Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas,
Diagnosis: Degenerative Joint Pain
Treated May, 2015
On any given day, 38-year-old Erika can be found caring for her three children—ages 11, 9 and 4. After years of having young ones take up residency on her right hip, it wasn’t surprising when Erika eventually started to feel a dull, nagging pain in her right shoulder. She didn’t think anything of it for a while until the discomfort started impacting her quality of life.
Erika’s decision to face her discomfort head-on with Okyanos Cell Therapy is a prime example of how proactively addressing the relatively early signs of joint pain can help prevent a very serious issue from developing later down the line.
Years of Strain Takes It Toll
The first warning sign came while Erika was working out at the gym. “I like to work out with kettle bells and it just got to a point where it would hurt,” she explains. “My range of motion in my right shoulder was just really bad… I could raise my left arm up and my arm would touch my ear. But my right arm was probably 5 inches from my ear… I just couldn’t get it to go there.”
For Erika, the pain came as a surprise. “There wasn’t one particular injury,” she says, reflecting on her younger years as a cheerleader and dancer and the gradual wear and tear.
The pain got so bad that Erika, who is normally dedicated to health and fitness, was forced to cut back on her workouts. It being impossible to completely stop using her shoulder, the pain continued to bother her. “I don’t know exactly what injured it other than always carrying around 3 heavy kids, sitting in the car… always having to reach back in the backseat with that right arm to give the kids something,” she says. “My shoulder was stiff and I always felt a dull ache.”
Soon, her left knee also became a problem, giving her pain and discomfort when she would try to bend down or squat.
Okyanos Cell Therapy Offers a Solution to Joint Pain
Erika soon began searching for solutions that aligned with her belief that the body can heal itself. “I tried, on my own, a few physical therapy exercises but it just hadn’t corrected. It was starting to become so painful that I wasn’t really able to even work out.”
At this point, Okyanos was presented to her as an option. “The idea of healing your body with your own body is what intrigued me,” she explains. From there, her journey to Freeport began.
Upon landing in the Bahamas, Erika felt a surge of renewed purpose: she was going to fight the pain, and she was going to win. But at Okyanos, the battle happened inside her body while her outside surroundings gave Erika a sense of relief and tranquility.
“Everything was taken care of and they sent me anything that I would need ahead of time,” she says. “They helped to arrange the hotel, the driver, the garments that I would need to wear afterwards… We booked our own airfare but they even had someone who was willing to help with that.”
“They even had a cell phone which is really nice. Pre-programmed in there was the nurse, the doctor and the driver so anything and everything you wanted was really taken care of,” she says. “It was a really nice way to be able to stay in touch with my kids and not have to worry about international data use.”
Concierge Medical Facility
“When we got there, I was just really blown away with everything,” she says. “It was very well organized. We got there and they were ready for us and the facility is beautiful, state-of-the-art. I didn’t really know what to expect. Everything is first-class. In my mind I knew it would be, but I just didn’t have anything to base it on because I’ve never been inside a medical facility in the Bahamas.”
“In the states, the one-on-one care is lacking, whereas at Okyanos the nurse to patient ratio is really high—that was nice because I felt like we were the only people there,” she adds.
A Fully Individualized Treatment Approach
Though Erika initially looked at cell therapy as an option for her joint pain, the more she learned about how stem cells work she became interested in the potential benefits beyond orthopedic issues. After talking with the Okyanos team, it was decided that IV cell infusion would be added to her individual plan of care.
“I just went with the idea of fixing my shoulder, but I was intrigued by all of the health benefits of IV treatment,” she says.
Gradually Getting Better and Better
Knowing that each patient’s recovery timeline and resulting benefit may be completely unlike another’s, Erika wasn’t sure what exactly she should expect in the weeks following her procedure. At about the 6-week mark she says she started to notice major changes beginning with her shoulder.
“There was a period where I didn’t really even notice my shoulder, but then all of a sudden I realized wow—I haven’t had any pain in about 5 days, and that was the biggest thing for me. It used to be just a nagging, dull ache all the time,” she explains.
After that, Erika and her husband were astonished at the way the improvements continued. “I could barely lift my arm before; I hadn’t really been able to move or use it and now it’s gradually getting better and better. My range of motion is 85-90% better,” she shares.
Along with significant reductions to pain in her knee and shoulder as well as restored range of motion and function in her arm, Erika says she can once again squat down to her children’s level and can get back to some of the workouts she loves.
“I’m able to work out with my arm now. The other day I put weight on it and I was able to actually hold my own body weight in a plank without it hurting whereas before I would have to quit.”
Exceeding Erika’s Expectations
The benefit Erika has gotten from cell therapy stretches beyond her joints and range of motion, and she is happily sharing an added benefit with those around her.
“I’ve had a surge of energy that I didn’t have before,” she says, noting that she is considering stem cell therapy for her elderly grandfather. “I just feel more youthful and more energy, a mental clarity almost. I have a sharpness to my mind that I didn’t have before.”
She also shares some advice to patients like her—relatively young, active adults who enjoy a busy life yet are getting to be restricted by early signs of orthopedic problems:
“If you have the time and availability to do this, it’s definitely something you should do. It’s minimally invasive, you’re not going through a major surgery and it’s giving your body the opportunity to heal itself.”
“If you’re not able to walk for a long period of time or you can’t throw the ball with your kids or exercise which makes you feel young and healthy and stay active—it’s depressing. Your quality of life goes down as your mobility goes down.
“If you can get to the Bahamas and get this specialized treatment, it is definitely worth it. You really can’t put a price tag or a time limit on having your mobility back and the ability to do all your day-to day activities.”
“You just can’t put a price tag on that.”