When I was young, I was involved in all kind of activities such as tap, ballet, jazz and cheerleading. What I didn’t realize then was what damage I was doing to my back. At the age of 24 I had to have a microdiscectomy at L4-L5 and had to be off work for weeks. I did little rehab at that time and the doctors just told me to walk. As the years went on, I kept working, sitting at a desk and then eventually became a Medical Assistant working at hospitals and physician’s offices. I was lifting patients, bending over and picking up things, and walking. I did these things with pain in my lower back, nerve pain in legs going into the feet, and with numbness and tingling. I also experienced headaches and arm numbness and tingling, but I would just work through it, using a heating pad when I finally sat down at night. I was tired and not motivated after working 9-10 hours a day, but I had a family to take care of and just kept pushing through.
We moved around a lot for my husband’s corporate work and went to numerous physicians when the pain got bad. I tried physical therapy, spinal injections, pain management and chiropractor care. Sure, those things helped but I still had the pain and numbness. In 2007, I went to Virginia Spine Institute for the first time to see what they could do. It was determined that I needed surgery to repair the damaged discs. I told them that I wasn’t ready for surgery and I will let them know.
Fast forward 10 years to 2017 when we moved back to Virginia. This time, my husband told me that we were going to get me fixed. He said that I have lived with the pain long enough and it was time. I had to agree with him because I’m too young to not be able to live a quality of life. So, I made an appointment at Virginia Spine Institute and met Dr. Good and his team. The minute that we entered the clinic I felt relieved and calm. At our initial meeting I was between an 8/10 on the pain score scale. When I was marking up the paper on where my pain was, I couldn’t believe how everything hurt.
Dr. Good reassured us that he could help. He first prescribed physical therapy with Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center. We had x-rays and MRI’s done and when we reviewed them we found out I actually have a cervical disc herniation at C5-C6 that was pressing against the spinal cord! That explained the pain I was having in my arms, and possibly contributing to the headaches I was experiencing. I was primarily focused on my lower back up until that point, but Dr. Good recommended a cervical disc replacement first, then we would focus on the lower back after I had recovered. He did have me continue with physical therapy for my neck and lower back. This time, I had no hesitation to move forward with surgery for my neck. It went better than I could imagine and had immediate relief of my symptoms. I continued therapy as recommended and in September 2017 we went ahead the low back surgery. Dr. Good explained the procedure and we were ready to go. Again, no hesitation to get the second surgery. As before my symptoms were immediately relieved.
At Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center my physical therapist was amazing. I had explained my symptoms and the pain I felt daily, and even that I had stopped physical therapy in the past because it didn't seem to help. My therapist assured me that he could show me techniques that would relieve and strengthen my weak areas, and I was truly amazed that were able to relieve my symptoms! Needless to say, a year later and I am still going in for monthly check ups.
Each time I went to see Dr. Good and Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center I noticed that my pain and symptoms were going away. I started this journey with a pain score between 8-10 and now I have no pain. It is truly amazing how great I feel. I’m able to walk our dog without getting tired after 15 minutes, I am exercising 5 days a week to workout videos that I thought I could never do. My over health has improved, and my quality of life is back. It is so wonderful to wake up in the morning and not have any pain!!!!