“I lift heavy weights in the summer — weights my doctor said my back would never be able to support.”

In case you didn't know, there's physical therapy for all sorts of problems, and each treatment is tailored to the individual patient's needs — usually involving a mix of massage, exercise, heat or electrotherapy, and other techniques. (If you need a physical therapist you can check out the American Physical Therapy Association.)
Here, are some stories from people who underwent physical therapy to treat everything from their pelvic floor muscle problems to sports injuries to vertigo.

Now get motivated!

“I didn’t think it would help. However, looking back now, I realize how much it’s helped me.”

"I didn't think it would help. However, looking back now, I realize how much it's helped me."

I was in physical therapy for about a year due to a knee injury I had gotten. My knee cap kept popping out of place because of ligaments that became loose after my initial injury. The doctor suggested physical therapy as a way to delay getting surgery.

I went reluctantly. I was upset because I didn't understand why I needed it — I didn't think it would help — and I wanted to just go straight ahead with surgery. However, looking back now, I realize how much it's helped me. Thanks to physical therapy, I am now able to postpone surgery for at least five years without risking harm. Even though it may be hard, physical therapy is worth it in the end!

emberyanez

Wavebreakmedia / Via gettyimages.com

“It was deeply personal; part of my [therapy] included internal vaginal massage, so there was a whole lot of working naked. But my disease got so, so much better.”

"It was deeply personal; part of my [therapy] included internal vaginal massage, so there was a whole lot of working naked. But my disease got so, so much better."

I have a chronic bladder condition called interstitial cystitis that causes frequency, urgency, pain, and general discomfort. It kinda feels like having a UTI all the time. About a year after my diagnosis, my life was falling apart. I couldn’t sleep for more than an hour without having to pee, I was missing a ton of class and social events, and I was just super unhappy and always in pain. I took four different medications and suffered horrible side effects. Someone in a support group I'm part of suggested going to Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy, PFPT. I thought they were crazy — it’s my bladder, not a muscle! But I was desperate, so I found a provider and started.

At first, we mostly just talked about my symptoms and worked on very simple exercises. She taught me how to breath into my pelvic floor and roll out my super-tight muscles. After about two weeks, I started to feel magically better. I continued PFPT for four months, addressing a specific symptom each session. It was HARD work, and sometimes could be pretty painful. It was also deeply personal; part of my PFPT included internal vaginal massage, so there was a whole lot of working naked. But my disease got so, so much better. Today I am off all my daily medications and living an almost normal life. PFPT allowed me to live again.

carolineh4d34c2f20

Wavebreakmedia / Via gettyimages.com

“It was difficult and scary, but I can honestly say physical therapy saved my life. I truly thought I was going to die.”

"It was difficult and scary, but I can honestly say physical therapy saved my life. I truly thought I was going to die."

In 2016 I lost my balance one day out of the blue and was bedridden for months with nonstop vertigo. I couldn't sit up or stand, read, look at a phone or a TV, listen to music, drive my car, walk without falling, balance on a toilet, or shower by myself. Sleep was almost impossible because it would feel like I was being lifted off the bed on a rollercoaster.

After seeing numerous doctors, I eventually found a Neuro-opthalmologist who diagnosed me with a vestibular (balance) disorder with migraines. I was given a prescription for Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy and I went once a week for a year. The therapist was extremely knowledgeable about not only vestibular rehab, but also about treating a previous injury I had that affected my back, rib muscles, and neck. She taught me what these problems were so that my mind wasn't jumping to the worst conclusions.

There are daily exercises I have to do for the rest of my life now, but not as many as when I started doing PT. It was difficult and scary, but I can honestly say physical therapy saved my life. I truly thought I was going to die. I had to train myself how to walk, sit down, turn my head, and move my eyes, and I learned about how core and back health ties into balance. I will never be back to how I was, but large improvements have been made. The hard work is worth it, and finding a physical therapist who is an expert in the type of therapy you need is so valuable.

