The Healing Power of Physical Therapy: Liz’s Battle with Cervical Dystonia

Liz Reed's transformative journey with cervical dystonia

The Healing Power of Physical Therapy: Liz’s Battle with Cervical Dystonia

Navigating her home by clinging to walls, walking with a cane, and carrying a card pleading with strangers not to call 911 if she appeared unwell — this was the daily reality for Liz Reed, diagnosed with cervical dystonia. That was until she began her transformative journey through physical therapy.

“I have cervical dystonia, which is an involuntary muscle movement in my neck, and it affects my balance tremendously,” Liz shared. “When I came to Excel, I had to use a cane and my life was on hold. I was basically on the couch and holding on to the walls at the house.”

The impact of cervical dystonia on Liz’s life was profound.

“She carried with her a card that read, “Please do not call 911,”” therapist Sandy Miller recounted.

These symptoms weren’t just limited to a neck twitch, as it could appear as though she was having a minor seizure.

“It’s a very evident tic in the neck,” Sandy described. “And when she has that, it was so significant, it would also kind of bring her mouth to the side as well.”

To manage her symptoms, Liz initially turned to medical interventions.

“I would get Botox injections in my neck every three months to keep it under control,” she recalled.

These injections were successful in relaxing the neck muscles to prevent the painful rotation symptomatic of dystonia. Yet, physical therapy brought a fresh perspective to her healing.

“One of the things that I noticed with Liz was that she would start to stare off very focused, almost staring off into space or through you,” Sandy said.

Leveraging this observation, Liz was introduced to gait stability exercises and specific eye movement techniques to help regulate her condition.

The healing journey was challenging, to say the least. However, her determination prevailed.

“Within four weeks, I was back to playing golf,” Liz proudly announced.

This journey wasn’t just about managing symptoms, it was about reclaiming life.

“I want to cry because, in four weeks’ time, I got my life back,” Liz said. “And to this day, it still works. If I feel that dystonia coming on, just that head nod and the other exercise… It stops it, and that’s life-changing.”

Sandy echoed this sentiment, underscoring the potential of physical therapy: “We just hope that people watching this understand the power of physical therapy and the power of movement.”

Liz’s story is an inspiring testament to the efficacy and potential of physical therapy. It emphasizes the importance of personalized care and showcases how a combination of medical and therapeutic interventions can lead to transformative results.

Discover the transformative power of physical therapy. Let us help you reclaim your life, just like Liz did. Request your appointment today.