Carol Ellis has trained horses, taught barrel racing clinics and competed in barrel racing for more than 40 years. As a self–employed business owner, she works hard, teaching from March through October. She also competes three to four weekends a month from February through November. Now, at age 69, she’s still not ready to quit moving despite a car accident 20 years ago. The accident accelerated her back pain.
“I got t–boned. Until then, my back pain was not that bad,” she explains.
After the car wreck, Ellis saw a pain management specialist, Dr. Thomas Boylan, for several years until he was sadly killed in a hot air ballooning accident. For two years, she went to several other physicians, but it was not until a friend recommended the Center for Spine and Orthopedics that she found one she liked—Dr. George Leimbach.
“When I told Dr. Leimbach that I wanted the same protocol that Dr. Boylan had used, he said, ‘Okay,’” explains Ellis. “He understood what I did. I’ve been seeing him for 10 years.”
During that time, she has taken some falls and experienced wear and tear on her spine. “When you’re around horses, you have a lot of accidents,” she says. “It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” you’re going to get injured.”
In 2011, Ellis was hit by a car, causing internal bruises, a concussion, broken ribs and neck pain. “I was no match for an Avalanche,” says the Berthoud resident. “But Dr. Leimbach took really good care of me. He is the smartest person I’ve ever met and so empathetic. I really like him. You want the smartest dude in the world if he’s messing around with your spine.”
In 2012, Ellis underwent spinal fusion to relieve her low back pain. “Most of my friends had already had surgeries, but I was able to avoid spine surgery for 17 years, thanks to Dr. Leimbach,” says Ellis.
Since her back surgery, Ellis has continued to see Dr. Leimbach. She has nerve blocks in her back once or twice a year and most recently received platelet–rich plasma (PRP) for a sore shoulder—the one she throws hay with. Approximately once a month, Dr. Leimbach administers trigger point injections in her neck and/or lower back. The injections relieve headaches related to whiplash suffered in the auto accident or back and hip pain due to her activities. “He’s a magician,” says Ellis. “If it were not for Dr. Leimbach, I would not be able to do my job. He keeps me moving. I think he’s an absolute genius.”
Barrel racing is a physically demanding sport, along with saddling, grooming and riding horses. It takes a lot of leg, core and upper body strength. The day to day demands of running a horse boarding business also keep Ellis moving, lifting, toting, and pushing. Though she weighs only 100 pounds, Ellis often lifts more than 50 pounds.
To keep her moving, Ellis also sees a chiropractor, massage therapist, and other medical professionals, but says that Dr. Leimbach is the head of Team Carol. “He has never suggested I quit,” she says. “He’s just great!”
For an appointment with Dr. Leimbach, call 303-287-2800.