My injury started as a herniated disc (L4/L5) in September 2006 at the age of 18, a month into my freshman year of college. I was on the swim team and was determined to not let my injury interfere with my athletics or academics. I never had much back pain, but my left leg/sciatic nerve, foot, and hip were constantly in pain/tingling and the initial round of drugs, rest, and core strengthening prescribed did nothing for it. I returned to swimming within a week, which was the only thing that gave me any sort of relief. I developed many biomechanical compensations and imbalances over the first year in order to keep swimming at a high level with the amount of pain I was enduring, which eventually caused its own set of pains to develop, especially in my hip and SI joint.
Over the first 4 years, I had five injections which did not seem to help and caused new symptoms. I saw two chiropractors, tried traction and many types of painkillers, saw six different physical therapists who practiced a wide range of different methods, had a nerve conduction study and EMG that showed no nerve damage (even though I couldn’t feel the needles sticking into my muscles), had three MRIs, and saw five different doctors, all of whom said my MRI didn’t look bad enough to warrant surgery. The doctors stated I should just keep doing conservative treatments (even though they weren’t working). Multiple doctors and PTs gave up on me after my first visit, and the drugs never did anything for me besides give me miserable side effects, so I didn’t continue taking them.
My PT finally diagnosed me with RSD, giving her the idea of trying the InterX Device. They have some devices at their clinic, but neither she nor any of the other PTs in that clinic were trained in using it with chronic pain patients. Regardless, I almost immediately started to have my first real reversals in nerve symptoms, I started to be able to maintain my posture while decreasing time spent doing PT exercises, the SI joint pain that I had struggled with for years disappeared entirely, my flare-ups became less frequent, and I could bend my back enough to sleep on my stomach for the first time in almost 8 years!
After 2-3 months of guessing how to treat me, my PT found Janice Walker, OT, InterX Therapy Center in Dallas, Texas, who very graciously agreed to guide us from a distance. While I have never met Janice in person, she has been incredibly helpful, and my progress has soared since she began helping us in August 2014. After speaking with Janice the first time, I was completely overwhelmed with everything she told me about the treatment and the whole recovery process, but for the first time in years, I was filled with hope that I could make a full recovery.
It took another flare-up of my pain, but I finally got there and my progress has rapidly increased. I still have constant nausea, pain and tingling, and I still get minor flare-ups from some daily activities such as sitting, but both the intensity and the number of pain symptoms have decreased dramatically and things calm down much more quickly after being aggravated. I feel like I’m still continuing to make huge strides with each round of treatments, and I’m confident that I will make it to a pain-free state!
After spending a third of my life in intense pain, I’ve forgotten what a “normal” leg feels like, so it’s difficult to put into words how much progress I’ve made. I often realize after a treatment that a pain is gone that I didn’t know was there to begin with because it had been there so long. My tingling has decreased through my whole leg and foot, my leg no longer constantly has a heavy/achy/tired feeling that makes it hard to stand or walk, my hip feels stronger and more stable, my nausea is improving, I’m no longer constantly completely stressed out, overwhelmed, and exhausted, my sleep is improving and when I do wake up at night, I no longer have my horrible hip pain that makes me want to rip my leg out of its socket. I used to get an intense shooting pain in my leg and hip if I stood still for more than 30 seconds, but I can now stand for hours without that pain, and when it does flare-up, I now have the tools I need to calm things back down almost immediately. My foot doesn’t feel trapped anymore when I wear shoes. My leg is less restless, feels less dead, and feels like it’s part of my body again (except when it occasionally feels too GOOD to be mine!). I no longer get flare-ups of pain and a chill down my leg or even my entire left side whenever I get stressed, nervous, anxious, or scared. My muscles are learning how to work again and don’t heed excessive reminders throughout the day – instead of 2 hours of PT daily, I’m down to one or two 5-minute exercises daily to help me maintain my posture. I have the energy and motivation to do things that I enjoy again. My list of improvements could go on and on… even things that seem unrelated have improved – my vision seems clearer, the ringing and pressure in my ears has decreased in intensity and frequency, and I can think clearly for the first time in years.
While the process of healing has been incredible, it has not been easy. The InterX treatments are really rough on my body and I leave each session feeling completely mentally and physically drained of energy, shaky, nauseous, dizzy, lightheaded, dehydrated, mentally spacey, and/or with a throbbing headache, but I also usually leave with an indescribably amazing feeling in my leg and with the biomechanical imbalances that I have been working frustratingly hard to correct for years completely melted away. The side effects eventually fade and the relief obtained in the long run from the treatments is completely worth it. The relief still begins fading after a few weeks, but it’s starting to persist for longer, and my pain doesn’t build back up to the same level it was previously. I’m honestly shocked at the amount of progress I’ve made over the past year, especially since most of the other treatments I’ve tried have only made me worse. The InterX is not masking the pain or even just treating symptoms; it feels like my body is actually permanently healing for the first time since my original injury almost 9 years ago.
I’ve realized that the InterX is an incredibly powerful tool and I never could have made this much progress without it, but I credit my recovery to many other factors as well. Janice’s holistic approach to healing has taught me that everything is connected, so I’ve committed myself to recovering by cutting out all processed foods from my diet, learning to control and decrease stress, improving my sleep habits, continuing my daily PT, plus adding in new things like Pilates, yoga, and barre-relief from the InterX has allowed me to do activities such as these without flaring up my pain, which has increased my strength, mobility, and flexibility, which in turn has decreased my pain even more. After spending 7-8 years unable to do much with my lower body, my legs had become noticeably weaker, but I’m finally starting to feel like I have muscles again and my legs and hip feel stronger and more functional than they have in years.
I am thankful beyond words to have been connected with Janice and to have finally found what seems to be a solution to my pain. I trust Janice and the InterX completely and have realized that Janice is always right, even when things sound crazy at first. I cannot say enough good things about her, as she has selflessly helped me through so many questions and has taught me so much from 1,000 miles away – she even helped me to more quickly recover from a nasty case of poison ivy! If you are willing to put in the effort to recover, I have no doubt that Janice and treatment with the InterX can help with ANY problems!