From Pain to Strength: Juli’s Story

Our client Juli has been through so much and we are so proud of her continued strength & success. She graciously shares her journey for us below. Read more DS rehabilitation stories here.

I have a bone spur between C5-C6. I also have a bulging C5 disc. I believe this is a result from a car accident when I was a teenager coupled with years of just being active and having 3 children. When I found Dancers Shape, I had given up finding classes that I loved because exercise was making my neck worse. I could no longer take Pilates classes, Vinyasa yoga or run.

When I started at Dancers Shape, I was in a lot of pain. I did not have mobility in my neck. My shoulder, elbow, and wrist were also inflamed due to the nerve damage. I had been to 3 different physical therapists in town and had received epidural injections with little relief. I went to Dancers Shape to see if I was even able to participate in the classes. At the time I was unable to lift my right arm over my head. Jennifer immediately took the time to talk to me about my injury. She explained the classes and taught me the modifications I would need to use to keep my neck and shoulder safe from further injury. The barre classes began to help me with muscle strength. Dancers Shape classes began to help me with muscle strength. Since each class targets the whole body, starting with the core, my muscles that were continually weak and those that were overcompensating became stronger and better balanced. Over time my entire body became more balanced in strength, mobility and flexibility. This is why I feel I have had success at Dancers Shape and why I did not with physical therapy. Physical therapy just targeted my neck, and the rest of my body (including my shoulder and arm) just continued to compensate for my neck. The Shape classes targeted my whole body, starting at the core, rather than just the neck area.

I will always have to use some modifications. If I have a flare-up in my neck or the nerve damage is bothering my shoulder and arm, I go to the Graceful class. And if I am feeling great, I take the Shape classes as well! All the classes continue to help my body stay flexible, balanced and strong. The mobility I have regained since taking classes over the past 15 months is remarkable.

Now I am able to run 3-5 miles a couple of days a week! I would encourage anyone with an injury to go Dancer's Shape and talk to Jennifer or another instructor about modifications.