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    From Back Pain to “Back to Normal” Much Easier with Patient Ambassador Program

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    New neck, back and spine patients facing the unknown at Spine Associates in Houston, Texas are paired up with former patients who have become ambassadors to lead them through the process. Dr. Richard Francis, Founder of Spine Associates in 2003 has developed a Patient Ambassador Program with hundreds of Ambassadors working together with new patients to share their experiences and be with them as they face upcoming treatment or surgery.

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    Too many people suffer from back pain or chronic back pain. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. More than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain. In addition, Adults with low back pain are often in worse physical and mental health than people who do not have low back pain: 28% of adults with low back pain report limited activity due to a chronic condition, as compared to 10% of adults who do not have low back pain. Also, adults reporting low back pain were three times as likely to be in fair or poor health and more than four times as likely to experience serious psychological distress as people without low back pain.

    Fortunately, Houston Spine Surgeon Dr. Richard Francis, Founder of Spine Associates in 2003 and a leading specialist in treating back, neck and spine conditions has developed the “Patient Ambassador Program” which makes going from chronic back, neck or spine pain to “Back to Normal” or pain free for most patients much easier.

    The Patient Ambassador Program was created by patients for patients, and gives new patients who are facing the unknown the opportunity to have candid, one-on-one discussions with former patients who have had back pain treatment or spine surgery and have volunteered to share their personal experiences with the new patient who is considering their treatment or surgery options.

    When people who have suffered from back, neck or spine pain or other more chronic conditions such as scoliosis, spine deformity, degenerative disc disease or other severe conditions, it is extremely helpful to have someone who has already gone through a similar process to befriend them, hold their hand and guide them through the potentially very scary process. Some patients have literally had severe and/or debilitating pain for decades and often have endured other unsuccessful treatment or surgeries and are quite concerned about the outcome of seeing yet one more doctor.

    When these patients are trying to make a decision about spine surgery or other treatment options, it often helps to connect with someone who has had an experience similar to their own. For anyone currently suffering from back, neck or spine pain or anyone who simply has questions, and all those who may want to listen to what others have to say about their experience, the Spine Associates Patient Ambassador Program is here to help.

    Spine Associates started its Ambassador Program over three years ago. At that time, they recognized a need to connect their new patients with other patients who had experiences similar to and of value to them regarding their decisions about upcoming surgery options. Spine Associates understands that when people are facing a challenging decision about going forward with spine surgery, which many people fear, they can get a lot of comfort from those they have respect for. More importantly it’s extremely helpful to connect with those who have had an identical procedure and who can give them a firsthand account of how the process goes and what they themselves experienced. This way these new patients are no longer depending on just what their doctor has said but can rely on what real life people have to say.

    Spine Associates is grounded in their mission and values, which reflect their high regard for conservatism, quality of care, timeliness and the most up to date technology. The entire staff at Spine Associates aspires to develop genuine relationships with each patient and ensure a safe and rewarding experience throughout every step of their treatment and recovery. The health of their patients is the benchmark of their success. All patients are offered an appointment to see Dr. Francis within three days of calling, and on the same day if needed. At every visit, patients are seen directly by Dr. Francis. The referring provider receives a letter or call regarding the patients’ consults within 24 hours. They’ve built close relationships with teams of neurologists, physiatrists and pain specialists to assure timely delivery of care.

    Dr. Francis has made it his goal to stay at the forefront of technology, yet maintain a personal connection with patients and their families. Dr. Francis is one of few spine surgeons capable of performing surgeries on children as well as adults and prides himself as one of the first surgeons in the nation asked to perform the artificial disc replacement and to use robotic assistance in spine surgery.

    Dr. Richard Francis has been in practice for over two decades and currently has offices in Houston and Beaumont, Texas. For further information please contact Spine Associates at PH: 888-977-4625 or Visit the website at http://myspineassociates.com/

    Dr. Richard Francis and the Spine Associates Team are ready to answer the toughest questions related to back and neck pain, surgical treatments, non-surgical treatments and more. No question is too simple or too complicated. To submit a question to one of the physicians at Spine Associates or to request an appointment, simply go to “Ask the Doctor”.

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    “Addressing the issue of spine surgery can be lonely and frightening. It is gratifying to be able to share positive experiences with new patients.”
    - Jodi, Spine Associates Patient
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