To give a quick background, after experiencing severe symptoms (inflamed esophagus, sore throat, acidic burning in mouth and sinuses, chest pressure, etc.) of GERD in January of 2015, it was discovered during an endoscopy that I had a hiatal hernia. This is where the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and enters the chest cavity, thus causing the lower esophageal sphincter to remain open. Acid is then allowed to go freely into the esophagus where it wreaks havoc on tissue it wouldn't normally affect. Once the gastroenterologist finished my endoscopy, the only treatment option offered was to take medication to lower my stomach acid. I was told that I would be on these pills for life despite the FDA warnings about taking these longer than 2 weeks. Hesitant but anxious to find relief, I took his advice and started on the highest dosage of 80mg of PPIs. It greatly reduced my stomach acid for temporary relief, but the combination of side effects and the fact that I had too little stomach acid to break down food were worse than the original symptoms. After months of trying Prevacid, Zantac, Nexium, Pepcid AC, Prilosec, Tums, and Gaviscon, nothing worked. I felt worse than I ever had, and this was their supposed "go-to" treatment. Nissen fundoplication surgery was deemed ineffective and risky, and because of the failed suggestions of medical doctors (who I lost faith in) and the runaround I was getting, I eventually spent hundreds (literally) of hours researching every article, forum, and trial on the internet to figure out what I had and how to cure it. I eventually decided to ditch all medical suggestions and go the holistic route. I stopped all medication and began a diet of vegetables, lean meats, and water. I completely eliminated dairy, carbs, fatty foods, coffee, sugar, and alcohol, and within weeks I had lost over 25 pounds (but not intentionally). Granted, my original weight of 165lbs was considered normal, but the diet change allowed my body to reset. Some of my symptoms subsided, but I still had the extreme chest pressure and throat muscle soreness from the stomach protruding from the diaphragm. Enter Dr. Ryan and the Rock Creek Spine team!
After receiving a consultation by Dr. Ryan, I was initially placed on a care plan of two visits per week where I received a hiatal hernia adjustment in addition to several others to align the body. The former is important to bring the stomach back down below the diaphragm, and the latter is equally important to keep things properly aligned to maintain equilibrium and prevent further issues. Not only did I start noticing a decrease in my original symptoms (primarily chest pressure, tight throat, and acidity), but I noticed an increase in whole body health. I felt my posture improve, and my monthly migraines completely disappeared. Along with chiropractic care, the massage therapy and trigger point therapy I received were also a huge aid in removing my original symptoms. There are many other services they provide, but luckily I haven't had the need for them. What I can tell you, though, is that Dr. Ryan and his colleagues are very knowledgeable in their field, and it's a great relief to find doctors that promote holistic methods of healing. They, along with their friendly staff, truly care about their patients and I've found that extremely hard to come by. My past experiences with other facilities during my journey have proven that. After receiving treatment at Rock Creek Spine throughout 2015, I can honestly say that I've made a complete turnaround without the need for surgery or medication. With a condition that's so severe and so under-studied, my hope has been restored and I'll continue to visit Rock Creek Spine weekly to maintain my overall health. Highly recommended!