It was one of this latter group of back pain sufferers who was to change the course of my career. This man had suffered crippling back and neck pain for twenty years. Multiple treatments and three major operations had made no difference to his pain. He required daily narcotic pain relieving tablets and often needed to rely on a walking stick to get around. He told me that he wished to travel interstate to see Dr Skyrme Rees who used a procedure called Nesfield’s Treatment (medically called percutaneous neurotomy) to treat back pain. Despite the fact that I had never heard of this doctor, nor of the treatment, I advised my patient that I felt he would be wasting his money. Two weeks later, he returned to see me as a different man: NO PAIN, NO TABLETS, NO WALKING STICK AND PLAYING LAWN BOWLS. It appeared as though a miracle had been performed and certainly it was the most remarkable and dramatic improvement in any patient that I had seen in my fifteen years as a doctor.
My fascination was such that I flew to Sydney and was trained to perform Nesfield’s Treatment. Straight away I realised my patient was not the only person to find relief. This kind of ‘miracle’ happened daily in Dr Rees’ surgery.
It amazed me that a treatment which takes five minutes, performed in the doctor’s surgery and produces such dramatic pain relief was not better known and more widely used. Why had I not heard of percutaneous neurotomy? Why was it not taught in medical schools or hospitals? Why was it not offered to more people? My search for the answers to these, and many more questions had just begun.
Imagine my sense of satisfaction when the patients I treat can reduce their tablet intake from twenty per day to nothing because they have no pain.
It seemed incredible to me that this patient of mine who used to spend his day lying down in agony or hobbling around on two walking sticks, now works full time as a security guard.
I felt incredible joy when a patient who was suicidal because of his daily head and neck pain, received total pain relief from this treatment. He has since resumed work with appositive outlook on life.