My low back injury occurred in 2000 as a result of lifting a very heavy piece of farm equipment and stepping down off of a trailer with it on my shoulders. I was 23 years old at the time and up until that point had thought I was invincible. The pain was immediate and felt like electricity shooting from my low back down my legs. I was diagnosed with a collapsed L5/S1 disc and a herniated L4/L5 disc and it took me several months to get the pain to a manageable level.
As the years went on, I had to manage the pain through a combination of physical therapy and epidural steroid injections. Every 4 to 6 months the nerves in my low back would get inflamed, generally triggered by doing something as routine as bending down to pick up one of my kids’ toys. Once an episode like this occurred, I would be bed-ridden until I could get my next steroid injection. Recovery was also slow, and it would take up to 2 months before I was able to return to my normal activities. This cycle continued for 15 years, until the point where the steroid injections were no longer providing much relief.
At the age of 38, I was considering having spinal surgery since my quality of life was so poor, however Dr. Nguyen talked with me about the success that other patients were having with stem cell therapy. I decided that I would give it a shot before taking the plunge with surgery. The stem cell procedure was very simple, and was quickly injected into my two damaged discs. My level of pain rapidly diminished over the course of the three weeks following my procedure, to the point where I was completely pain free for the first time in 15 years. The ability for my body to heal itself with my own stem cells was remarkable. As a result, I’ve been able to do things that I never thought were possible again and have been able to enjoy a much more active lifestyle. In fact, just six months after my procedure I was running a 5K with my daughter. The care and support of Dr. Nguyen and Virginia Spine Institute has been life changing!