Linda’s story

Linda participates in the feasibility study.

My back pain started 32 years ago after giving birth to my oldest son. I thought at the time that back pain must be part of bearing children. I went to see a doctor, who took X-rays but did not see anything to worry about, so I did not do anything about it; did not even take medication apart from an occasional painkiller to get on with it. I just kept working.

Then, about ten years ago, my back pain became so bad that I could hardly walk anymore. I went to see a doctor who took another set of “plates” but could not do anything else for me. I continued to experience this pain and eight years later, I went to see another doctor who advised physiotherapy with exercise machines, two series of 32 sessions each, but that did not help. I was then referred to a pain clinic where I got injections in my back; that did not help either.

Nothing worked, the pain still remained. It took forever for me to get out of bed in the morning and being limited in my daily activities made me grumpy; I always had to sit or lie down quickly to lower the pain, or take pain killers. I could not do anything anymore. I could not vacuum; I could not play with our grandchildren. I still did my work at the deli the best I could but took one pain killer after the next even before I started. Bending over to reach products in the cooling counter became almost impossible for me.

About two years ago I visited another doctor who suggested I participate in a clinical study; “only if you want – no obligations of course” he said. He explained that it was using a little box to stimulate activation of the muscles in the lower back. He asked a lot of questions and did tests and I thought it was worth trying.

As the device is implanted under the skin, I got a remote control to activate it.

I started the program, switching the device on in the morning and the evening, each time 20 minutes. I would describe it as delivering vibrations to the back muscles; it felt really good and sometimes, I fell asleep while delivering the treatment. It is very pleasant.

Very quickly I began to feel a difference and my pain was improving. The pain is measured on a scale from 0 to 10 and at the start I had pain intensity of around 8 or 9 on that scale. Then after a couple of months it was better, I would say 4 or 5, and after half a year or so it was at 0. Now, a year and a half later, I am still at 0. No pain whatsoever.

At home, my husband and children are happy because I stopped whining about my pain. I can play with my grandchildren; I can go on bike rides which I could not before. Compare that to sitting on your knees on the floor or having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning. That’s no life wouldn’t you say? This has really changed my life.