Thursday, December 8, 2011

Craig Adams - An Uplifting Story from Down Under

Meet Craig Adams
Craig Adams is a 40 year old, happily married father of three from Sydney Australia. For the past seven years, he has suffered from chronic pain.

Craig's story begins many years ago when he left school at a young age to work with his father’s business Des Adams & Sons Transport. He started by working the forklift in the yard and by the time he was eighteen, he was driving semi's across the country. The company grew and Craig eventually had a truck of his own that he nicknamed "Dreamweaver" as a tribute to the music he loved. He married and had three children. By all accounts, life was good. But that was all about to change.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
In 2003, Craig suffered an ankle injury at work that required surgery the following year. As a result of the surgery, he developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) that  led to Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The RSD spread from his right ankle up his leg into his spine. Eventually, it spread to the left leg and ankle, to the arms, hands, face and neck. It even affected his inner body functions. Craig experienced burning; stinging, swelling, skin discoloration, and weeping sores on the infected limb - all typical symptoms of RSD.  In effect, his whole body was powerless. The once vital man needed crutches to walk and at times relied on a wheelchair to get around. His family stood by him as his suffering increased and he steadily lost the use of his right ankle.

To make matters worse, he developed kidney and heart problems and had minimal bowel control. The pain was almost too much to bear. The lyrics to the song Dream Weaver that inspired the naming of Craig's truck seemed almost prophetic:

I've just closed my eyes again
Climbed aboard the dream weaver train
Driver take away my worries of today
And leave tomorrow behind
Ooh dream weaver
I believe you can get me through the night
Ooh dream weaver
I believe we can reach the morning light

Fly me high through the starry skies
Maybe to an astral plane
Cross the highways of fantasy
Help me to forget today's pain 

(by Gary Wright)

Part 2 of Craig's story will continue with his battle with chronic pain and how he learned about bio/neurofeedback.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meet Dr. Richard Sherman

The BFE Chronic Pain team was honored to work with Dr. Richard Sherman on the development of the Chronic Pain suite. His extensive knowledge in the use of biofeedback for treating chronic pain as well as phantom pain made him the ideal partner to help design the specific training screens for software.

Richard A. Sherman, PhD 
Dr. Sherman received his doctorate in biology/psychology from New York University in 1973 and is currently Master Instructor at Chapman University as well as Dean of Clinical Psychophysiology at the University of Natural Medicine and Director of the Behavioral Medicine Research and Training Foundation. He is certified by BCIA, approved by BCIA to teach the general biofeedback certification course, and currently teaches A&P, Pain Assessment and Intervention, Research, and Pelvic Floor Disorders for the Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation. He is a professional psychophysiologist with extensive training and has nearly 30 years of experience in the field. He has had numerous grants to study various aspects of pain mechanisms and interventions and has well over a hundred publications.

To learn more about Dr. Richard Sherman and his work, visit the Behavioral Medicine Research and Training Foundation website.