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Conditions, Recovery, Exercises, Sporting, Physical Therapy / 20 February 2019

Patient Spotlight – Teaching Better, Faster with Kim

As humans, it is in our nature to want to help others and make other people happy. However, this might make us forgetful when it comes to taking care of ourselves, especially when we are on the go 24/7. For Kimberly, our patient spotlight of the month, this realization came to her about 2 years before she stepped foot into our clinic. Kim is a special education teacher who has been teaching in Old Bridge Elementary School for 6 years with kindergarten and first grade students who have disabilities and impairments. She also coaches Special Olympics for different sports such as basketball and soccer. Kim’s positive energy and love for her job helping children with special needs keeps her very active and constantly on her feet. This can vary from playing sports with her students, to assisting them by lifting them up or bending over to speak to them. “I started having pain on my lower and mid back about 2 years ago, but I would brush it off as nothing until I realized it was getting worse.” She went to a chiropractor 3 times a week but didn’t see any improvement with her back pain, which left her in agony when she had to miss an appointment. “I read an article that said that chiropractic care can only help so much unless you are doing exercises. That’s when I knew I needed to do more than just receive adjustments in order to get better.”

“It’s really great to come here after a stressful day. When I come in for my treatments everyone is so friendly and they really care. Thanks to NJSW I have been able to work better at my job and I feel stronger!”

In May 2018, Kim met our Director of Physical Therapy, Dr. Dan, during her lunch period at work when NJSW visited Old Bridge Elementary School for Wellness Day. She received a quick five-minute massage from Dr. Dan who asked if anyone told her that she may have scoliosis. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. He recommended that she come into our clinic as she could really benefit from treating at NJSW, and so in September 2018, Kim came into our Matawan office to start treating for her back and sciatic pain. Dr. Dan focused on core strengthening exercises targeting different spots on her back and hip. Little by little they discovered the pain was from an injury from her varsity soccer days in high school when she tore her hip flexor. She also did an FMS (Functional Movement Screen) screening which is a tool designed to identify movement patterns that are indicative of increase injury risk and inefficient movement that causes reduced performance.

“When I did the FMS I realized I had difficulty lifting my legs and stepping over without feeling pain on my leg and hip.” These different tests and exercises pushed Kim to be consistent with her exercises to build back her strength in her arms, her legs, and her back. As a result she feels much stronger and is able to do simple tasks such as getting up from a chair without any pain and was able to lift her legs properly when she did the FMS screening again. “Getting up no longer feels like a chore and I am able to keep up with my kids without worrying about possibly pulling a muscle when I play in the gym with them”. She is now more in control when she is does certain physical moves that used to cause her pain in the past. “Dr. Dan has figured out a solution for everything I have thrown his way and has been very mindful of what I can or cannot do but still pushing me to make sure I am getting stronger each session.” Thank you Kim for bringing such positive energy to all your sessions and trusting in NJSW to help you Get Better, Faster!

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