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APM Spine & Sports Physicians

Success Stories

"After 40 years of living my adventurous dream life of mountain hiking, skiing, roller blading, biking, and dressage riding, I experienced a series of 3 devastating accidents within a 3 year period. Injuries included head trauma with amnesia spinal cord injury, neck, thoracic and low back injuries. Thus began a saga of nucleoplasty and rib resection surgeries, epidural injections, chiropractic, acupuncture, you name it.

Fast forward 20 years and my back had become rather frozen with limited flexibility even though I continued to swim, bike, walk and practice self care through massage, hydrotherapy, chiropractic and meditation. I had heard about Dr. Lisa Barr from many friends who have benefited from her expertise.

What a great gift to be referred into her care! Her magic hands, experience and knowledge, combined with her intuitive and practiced osteopathic adjustments gave me an immediate improvement and my body responded by opening up, loosening up and releasing a long held rigidity. I am so excited and optimistic about the comfort and flexibility I am experiencing and grateful to have found a practitioner who heals with her heart.

Thank you Dr. Barr. No I'm off to yoga for the first time in two decades!


The surgeon I saw for my back sent me to Dr. Levi for an injection for my sciatica. Dr. Levi spent a lot of time figuring out the problem. He discovered it wasn’t my back after all but a bad hip. He did a hip injection to confirm this. He sent me to a hip orthopedist and I have new hip now and no pain. They were going to operate on my back. Thanks Dr Levi for making sure I did not have the wrong operation.


Thanks Dr. Levi. You showed me on the MRI how pinched the nerves were. Your injection worked great. 2 years and I am still doing perfectly.


I had terrible neck and arm pain. Dr. Levi performed an epidural steroid injection. I could tell he got it in the right spot. The pain was gone immediately. I am finally back playing softball.


I was sent to Dr. Levi by another doctor who wanted him to inject me at a certain place in my back. He was so thorough. He figured out the exact problem. He didn’t think I needed a shot. He sent me for a special type of exercise therapy and my pain is gone!


I came in to Dr. Levi’s office bent over and could barely move because of my back spasms. He gave me an injection in my back and it was like a miracle. It is still doing great 6 months later. Now I am seeing him for my knee and my shoulder.


I have had neck pain for years. I had tried everything. I saw Dr Levi at APM and he did an injection into the joints in my neck with steroid. That lasted about a year. We tried it again when the pain came back. It only lasted a few weeks. He did a test to see if burning the nerves that go to the joints would work. It did and I had the nerves burned. It has been life changing! I can work out again. I am so much happier. Thanks Dr. Levi!


My surgeon sent me to Dr Levi to avoid an operation on my back. I had a cyst in my back from the arthritis hitting a nerve. He gave me two shots and burst the cyst. I am pain free. I can’t believe it.


After a long-standing, painful hip, Dr. Levi suggested PRP. I'm 6 weeks post-injection (procedure) and already feel 50%-75% better.

M.B. (Patient)

"I suffered from chronic bursitis in both hips and received multiple injections to relieve the pain. I agreed to have PRP on both of the tendons in my hips, with the hope of strengthening them and eliminating the bursitis. I have been bursitis pain free since that time! PRP worked for me and I recommend it to others. Thank you Dr. Levi and APM!!"

K.W. (Patient)

I had terrible pain, including nerve pain, that would prevent me from living a full and complete life. After an MRI, it was discovered that I had tears on both hamstring tendons at the ischial tuberosity attachments. Dr. Levi and Sara Tyszko changed my life with the PRP procedure performed on me. I feel so grateful for their expertise and caring. They and their staff are wonderful.

C.Z. (Patient)

Dr.Spear and staff,

I want to convey a heartfelt thank you for your help with my herniated disc in my back. The shots you gave me helped me to avoid surgery, and I am very appreciative.

I am also grateful for the kindness you showed me during this scary period of my life – all of the staff there were very nice to me and understanding of my fear.

Thank you for helping me through this.

