Dan Bell was playing in his volleyball league in March 2013
when he took a dive and fell on the court, his neck whipped in the opposite
direction. Though in pain, Bell didn't realize how bad his injury was until the
next day at work when a case of vertigo made him fall to his knees.
It turned out that Bell had sustained a spinal cord
impingement. To help combat the symptoms doctors fused his C5–C7 vertebrae in
July 2013. After surgery, Bell completed eight weeks of aquatic therapy and
physical therapy at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley.
Unfortunately, his pain from fiber neuropathy didn't subside. He describes the
pain in his arms and legs as constant. "It feels like your arms and legs
fell asleep, but it never goes away," he said.
It was during a pool therapy session that Bell learned about
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute's Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program.
After months of little relief from his pain, he decided he'd give it a try.
The three-week residential program helps people like Bell
learn to self-manage pain while maintaining a daily schedule. Bell took part in
self-management classes and therapies such as biofeedback and mindfulness
techniques as well as pool and fitness center work-outs. The program also
includes medical oversight and management, including tapering of opioids and
Bell learned many tools, such as meditation and yoga, to
help him cope and move forward with his life. This was no small feat
considering Bell was working as a production manager and had always been an
active, hands-on person before his injury.
Even Bell's passions for car repair and home renovation
became challenges because of his neuropathy. But, this hasn't stopped Bell from
continuing pursuing his personal goals. Now, when the pain in his hands flares
up, Bell uses tools, like meditation, that he learned to help manage through
the pain. Though his pain doesn't go away completely, meditation helps relieve
the flare up more quickly and becomes much more manageable.
According to Bell, Courage Kenny's Chronic Pain
Rehabilitation Program helps people learn how to deal with the physical pain
but also helps them handle the emotional toll it takes.
Being active is one lesson Bell learned from the Chronic
Pain Program. Today, he exercises in Courage Kenny's Golden Valley's warm-water
pool for two hours four days a week. Staying healthy is Bell's top priority
since his accident.
"If I don't stay in shape physically, my condition
could get a whole lot worse, so my work in the pool is how I prevent that from
Despite his injury and chronic pain, Bell looks forward to
completing his home renovation and spending more time with his kids and
grandchildren. For Bell, Courage Kenny has been a constant resource and bright
spot in his recovery, "From the front desk to the lifeguards, everyone at
Courage Kenny is so friendly and helpful," he said.
Get a referral from your provider or call: 612-775-2606