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Dale's Story 

On October 23rd, 2016, days after Hurricane Matthew hit, I had my first back pain. I had been doing heavy yard work for several days to dig myself out of the storm, and as a 65-year-old woman, I figured the pain was simply a result of over-exertion. After resting for a week, the pain wasn’t getting any better so I scheduled an appointment with my primary care doctor. I was prescribed a medication that unfortunately did not work, so I went in for a MRI the following week. The MRI showed a 50% compression fracture on my L3 vertebrae, plus several compromised discs that were at the root of all my pain. I was then referred to an orthopedic doctor that suggested surgery, but I was determined to find a different way to heal.

Still in pain, I was recommended to see Dr. Brent Fulton. After reviewing the MRI with Dr. Fulton and discussing my options, I decided to start low back protocol with exercise rehab at Medical Exercise Associates. I decided my goal by the end of the rehab was to do at least “some” yard work without pain. I worked with the rehab specialists twice a week for 8 weeks, and paired manual therapy with my workouts as an alternative pain management technique. After the 16 sessions, I saw Dr. Fulton who then “graduated” me from rehab to exercise independently at the Medical Exercise Associates gym.

I am currently 3 months into independent exercise and visit the gym 3 times a week. I have been able to remain pain-free, and as a result, my garden is growing and growing. At the beginning of this year, I had resigned that my pain was going to be a constant, un-wanted partner for the rest of my life. Medical Exercise Associates has changed that drastically. I went from being sedentary and reliant on a heating pad, to being active and building my own garden in only three months.

I just finished a raised hibiscus bed and was able to complete all the brick and mulch work on my own. MEA has helped me to accomplish way more than “some” yard work and my garden reflects all of the progress I have made!

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