Dr. Faber is one of the most experienced prolotherapists/regenerative joint practitioners in the world with 30 years of professional practice, teaching and writing. His book Pain, Pain Go Away is considered by many to be the best book written on the topic of prolotherapy. It has been through 13 printings and its new edition explains and gives real treatment solutions for fibromyalgia. He is a highly sought after speaker and is particularly noted for his development of prolotherapy/neural therapy using osteopathic principles for immediate improvements of pain and disabilities.
His newest book The Osteopathic Medicine Advantage: How Medical Miracles Are Made has been noted to be an "I can't put it down" book. It gives in clear precise, easy to read language, with pictures and illustrations, the osteopathic principles often providing immediate relief for serious conditions, not just musculoskeletal, when medicine, surgery and other methods have failed.
He was chairman of the International Medicine's Congress in 2012 entitled "Rapid Therapeutic Response" in which he assembled a select physicians and scientists to train integrative physicians on the technology to bring about immediate improvements in those suffering various afflictions. All the technologies presented used no pain-killing doses of drugs, or expensive diagnostic or treatment equipment to bring about immediate improvements. The methods used were based on classical osteopathic medicine principles using bedside evaluation and treatment. The immediate improvements are often termed "lightning reactions" as demonstrated by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O. founder of osteopathic medicine in the later part of the 19th century. These technologies are virtually unknown in medical/surgical traditional medicine. They are well documented in the Osteopathic Medicine Advantage and other non-mainstream sources. Dr. Faber "eats his own cooking" and tells how he was a chronic pain sufferer himself.
At age 18, I became a day and night chronic pain sufferer. The causes of my pain actually started many years earlier. At age 5, I was sitting in the front seat against my mother's wishes. She was driving slowly, looking at houses, and hit a telephone pole. The sudden stop propelled my 55 pounds into the windshield, which shattered as my head hit it. The 1-1/2 inch gash was sewed together by the emergency room intern doctor. I recovered and was a regular young boy without headaches or pain.
At six, playing on the concrete playground I was pushed off a step wall, cracking my forehead open where it was cracked open a year earlier. I was more fortunate next year in the second grade, when I fell on the playground ice. This time I only had a welt on my forehead the size of a golf ball. At age 12, I broke my leg slipping on ice. At age 17, I crashed my car into large, crossing truck at 35 miles per hour. I was plenty bruised up, stiff and sore, but recovered.
Later that year, at age 17, wrestling in high school gym class, I stood up while the other wrestler was crouched high on my back. I could sense a tearing in my low back. Again I was stiff and sore, but recovered without medical attention.
At 18, as an orderly, I lifted a heavy orthopedic patient from a wheelchair. As I bent over to lift, she jerked me. I heard a cracking and sensed a tearing in my lower back. I seemed okay for about two weeks, then I noticed an aching pain in my lower back that persisted. One of the nurses told me I should report the injury. I did, but workmen's compensation was denied as I didn't report it within the allowed time.
I continued working as an orderly and lifting. I didn't note further injuries. My back continued to hurt, but it wasn't terrible. In six months time it worsened. I was in college then and saw a college nurse. She put me on aspirin. I returned and she taped my back. I returned complaining of pain, she in turn put hot plaster on my back. She sent me to my family doctor, an M.D. he gave me muscle relaxants and a back support. It didn't help. My back pain was worsening. I went back to the M.D. He gave me different drugs when I complained the others didn't help. I saw another M.D. who had a good reputation at the hospital where I was working. He gave me a bigger back brace and more drugs. I continued to hurt and to also see the college nurse.
One day, sitting in class, I developed a severe pain in my right leg down to my toes. I limped to the nurse's office and told her of my new complaint. She called the hospital where I worked and arranged for me to see an orthopedic surgeon in the Emergency Room. After his examinations, he said I should be admitted. I felt somewhat relieved at this, sensing that help for my pain was coming. The orthopedist and his partner saw me together. I was placed in bed rest and traction on the very floor where I hurt my back. I received a myelogram, which showed a slight bulging of my L-5 disc. After the myelogram (a procedure in which a long needle is inserted into the covering of the spinal cord and dye is injected), I told the doctor that the pain had shifted from my right leg to my left leg. He told me my disc wasn't bad enough for surgery. He ordered physical therapy and more drugs and continued the traction.
