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Back Pain

Shanen's AFC Story

A veteran with severe injuries describes how AFC’s full body adjustments and massage changed his life.

Hey. Good morning, everybody. My name is Shanen Dunagan. I am a retired marine, 10 years in the Marine Corps. I got injured overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've been through 17 years of physical therapy, a dozen surgeries, and all sorts of therapies, and I am now a happy patient at AFC and getting the help that I finally deserve and need.

I have several spinal issues from being blown up, so I had multiple issues in my back and in my shoulders that I've had a dozen surgeries from, so my main issue was pain and quality of life. On a daily basis, I used to take between 12 to 14 Percocet or oxycodone in order to deal with the pain and to numb things and be able to get through life. I have dealt with it since November 2001, so a little over 17 years, as of today.

I dealt with over 14 years of VA healthcare, and the remedy always was, here's a bottle of pills. Then when those pills weren't working or here's another bottle, let's double, let's triple your prescription, let's increase the dosage, let's add on to it. So at one point, I was taking over 16 medications, and out of those medications, 6 of those were to combat the side effects of the other 10 that I was taking. So it was severe. I dealt with it for a long time trying to get to a more therapeutic version to be able to correct what was needed.

Once I came in here and got a full therapeutic value, what they do here is different. 16 years plus of going to different doctors, chiropractors, orthopedic specialists, all culminated to me coming here one time and knowing that there was going to be a difference. It's a full-body experience when you come here, so it's not only coming in for the chiropractic side, but it's also on the physical medicine side with a physician's assistant that also speaks with the chiropractor, and they come together and decide what the best course of action is, and then you go from there. But that also includes massage therapy. That also includes physical rehabilitation, physical therapy, stretching, flexibility, strengthening of those muscles and the things that you have issues with and where you're having pain, and then going into the adjustment. So it's a full body experience when you're here.

What I've tried before was always a band-aid. It's, try this chiropractor over here. They just do an adjustment. They don't do a full body. They don't do x-rays. They don't check everything that's needed or what's going on with your body. They just take your word for it on what's happening. They do an adjustment, then they send you home, and then you come back the next week and you do an adjustment, as opposed to a entire body therapy in order to increase your quality of life and to minimize your pain. And so I've been to chiropractors. I've been to massage therapists. I've been to acupuncture, acupressure. What else? Multiple injections, PRP injections with the VA, orthopedic specialist after orthopedic specialist, pain management doctors, getting nerve blocks, getting pain med patches, all to no avail, to have the same issues over and over again, until I came here.

About a week after coming here, so I'd say about three sessions, I started noticing an immediate difference. I could sleep better. I wasn't waking up in the same pain that I was for 16 years prior. It was about three sessions before I really started noticing a difference, and being here now, going on two months, life just keeps getting better and the quality of life gets better each day. Every time I'd come in here, I'd give a praise report, and I come three days a week. So my overall experience has been amazing. After 17 years of living in pain, 17 years of no breakthrough therapies that I've experienced through the VA healthcare system and even private doctor systems, my overall experience is amazing.

So much so, I have almost three-quarters of my family coming here now. So my mother-in-law, my wife, my daughters, my young kids as well coming in for preventative maintenance so that things don't get bad as they progress going through sports and just getting older and ripping and running and what kids do and the toll they put on their bodies these days. So my overall experience, I guess, would sum up, if I trust my kids and my entire family here, my overall experience has been amazing.

Is there anything I'd like to add? Yes, I am not paid in any shape, way, form, or manner to be able to do this interview, to speak about it. This is not something that I would normally do, because for a long time, I would crack jokes about how doctors are practicing medicine, because it was exactly that. It was just a practice. They're trying to figure it out as they go along without a real plan. It was just, hey, try this, hey, try that, and then when it would come back and it would fail, they would just find the next thing that they saw on the internet or what they heard in a medical journal somewhere.

Coming here, they had a therapeutic approach before anybody even laid hands on me to do one adjustment or one injection or a therapy. They take the time to invest in their patients. They take the time to invest in our quality of life, more than anything. If it's something that they wholeheartedly feel that they can't fix or that they can't improve, they'll tell you that, and they'll recommend you for whatever other therapy or whatever other treatment that they feel that you can do. That's not what the majority, 90% plus, of doctors that I've dealt with in 17 years do, or facilities or clinics, wherever you're going. Here, they invest in the patient. Your family becomes their family. Your happiness, your quality of life, becomes theirs. It's not something that's out there. It's very rare. It's very few and far between. So that's why I will promote this place until my last dying breath, and I'll be a patient here as well as my family.