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Chad Farr

Chad Farr
Procedure: Sinergy procedure

Driving in his car south of Breckenridge, Chad Farr slowed down and stopped to let the driver ahead of him turn left when the apparently distracted vehicle behind him suddenly rammed into his car going 50 miles an hour.

The accident left him with a laceration on his head and a back injury. The pain in his back was constantly there, and became more painful as time went on. For years, Chad sought chiropractic care, which helped him feel better for awhile, but the pain would always come back.

Eventually, his regular physician referred Chad to Dr. Scott Raub, a pain intervention physician with Vail-Summit Orthopaedics who specializes in spine injuries, interventional spine pain procedures, non-operative treatment for spine & extremity problems and electrodiagnostics.

It was hard for Chad to pinpoint exactly where his pain was coming from. Dr. Raub determined he had chronic pain along his left lumbosacral, plus pain and dysfunction in his left sacroiliac joint. Using electrodiagnostics, Dr. Raub was able to more accurately pinpoint where the pain was coming from.

Dr. Raub started treatment using numbing nerve shots - or blocks - along his left lateral branch, and cortisone joints lower down his back in his left sacroiliac joint. Because Chad was seeing results from numbing the nerves, Dr. Raub determined Chad was a candidate for Sinergy, a new procedure that uses radiofrequency technology to safely and effectively disable the sensory nerves that may be responsible for pain.

Dr. Raub is the only physician in the mountains performing the Sinergy procedure. During the treatment, the patient lies on a table, is usually mildly sedated, and the area to be treated is numbed. A probe is placed into the back through a needle, and the painful nerves are treated with gentle warming by radiofrequency waves. After the treatment, the probe and needles are removed and a bandage is placed over the treatment site. Disabling the sensory nerves can potentially reduce discomfort and restore the ability to lead a normal life.

After a week, Chad got a little sore, but then he gradually got better. He did exercises and stretching in order to get the rest of his body back into his normal position. Dr. Raub says it’s possible the nerves might grow back, but if Chad is in a more natural position, the pain could work itself out on its own.

Within a month of having the Sinergy procedure – and nearly two years after the accident - Chad felt completely ‘back to normal’. “There were many times I felt like I would never get any permanent relief,” remembers Chad. “Going to the chiropractor would help me feel good for a week or so. I just thought that was how it was going to be and I would have to deal with it. Obviously it worked out for me in the long run.”

Today, the father of two young kids is back to his normal physical activity - golfing, basketball and snowboarding. Most importantly, the chef who stands up while cooking is pain-free at work. He continues to exercise and stretch in order to strengthen his core.

Chad’s advice to others? “Keep trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. I thought I was going to have to live with the pain for the rest of my life. Stay with it and figure out what the problem is.”