A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Physical Therapy Sucks

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...



I'm going to be real with you. I'm pissed that I have to go to physical therapy. I hate it. I hate carving out an hour three days a week to go do exercises I could do at home. I hate shelling out $60 a week to do exercises I could do at home. I hate waking up, going to the gym, going to work, coming home and teaching piano lessons, and then driving to physical therapy, and then finally coming home with no time to study or relax or do anything I actually want to do. I am not enjoying my schedule right now. Not one bit.

But I'm getting head of myself...

So because of the inflammation in my knee, my doctor recommended physical therapy 3xs a week for a month to see it that could help things.

I went for the first time on Friday after work. I won't mention where I'm going because obviously I'm not going to publicly declare, "I HATE PT!" and then proceed to tell you where I'm having PT done. It's not that I don't like the place I'm going or that I don't like my therapist. I just don't like PT in general.

I'm not against figuring out the cause of my problem. I think it is SUPER important to know what is going on, and I got some answers on Friday.

1. I have major quad dominance in my left leg. My left glute has pretty much shut down and leaves everything to my quad. That's effing up my knee.

2. My hip flexors are really tight. They're 18 degrees off from where "normal" hip flexors should be. So there's another underlying problem.

All good things to know. Definitely worth the co-pay and then some.

I'm not against doing boring exercises and stretches if it will help my knee get better. I do lots of stuff I don't particularly enjoy doing for the greater good of my health. For instance, jump squats. I did 100 of them Friday morning and I guarantee you that while I was doing them, I was not smiling and thinking about how wonderful jump squats are. So I'll do the exercises, however boring they are.

What I AM against, is taking time out of my busy schedule and paying money to go do stretches and exercises somewhere else other than the comfort of my home or after a workout at the gym. And that's what I'm afraid of. I'm afraid I'm going to go back to PT and they're just going to have me do the same stuff they have me doing at home.

If that is the case, I'm not going back. I'll just keep doing what they told me to do, but I'm not going back. I'm gonna give it a week, and if it's a waste of time, I'll quit.




My first appointment wasn't bad. The therapist did a lot of tests and measurements and has most likely correctly figured out what is "wrong" with me. I was happy to have the information. Then the therapist had me warm up on the bike for 8 minutes. Eight horrible minutes of just pedaling on 1.5 resistance level. It was the worst eight minutes of my life. (Not really, but please allow me to be over dramatic, okay???) And after the warm up? I was shown how to do my 5 stretches/exercises. I didn't even go through them in their entirety. I was just shown how to do them, and I demonstrated them back to the therapist to be sure I did them correctly. What was the point of that warm up? I have no clue. So it ate up some time? I don't get it.

Oh, one more thing to complain about. How come it doesn't matter WHAT sort of health related appointment I have, I am always seen at LEAST fifteen minutes later than my scheduled appointment? I seriously rushed from work to get to PT by 4pm, then it turned out I had to wait fifteen minutes anyway. I know, sometimes doctors need extra time with a patient. I get it. But then why does it happen EVERY time I have an appointment somewhere?

Okay, I'm done bitching.

On the drive home from PT I had to blast this so I would at least be in a semi-good mood for Friday night..



Glee's 'Christmas Wrapping'

It almost cheered me up.


Have you ever gone to physical therapy?? Do you think I'm going to go back and make me do the same stuff I do at home?


26 comments:

  1. when I was diagnosed with frozen shoulder (first it was in the right, then both, now it's just in the left) I was told to go to PT two days per week. I laughed and told the doc that I'm a poor freelancer with crappy health insurance. But I sucked it up and went at least once per week for nearly two months. I was irritated too that they seemed to just message my shoulder for 20 minutes, then they put ice on it and I just sat there. WTF? I can do this at home. I did, and the right got better...but unfortunately the left is still pretty bad. But I've also been bad about doing the exercises at home, so that's probably my fault. I think PT helps people who don't do exercise at home. If you are doing the same thing they are, I'd consider not going. But you reminded me that I need to get back to doing the exercises at home to help my left shoulder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tonya - can we talk? I've had the same problem and am considering creating an app to make it quicker, cheaper, and at home

      Delete
    2. You intresting and smart solution. Good luck and if your looking for investment funding we can talk. omaray3381@gmail.com

      Delete
  2. If you can do it at home, do it at home. I still don't enjoy doing it at home but I did it. When I lay on the bed to do the one stretch my cat always jumps up and licks my face, so there is the plus side to doing boring stretching !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ugh I had to do PT for my knee earlier this year. My insurance company organised it, so it was in some obscure place I had to travel an hour to get to! I only had 10 sessions and I can't complain because they were free, but it was such a pain in the ass going to do things I could have done myself.

    In an unrelated issue, I fixed my hip flexors by stretching them for 10 minutes a day for about six months. Prior to doing any leg training at all, I would spend 30 minutes warming up. It seemed excessive at the time but really made a difference!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm I wonder if I should warm up more before doing legs? Six months is a long time! I have a feeling mine will take awhile because I never ever stretched my hip flexors.

