Tuesday, June 17, 2014

sports medicine physical therapy > ortho physical therapy

today i had the opportunity to visit bob at instep for a physical therapy session.  my insurance doesn't cover any sports medicine physical therapy so seeing bob is coming straight outta of compton... er... i mean my pocket.

initially, i was seeing a sweet little girl named megan over at froedtert, but she wasn't helping.  quite frankly... i don't think she knew what the hell she was talking about.  she tested my range of motion the entire first visit, and i left there with handfuls of handouts with exercises to strengthen my "weak ankles and glute muscles".  i suppose it is needless to say (although i will say it anyway) that i left there less than thrilled, and not feeling very confident in megan's ability to help me.  after all, if i wanted a personal trainer i would have gone to the gym.  *sigh*  so i did the exercises she prescribed and then i went back in two weeks expecting her to follow through with the treatment that my doctor prescribed when sending me to her in the first place.  which was deep tissue massage and electro-therapy.  neither of which she addressed in the first visit.  during the second visit she asked about my running and how i was feeling and then put me on a bosu ball.  she wanted me to do several sets of single leg squats.  i obliged and basically got an insurance paid for work out.  i inquired about the actual therapy that my doctor prescribed and megan informed me that she didn't think that was the route to take as based on my symptoms she believed i just had weak ankles and glutes so no need for that pesky therapy.

um, what?!?

it was at this point that i decided that she knew nothing jon snow!  jesus!  so i cancelled all the remaining appointments and the receptionist actually asked me if megan had released me from care.  as if i have to have her permission to be in charge of my own care!  wtf?!?  i said no and that i was going to find a sports medicine therapist.

fast forward to today.

i go in to see bob and tell him what has been going on.  he does a few simple tests and then i tell him what megan said and he laughed.  he laughed out loud.  i told him what my doctor said and he agreed completely with him.  i liked him right from the start.  bob put his hands on me right away.  felt how my muscles were moving (or not moving as it were) and seemed to know what he was talking about.  he manipulated the muscles in my left glute and hip manually and with tools.  it was pretty painful at times, but i am hopeful that i will see results.  he seemed to think things will be fine in a few months or sooner.  he explained to me that what is going on in my calf has to do with constricted blood flow and that's why the muscle is knotted up and hard in a bunch of spots.  he gave me some exercises to help remedy that as well as did the torturous electro-therapy for 15 minutes.  he manipulated my calf for a long time before the torture which hurt like hell but now (several hours later) it feels pretty damn good.  apparently the hip/glute/calf are all related which i figured but it was nice to have it confirmed.  he isn't worried about the numbness and doesn't think i have sciatica which is also super relieving.  i just have some fucked up muscles that got all tightened up for some reason over the winter and need to be softened up and stretched out and back to normal.

mostly it's just nice to know that i know my body as well as i do and that someone else listened to me.  that damn girl didn't listen to me at all and it was so frustrating.  i assume that it is because she's young and maybe with time and experience she will learn to listen.  either way... i'm glad i'm not in her care anymore because man that was frustrating!

life is good people!  be inspired!


Josh said...

My physical therapist at Froedtert (through the Orthopaedic, Sports, and Spine Center) is pretty much amazing. I credit her with nearly all major improvements I've felt since the onset of my neck issues. The chiropractor there has helped somewhat as well, but the PT lady is where it's at. Aside from giving me exercises to do, which have helped somewhat, the thing that's helped the most is manual muscle manipulation. And I don't mean anything like a massage. She's more or less moving individual muscle fibers around with her fingers. Not a ton of pressure applied or anything. But I can tell you it's relieved sensitivity in previously sensitive areas that shouldn't be. Plus my neck flexibility is a lot better than what it had regressed to, and my neck soreness is way down. The main thing, though, was the relief of the head pressure I was feeling. She's a little older -- not old -- but not some young girl, either. She's definitely listened to what I've explained about my symptoms, and has approached everything based on that. And it's helped. Maybe experience and good listening ability are the keys to a good PT.

nikki said...

i wholeheartedly agree that experience and listening are key but being in sports medicine is also a huge portion of what was wrong with my experience i think. my insurance doesn't cover sports medicine so i was seeing someone in the ortho clinic at the hospital. mainly the other patients there looked to have had some sort of work related injury or were of the geriatric variety having suffered from falls or surgeries. the last time i was at that particular clinic was when i shattered my wrist. i'm just thinking that her approach wasn't the same as someone coming from a sports background. i was very disappointed and i have to say that after massaging my calf as i was directed and doing the simple calf raises as instructed my leg is feeling so much better! i am actually looking forward to running and seeing how it feels. megan NEVER even touched me. never physically laid her hands on me so how could she possibly know what was going on with my muscles? therein lies the problem. couple that with the fact that she simply wouldn't listen to what i was saying (and i know my body better than most) nor did she follow my doctor's instructions it was frustrating to say the least. i have a 5K tomorrow so i suppose we will see how it goes.