Here is Karen’s physical therapy story:
I was in an automobile accident. Initially I just had some chest pain from the airbag, and some side pain, and a laceration on my ankle. When I woke up the next morning, I had excruciating pain in my neck, back and shoulders. I went in for x-rays, and they ruled out a cervical fracture. I was diagnosed with whiplash. My primary care provider referred me to physical therapy.
I’m a very active person, so hearing stories about people with whiplash not being able to do things was horrifying for me. I have two toddlers (my grandchildren), who I keep during the week, and we like to run, jump and play. I’m a nurse, so there’s a lot of lifting, pulling and walking in my job. I am also the caretaker for my parents and my daughter.
When I walked in this place, my movement was limited. I couldn’t move my head at all. To look around, I had to move at the waist. Even getting out of the bed was difficult. I came in for the first initial visit where Michael did an assessment and had me attempt to move. I was doing more of shoulder move than a head move. He and Sarah showed me some exercises to do at home to loosen my muscles and reduce pain.
We set some long term goals, and discussed my treatment plan. We discussed activity and where I should limit myself outside of therapy . I pretty much knew from day one what I needed to do and how long it was going to talk to get there. That was really good for me, because I’m a goal oriented person and it let me know I could progress. My biggest concern was that I was afraid to move because I was afraid I would hurt something worse.
I saw progress immediately. With the exercises they showed me, I could sleep comfortably at night again. Every time I came in, I could see a difference. After about a month, I was ale to to go back to driving a car (I could move my head enough to see my blind spots). I could go back to my daily activities – picking the kids up, doing housework, the little things that make a big difference.
I really did enjoy my time here. It was almost like a downtime for me, a period of relaxation, and I looked forward to my visits. The staff here, they’re awesome! They took a personal interst. It was obvious they really cared and they wanted to help me get better. I miss them!
The best part about physical therapy has been learning proper techniques for how to do things without hurting yourself and learning exercises and stretches to do just a few minutes a day have really benefited me a lot. I’ve used a lot of it at home and at work, in terms of lifting and stretching.