      Delete
    2. Tara - can we talk? I've had the same problem and am considering creating an app to make it quicker, cheaper, and at home

      Delete
  4. I hate PT, have gone for various injuries... for the most part it is them having you do the exercises they have you do at home but I have gotten massage therapy and ultrasound treatments at the same time... Is it worth going 3 times a week, not in my book but get the basics and I think you are better off on own and with more money in your pocket...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the info! I am going to try it for a week and see how it goes. You guys aren't making me feel so bad for wanting to quit!

      Delete
  5. Argh, I feel your pain. I hate when I shell out money and waste my time for an appointment that ends up being pointless. These days, the internet is so wonderful...you can find all kinds of stretches and stuff once you know WHERE your issue lies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I am so thankful to find out what is going on mechanically with me to cause my knee issues. I think the therapists think most people don't do the stretches/exercises at home (which is probably true) and they want to make money, so they make you come in 3 times a week. I love all the anti-PT support I am getting. Now I don't even want to go tomorrow!!

      Delete
    2. Ali - can we talk? I've had the same problem and am considering creating an app to make it quicker, cheaper, and at home

      Delete
  6. I tried to comment last night but my phone refuses to allow it!

    Anyway, glad you at least got some helpful information but yes, it's frustrating you have to go. I wonder if anything will change come the new year when more people might be able to go to PT/doc office, etc - maybe they'll allow you to "graduate" PT if you demonstrate a willingness to do it at home.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 20$ to get a complete and accurate diagnosis for a dysfunctional pattern that would have ended up as a hip or knee replacement 30 years from now? What a rip off please take your money and spend it on iTunes. We will be seeing you in P.T. down the road anyway good luck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, just saw this comment! Anyway, I actually ended up seeing a different therapist who specialized in runners. Long story short, my ailment was something completely different- I had a plica. Got it surgically removed, all good now. One thing I learned was don't go to just any therapist.I needed someone who specialized in my sport.

      Delete
  8. Youre not gonna see a different in a week if you spent your whole life doing something to your body. Or even the past 6 months. What do you think PTs are supposed to be, magicians? You want to do exercises at home? Tell the therapist. The only reason they have you down as three times a week is cause its on the script.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My knee ailment actually ended up being something completely different. It was a plica. I ended up going to a different therapist who specialized in runners and used a computer to analyze my running gait. It was really cool! Anyway, I had the plica removed surgically, which has been a great help. Still do my hip flexor stretches though- feels so good!

      Delete
  9. Meg,

    I'm sorry to hear you had such a negative experience with physical therapy. It sounds like you got good information from the first visit you had - your hip flexors are tight, you probably have glute weakness, etc. That is all valuable information for your knowledge. Yes, you could do it on your own, but that information regarding your own biomechanics and deficits is not readily available prior unless you are trained in that aspect. It seems "boring" doing the same thing over and over again, but that is your part in PT to participate to make change. The reason why you have to do the same boring exercises is because there is no cure quickly in a physiological aspect. Unfortunately, it sounds like you either did not connect with your PT or your PT did not clearly explain why you were doing what you did in therapy. Next time, I recommend asking why you are doing what you are in PT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree- I got great information about my biomechanics so that was really helpful. I also definitely did not connect with my PT. I should have spoken up and asked why I do the exact same exercises when I come to PT that I do at home. It seemed like a huge waste of time to me to drive all the way to the PT office 3 times a week to do the same exercises I did at home. If I am investing my time and money, I want to be getting something different out of it. And I realize that not everyone is as motivated as I am to do things at home. I realize a lot of people may SAY they do it at home, but they don't. I should have spoken up and said "Since I truly am doing this exercises on my own, an I come in once every other week for a check in and for you to see if there's something new I could be doing?" Thanks for commenting! Boy does this post I wrote a couple years ago get the attention from a lot of physical therapists!

      Delete
    2. No one is making you go to physical therapy. It is a recommendation by your MD at best. It is not mandatory. Just go for an initial eval get a treatment plan and do your shit on your own and not get better. Or just get a cortisone injection or a medrol pack and suck it up. So you had an inflamed plica, big deal. You have to exhaust conservative options (like PT) before surgery anyway. Get a clue.....

      Delete
    3. Thank you for a comment! This is quite an old post but I will update you and let you know I ended up finding a physical therapist who specialized in runners and actually did gait analysis. He was very comprehensive and now recommend him to all of my running friends. Unfortunately, the plica had to be removed surgically and just recently I had an MRI showing my knee is completely fine- which was news to me!

      Delete
  10. I felt like I enjoyed getting the education from the PT. However, my PT had a very agressive strengthening plan. I felt like I got stronger but at the same time my injury got more inflamed and then I wasn't really healing. I felt sometimes like the PT made me worse and actually did more harm than help. My injury would hurt for a couple weeks after some of the things she would try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no. :( It is such a fine line I think between strengthening yet not hurting an injury. I hope you and your therapist (or a new PT) came up with a plan that works better for you so you can heal.

      Delete
  11. Hey Meg - I realize this has been a couple years, but the problems you mentioned persist in PT. If you're willing, any chance we can talk? I'm tired of these same problems, so I'm considering building a product to fix them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connor, where are you located? Ill talk

      Delete
    2. Connor, where are you located? Ill talk

      Delete