PT at Embody: A patient's story about learning to say "I CAN do it!

Susan and Rebecca (Becki) appreciate great feedback like this; it makes us better PTs! MJ WAS a challenging client, no doubt about it, in part because she had many perceptions and beliefs about what was "wrong" with her, what she should or should not be doing, and really struggled (initially) with the concepts of pain science, and making changes. She had experienced many injuries and was very frustrated by her inablity to sit in class (a problem for all of us, but especially a student!). She loves to run, and was unable to do so without pain and fear of more injuries. Like MJ, often, the people that we work with at Embody have been told to stop doing activities that they love or need to do because those activities are "bad for you", "cause arthritis" or are "dangerous". This story is a great one to demonstrate what perseverance, by all involved, can achieve! We thank her for sharing, and hope to see results from running event in the future! If you have been told not to do things, are fearful of pain, or have lost movement and strength and want to resume activities, please contact us. More often than not, we can help, or can help you find someone who can!

"I started physical therapy at Embody as my last resort. I had seen multiple physical therapists in the past and each one discharged me or punted me back to a physician because they could not help me. I was just tired and frustrated since I had been dealing with these things for years.  I wanted answers and to be able to sit for over an hour and a half without pain and ultimately to get back to my passion: running!

I am so thankful to Becki and Susan for taking me under their wing. As a physical therapy student, I wanted to understand what was happening, what the trajectory of the care was going to be and really as a patient I just wanted to be better as quickly as possible.

Becki was great about incorporating the so many aspects of life: physical, mental, nutritional and emotional into the session. When something came up that was out of her scope, she directed me to the proper resources for more in depth evaluations. Though I gave her attitude at times when my brain could not wrap around concepts, she taught me the value of the “in between”. In addition, she did not give up on me and tell me I was the hopeless cause I believed myself to be. I learned to breathe, stabilize and over all actually use my muscles.

As a student of physical therapy and as a patient,  I learned that physical therapy is a process we are always having to make adjustments and adapt to new conditions. It is a journey. I had to learn to play with exercises and movement so I could be fell successful and feel as though I had accomplished something major and could begin to advance to an activity that was more difficult. I can finally sit without constant pain. I know when the pain comes I have techniques to manage it. I finally realized the value of different types of breathing and how in functional activity you need to be able to breathe (I hold my breath when I am concentrating or trying a new activity). I now can calm down my body and brain enough to figure out triggers and begin breaking my bad habits of holding stress and tension in my neck, shoulders, stomach and pelvic floor. Becki enforced the importance of self-care and not judging myself when I could not be that A+ student. I am able to observe without obsessing over the aches, pains or not getting it right on the first try.

Overall, I am eternally thankful I found my way to Embody Physiotherapy. I could not have been in better hands. A lot is expected of you as a patient as far as following through by showing for appointments and being diligent with your home program but you can expect to reap the rewards. It does not happen overnight. There is no quick fix. I had to establish new patterns of movement and challenge my brain to allow changes to the correct way instead of the easy way. Even though there were tears and anger (more with myself because it did not come as easily as I thought it should) this summer I was able to survive a 9-hour car trip to move for a job because I followed through and gave the new ideas a chance. I can now run ¾ a mile without pain in my butt, knees and ankles.  

I think I will always be striving to improve to an even better level of function than I am at now. Thankfully, I know that I am now building on a firm foundation that I never had in the past. I would encourage anyone who has been suffering with pain, headaches, pelvic floor issues, incontinence, constant injuries to multiple body parts or repeat injuries to one body part to see either Becki or Susan. There is hope. It is a journey but these two will ensure you have all the skills you need to be successful in the end. Thank you both for your patience, knowledge, time and encouragement. Now I have the opportunity to enhance others lives because of all I have."

MJ
August 4, 2016