Thursday, August 14, 2008

Physical therapy graduation

Over a span of seven weeks and 10 visits to the land of colorful fit balls and weird machinery, my lessons in physical therapy are over.

One more milestone on this long recovery. I embrace this one wholeheartedly as I literally and physically was in charge of making my hip, my leg and my body move and bend in ways they weren't used to!

For anyone going into this phase of recovery, my thoughts and tips:
  • Physical therapy on the hip was much more, um, intimate, than I thought it would be. I'm happy I chose a woman therapist. She had to grab, massage, twist and hold not only my hip and groin area, but my butt as well.
  • Water therapy was fantastic early on when I still couldn't move well.
  • The exercises didn't hurt, but they often felt sore and made me sweat.
  • I learned a lot about my body and the way it has compensated all these years for my bad hips. It's amazing how everything is connected. For example, my hamstring muscles are really tight to help protect the joint; I hyper extend my knees and arch my lower back to take pressure off the joint, which causes me to stoop in the shoulders a bit. I'm now very conscious of these "issues" and will continue to work to straighten them out, especially after the second hip is fixed.
  • I am, as Jennifer would say, loosey goosey. (Even my sacroilliac joint is hyper mobile!) "Your body isn't supposed to do that," she would say over and over. Can't do anything about that, but I do like the sound of the nickname! ;)
  • I did my exercises about three times a week. They weren't always the ones Jennifer laid out, but I think the important thing is that I was doing a different range of motions to get my muscles, tendons and ligaments used to being needed again.

4 comments:

abnacy said...

Thanks for the info on PT, I had no idea what to expect.. will definitely have a female therapist! :)
glad you're feeling good!

-Acy

abnacy said...

BTW, when post PAO is it ok to use the elliptical machine? I've been thinking about getting one to strengthen my muscles before surgery, but not sure how soon I could use it afterwards..
have a good weekend!
-acy

Cass said...

Acy,
I was given the okay to start on the elliptical about 12 weeks post op. Your OS/PT may be different, but it probably will be a few weeks after you've been given the green light for full weight bearing.
I don't think an elliptical is the best way to strengthen muscles, but it is a good way to get your heart rate up. I suggest lifting free weights to build those muscles before surgery.
You have a good weekend too!
Cass

MNav said...

Funny you use the term 'loosey goosey' -- that's exactly what my first PT said about my gait over a year ago. He even called over the other PTs to watch me walk. At the time, I was mortified. I wondered how the heck I had developed such an odd gait that even PTs were amazed. Unfortunately, I didn't heed his advice and get an x-ray. I was too busy and in denial that I had a real problem, so I just did PT for a few months and suffered the rest of the year. I will definitely find a very good (and female) PT who can help me fix my loosey goosey walk so it becomes smooth and sexy!

Michelle