physical therapy question

SteveGon

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Steve Gonzales
I just saw an orthopedic surgeon due to a painful shoulder which has been bothering me for a year or so. The doctor thinks the problem is muscular and recommended physical therapy. I'm curious as to what this therapy consists of. Does it really help? Also, I work in a restaurant and put in quite a few long shifts. This puts a lot of stress on the old shoulder. Maybe it's time I looked for a better job that would cause less wear and tear on myself?
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[Edited last by SteveGon on October 19, 2001 at 09:42 AM]
 

Julie K

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Physical therapy is great! I dislocated my kneecap and after several months, lost all strength in that leg in addition to having a lot of pain. I did 6 weeks of therapy (knees require a lot - your shoulder should heal up faster) and it helped a lot. My knee is not perfect, but it's a whole lot better.
The therapy can consist of various things: heat, cold, ultrasound, massage, and exercise. The therapist will decide which options to use and will probably give you exercises to do outside the office as well.
Be warned: it's painful. Get a bag of frozen peas (yes, peas) to help. A bag of frozen peas is the best ice-pack there is.
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AdrianJ

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Uhm, I would write a real response but Julie really hit it right on the head. The main key though, is to continue the exercises after your physical therapy sessions are over.
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andrew markworthy

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FWIW, my mum (in her 70s, and with osteoporosis, so I'm not sure how directly comparable her experiences are) is having treatment for a shoulder injury at the moment. She says she feels like she's been put in a tumble drier at the time, but afterwards it feels somewhat better.
 

Bill Catherall

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Physical therapy is great! I sprained my ankle really bad while playing some sports about 10 years ago. I went to physical therapy twice a day. The therapy procedure for me was (after removing the wrap) ice my ankle in a big tub of ice water, gently stretch the ankle, do some excercises to strengthen it and work out the stiffness, ice it again, get it wrapped up real tight to support it and work out the swelling. In just a matter of a few weeks it was strong enough to walk on again. Unfortunately, I didn't have to continue with the therapy and it took another 6 months for it to be completely pain free. It would swell occasionally. But I kept up the stretching excercises. Now that ankle is stronger than the other. You can even see a difference in size. I can roll it (which usually causes sprains) without injuring it at all.
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DaveF

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Be warned: it's painful.
Be further warned that all physical therapists are sadists! This is a legalized way to torture people.

Seriously, having had PT after surgery (as a kid), and known others need post-surgical PT, it is both useful and important. Unfortunately, it can be painful at times.
But also on the plus side (for younger guys), is that physical therapists are often young, enthusiastic women, who love helping people
(though I'm sure there are also similar male PTs for you women...)
 

Karen-Fowler

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I'd have to agree about physical therapists being sadists and torturers. My sister's one and I've watched her in action.
 

Matthew Chmiel

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I fractured my arm and I've started physical therapy two weeks ago and will be going for (what looks like) the next two weeks (note: I also have to go three times a week). At the physical therapist I go to, I do the following:
- Put a heat pack on for 15 minutes.
- Do arm exercises for 10 minutes.
- Use the upper body cycle for 5 minutes.
- Put on an ice pack for 10 minutes.
- Get an arm massage (the best part of the therapy imo
) for 5 minutes.
The physical therapy helps big time and my arm is feeling better than when it was in a cast/sling.
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SteveGon

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Thanks for the replies!
But also on the plus side (for younger guys), is that physical therapists are often young, enthusiastic women, who love helping people
Things are definitely looking up!

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Denward

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About 10 years ago when I was a lad of 28, I had shoulder pain that I attributed to playing a lot of tennis and volleyball. I saw an ortho surgeon and he recommended just some simple PT to strengthen the muscles around my shoulder. He "prescribed" for me a pack of "Therabands" which are basically giant rubber bands. There are about six(?) in a package and they are color coded. I think the yellow one was the thinnest and thus offered the least resistance while the silver was the thickest. You progress through the six bands by doing a set of exercises 2 or 3 times a day. They're very easy to carry with you to work and if you can steal 15 minutes, that's all it takes. You tie the band into a loop, wrap it around a door knob or piece of heavy furniture, and do your reps. It basically involves moving your shoulder in a 45 degree range of motion in all directions. At first you think it's real wussy because it seems so easy but after 20 or 30 reps, you start to feel like your shoulder will fall off. But after several weeks it felt a lot better and it's a million times better than having surgery. But, the heavy lifting you do in the restaurant is probably a no-no during PT.
I still have the bands and when I sprain an ankle or something, they're great for rebuilding muscle strength around an injured joint.
Good luck Steve (with the PT and any PTist you might meet).
[Edited last by Denward on October 19, 2001 at 11:32 PM]
 

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