Physical Therapy is Hard

10325771_10152178862025945_3803660742779114138_n[1]If you’ve ever done physical therapy, this won’t come as a surprise to you.

I’ve been in PT for about four weeks now trying to address the issues with my knees.  It’s going well, but it’s painful.  I’m working to strengthen my hips, legs and knees in order to help my knees maintain their alignment and also alleviate the pain associated with the loss of cushioning and cartilage.

My first active session with my therapist was both embarrassing and torturous.

First, she put me through a series of hip and leg exercises that were expected and not all that different from working out with my trainer.  It felt like a workout, but that was good.  Afterwards, she “stretched me out.”  This is where it gets embarrassing.

Like this, except laying on or your back with a therapist looming over you.

Like this, except laying on your back with a therapist looming over you.

She had me lay diagonally across a therapy table, and positioned my legs so that one foot was braced on her shoulder, and the other was bent as far back as possible under the table.  She leaned into me so that my knee was almost touching my shoulder, and she used her body to stretch my other leg back under the table, stretching my quad and hip flexor.  Outside the context of a PT room, this would have looked like some serious girl on girl action.  I was so embarrassed by the positioning, and we were not alone in the room, I had to stare at the ceiling.  I could not look her in the face while we were in this ridiculous position.

Then, with my leg jacked up to my shoulder, she digs her forearm into the top of my other thigh and says, “Your hips are so tight.  Your quads and hamstrings are strong, but your hips are really tight and weak.”

Gasping through the pain of her shredding my muscle with her tiny arms of steel, I said, “No way!  My hips aren’t weak!  My hips are bangin’!”

Just kidding.  I didn’t say that, and my hips aren’t bangin’.  Well, at least not in that way.  My hips are awesome in a good-Midwestern-stock-breeding-hips sort of way.  I actually had a doctor tell me once that I was “good Midwestern stock.”  I probably should have been offended by that at the time.

Anyway, this freaky, painful stretching escapade lasted for several minutes and then she moved me into the same position with the other leg.  At one point I had to put my arm over my face and turn away because I refused to allow anyone in that room to see how much pain I was in.  I kept chanting to myself quietly, “Don’t cry in public, don’t cry in public.   Only candy-ass, wussie girls cry in public!”  The next morning as I was getting dressed, I noticed multiple bruises all over the tops of both my thighs.

I don't know this guy.  It's a stock photo, but an accurate depiction of pervy guy.

I don’t know this guy. It’s a stock photo, but an accurate depiction of pervy guy.

This physical torture has continued for four long weeks.  The stretching has gotten better and less painful, although there is one dude also receiving therapy who seems to enjoy watching my stretching sessions with more enthusiasm than I’m comfortable with. I’m pretty certain he’s a pervert and probably getting off on the visual.  I secretly hope the therapist gives him an extra dig with her elbow when she’s manipulating his muscles.

I wish I could say that I’ve noticed a significant difference between the knee shots and therapy, but so far, it’s mostly the same.  Pain, grinding, and more pain.  My therapist admitted to me that some people don’t experience any pain relief from the shots.  That’s disheartening considering that I only need one more shot to complete the course of my treatment.

So yeah, physical therapy is not for sissies.

24 thoughts on “Physical Therapy is Hard

      • Hey, you’re not alone chica. I think I couldn’t remember what you had because of the same forgetfulness thing you have and I have arthritis too! Not Rheumtoid, but the usual type of arthritis, when people speak of arthritis — OSTEOARTHRITIS.

        Guess where? Nope, not my uterus … I had that removed if you’ve read my blog! Ha ha! Arthritis of the uterus, oy vey, wouldn’t that be bad! 😉

        Well, my neck. Yep. My treatments have been:
        1) $$$$$$$ on chriropractic & myofascial release massage to no avail. (this doesn’t really work for arthritis FYI)
        2) A mother elfin’ sh*tload of acupuncture to the point that the last two session my body was rejecting the needles! No real long-lasting help here.
        3) Ibuprofen so much taken that I developed mild gastritis — but painful.
        4) Radiofrequency ablation on my right & left side neck. Yikes! Talk about very weird pain, especially afterwards for several weeks. Not sure if this really worked or not, but it meant sticking large needles inside, with steroid injections and doing burning around the area of the nerve roots.
        6) Oh, and PT in the past, but nothing as sexy as your leg stretches and S&M bruises! Or the male voyeur either. Nope mine consisted mostly of putting my neck to the side and practicing what looked like the dorkiest exercise on earth — sticking my head in and out like a turtle! NOT SEXY!

        What’s working now you might ask?
        1) A Butrans patch changed once weekly that’s leaving long-lasting red rectangular marks all over my body! Someone who finds me unconscious and has to put me into a patient gown is going think I’m into some weird sh*t! And again, NOT SEXY!
        2) As needed Valium (diazepam) at night as a muscle relaxant … this is after trial of 2 bullish*t worthless muscle relaxants.
        3) An OTC camphor ointment that is highly aromatic, announcing, “Someone old is coming, someone old is coming my way!”

        So, SEXY PT Masoquist girl, you keep up those PT exercises and soon you’ll be doing the splits (to Dan’s surprise! And I promised he’ll NEVER EVER make you get BS burning @ss burritos EVER!) and maybe be even be able to blossom to those chique pole-dancing exercise classes, rocking those hips and maybe even twerking! Yep, I see a sexy future for me.

        Hope you’ll still stay friend with “Turtle Girl” over here! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • OMG! That’s hilarious! But trust me when I say there is NOTHING sexy about what she does to me in therapy. It’s one of those things that in your mind you might think looks hot, but the second you see yourself in the mirror you’re like, holy sh*t, that’s not hot! And the fact that creepy guy seems to get off on it makes it even less hot! And let’s talk about your neck….holy cow, that’s a lot of treatment! You are so badass! I don’t know if I could do all of that. I’m whining my head off over a few knee shots and you’re having needles stuck in your neck!Damn woman, that’s hard core. 💪🏻

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ugh…this is so reminiscent of my physical therapy when I had Os Trigonum Syndrome, which is basically a bone spur in between your ankle and heel bone. For me, the PT did not work because my therapist had me doing exercises that aggravated the condition, like calf raising and walking on my toes (I am a dancer, of course). I ultimately had to get surgery, and then PT after that worked. PT the first time left me screaming for ice, but with PT after the surgery, I didn’t feel the need for any ice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was deep into empathizing with all the awkwardness when I had to laugh out loud when I reached that paragraph about the pervert 😄 Kudos to you for having the sass to make (find?) something funny out of the situation. And best of luck to the knees.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bruising is bad…Bruising is BAD!…BRUISING IS BAD!!!!! That PT should NEVER have forced you into a position where you ended up with bruises or that kind of soreness. Yes, you should have felt like you had good workout, but they should NEVER…EVER push you to the point of crying because of pain. She doesn’t sound like a very good PT; and if I were you, I’d be looking for someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

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