J.F. (Patient)

Chronic Shoulder pain had plagued me for over 5 years. I had two surgeries, PRP, dry needling, Graston, cortisone... you name it. I had tried everything with almost zero relief. I was then referred to Dr. Barr and after my first treatment had so much relief that I refused to believe it was permanent, it couldn't have been that simple. The solution? Addressing the scar tissue via mannitol injections. I did not want to believe that years of pain had been from a few minor incisions from an old surgery years prior.

I was convinced the problem had to be much broader, but I was wrong. Dr. Barr's pinpoint accuracy (using ultrasound guided PRP injections-rather than the blind injections I received from a prior doctor), along with her aggressive macro level approach to treating the entire shoulder, and not just one particular part, turned back the clock and truly FIXED my shoulder.

I have since returned to all of the very physical activities I had loved doing, pain free. If anyone out there has tried "everything" like I had, they owe it to themselves to pick up the phone and make the appointment.

F.C. (Patient)

Seven years ago my big toe hurt so much, I had slmost had to give up even simple things like just walking.

Arthritis had destroyed most of the cartilage in my big toe joint. The outlook sounded dismal. I was faced with possible surgery and a resultant fused toe joint.

Then I met with Dr. Lisa Barr, and ended up trying Prolo Therapy. This worked faily well. However, over the years, I have been fortunate to have Dr. Barr try something faster, better, and longer lasting - PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). PRP has proved to be a "miracle treatment" for my toe (not to mention my rotator cuff problems).

I am now "rapid-walking" approximately 96 mies every month - that's over 1,600 miles since I started over 16 months ago. I have had no pain or even discomfort. My wife ways I'm in "great shape".

P.S. As for my rotator cuff, I now work out and play golf on a regular basis with no discomfort.

S.H. (Patient)

I feel a bit like the tin man in Wizard of Oz after it rains and he can’t move. Then they break out the oil can and oil up certain joints and he is better…..lol.

That is what I feel like Dr. Spear did for me! Oiled up my joints!

K.C. (Patient)

Dear Dr. Barr,
I came to you suffering left knee pain from a past skiing accident and right knee pain from years of compensating for the left. I had swelling, pain, limitations of activity and a constant negative awareness of the knees.

You and your staff were wonderful and treated me with great care at the APM Center in Virginia Beach. I had PRP on both knees about three years ago. The knees started to improve with this treatment. Approximately six to eight months later, I had the procedure repeated. I have been able to resume my normal activities and have pain only occasionally.

My husband, who is a physician, has been so impressed with my progress that he has referred several of his patients with ongoing pain to your office. We both want to thank you and your staff and share with others my success story. Keep up the good work.

J.C. (Patient)

“I was in a car accident and was treated by two different doctors. I felt like a ping pong ball being bounced back and forth. They both said they would not do anything more after one year of pain in my left shoulder. My primary care doctor sent me to APM to see Dr. Lisa Barr. I was amazed that after my first treatment I could lift my arm with no pain. I continued treatment with APM with Prolo-therapy. I wish I would have seen Dr. Barr sooner. If you want pain to go away, visit APM and you will get the results you have been waiting for. Thanks, Dr. Barr and APM. I can enjoy my life again.”

What physical activities are you enjoying now that you couldn’t prior to treatment?
Holding my granddaughter, Lifting my arm to wash my hair, cake decorating

S.S. (Patient)

“I was having trouble with the arthritis in my lower spine. The pain was in my lower back and down my legs. Celebrex and pain meds were not helping. Dr. Barr treated me with PRP. Within 2 days the pain in my legs and back was almost completely gone. The only pain medicine I now use is Tylenol – 4 tablets a day.”

What physical activities are you enjoying now that you couldn’t prior to treatment?
Walking, Driving, Sitting

D.F. (Patient)

“I broke my spine in 2004. Since then I continued with PT and have had different spinal blocks and have had prolo-therapy twice before. Now in 2012 I was in a lot of pain with my SI joints, so Dr. Barr again recommended prolo. Discouraged, I agreed. Wow, after 3 sessions I am pain-free with little aches due to weather changes. First time in years, I’m pain free and happy.”

