Motivation during therapy: Returning to life without chronic pain

Research shows nearly everyone at some point in their lives will experience back pain that interferes with work, daily activities or recreation. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason people visit their doctor, and Americans spend $50 billion each year on this ailment.

Carol Doubblestein experienced chronic back pain for more than 20 years. But it wasn’t until a few years ago she started going to physical therapy for treatment. The therapy helped for a little while, but the pain hit its peak after she had a pinched nerve in her spine. The pinched nerve resulted in Carol having spinal fusion surgery, which involved implanting rods and screws in the spine to hold vertebrae together.

After spending 11 days in the hospital, most of which were due to complications during surgery, Carol’s surgeon referred to her Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital for recovery. And, she believes the care she received was marvelous.

“Over the years, I’ve been a mother, the spouse, the patient and worked as an RN/MSN for 40 years at various institutions,” Carol said. “This was by far the most excellent, outstanding care I’ve ever received or seen.”

Recently widowed, Carol was concerned about returning home by herself, with only friends and family checking in on her. She spent a week with therapists in the spinal cord injury program, then had three weeks of outpatient therapy in her home. Carol felt the staff was sensitive to her situation, and she learned tasks to help live an independent life again.

“I felt like I was part of the team and the therapy was paced to meet my needs,” Carol said.

Her main motivation throughout therapy was to simply get back to a normal life without pain. Carol has reached this goal. She now enjoys going for walks and is spending time in Florida, where she plans to swim and exercise.

Like Carol, many people experience chronic back pain for years. There are a variety of ways to treat back back, but many treatments are not successful because they only address the symptoms. Physical therapy is often one of the most effective treatments for back pain because it relieves the symptoms by targeting the cause of pain.

Mary Free Bed’s Spine Rehabilitation Program can help. The program is led by therapists specially credentialed in advanced spine treatments such as the McKenzie Method®.

Mary Free Bed therapists uncover the root cause of the spine pain, empower patients to reduce their pain through exercise, and teach preventative techniques to decrease the likelihood of future episodes. Many patients successfully complete treatment for back pain in as little as three treatment sessions.

Your physician can help you determine if physical therapy will be beneficial for you.

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