This is a story about a metro Detroit man, painful migraines and a machine that changed his life.
"It comes into your face and it goes into your teeth and your sinuses, and it's such a demanding pain that basically you're down and out. You have to go home and just lay down and take medication," said Jim Mellec.
That's how the 62-year-old described the migraines that have pained him for years. Doctors couldn't seem to treat him, but then something changed. Mellec ended up at Dynamic Rehabilitation, a center that specializes in only neck and back pain, and suddenly his story had a different ending.
"Within two weeks, I was like headache free," Mellec said.
"Most people with back or neck pain do everything they can not to use those muscle groups. You've seen them. You see how they sit. You say I don't lift things. I don't play golf anymore. I don't garden anymore. I don't go for walks. I don't sleep well," said Jeff Wayne, president of Dynamic Rehabilitation. "After going through a program like this, we know that there's a very strong correlation between the increase in strength and the decrease in pain, and that helps people return to their activities and daily living."
That's where the MedX machine comes into play. The goal is to isolate, then exercise and strengthen only the muscles that need help. With Mellec, the focus was on his neck.
"There's an increase in blood flow to the area that helps with nutrient and oxygen flow, which also helps with healing," said Maria Cecilia San Juan, P.T.
The second part of the equation is physical therapy, called the McKenzie Method, where Mellec learned structured exercises and stretches to treat and prevent his migraines.
"Teach a patient body mechanics, proper positioning, so that when they're in certain situations, like … simply watching television or working at a desk in front of a computer, they're much more aware of what that impact could be from those types of positions," San Juan said.
For Mellec, like many, the goal was to get rid of the pain without going through surgery, and
Wayne said surgery should be the last resort.
"Research says that if you were to line up a hundred people with back pain, only two of those would probably go on to have surgery, so most people with back pain can avoid surgery with a specialized program like this," he told FOX 2.
"I feel like I've got my life back," said Mellec.