What physical activities are you enjoying now that you couldn’t prior to treatment?
Walking, Horseback Riding

J. D. (Patient)

“In September 2011 I injured my right shoulder. I knew immediately I tore something. After 6 months of unsuccessful treatment, cortisone shots, physical therapy, I was lucky enough to be referred to Dr. Barr. I have received 3 PRP injections under Dr. Barr’s care. She was gentle and encouraging. Her staff is kind and compassionate. I am almost pain-free working my physical therapy program to continue building my strength and stability back. For the first time in a year, I am able to sleep on my right side again. Thank you Dr. Barr and your staff.”

S.M. (Patient)

About 6 years ago, my big left toe hurt so much that I could hardly walk. "Doctors" told me I needed surgery. Fortunately I declined and ended up in APM with Dr. Barr. At first I tried Prolo Therapy shots in my toe. They worked! No more pain. But I needed annual "boosters". Now I am benefitting from PRP. WOW! Even better than Prolo! I can now run, jog or speed-walk every day totally pain free!

S.H. (Patient)

Thanks Dr. Spear. After all the pain with the shot in your office ... I am feeling back to normal today with no leg pain. Yesterday after leaving your office I started to feel better with each passing hour.By noon I was feeling no pain and today I went up and down our 2nd floor stairs without thinking about my pain.
Thanks for the great service ...

L. M. (Patient)

When I first came to visit Dr. Spear, I was having such a hard time with breathing when rowing. I found out I had a ribcage restriction. After many visits over a period of several months I noticed a huge difference…not only in my breathing but also my rowing technique and overall attitude. An added bonus is I’m able to even eat more now. I can’t wait to start rowing again this season and see my improvement. I’d recommend Dr. Spear and Kathy Bragg to anyone that needs help…even if they’re not a rower!”

T. R. (Patient)

After a car accident, I was treated by two different physicians. I felt like a ping-pong ball being bounced back and forth. They both said they could not do anything more for me after one year of pain in my left shoulder. My primary care doctor sent me to APM to see Dr. Lisa Barr. I was amazed that after my first treatment, I could lift my left arm over my head with no pain. I continued treatment with APM for prolo therapy. I wish I could have seen Dr. Barr earlier. If you want pain to go away, visit APM and you will get the results you have been waiting for. Thanks Dr. Barr and APM. I can enjoy my life again.

ACTIVITIES: holding my granddaughter, lifting my arm to wash my hair, cake decorating

S. S. (Patient)

In September 2011, I injured my right shoulder. I knew immediately that I had torn something. , cortisone shots, and physical therapy, I was lucky enough to be referred to Dr. Barr. I have received three platelet rich plasma injections under Dr. Barr’s care. She was gentle and encouraging. Her staff is kind and compassionate. I am almost pain-free and working on my physical therapy program to continue building my strength and get my stability back. For the first time in a year I am able to sleep on my right side again. Thank you Dr. Barr and APM staff.

S. M. (Patient)

I broke my spine in 2004. Since then I continue with PT and have had different spinal blocks and prolo therapy twice. In 2012 I was in a lot of pain with my SI joints, so Dr. Barr again recommended prolo. Discouraged, I agreed. After 3 sessions, I am pain free except for little aches due to weather changes. First time in years, I am pain free and happy.


J. D. (Patient)

In the Fall of 2004 I realized I was in such pain even walking was more than I could handle. A MRI showed discs in my back were bulging. The PT recommended Dr. Barr after my back would not stabilize. Dr. Barr did treatments of Prolotherapy in my back. After, I was surprised when Dr. Barr said there was no follow-up treatment. No pain, eight years without Physical Therapy, Chiropractic or regular use of Ibuprofen or pain killers.

Last fall I was treated by Dr. Barr for arthritis in my neck, causing constant pain. Two treatments that targeted the area and the pain was gone. A year later, still no pain.

