Symptoms: Chronic Nerve Inflammation of Sacrum and Coccyx - Age: 67
As a Registered Nurse working for a major insurance company, I have spent the last 10 years either sitting in a chair all day at a computer or flying across the country to deliver training to other nurses who will interact with consumers telephonically. Traveling and meeting new people was my favorite part of the job. But all of that came to an end in the first week of August 2012. I had had intermittent back spasms from prolonged sitting, but a week-long virtual seminar almost brought my professional and personal life to an abrupt end. I called my boss on the Monday after the seminar and told her she needed to train someone else to do what I did as quickly as possible, because I was in so much pain, I thought I would have to go out on medical leave or disability.
Because I had been training nurses on how to coach consumers who were experiencing recurring back pain or making a decision about whether to consider back surgery, I thought I knew just what to do. While continuing to travel 50% of the time or more, I undertook six months of chiropractic treatment supplemented by massage therapy. Despite cold laser, ultrasound, heat and adjustments, the pain in my sacrum and coccyx kept returning within two days of treatment.
I was successfully coping with the pain by wearing a TENS unit all day and all night, but I developed an allergic reaction to the adhesive on the electrodes.
At that point, I visited my primary care physician and requested a referral to a back clinic and prescriptions for pain, including 5 mg of hydrocodone and 100 to 200 mg of Lyrica.
Fibromyalgia was under consideration as a diagnosis, so I had a complete neurological workup, including a nerve conduction velocity test that ruled out diabetic neuropathy or any neurological disease. I asked for an orthopedist who worked with patients requesting conservative therapy, and got an MRI and a prescription for 7.5mg of Mobic.
When I visited the back clinic, I was unable to sit on any surface, no matter how soft. To avoid 8/10 pain in the sacral area, I either had to be lying down on a therapy table or standing up. The MRI results revealed no disc compression or significant pathology. It found a rotated sacrum and Tarlov cysts located on the sacrum. PT was focused on building core strength and attempting to rotate the sacrum to relieve muscular tetany in the left IT band. At that point, my activity limitations were no sitting for more than 10 minutes, no squatting, kneeling, stairs or crawling; no lifting of more than 10 pounds.
Because this effectively meant I could not do my job, I moved from the training delivery job to a curriculum development position.
Physical therapy and Mobic relieved about 50 to 60% of my pain, but I was still having frequent episodes of recurring pain that none of the medication could manage. Near the end of the last month of therapy, I found myself on a therapy table next to one of the miracles created by Interx therapy.
She told me her story about CRPS and how InterX recreated her ability to walk, relieved her of pseudo-seizures and made her fully functional again. I decided then and there to buy a machine or sign up for therapy, no matter what it took.
Having finally found the Interx Therapy Center, I discovered it was the only clinic in the US with multiple Interx devices for treatment all over the body simultaneously. As I had been told, for the first 10 visits, my problems were actually getting worse. At one point, I told my husband that I didn’t know how much “worse” I could handle before it started getting better. But within a week or two, I was seeing increasing flexibility, fewer episodes of increased pain, increased ability to fall asleep and stay asleep and relief from my Irritable Bowel Syndrome. At that point, I was in for the duration and bought my own device.
During November and December of 2013, I found myself doing things I hadn’t been able to do for years. Weeding flower gardens actually loosened the tetany in my left hip; pain episodes were rarely more than 4/10, I could sit for more than 10 minutes. Some days I could get my left leg lifted and turned so that I could see the bottom of that foot.
December was a revelation. I could sit on a hard wooden bench for an hour without any pain. I could sit in my softer office chair pretty much all day. I could fall asleep with ease anytime and anywhere. Just before Christmas, I caught myself skipping, doing Samba moves across the kitchen floor, and finally, after nearly two years, I could actually cross by left leg over my right leg into a lady-like position. The worst pain, usually brought about by a cold front moving in, created only 2/10 pain in my knees, one ankle and the sacrum. During this time period, I was able to discontinue the Mobic, the Hydrocodone and the Desipramine for my IBS.
In November, I took a pleasure trip by air and discovered that I could travel again, but not as much as 50%. Lifting heavy bags and twisting to put them in a car trunk seemed to provoke the worst discomfort, but treating with the Interx unit helped to return me to a pain free state. Once the big climate shifts settle down near the end of February, I will be attempting to wean myself off the Lyrica and plan to be taking no drugs for pain at all.
Being a clinician, I have never placed a lot of credence in “Woo Woo” technologies that did not have substantial clinical evidence that they were efficacious in the majority of cases. Having been through the Interx program, I stand corrected. Interx therapy has changed my life so that I can attend movies or go out to eat without carrying a bulky memory foam pillow to sit on.
This is a non-invasive, highly effective treatment for pain that also solves problems with function and with organs. It is my belief that the only thing that pulled me back from having to go out on disability is the 24 InterX treatments twice a week.
As good as I feel, I will probably seek additional touch-up treatments in 2014 to maintain my best function and pain level. Thank you, Janice and Annette, for giving my life back!