—Megan Stockman, Facebook

Yucelozber / Via gettyimages.com

“I pushed past the pain and doubt, thinking it’d be worth it even if it only gave me a week of pain-free swimming.”

"I pushed past the pain and doubt, thinking it'd be worth it even if it only gave me a week of pain-free swimming."

I’m a competitive swimmer — have been my whole life — and have dealt with shoulder injuries for the entirety of my high school career through my first semester in college. I was consistently in PT for five years dealing with these issues, and it was physically and mentally grueling. Having your muscles pushed to their limits, breaking them down and then building them back up, left me fearing I'd never be able to get past this injury. But I pushed past the pain and doubt, thinking it'd be worth it even if it only gave me a week of pain-free swimming.

Just under a year ago, I had to get surgery on my shoulder, and it left me immobilized in a sling for three months. I went to a PT for another three months after that, and had to start from scratch, again. I couldn't even lift a 1 pound weight. As I progressed, the doctors thought my chances of swimming were dwindling.

Now I'm no quitter, so I worked as hard as I possibly could to change the odds. Currently, I’m joining the Navy as a rescue swimmer and plan on saving as many lives as I can with my fully functioning shoulder. My advice to all of you is to listen to your PT and trust them. Don’t let the “odds” get to your head because your mentality is going to be what makes or breaks you. Now go out there and crush it!

a429bc4754

Jacob Ammentorp Lund / Via gettyimages.com

“After five months, I was able to swing my arm in a circle again, and when I called the PT office to tell them, I could hear them cheering in the background.”

"After five months, I was able to swing my arm in a circle again, and when I called the PT office to tell them, I could hear them cheering in the background."

I’ve actually had both of my shoulders repaired. Both surgeries happened during my years playing softball in college. I was a pitcher and I tore the labrum — the tissue that keeps the ball of the joint in place — in both of my shoulders. My right one was really bad; it was basically hanging by a few threads and there were tears in the biceps, too. I had five anchors put in to fix it, and was told recovery would be 10 to 12 months. This sort of injury is supposed to be career ending for pitchers, and I was just drafted to play pro softball that summer. The general manager of the team told me that she'd wait for me if I wanted to come back the following year.

So I went to PT at home, and the first month of sessions were grueling. I was in so much pain but the PT took it slowly. I cried in almost every session, and I got frustrated every time I tried to complete a task but failed. But even then, the people working with me were so nice and supportive. I was gaining confidence again.

After five months, I was able to swing my arm in a circle again, and when I called the PT office to tell them, I could hear them cheering in the background. I cried tears of happiness when, at seven months, I was pitching at the same speed as before my injury. I did so well that I was able to come back and play three years of pro softball. Today, I still coach the sport, I still throw at batting practice, and sometimes I'll even throw real pitches to my girls. I can also guarantee that I would have given up had I not had the encouragement of my PTs after my first surgery.

lauraw41e14b450

buzzfeed.com

“It was crazy how hard it was to walk. I couldn’t do it. I felt old, yet I was only 22.”

"It was crazy how hard it was to walk. I couldn't do it. I felt old, yet I was only 22."

I was in a coma in the medical intensive care unit for five days after an accident. After they removed the intubation and feeding tubes and moved me to a regular rooms, they brought in a physical therapist and occupational therapist to get me walking again. I was pretty groggy on my first try, and they told me that I had collapsed. On the second try, they had me using a walker to get from the bed to the door, and I almost made it. It was crazy how hard it was to walk. I couldn't do it. I felt old, yet I was only 22.