Two years ago my knees became a problem. After surgery for a meniscus tear, I had treatments of prolotherapy and PRP (Platelet rich plasma). The knee is very stable and without pain or swelling. I am currently having injections for the other knee and hope to avoid surgery. I am a tennis player and novice golfer.

J. E. (Patient)

Dr Horn, I want to thank you again for getting me in so quickly for my injection. It seems to be working. You have given me my arm back. I am looking forward to my canoe trip to Maine & New York again.

Thanks again,

E. M. (Patient)

Dr. Spear created a compassionate and safe atmosphere in which I could manage my pain and receive shots in my spine. It was an awesome experience to be a patient of his and to feel his love of his job! Thanks again for all the healing that occurred here. Thanks Angel for your bright smile.

B. P.

I had consistent extreme pain in my left hip which prevented excessive walking and similar exercise, and inteferred with sleeping at night, except in short spurts. Dr. Levi detected a tear in a tendon (with ultrasound), plus excessive bursa fluid, which he removed. After cortisone injections, my hip has been pain-free for several weeks. It's a pleasure to be able to sleep through the night again, and to walk without pain.

D. R.

After two prolotherapy treatments with Dr. Barr, I noticed significant improvement in the discomfort I felt in my lower back, due to an SI joint dysfunction. Driving four plus hours each way for an apointment with Dr. Barr has been 100 percent worth my time. I am grateful to feel good again!

P. S. (Lynchburg, VA)

I had spent two years in physical therapy while being bounced from Specialist to Specialist, all who repeatedly told me they did not know what was wrong or how to fix my lower back pain. The problem was that my right SI joint would slip out of place, causing severe pain and considerable restriction. It seemed the only solution would be to fuse the joint, but every Doctor refused because I was only 25 years old. I was close to giving up when I was finally referred to Dr. Scott Horn. He was the first Doctor to tell me that he could help. He told me about a procedure known as Prolotherapy. He described the process to me and told me he felt it was my best bet. I was hesitant because it involved needles and I've never been very good with it. Nonetheless, I was close to desperation and Dr. Horn was the first Doctor to tell me he could help. So I agreed.

To my utter relief, Prolotherapy worked! After the third session I started to notice a difference. My SI joint slipped less and was easier to manipulate back in when it did. I did five sessions total and by the fifth one, I was already able to walk around the block with no pain! The change was amazing, I was vacuuming, sweeping, even dancing a little, all with no slipping of my SI joint. This was a major difference from the point where I'd bend over to pick up a pencil and it would slip out.

Prolotherapy was a blessing! It gave me back my life, letting me live like a 25 year old should! I'm active again and it's all thanks to the patience of Dr. Horn and his staff! Dr. Horn and his nurses were phenomenal! They were all professional, courteous and just a pleasure to interact with. They were always quick to greet me and even keep me distracted during the session. I've never been good with needles, but Dr. Horn and his group worked wonders! If ever I need any pain management in the future, I would return to Dr. Horn in a heartbeat. I truly cannot say enough good things about him or his staff and the work they do!

S. T.

Dr. Levi treated me for a disc problem in my neck. He made the diagnosis quickly, and sent me to the best physical therapist who helped alleviate the pain and numbness in a short time. Before I saw Dr. Levi, I thought I would have to live with the neck pain and the numbness in my hand. I was so grateful to be reassured that I did not have a serious condition. Dr. Levi is very knowledgable, professional, and I did not feel rushed even though he is busy. While it usually takes a while to build a doctor-patient rapport, I was comfortable right away.

L. L.

I was sent to a neurosurgeon to determine if surgery was something I should consider. The doctor advised that there was no surgery that would be appropriate, and in his opinion I should see a pain management physician. Dr. David Levi at APM Spine and Sports Physicians in Virginia Beach was highly recommended by a good friend of mine.

