The Better Way Back hosts second patient hike

The Better Way Back and NuVasive recently held the second NUVA Hike with a Patient event at Annie’s Canyon in Solana Beach, California. Throughout the year, shareowners will have the opportunity to meet a NuVasive patient, hear their story, and hike with them.

Over 30 Shareowners, friends, and family gathered for a hike, led by back patient, Jan Thomas. The San Diego chapter of Women in Spine also backed the event with a show of tremendous support as their first philanthropic investment into the community. At the trailhead, everyone circled around while Jan shared her own personal journey with back pain, surgery, and recovery.

Living with symptoms of degenerative disc disease for nearly 10 years, Jan grew accustomed to the way it limited her life. Fearing surgery, she rationalized that she could figure out how to live and work around it. However, as her condition deteriorated in early 2015, she decided to go with Dr. Bruffey’s recommendation for an XLIF procedure and laminectomy at L4-L5. Jan shared candidly, “I couldn’t stand to be in that amount of pain anymore.” Now fully recovered, she feels amazing emotionally and physically and hasn’t looked back. Jan continues to run her successful small business and selflessly supports many patients like herself in the spine community.

“I sometimes have to remind myself that I had surgery because I just feel so good”, said Jan.


Jan telling her story to the San Diego team.

This hike was a special opportunity to pause and celebrate the life that Jan is living! Jan expressed how grateful she is to NuVasive Shareowners for their daily work to transform patient lives like hers. Thanks to everyone who joined the hike!

Click here to learn more about The Better Way Back and their work to provide support and hope to those suffering from chronic back, leg, and neck pain.

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