"It was the same thing," Juan says. "I wasn't able to walk."
The injury left Juan unable to work, too. His situation was getting desperate.
"I was willing to try just about anything to get rid of the pain or help alleviate it in some way," he says.
He'd tried acupuncture in the past. It wasn't a great experience and it didn't do much to help him. But then he went to see Yoon Hang "John" Kim, MD, in the integrative health program at The University of Kansas Health System.
Dr. Kim uses a neuroanatomical approach to pain, a science-based application of acupuncture.
"It was kind of nerve wracking. Putting needles into you is something that nobody wants," Juan says. "But Dr. Kim did a good job of keeping me calmed down and letting me know what was going on."
He said the procedure started with some minor discomfort while the needles were being placed.
"You'll notice it. It'll make you, like, flinch a bit," he says.
But once those needles were in, the procedure wasn't uncomfortable at all.
It is really effective, which is why I kept coming back. – Juan
"They want you to relax and just kind of be present in the moment," he says. "They tell you not to get on your phone or do anything like that. The way they explained it to me, it kind of tricks your brain in some way."
The results were remarkable. Juan says his lower back pain got better almost immediately.
"I was thinking the whole time that it might help, maybe a little bit," he says. "It helped a lot."
Juan was soon able to go back to work and his lower back pain has stayed away. But he returned for additional acupuncture sessions to deal with some other minor pain issues.
"It is really effective, which is why I kept coming back," he says. "It felt drastically better every time."
Just a few weeks after he had been unable to even walk, he felt good enough to go mountain biking in Colorado.
Juan says other people with pain should consider the treatments he had. He advises others to ask questions, learn about the process with an open mind and give it a try. That's what he did – and he's now a believer.
"You see a benefit to it," he says. "I'll definitely use it again for sure if I need it."
This story is part of a series of interviews with patients who agreed to share their experiences in the integrative health clinic. Call 913-588-6208 to make an appointment with Dr. Kim or another member of our team.