Atlanta, GA | IFBB Pro Eileen Wells' Comeback Story | Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta

Eileen's supreme fitness was quickly taken away by spine problems in 2014. This is Eileen's comeback story after the decision to use her own stem cells and platelets to treat her condition.

Transcription

Eileen Wells: I love being better than I was yesterday and constant growth. One of my favorite sayings is you're either green and growing or ripe and rotting and I very much believe in perpetual growth. Mind, body and soul. I am in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and there is a fitness division. In that division, we have a two minute routine that exhibits our personality and we're judged on endurance, flexibility, strength and our overall performance. I competed in the pro level in 2013 and then I got injured in 2014.

Eileen Wells: I had a herniated disc in S1-L5 and then above S1-L5 was another bulging disc in L4-L5. And then above that was a cyst in my facet joint. And couldn't work out, couldn't do my sponsorship. I'm sponsored by Muscle Egg and it was hard to even lift a gallon jug and pour samples. Tried the traditional medicine route and it didn't help at all. It was extremely expensive and didn't help. Before that I did a ton of massage therapy, chiropractic work, aqua therapy. I did do anti-inflammatories, and then anti-inflammatories are kind of counterproductive because they stop the blood flow from getting to the injured area. And so really it's not helping you at all. It's just a Band-Aid. And so, it actually prolongs the recovery process. But without the anti-inflammatories, my legs, it was hard to walk. And then so you go to bed and hope that the next day you're in less pain and you're not. After a period of time you don't really want to be around yourself, much less the people around you. I'm sure, probably suffered with me, especially my husband. It damages you more mentally than physically for sure.

Eileen Wells: And I remember going to my third back surgeon and saying, "What do I do?" And he said, "Listen, if you were my sister, I would tell you to do anything besides surgery." Carol Semple, Miss. Fitness Olympia, she is the one that told me about stem cell injections and Regenexx therapy. I had brought in my MRI and they said I was a good candidate for platelet rich plasma injections. So I did PRP first and that actually got me off prescription drugs and anti-inflammatories. After that, we did our second round of PRP and stem cell injections. So they used the bone marrow in my hip to get the stem cells and extract them and then re-injected them into my spine.

Eileen Wells: I had it in September, and so it's May now. I was able to walk, up and down stairs within 10 days. When I first started physical therapy again after the stem cell injections, I could only hold a plank for about five seconds, and now I can do one arm pushups again and stuff. Your mind will deteriorate as soon as your body starts slowing down for sure. And so I've... Mind, body, soul, perpetual growth, I very much want to do whatever I can to stay active.