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For 69-year-old Christine Whittington, life is good again thanks to the Physical Therapy department at St. Vincent Health.

“I used to participate in half marathons as a speed walker,” Christine explains. “But, about a year ago, I started having severe pain in my buttocks and hamstrings. It got so bad that I couldn’t sleep at night.”

X-rays showed that Christine had arthritis of the spine as well as mild scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis, a natural degeneration of the spine caused by aging and wear and tear. In September 2020, Christine started regular physical therapy treatments at St. Vincent Health.

“Kelly Bergkessel (left) is my physical therapist, and she’s fantastic,” Christine says. “She’s a real problem solver and a good listener.”

Christine’s therapies include stretching and exercises to strengthen her abdominal core and glute muscles, nerve flossing, which stretches the nerves, and dry needling. With this highly specialized technique, a thin needle is used to treat muscular trigger points to manage pain and improve mobility.

“Before my therapy, the pain was a seven or eight on a scale of 10,” Christine says. “Today, I’m almost totally pain-free! I’m sleeping well again, and my posture has improved. My goal is to get back to walking four or five miles a day like I used to do. Thank you, St. Vincent Health!”

Pictured (L-R):

Kelly Bergkessel, PT; Christine Whittington