Darcy Jameson is an avid athlete. When a herniated disc in her back put her on the sidelines, she was miserable. “I wasn’t biking, skiing or running as much. I am a big skier, and I barely skied that season. It was impacting my whole day to day routine and demeanor because I was in pain. I don’t think I realized until afterwards how much pain I was in.”
After seeing a doctor for treatment at another hospital, Jameson was still in pain. “The doctor was pushing me to have an operation, and trying to get me to schedule surgery, which didn’t sound right to me.” A friend suggested Jameson visit the New England Baptist Hospital Spine Center. “My friend said you should go over to the Baptist. They are going to assess you, and work with you to determine the best course of treatment so you can make a really informed decision. Surgery will not be the first option for you to consider."
After her first appointment in the spine center, Jameson was relieved. “They were just so reassuring. They did a strength and mobility test, and told me my spine is stable, I didn’t need surgery, and I’d be able to get back to my routine, my normal exercises and how I like to live. The goal was to get me strong and confident again, and if something changes or doesn’t improve we can reevaluate. And that was amazing.”
Jameson was referred to Lisa Childs, a physical therapist in the NEBH Spine Center, who put her on a rigorous stretching and strength training program. “I had a fantastic experience with Lisa. She started slow, was patient with me, and built up my confidence. She really read me as a person, and realized that I’m super athletic and I’ve done a lot of lifting. She hit a wonderful balance between teaching and training me around my back, but respecting how much I already did know about my body and exercise.”
Jameson is now happily back to doing the things she loves. “I was skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado this winter and I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to hold up. I’ve been doing all of my exercises and I work with a personal trainer so I had been really focused on this ski trip. I held up like a rock star for 4 days. Did I feel my back at the end of every day and when I got up in the morning? Absolutely. But I stretched and hung in there with it and it was great.”
Jameson’s advice to others with back pain: “You can’t expect a miracle cure when you’re dealing with something that’s chronic. You have to commit to doing what the team knows you can do, and you have to stick with it.”
“I would highly recommend the Baptist. Having a team that takes you all the way through and really cares about your improvement and treatment is critical. I had a really good experience.”