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This has been an interesting week at our office. We have been very busy with patient care, which is typical. We see new patients each day Monday through Friday, as well as routine patient care visits.

In our office we see patients with a wide range of chronic pain issues. Many of our patients are referred from local physicians and other health care professionals, but many patients come without any referral other than learning about our services through a friend, reading the Murfreesboro Post, the internet or some other source.

Earlier in the week the Rutherford County Historical group posted a copy of the very first newspaper ad we ran in October 1988. It was like traveling through time to see that ad and reflect on how much has changed in 31 years. I thought back to the first few patients that I saw in my first office. I thought of how technology has changed in how patients are diagnosed and treated.

In 1988, MRIs were still pretty new. I was one of the first chiropractors in the state to have been trained in using MRI studies to properly diagnose a patient. At the time, MRI facilities were scarce and if I needed an MRI for a patient it was not uncommon to have to send them to Nashville. Now I can order an MRI from several medical imaging facilities right here in Murfreesboro or Smyrna.

In 1988, if a patient had a bulging or herniated disc, the options for successful conservative treatment were more limited than today. Although we could help many patients with damaged discs and sciatica then, there were still too many that had to undergo spinal surgery.

Today, with the advancements in technology that are in our office, we can expect successful outcomes for most patients that present with bulging or herniated spinal disc without needing any surgery. With treatments like Nonsurgical Spinal Disc Decompression patients are now able to be treated comfortably in a matter of a few weeks even if they have serious back or neck pain and even if they have nerve pain, numbness or tingling that goes completely to the hand or foot.

Not too long ago, patients with painful peripheral neuropathy could expect their doctor to tell them that the prescription they provided was the only thing they could do to help. Now, we are able to provide groundbreaking, game-changing therapies that can provide meaningful relief for the burning, tingling, numbness of neuropathy without the risk of drug side effects. It is remarkable advances in technology has made these improvements in care possible.

In 1988, patients with chronic joint pain such as knee or hip pain, and problems such as rotator cuff injuries often had little hope except for surgery. Today modern electroanalgesia devices can often dramatically reduce pain in minutes and help patients get back to a more normal life without any drugs or surgery. 

When we brought the NeuroMed electroanalgesia device into our office earlier this year we watched as patients began to smile again as their pain began to ease. Although we expected positive outcomes, the actual results exceeded our expectations.

Later in the week we learned that we had been honored by being voted favorite chiropractic and acupuncture office by Murfreesboro Post readers. Realizing that there are over 90 chiropractic offices in Rutherford County, we are very humbled by this recognition and the level of support that we receive from the readers of the Post.

As I reflected over all of the improvements in the ability to provide care for patients that have been developed during the past three decades and the many thousands of patients that have trusted us for their care over the years, a single word came into my mind: persistence.

None of the technological advances that we now utilize came about overnight. None of the training that my staff has completed was accomplished without persistence. Continually expanding the treatment options, we can offer our patients has required ongoing training, development of new and improved treatment protocols, seeking enhanced methods of solving painful problems, often traveling and meeting with doctors from across the country to learn of something new.

Whatever the endeavor, continually putting one foot in front of the other, pressing forward when fatigue or disappointment begins to slow the process and simply having faith in the future enough to never stop trying makes all the difference.

If I could provide only one lesson, one piece of advice for anyone engaged in a meaningful endeavor, whether it is developing a business, obtaining professional training, raising a child or grandchild, or any form of personal growth, it would be this:  Keep going. Persist. Never look away from your objective.

Whatever you or I ever want to accomplish in our lives, it is assured that we will simply not be successful if we lack persistence. Nothing worth achieving is ever easy. But it is my sincere belief that anything we ever want to do in life can be done if we persist.

I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to every reader that has ever taken the time to read this column and especially for those that have taken the time to vote for our office in reader polls. Your support and encouragement are cherished.

Dr. Mark Kestner is a chiropractor in Murfreesboro. His office is at 1435 NW Broad St. Contact him at mkestner@DrKestner.com

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