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Patient Stories

Zoe Daboul, an active young mother from Portsmouth, NH, had had enough.

In 2014, at the age of 38, she had surgery for a back injury near her home in New Hampshire and completed months of traditional physical therapy to rehabilitate—only to find herself in chronic back pain once again. She was in so much pain that she couldn’t lift her toddler and couldn’t exercise, and she found that other parts of her body that were compensating were also starting to hurt.

“I started looking for help near home, and I was told that my next step would be cortisone injections. But I didn’t want to live like that—I was not anxious to try injections or pain medications,” Zoe says. “So for my next opinion, I came to the Baptist.”

New England Baptist Hospital physiatrist John Turchetta, MD, examined Zoe and suggested she try an innovative physical therapy program, now offered through NEBH’s Sports Performance Center, to reduce her pain and increase her mobility.

Dr. Turchetta explained that not only would this program help Zoe while she completed it here at NEBH, but that she would learn the exercises and continue them at home to maintain—and even improve upon—the gains she would make in strength, pain relief, flexibility, and mobility.

“After my injury and surgery, I did a lot of physical therapy that focused on how to avoid hurting myself again—it didn’t do much to relieve my pain,” Zoe says “But once I came to the Baptist, they taught me how to increase my flexibility, strength, and range of motion, and gave me the confidence to push through a little bit of the pain and to move the right way.”

For 6 weeks, over 12 visits with NEBH’s Physical Therapy team, Zoe learned the program she now does at home, on her own. She doesn’t require any special equipment or even a gym membership, which is ideal for this busy young mother.

“My back pain went away, totally and completely. I learned that I am strong, and that my body is more resilient than I thought it was; I ran a half-marathon in November, and thanks to NEBH, I was pain-free—except for sore muscles!” Zoe says. “This has been life-changing for me; I can’t underscore that enough. I feel like NEBH gave me my life back.”

Learn more about NEBH’s Sports Performance Center or make a gift today to support and advance our innovative physical therapy programs.

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