A device to relieve severe lower back pain effectively helped a patient who says it enabled her to return to marathon running.
Just over a decade ago, Kate Riley had a busy job and vibrant social life and ran marathons. That came to a halt after she developed a kidney problem, which did not respond to antibiotics and resulted in nerve damage — leaving her with severe lower back pain. “It literally changed my life. I could not do anything I wanted to do,” says Kate, 36. “Running was out of the question. I could just about walk, but I was in ridiculous amounts of pain.”
Navigating the pain pathway
Having little success with current NHS treatments, she was referred to Dr Vivek Mehta, a consultant in pain medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. Initial treatment consisted of nerve block medication (Botox). “But then ReActiv8 happened,” says Kate. The ReActiv8 implant was fitted in the lower left side of her back in July 2017 and works by stimulating the nerves that connect to the multifidus muscles, which have a significant role in stabilising the spine. Once the muscles are reconditioned, the patient feels better.
Prior to ReActiv8, I had numerous days off
work, but I have not had a day off since.
How ReActiv8 works
By October, she was walking properly again. “From then on, it felt like I was back to my normal life,” says Kate. “In April 2018, I ran the London Marathon and had zero pain.” The device, which remains in her back, is activated by a remote-controlled sensor. “For 10 seconds, it feels like a deep tissue massage for my spine and then relaxes it for 20 seconds and does that for 30 minutes twice a day.”
Returning to normal life
Kate is again enjoying an active social and work life and is planning more marathons and sporting challenges. “Prior to ReActiv8, I had numerous days off work, but I have not had a day off since. Before, I thought I was going to be in pain for the rest of my life,” she adds, recommending it to people experiencing severe back pain. “For me, it is a miracle cure.”
Patients should consult with their physician to discuss whether ReActiv8 is appropriate for them. Individual patient results may vary.