Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease
Treated at Okyanos March, 2016
After more than 3 decades as a teacher and a lengthy career as a master gardener and landscape designer, Barbara’s back pain had crept into every aspect of her life. Unable to drive or sleep, she turned to adult stem cell therapy for spine issues which were steadily worsening.
From Burning Pain to Zumba and Gardening
“I was an elementary school art teacher for 35 years in New York. I bent over the small classroom desks a lot which I is what I think led to lower back pain beginning about 20 years ago. By the time I had moved to Florida in late 2015 I was in chronic pain from my head to my feet. It was so bad I could barely drive and I slept in a recliner. I needed a new car but instead I got a ‘new body’ at Okyanos—and I am so glad I did!
“When I first noticed the lower back pain I got an MRI and the doctor told me I had degenerative disc disease. I went from clinic to clinic in New York looking for relief. I tried chiropractors, physical therapy and acupuncture. Nothing really helped for long. After retiring from teaching I became a master gardener and landscape designer and also had a floral business. I am a very active person but about 5 years ago I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. As my doctor described it, my back had ‘shut down,’ leading to an intrusion on my nerves at L2, L3, L4, L5.
“After I moved to Brevard County, I went for MRIs in Vero Beach. My lumbar spine showed degenerative spondylolisthesis at all levels. There was burning pain to my right leg and foot as well as tingling at the bottom of the right foot. It felt ice cold. It was so bad I could barely drive. My cervical spine (neck) MRI showed disc protrusions at multiple levels with a flattening of the spinal cord at C4/5 and C5/6. I had pain and stiffness in my neck radiating to shoulders and head, and the only way I could sleep was in recliner. I had tried a couple of epidurals but they had short lasting relief. I reacted poorly to pain meds like gabapentin and did not like the idea of those anyway so stayed with natural solutions and just endured the pain.
“I began looking at stem cells as an alternative to surgery as I knew spine surgery was risky and had a high failure rate. I went to two seminars of local stem cell clinics but when I went to the Okyanos seminar given by Dr. Moira Dolan, halfway through I just knew Okyanos was for me. I had a consult with Dr. Dolan the following day and arrived at Okyanos about a month later. My procedure included direct injections in the cervical spine and lower lumbar as well as an IV of my stem cells. After about a week my lower back was better and after two weeks my neck stopped hurting.
“I am now back to gardening, art, Zumba, driving and sleeping in a regular bed. My neck and lower back are pain free. I have also noticed my skin is more supple. Occasionally, I can get a bit of sciatica particularly in cold weather but it is so much better than before as it doesn’t limit me. I have even seen more improvement in the past few months and feel I will see more in the future.
“Okyanos was excellent. It is a state-of-the-art facility. The nurses were wonderful and completely attentive—I was never unattended. The doctors were very informative and Dr. Burton, the anesthesiologist, was charming. I am 100% pleased.”
The Power of Your Own Stem Cells for Spine Care
In some cases where patients no longer find conventional orthopedic treatments to be effective or acceptable, stem cell therapy presents a viable option for care. To learn more about whether treatment with your own stem cells for spine conditions is appropriate for your situation, request a private educational consultation with our medical team.