Deanna’s Story- Back and Neck Pain Journey

Deanna next to a waterfall in Hawaii

"My journey at Align began in 2016. I came to a point in my life when I realized I had not worked out for nearly two decades. I was primarily focused on raising my children as a single parent and working a full-time demanding job. I knew I needed to do something for myself. I was getting older and found myself struggling to do the things that were once a major part of my life like hiking and swimming."

"Throughout my time at Align, I was getting stronger, gaining endurance, and feeling better about myself.  Fast forward 6 months, I was increasing my strength to a point I thought I would never achieve. I was able to do deadlifts, goblet squats, and planks! I was losing weight and the people around me started noticing my transformation. I was beginning to enjoy the activities I once loved."  

Unexpected Changes

"Then my life changed in a split second. I was in a major car accident, rear ended by someone going 60 mph. It was a traumatic experience. I could barely move or walk. The entire right side of my body was tweaked. I had multiple fractures in my right hand from the airbags, along with whiplash and a concussion. This was devastating to me." 

"I had to follow my legal counsel's advice and go through supervised physical therapy for my case. I found out medical insurance only allows PT to work on one section of the body at a time; corrupt I say! I needed therapy on many parts of my body. My PT ended up going on for nearly two years, it was like a wild goose chase! An orthopedic surgeon also wanted to fuse a joint in my right hand. I flat out said no. Then near the end of PT, Covid came into the picture and everything came to a screeching halt. My body quickly reverted and during those two years I gained weight, and was no longer feeling good about how things were going."

Coming Back

"When Align reopened in 2020, I knew it was time to come back. I had massive pain in my right leg and could hardly walk. It took all I had to get out of my car and walk into my office, or the grocery store. My neck, shoulder, and hands had very limited range of motion, and were sore and stiff.  I had to twist my whole body to look left or right. I also refrained from driving and made excuses not to go out and do the things I enjoyed. This paired with covid social changes enhanced my feeling of despair and thoughts that there was no way out of the pain I was in." 

"When I returned, I started off with simple exercises.  Those didn’t seem like much, but it laid the foundation down for me to gain back my strength and reduce my pain. Within 6 months, I noticed my pain dramatically decreased and I was able to walk. My mobility in my neck and shoulders increased, and I was able to do things in moderation without triggering pain. Fast forward to a year later, my pain is no longer a hindrance, and I am now focused more on increasing strength, endurance, and weight management." 

"My pain levels are so low they are barely noticeable. I can walk with no pain. I am back to doing everyday activities like housework, gardening, and taking my dogs for walks without pain being at the forefront of my mind. Those are simple things that most take advantage of and I had to work hard to get to do them once again pain free! I also feel more confident and now plan trips that include physical activities. My outlook has changed to defeat challenges rather than turn away from them or make excuses.  Major win for me both physically and mentally."  

Giving Advice

"If you have ever been in a major accident or have not worked out for years, there is hope and a solution for you that doesn’t involve taking prescriptions or having surgery. The best thing for me was to find a place where I felt comfortable and had someone who took the time to really listen and understand what my pain and challenges were. The process may seem slow and underwhelming at times because you want immediate results, but like anything good it takes time, hard work, and dedication. In the big picture, it’s only a matter of a handful of hours a week that can make a positive impact in your life and it’s well worth it."