Spinal Champion®: Greg’s Recovery On Target

greg spinal champ

Many individuals find themselves searching for information on back pain relief after finding themselves injured or strained from physical activities they enjoy. As an outdoorsman, Greg loved his activity but like many, he was not concerned enough with his spine health in the process. Thankfully, there are many treatments and advancements available today — those that can help curb the pain of even multiple issues. In this post, Greg shares his patient journey from pain to freedom.

An Outdoorsman and Back Pain

I led an active outdoorsman’s life at the age of 60 – snow skiing, hunting, fishing, hiking, and more. Shortly after retiring as a soccer referee, I couldn’t run any longer and I started experiencing “zinging” down my back and legs. After attending my daughter’s college graduation, the next day both of my legs went numb.

Treatment & Recovery

Dr. Jim Youssef at Spine Colorado determined that I had two separate problems. The first was a thoracic myelopathy that was causing the disturbance in my walking, and was treated with thoracic decompression. A spondylolisthesis at L5/S1 caused low back pain and radiculopathy, and was treated with a spinal fusion. I spent only two days in the hospital and was walking on the same day of surgery. My doctors told me that I must be able to walk a mile before leaving the hospital – but I walked over 10 miles!


I admit to being “over-athletic and stupid in my younger years”, but I am now back to an active lifestyle that includes archery, hunting, and fishing. I recently ran two miles but expect to run more. I am able to do anything I want to do without any restrictions.

My advice to patients?

  • Listen to your doctor
  • Exercise and physical therapy makes all the difference in your recovery
  • Do core strengthening
  • Go into your surgery in shape
  • Have a positive attitude