• Physical Therapy Helps Teenager Overcomes Return to School and Life

    January 26, 2017: When Elizabeth first walked into the Mayo Clinic’s Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center and saw someone faint right in front of her, she knew that she was in the right place. 

    At this point Elizabeth had been struggling with chronic pain and a condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, for several years. Her symptoms included migraine headaches, vision and hearing problems, and fainting also became a daily occurrence for her. 

    Her symptoms were so severe, they forced Elizabeth out of school, into bed, and out from the activities that she loved. Her friendships dissolved, and she struggled to find effective treatments for her numerous ailments. 

    That’s when she found the 1-month treatment program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her intensive care included daily physical therapy treatments and significant patient education. Gradually, she became stronger and stronger and in less pain.

    Her recovery was so significant and profound, Elizabeth is now a sophomore in college studying to become a physical therapist. 

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    Elizabeth Sprague is a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of New England majoring in health, wellness, and occupational studies, with plans to attend physical therapy school after graduation. She works in the school’s Chronic and Acute Pain Research Lab, and mentors children struggling with autonomic dysfunction.