SPRINT PNS for low back pain
Janna Eubank was driving along an interstate near her hometown of Richmond, Virginia in 2015 just days before her 26th birthday when she saw a car stopped in the middle of her lane. She and other drivers tried to take the median, but before she knew it, she had hit the car in front of her. “I won’t say it was a ‘five-car pile-up’ exactly,” says Janna, who works as an advertising traffic coordinator for a group of TV stations, “but we all hit each other really hard.” Thankfully, no one was killed, but Janna ended up in the emergency center. Though she noticed her back was hurting, her attention was on her wrist. “I was thinking I had broken my wrist, but it turned out, it was just burned really bad from the airbag deployment.” The hospital did x-rays of both her wrist and back, but didn’t see anything concerning so they prescribed her some medication for the pain.
Years of trying to find relief
“I took the medication, but the back pain was still there, so I went to my regular doctor, who suggested I see a specialist,” Janna says. She ended up finding a pain specialist via Google, and thus began years of searching for a diagnosis.
In the meantime, Janna, whose apartment lease was ending, moved back home with her parents as she tried to get her pain under control. “I couldn’t do chores without a lot of pain, so I thought, I’ll move home for a couple of months, get this figured out, and then I’ll move back out.” “Well, those couple of months turned into two years because I couldn’t find the cause of my back pain,” explained Janna. She also had to give up a lot of the things she loved, such as travel, and going to museums, local breweries, and events because she couldn’t stand or walk for very long.
“There was a lot of sitting on my parent’s couch, I was very lucky they let me come home,” explained Janna.
Finally, a diagnosis
To figure out what was wrong with her back, she had MRIs, a bone scan, x-rays, and for pain, she had two radiofrequency nerve ablations, which burn off the nerve endings — all to no avail. “I lost count of the number of doctors I saw. Then, I finally found Dr. Michael DePalma of Virginia iSpine Physicians who said, ‘you know, your back pain is very consistent with an injured disc.’”
Dr. DePalma performed a discogram, a procedure where a dye is injected into the discs to show wear and tear that can then be seen via an x-ray or CT scan. “I didn’t really expect anything would come of it because all the other doctors were like, ‘We don’t know, here are some pills.’ But Dr. DePalma discovered my disc was torn, and I was like, ‘oh my god, you found it!’”
They tried a few more targeted medications, but they didn’t relieve Janna’s pain. That’s when Dr. DePalma’s office started looking for a clinical trial that might lead to something that would help, but it took a while to find one for which Janna was eligible. That clinical trial turned out to be for the SPRINT® PNS system.
And now, she has lasting relief since her procedure
Janna went through the 60-day SPRINT PNS treatment and compares the feeling to having an internal TENS unit. “It took about two weeks to really feel a difference as I played around with the system’s settings,” she says. “Soon, a couple of my coworker friends told me I seemed happier. I said to them, ‘yeah, because I’m not in constant pain. I’m not just sitting here wanting to die.’”
It’s been nearly three years since her treatment ended, and Janna still marvels at the difference it made in her life. She lives in her own apartment and is engaging in life again. “I actually flew on a plane a few months ago and I walk all around my neighborhood and don’t have to go home to sit on a heating pad afterward.” She also recently tried indoor rock climbing with some friends, which she loved and plans to do again.
“I don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for Dr. DePalma, Virginia iSpine Physicians, and that clinical trial. SPRINT really helped me and I didn’t think anything would help me, ever.” Janna explained