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Success Story: Frankie

Frankie is a lap swimmer. It’s not always easy, but for 45 years the sidestroke has been her therapy. “I swim because it’s something that keeps me healthy,” she explains. “I swim, because as a result of spinal surgery, it’s something I both need and love to do.”

“I swim, because as a result of spinal surgery, it’s something I both need and love to do.”

—Frankie

As a teen, Frankie was injured in a car accident. The trauma to her back resulted in severe scoliosis, and when she was 16 she had surgery to correct the curvature of her spine. Frankie learned to swim in her twenties and got started with the sidestroke on the advice of a physical therapist. “She told me I should be swimming on my right side to compensate for my curvature,” Frankie says. “So that’s what I’ve been doing all these years.”

Despite her good health and active lifestyle, over the past decade, Frankie battled crippling sciatic pain. When conservative treatments failed, the pain became unbearable and she was sidelined from swimming. “My life was out of balance without swimming,” she remembers. “I was worried that I’d never be able to get back to it.”

Another surgery brought relief, and after nearly a year away, Frankie returned to the pool. It took some work to regain her strength and stamina, but today Frankie is back to swimming at least three days a week. “It’s not magic,” she says. “You work and you see the results. If I can do it … anyone can.”

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