The physical therapist gave me a booklet on taking care of my back. He instructed on knee-chest exercises and the Williams-Flexion pelvic tilt. I had hot packs, electro-stimulation and back massages twice a day. I told the doctor that all the therapies helped while I was getting them, but the pain returned after about a half hour. I was a freshman in college in pre-med and was worried about school since I was now in the hospital instead of going to class and studying. My mother told me that the doctor told her of my pain switching legs. He said, "That doesn't happen." It was now determined that my pain was psychological, and I was placed on Valium. The Valium was quite sedating and I slept a lot, but on awakening my pain would always be waiting for me. After eight days in the hospital, I was discharged. At home it was much worse. The bed couldn't be put in the jack-knife position and the pain was so great I couldn't sleep. I called the doctor for more medicines and he obliged. They made me dopey or sick or both. I saw the doctor for several follow-up visits in his office, getting more prescription. I noted that when I did the pelvic-tilt with hard contractions, I got some relief. I did them so often that my buttocks muscles and abdominal muscles were sore all the time from doing the exercises. I was sleeping, or rather trying to sleep, on the floor. I felt the softness of the bed was hurting me more. The hardness of the floor also hurt. I was miserable all the time. I got a bed board for under the mattress. It was better than the hard floor, but still I suffered. When I was in the hospital I got a third back support. this one was bigger yet and had all kinds of straps and stays. Since I was young and skinny the stays would stick me, but I would cinch it tight, take drugs and even try to sleep in it.
On the return visit to the orthopedist, I told him of my continual pain. He said, "Well,Bill, I can do a back fusion surgery or put you in a body cast." Being an orderly, I was impressed that the patients, after their back surgery, normally would tense up, turn all red and yell when we would carefully move them. I also saw the body casts. Basically, they lived in these massive casts for two months like a turtle. They needed assistance to get up, down and go to the bathroom. I knew it would be impossible for me to go to class. I told him I'd think about it. I did. I told my father I wanted to go to the University of Iowa. I told him I had to get help and I wanted to go. He said, "I know guys at work went there and some went to the Mayo Clinic. They got cortisone and some also got screws put in their back. They said they wished they never did it. They went to an osteopath and got help. Go to an osteopath."
I, of course, was an orderly at a large hospital and an honor roll student. I had never heard of an osteopath, so I was certain that this strange type of doctor was no good. Further, my father was lucky to have graduated from country high school, so what did he know? Yeah, I heard of Mark Twain's famous quote about his father, but at 18 I didn't get the full meaning of it. I told him I didn't want to see an osteopath. I wanted to go to the University of Iowa. He said, "You're not going." Living in his house, driving his car, being on his family health insurance, I discovered he had an influence on me. Also another 24 hours of pain helped persuade me to see an osteopath.
I clearly recall that I did a lot of research in my selection of an osteopath. Des Moines had an osteopathic college there for many years, so there was amply supply. I looked in the phone book and picked one about five blocks from my home.
On my first visit I related my story of all the M.D.'s opinions, the results of the myelogram and brought bottles of the dozen or so drugs I had taken. He seemed rather disinterested in them and looked at the bottles gingerly. He asked me if any of them helped. I said, "I think this one helped some. But no, none really helped me, and some made me dopey and a few made me sick."
He was an older man who worked out of the house that was converted to a small office. He told me he quit his medical practice a number of years ago and now just did osteopathic treatments. He started his examinations on me, having me bend and twist, lifting my legs and hitting my knees and ankles with a hammer. By this time I was well familiar with all of this. Then he had me lie on my stomach and he started touching my back. I thought what is this? None of the previous four M.D.s touched my painful back. He started rocking my back muscles gently on each side for awhile. Then he positioned me on my side and placed himself close to me. While I was in this pretzel-like position, he gave a thrust on my lower back, using more of his body than his hands. I heard a loud crack. He then did this on my other side. He said, "You're awfully twisted up for a young fellow!" He then put a heat lamp on my back for about 20 minutes. Taking the lamp off and after I got up, he said , "How do you feel?" I said, "Like hell, like I came in here!" He said, "Come back if you want. Don't come back for a week." I said, "Make me an appointment for a week." He said gruffly, "I said come back if you want, don't come back before a week." I waited six days and call for an appointment.
