My first experience with physical therapy did not go as planned. My first surgery didn’t go as hoped either. Assured that I would be on my feet and active within 10 days of the surgery, I was instead handed a pair of crutches and told not to bear weight on my leg for six weeks.
My doctor later reminded me that he did mention, under his breath, covered by a cough, that ten percent of surgeries run into complications.
The surgery was on my knee— the first of three—and should have been a simple clean up of the meniscus, the cushiony discs of the knee between the leg and the shin. What the MRI didn’t show was the meniscus ripped completely off its mooring and it needed to be sewn back on.
That was the complication that led to my lack of weight bearing and took me on an 18-month journey that totaled three surgeries and a ridiculous amount of physical therapy.
I had PT’s that were good, PT’s that were bad, and PT’s that we really, really bad. And added to the mix was one who remains among the best bodyworkers I have met. She did things to my muscles and bones that no one else has.
For the most part I think highly of all forms of bodywork and healing practices. Physical therapy, Rolfing, Feldenkrais, massage, Bowen technique…I love them all. But I don’t necessarily love all of the practitioners of said therapies.
It is easy for a physical therapist to work in an environment that is not conducive to healing. I have had the experience of getting tended to by a therapist who had five other people to look after while helping me, and I have had the opposite experience of getting one-on-one care that focused solely on me, my knee, and what I was doing to improve.
I won’t hazard a guess at percentages but I know from my own post-surgical experience of helping others with pain issues that a great number of people are receiving multiple prescriptions of physical therapy without necessarily getting the attendant benefits.
Two of the three videos in this series are based on classic physical therapy exercises that I will almost guarantee you have been assigned if you have been to PT for back or hip pain.
My strength as a teacher lies in the specificity of my instructions so I invite you to do the exercises in the video and compare them to what you might have experienced doing them in physical therapy or an exercise class. If what I teach resonates with you we have many resources for you to take advantage of with one, or all, of our CoreWalking Programs.