Virginia has had back pain on and off since her mid-20s. But 10 years ago, her condition worsened until she couldn’t walk more than 150 feet or take her dog for a walk much past her next-door neighbors. She went to multiple other physicians but with no success or sustained relief. She endured 2 surgeries (one in 2011 and one in 2012) and saw some improvement, but in 2016, Virginia suffered another back injury. She went to PT but didn’t see much change, and she still was not able to walk any distance. She was still living with terrible pain and limited function. Then her surgeon suggested she see a pain clinic.
Virginia first came to Boston PainCare in January of 2017. She was seen by Dr. Silk on her intake and has worked with Dr. Bazoberry and Dr. Giblin from whom she received radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and trigger point injections. She has also met with Matt in Behavioral Health, and Dr. Counihan for Graston treatments and chiropractor adjustments.
In May 2017, Dr. Giblin recommended that Virginia join the Boston PainCare FAST Track class. Virginia stated: “Even though I had trouble in the class at first, the class is designed to accommodate each patient’s limitations so that everyone can be successful. Dr. Counihan made modifications that allowed me to participate fully in the class.” Over time, Dr. Counihan kept on challenging Virginia as her strength and stamina improved. In addition, Virginia’s treatment plan on the clinical side also evolved over time and adapted to her pain needs as they changed.
Now, after the past year of following her treatment plan and working in Dr. Counihan’s class, Virginia is happy to report that she is walking again! She regularly walks around Horn Pond in Woburn – almost a 2-mile hike! If she includes the lagoon, it’s 2 ½ miles. And she just came back from a trip to Maine where she often walked the beach (not easy to do on shifting sands). “Sometimes I need to sit for a minute or two,” says Virginia, “but then I’m good to go!”
“When I first came here, I could quickly go into a downward spiral when I hurt. Feeling good makes you feel good about life in general. Over the course of my 1 ½ years here, I’ve tried multiple treatments. Not all worked, but I didn’t give up, and now I feel like I have my life back!” When asked what words of hope could she give to her fellow chronic pain patients, Virginia said:
"Keep trying everything. And more importantly, try to look forward rather than back."