Upright MRI Reveals Back Pain that Doctors Missed

Poly Roker had back pain since she was a child, and back doctors insisted she was okay. But after an Upright MRI showed her discs compressing on her nerves, she is now pain free.



I work as a biologist and worked for 37 years as a wildlife biologist. I have had back pain going back to high school. I can remember even in high school, in Physical Education, tumbling and things like that I had back issues. Everywhere I’ve lived I’ve always gone to a chiropractor. I’ve lived in several places and I’ve had maybe six or seven different chiropractors that have helped keep me in line and help with my back issues.

But within the last few years it got to the point that nothing seemed to help. I really looked at having back surgery but I have heard many times you don’t want anyone to operate on your back because they never can get it right and doomed to more pain so I bought into that fear. Then when it got so bad, not only was my primary care physician giving me low level pain medication and that got to the point it wasn’t helping a whole lot. Then I got radiating pain, then I realized I’ve got to do something.


I have heard many times you don’t want anyone to operate on your back because they never can get it right and doomed to more pain so I bought into that fear.

It was a God kind of thing...I stopped to buy tomatoes one day and this lady was there, we got to talking about tomatoes and farming. She said her husband loves gardening but just couldn’t do it so he had back surgery. I thought good Lord he’s older than I am! I asked what kind of problems he had. She told me about the same symptoms I had. I said I’ve been thinking a lot about surgery, she said honey you need to get it taken care of. So I thought this was a little “nudge.”


So I started making a list of doctors I would see, and I picked the doctors that other people recommended. I say shopping because I literally shopped around. My philosophy is that you shop for a car, for groceries...you better shop for a doctor too if it’s something serious. A cold or sinus infection is one thing but when somebody’s going to open you up and do radical work you need to shop. Because you graduate from medical school and are board certified that doesn’t make you a good doctor. That’s what you’re looking for, a good doctor.


I visited three doctors, all three with different diagnoses. One looked at an old X-ray I had and said I don’t see anything here but osteoarthritis. Go home and take two Aleve’s in the evening and morning. Then I saw another doctor, he took an X-ray and in 30 minutes he examined me, came out with a little piece of paper about the size of a baseball card. Very murky like it had been copied, and said I had a compressed nerve root. I thought well I can’t see anything there.


Then I finally came to Dr. McCord. He put me through all these sophisticated tests...an upright MRI, that I have never heard of. I’m in the biological area and I have never heard of that. But it makes sense if your back is hurting when you’re standing that’s where they need to be taking the scans. We did that and a discogram because the insurance companies put the hiatus on those.


After several months finally he had a diagnosis. He put up all these pictures on a wall, covered half the wall. He had a picture of all my vertebrae, the lateral, medial, dorsal, ventral...all parameters of those vertebrae was on the wall. He pointed to an area and said “You have two bad discs right here.” He pointed to them and I could see it. I’m not in the medical field but I could even look at and see what he was talking about.


From that we had surgery the 19th of December. The surgery itself, and Dr. McCord will tell you that it’s an extreme surgery, going in the front and back of you. It’s a serious surgery so it’s going to require a healing process. When you wake up obviously you’re in pain, in the hospital you’ll have an IV that will control the pain and you’re fine. When you go home you’ve got oral medication but there is a lot of pain, but if you keep focused on the results, you can get through this.


If you just do what they tell you. His nurses and staff are such a great support system. They really do. They know what they’re doing and if you will do exactly like they tell you, you will really do well. I went back to work January part time, and by February I was working full time and still working full time. Each month it gets better, there was a little pain starting off but it gets better and better. I’m really pleased with it, and I would recommend Dr. McCord and have recommended him to many people.