Out of the hospital, I called my professors, and got the assignments and studied at home, mostly on my back. I never returned to the orderly job. I knew it was just too much since I couldn't stand, sit or lie for very long without the need to change positions. In time I returned to classes, but would have to get up and walk around, or sometimes I'd just squat in the aisle.
I'd keep my weekly doctor visits and exactly the same thing would happen. At the end he'd ask me how I felt. I'd say, "Like hell, like I came in here" After about six or seven visits, he asked me after the treatment how I felt. I said, "You know, I think I'm better. I can move around better. I seem to have less pain. I don't have to lie down so much." He said, "Come back if you want. Don't come back for a week." I would think about what he was doing to me. He examined and touched my back where the M.D.s never touched, except to put the spinal needle in my back. Once one of them hit it with his fists (percussion). I had no idea what this osteopathic doctor was doing, but he wasn't giving me more drugs and I was getting better. I kept on with my visits as I wished.
One visit I saw him counting. He said in a loud voice, "You've been here 15 times. That's a lot!" I said, "I'm a hell of a lot better." He said, "Alright, come back if you want. Don't come back before a week." I replied, "I got it."
After one visit I got hemmed in my parking space and had to push my car out. This threw my back out, so I drove directly over to the office. He roared when he saw me just two days after the last treatment, "What are you doing here?" I explained. He said ";Well, okay."
One day I called for an appointment, the receptionist answered and explained the doctor had died. By then I was living on my own, so I made appointments at the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery Clinics. I would see a student doctor, usually a different one each time. I noted they had distinctly different abilities in manipulating my back. Then, and when I went to Drake University, I would talk to them about osteopathic medicine. They explained to me that a D.O. is licensed to practice medicine and surgery in all 50 states, that D.O.s could specialize in any area, and manipulation was taught to better prepare for care of patients and that 60% of the total body mass is made up of the musculo-skeletal system. I decided, as I approached my 3rd and 4th college years, that I was really interested in helping people get over their problem, so going to osteopathic college made the most sense. I knew most people didn't really know about them, but I knew there was something to it because it really helped me.
So off to osteopathic college I went, studying very hard on all subjects. During my clinical rotations, I looked for the area where I thought I could help people the most. Anesthesiology and Internal Medicine initially had my greatest interest. I soon found that what I was looking for in helping people was not there. I completed training and started in family practice. There I did the wide range of things, and also attended many postdoctoral seminars usually sponsored by a university, osteopathic college or state association. Nothing really got me excited at these courses. Meanwhile, I would continue to need to have my back manipulated. It would get sore, but with manipulations, I would get by.
One day I got flyer announcing a meeting about prolotherapy (reconstruction therapy) for spondylolisthesis. This is a condition where the spine is displaced on itself. Medical treatment basically doesn't offer these people much relief until they can't stand the pain any longer and a surgical fusion is done. The program had both M.D.s and D.O.s as presenters. I said to myself, I don't know what this is, but I'm going to find out. I took off to Arizona for the course.
I was primed by seven years' of practice and the numerous other seminars, put on by the big pain professional societies. I was unimpressed by any of the previous methods. I'd never seen one method work, other than manipulation, and the regular pain groups didn't mention a single word on this, so I was thirsty for something that worked. I learned about reconstruction and was amazed seeing the biopsies that significant new structural tissue was created. Never had I seen such evidence of results. Usually in studies, one is given a percentage of people who got better, but here I was actually impressed that actual new tissue was created. I thought this was very strong evidence and was truly excited.
I soon found myself on the treatment table receiving my long overdue back reconstruction. Within hours of my first treatment I could tell that it really hit the spot. I could feel a strength in my back that I hadn't known for years. Before reconstruction treatment I felt that I could move my sacroiliac joints a quarter inch when I did the pelvic-tilt exercise. After receiving a few series of treatments, my sacroiliac grew so strong I could only move it a few microns doing the exercise. My back wouldn't get that deep, aching pulling and my need for manipulations became nil.
Applying the therapy to my patients was exciting. The vast majority of patients would become better, do more things and most importantly, stay better. The exhilaration of my personal victory over 15 years of pain and seeing my patient's victories led me to my place in medicine. That is, helping people win freedom from pain and disability. I believe that one cannot have true happiness without freedom from pain and the ability to do things in life. To this, I devote my sincere efforts.
*From Drs. Faber & Trowbridge's book "Do What You Want To Do"