I found Dr. Levi to be very informed on my problem, so I agreed to allow him to begin treating me. When I started my visits I had pain which I rated as an 8 ouf 10 with 10 being the worst. Dr. Levi provided a lumbar radiofrequency ablation on the nerves of the vertebrae in the lumbar region of my spine (L2,3,4 and 5). This procedure has provided an enormous relief of pain for me. On my latest visit to his office I rated my pain as either a 1 or 2 out 10.

Dr. Levi and his assistants have been excellent to work with. They have been happy to spend the time needed to fuly explain everything in detail.

I will certainly return to Dr. Levi whenever I feel the need of pain management services.

W. W.

“I cannot thank Dr. Robert Spear and Kathy Bragg, PT, enough for their continued support and persistence in making me believe in myself after overcoming a third back surgery…"

“….after being told the severe damage to my sciatic nerve left me lucky to be walking at all; I am on my way to training camp prior to the 2008 US Olympic Trials. I have come so far with my therapy and I am more than happy to simply be walking, cycling, and of course, rowing again. I am now very optimistic about achieving my 2008 goal.”

M. R.
Patient, 2x US National Team (Rowing)

"I am writing to thank APM for choosing me to be a part of the clinical pain study beginning in 2007. I admit I was nervous about being in a clinical study. My back pain was so unbearable I felt I had to explore all options open to me.

It became impossible for me to do my job, enjoy my family, or have any quality of life. The orthopedic surgeons will not operate on me. It seemed that I was doomed to a life of chronic pain, decreasing mobility with a wheelchair on the horizon.

The first [clinical] trial I participated in was miraculous in my eyes. I still had back pain, but…. my quality of life dramatically improved. Whether it was the placebo or one of the other drugs didn’t matter… the pain was under control.

I dreaded the end of the clinical trial…then the staff informed me that I was chosen to take part in the clinical trial, for one year, of the actual study drug. I still have pain; however it is manageable and bearable. I am diabetic and my blood sugars have been easier to control with the pain level so much lower.

The benefits to my health thus far has been amazing, and the staff at Advanced Pain Management is wonderful and I am pleased to be a part of it."


"I cannot begin to explain the helplessness and hopelessness I felt while suffering from pain that defied diagnosis by eight leading physicians and surgeons in the Hampton Roads area. I had barely finished recounting the events that led me to her when Dr. Barr said, "I can help you." She diagnosed the source of my pain and like the layers of an onion peeled away the various layers of pain that resided in my abdomen, low back, hip and knee. With each treatment, pain was reduced and I began to live more fully. Dr. Barr uses a combination of skillfully implemented traditional, complementary and alternative medical interventions. Dr. Barr has the good fortune to be supported by a wonderful staff. I encourage you to see Dr. Lisa Barr and get your life back."

A. S., PhD., RN

"Dr. Barr showed me how to do the shoulder corner stretch. Tanya Cuffee explained and demonstrated the exercise to me again. I was told about the website and that this exercise was demonstrated there. I used the website to learn the exercise.I was tickled to see Tanya was the same person demonstrating on the website. She does such a nice job of breaking down the exercise. Thank you and your colleagues for taking the time to pursue this endeavor."

D. C.

"Dr. Barr initially performed Prolotherapy on my damaged left knee, and after three sessions, I knew that healing was in progress. I rarely notice my knee (which is the ultimate goal.) After the successful knee session, I requested we proceeded to both my hips and sacroiliac joints. About three weeks after this Prolo event, it was necessary for me to fly to Bejing, China on business. This entails 24 hours duration, in the worst kind of environment for arthritic lower back and hips. The good news is I made the trip with minimum discomfort and no physical limitations. "The enclosed sheet of digital photos shows me on top of the Great Wall of China on my 67th birthday, having successfully made the incredibly arduous climb up the steps which include 35-45 degree grades. Five months prior to this, any attempt to do this would have been totally out of the question. This is a testament to the efficacy of the procedure and the skills of you and your staff."

C. S.

"Dr. Barr is an expert in the field of pain management and rehabilitation. Her primary concern is providing the best possible treatment for the injured worker as well as returning them to productive employment…"

I. H.
RN Medical Case Manager