Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Oh, The Pain!

Michelle, my physical therapistFor over a year now I've been having trouble with my shoulder. Most days it's just uncomfortable, but if I try to exert it by doing some sort of repetitive motion like painting, or just push it to the limit with push-ups in Karate, it can be painful enough that I have problems tying my shoes. At my most recent physical, I told my doctor about it and she recommended (cue dark foreboding music) physical therapy.

Now everyone has heard the horror stories of going in for physical therapy and the agony perpetuated upon the poor unfortunate souls who take part. The therapist are all sadists and devise ever more elaborate plans to inflict unspeakable pain upon their charges. It's almost enough to make even the bravest among us blanch in fear.

OK, I'm here to tell you that it's just not true.

I started working with my physical therapist, Michelle (pictured) about a month ago. The first day was all about where I was right now. What moves could I make? What were my limitations? How much pain did I experience? What was I trying to achieve with the therapy? Then we did a few easy exercises and that was it. No pain and very little discomfort. I discovered that my shoulders were slightly out of alignment which was causing stress and inflammation throughout the whole area.

In the following weeks, Michelle gave me a regimen of exercises and stretches to remedy the problems in my shoulder. Each time I came in we would work on new techniques to strengthen the shoulder. In all that time, not one scream of pain escaped my lips nor tear of agony fell from my eyes. In fact, I didn't see a single patient weeping while I was there.

Was it always easy? No. But, really, it was no worse than a good workout at the gym. The therapists very carefully chart your progress and if you follow their instructions, you will end up feeling better and stronger. I just recently had my one month evaluation. I was amazed at how little pain I was still experiencing and how much freer my movements had become.

So, if you have been experiencing pain, whether from an accident or simple overuse, and your doctor recommends that you go in for a little PT, don't worry. You will survive and it's very unlikely that there will be any screaming involved!

So, what experiences have you gone through that have been blown out of proportion in the minds of the public?

41 days.

No comments: