Dr. Katinka van der Merwe is making a difference in the lives of her patients suffering from chronic pain. As the daughter of a successful chiropractor, she became one herself and has treated patients across the U.S. and in more than 34 countries. Affectionately called “Dr. K” by her patients, she has gained a worldwide reputation for her vision and holistic approach to treating non-retractable pain syndromes and chronic pain. Since its founding in 2009, The Spero Clinic, a Fayetteville-based patient-care facility, continues to be the only clinic in the world specializing in the treatments of CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), and FMS (Fibromyalgia). By getting to the root cause of conditions and treating the body from the inside out, the Spero program combines the ancient philosophy that the body is powerful and magnificently intelligent with modern technology and techniques supporting that healing in a non-invasive way and breaking through healing barriers previously thought to be unbreakable. Recently, I sat down with Dr. Katrina van der Merwe, and below are highlights from our conversation.
Tell us about The Spero Clinic.
Our patients face immeasurable pain and have lost all hope of ever recovering trapped in a never-ending cycle of pain management through pharmaceuticals or implanted medical devices. Our approach starts with the philosophy that the human body, specifically the nervous system, is magnificently intelligent and capable of miraculous healing, if given the chance to function correctly. We use a system of fifteen non-invasive techniques and have an unprecedented success rate in making a difference for our patients where all other traditional treatments have failed. At Spero, we pride ourselves on being a true community healing environment for persons with invisible chronic pain syndromes.
What is Vagus Nerve Stimulation and how does it help?
People with chronic neurologic disorders also tend to suffer, by definition, from an underactive Vagus Nerve which is one of twelve pairs of Cranial Nerves that run directly from the brain to the body, instead of from the spinal cord. It is sometimes called the “wandering nerve” because it has multiple branches, and essentially, the cells of the immune system are being controlled directly by the Vagus Nerve. Through our system, we help restore proper function to this nerve which results in normalized function of the central nervous system. This helps keep the patient in a parasympathetic (calm) state, improving digestion, sleep and at the same time, allowing us to push fragile patients hard, which is necessary to bring about healing in these difficult cases.
What are the symptoms of CRPS, EDS, and FMS and what does The Spero Clinic do differently?
CRPS is also known as the suicide disease due to severe pain and its comorbid conditions. EDS affects connective tissue which can create chronic myofascial pain, and FMS is a chronic condition causing pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, tendons, and joints. Millions of people are suffering and are being cheated out of having a happy, healthy and qualify life. The Spero Clinic was founded to provide an alternative to traditional treatments so patients can avoid a life of prescriptions that have the potential to create new health problems through side effects. Through our non-invasive techniques and treatments of these three neurological diseases, we are making a difference for these patients who have had the thief of pain steal so much from them.
How can physicians, providers and patients learn more about The Spero Clinic?
Patients with severe chronic intractable pain may come to us directly and we encourage physicians and providers to contact us to learn more about what we do as a resource for their patients who suffer from incurable chronic pain diseases. We are reachable by phone, text, email and on social media which can be found on our Get Started page.
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