he thinks critically. He has educated me on the procedure types, the pros and cons, associated risks and benefits, available technology, and success rates.
If one truly wants to reclaim their life after spinal injury/disease AND minimize further problems, one must make choices and not wait for happenstance. One must take the proper courses of action to mitigate further damage, alleviate their symptoms, and prepare oneself to make educated decisions should they ever need to have spinal surgery. You need to take time and educate yourself; not just spin in your chair and hope relief will randomly find you. You need to get involved with and take ownership of your recovery.
Dr. Gillard’s advice and insights have helped me to modify my activities to the point where they are still satisfying to me, but they don’t aggravate my back. Further, as evidenced by my most recent set of MRIs, my degenerative disc disease has not shown any marked progression and even seems to show signs of healing. His credibility, not only by educational/resume credentials, but also as an athlete who has “been in the trenches” with back pain, and is still managing it today, is priceless.