BayState_Low Back Hip Knee Arthritis Pain

STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Patient Success Spotlight

Alexandra Gustafson, PT, DPT

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My interest in PhysicalTherapy school came through my love for sports. Originally, I believed I would be most interested in sports/orthopedic populations, until I was exposed to acute care. I spent my first year of professional experience in Long-Term AcuteCare (LTAC),where I learnedfrom some of the best physical therapists and people I am certain I will ever encounter.Whileat theLTAC, Iwasable to develop relationships with patients that went far beyond physical therapy. I learned how to approach the patient as a person, and understand what is meaningful for them and their lives. Through these interactions, I realized that my passions and motivations are inempoweringpatientstobecomewhat they perceive to be their best self, and help them live themostmeaningful life they can. This led me to reach out to a fewofmypeers,whoultimately ledme downaroad Iwillforeverbegratefulfor, understanding pain science. Through myownunderstandingofpainscience, and the profound impact sharing this education can have on patients, I firmly believe there is a way to restore meaning to each and every person’s life. Connecting with patients, meeting them where they are in their current lives, and supporting and empowering them to become what they are striving tobecome isat theheartofmyclinical practice. Through mentorships from experts in thefield Ihope tobeable to implement this approach and allow people to

regain their lives and flourish however they hope to. With the mentorship of Rob Melino, Managing Partner, and my fellow Physical Therapists at Bay State Physical Therapy Tewksbury, I look forward to developing my manual therapyskillsandgrowing into thebest clinician I can be for my patients in an outpatient setting. I grew up in Medford, MA, an only child with many, many cousins, with whom I am lucky to have as my closest relationships. I had incredibly supportiveparentsand familynetwork that supported me through my school and sports career. I studied Biology at Holy Cross where I competed on their Division I softball team, and I hope to somedaybecome involved in thesport of softball again. I love to exercise in manydifferentways,andmost recently have developed an interest in rock climbing. My love for sports started at the level of being an extreme Boston sports fan, which I still am to this day.

Chantelle was a patient at Bay State Physical Therapy at our West Roxbury location for three months. She reported sudden unexplained onset of increasing low back pain starting in the summer of 2018. She was unable to walk or stand for longer than 10 minutes without an increase in low back pain, and radiating symptoms down her leg. She had an MRI, revealing spinal stenosis andmilddegeneration inher lumbar spine. She tried several injections to the low back without much relief. Chantelle’s main complaints when she started physical therapy were pain, numbness, and tightness throughout the low back and into theright leg.Shereported increased difficulty and pain with walking, sitting, standing, and sleeping. Since finishing her course of care at Bay State PhysicalTherapy West Roxbury, Chantelle has decreased

pain and increased mobility, and is able to perform all of her daily activities without restriction. She reportsminimal tonopain,andonly experiences muscle fatigue and soreness after workouts. Chantelle has improved her standing posture and lifting technique, which she utilizes while working as a nanny for several families. “MeetingKathleenwasablessing in disguise. I have been dealing with lower back pain for three years, and it was becoming unbearable. I was contemplating surgery because of how much pain I was in. Kathleen educated me about physical therapyand it’sbenefits,and to try it before opting for surgery. I am now almost completely pain free. Her sweet, loving, and understanding approach to her care made me feel comfortable and understood; I almost didn’t want to be done with physical therapy.” -Chantelle

Healthy Recipe RED WHITE AND BLUE FRUIT SALAD RECIPE

INGREDIENTS • 4 large apples • 1 pound of strawberries • 1 pound blueberries • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS Wash all the produce. Use a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar, or a produce wash. Cut the apples into 1/2 inch chunks. Cut the stem end from the strawberries. When done this way, forming a V, it gives the strawberries a heart shape. Then slice the strawberries about 1/8 inch thick. Toss chopped apples with the lemon juice. Add the blueberries and sliced strawberries and toss again https://eatingrichly.com/red-white-and-blue-fruit-salad-recipe/

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