After suffering from neck strain over 12 months ago, Daniel Potticary’s quality of life subsequently got worse. After going through cycles of painkillers, Daniel decided enough was enough and came to see Spire Elland consultant Dr Vladimir Gorelov

How did you first become aware of your symptoms?

“About 12 months ago I began struggling with a strain in my neck. The pain was awful and was beginning to get worse over time. I visited physiotherapists, chiropractors and tried acupuncture but nothing seemed to work. Eventually, I had an MRI done which showed I had arthritis in four vertebrates in my back. My only cure was pain management and I began taking heavy opioids. These made me feel very ill and foggy headed; I simply couldn’t function. I felt like I was near to an emotional breakdown because of the pain and affected my personal life as well. My wife had to help me daily because I was simply in too much pain to do anything. I could feel myself becoming depressed and on the back of a referral I came to see Dr Gorelov.”

What happened at your initial consultation?

"Dr Gorelov checked my history and carefully examined me. He explained that the cervical spine is his special interest and he sees many patients with pain affecting the neck, shoulder, arm and head. He has an effective approach with conditions just like mine. He offered me a procedure under X-ray called cervical medial branch block together with exercises for the spine. It was a relief to hear that there is, in fact, an effective treatment. Dr Gorelov also explained that he would always aim for a sustained, long term resolution of the pain, not a few weeks or months of pain relief, and that I would not need to take pain medication. When I first met him I thought he’s a bit hard but in truth, he’s a really nice man.”

What was your experience like post-operation?

“It took about a week for my pain to die down. Since then I’ve been slowly recovering and I’d say I’m back to about 80% good. Soon I should be feeling 100% fit again! I couldn’t fault the hospital. The staff are great and so is the hospital itself. Everybody was really special!”

How has your life changed since?

“I’m back training in my gym now and playing golf again. Because I’m not on any heavy medication I can actually think straight for the first time in over a year. All the negative feelings I were having have disappeared as well!”

What advice would you give to others considering the same surgery?

“Just go and see Dr Gorelov!”

Meet the consultant

Dr Vladimir Gorelov is a Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia. He worked as a Visiting Instructor in Anaesthesiology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2003-2004. He specialises in Pain Medicine and sees patients with all types of spinal pain. He has a special interest in the cervical spine and complex headaches

Find out more about Dr Gorelov