I dreaded seeing the PT or OT show up, but fast forward about a week and a half, and I was walking mostly on my own. There was always someone holding me with some sort of belt, and it was weird having nurses say “good job” or “you're doing awesome” for doing a few laps around my little part of the hospital floor. It also felt nice, though. I regained the strength to walk after about two weeks in the hospital, and it really gave me a new perspective on life in general. One specific thing: PTs and OTs need more recognition and props. They have to work really hard to get some of us back to some sort of norm.

erikam4d7222d9c

Wavebreakmedia / Via gettyimages.com

“I lift heavy weights in the summer — weights my doctor said my back would never be able to support.”

"I lift heavy weights in the summer — weights my doctor said my back would never be able to support."

I was 13 when I got a stress fracture in my lower back. This is a common injury in volleyball, especially if you don’t put in the conditioning time. I was told to limit my physical activity for a year, and once the pain went down, I would start physical therapy. I turned 14. I watched my friends play sports while I couldn't even pick up my own textbooks. I carried a pillow to class.

In January, I finally started PT with a sports specialist. She was also a swim coach; I wanted to swim in high school since my prognosis for playing high impact sports was no good. I worked on my core, my balance, and my flexibility, and slowly I became a functioning athlete again. I tried out for swimming after missing a year of practice and made the team. Two days a week I missed conditioning to go to physical therapy, and I started spending more and more time out of the water, flat on my back, because it hurt too much to move.

My physical therapist also started coaching me in swimming to get my speed back. I turned 15 and I was still recovering. I would take notes in english class while laying on the floor. My physical therapist told me I probably just needed more time. I ended up leaving the swim team after my coach accused me and my mom of faking my injury. So I took on more intensive therapy. I got stronger, more flexible, and eventually started learning to do everything on my own. My back slowly stopped hurting. I turned 16 and my PT changed jobs, so it was up to me to keep it up.

Today, I'm 20 and I walk across my college campus every day with a heavy backpack. I teach friends how to swim when they say they never learned. I go to spin class once a week. I lift heavy weights in the summer — weights my doctor said my back would never be able to support. None of these things would be possible without an incredible physical therapist giving me custom exercises and stretching out my hips afterward. I owe her my mobility and my life without pain. I also owe her my sanity, because without her allowing me to talk about it, and get angry or sad, I wouldn't have gotten through my first two years of high school.

claireelizabethl2

Mihailomilovanovic / Via gettyimages.com

“If you need physical therapy, don’t get down on yourself for needing the help, and definitely don’t wait. You don’t deserve to be in pain.”

A few years ago, I hurt my MCL/meniscus and waited far too long to have it looked at. It got to the point where I couldn't bend my knee at all without pain — sitting and driving were pure torture. I ended up having to go to physical therapy for about 10 sessions over a month-and-a-half. I had to have ultrasound therapy and massage to break up scar tissue, and exercise to build up the strength in my leg. At first I was upset, because the exercises were pretty simple, but for me they seemed almost impossible. The PT staff made all the difference (it was a small office) because they were so friendly and encouraging. They definitely didn't let me slack off, and they congratulated me every time I made it through a rough exercise or session. If you need physical therapy, don't get down on yourself for needing the help, and definitely don't wait. You don't deserve to be in pain.

—Casey Hansen, Facebook

instagram.com

“I went through most of my life with tremendous pain from my ankles to my neck. My feet messed up my whole body.”

"I went through most of my life with tremendous pain from my ankles to my neck. My feet messed up my whole body."

I was born with “flat feet”. Not just a slight lack of arches; I was basically standing on my ankle bones. I went through most of my life with tremendous pain from my ankles to my neck. My feet messed up my whole body. But regardless of how much pain I was in, I still wanted to be active. I was in marching band. I worked jobs that had me on my feet for the whole shift. I did my best to not let the pain get to be too much.

About five years ago, I decided to pursue my love of acting and began my career. What people often don't realize about acting is that you can spend up to 14 hours on your feet in one day. The pain became unbearable. Inserts didn't help, and my initial physical therapy treatment didn't help either.

I had special surgery to fix my arches and went to a different physical therapist. Insurance doesn't cover it, so I am no longer able to go, but my PT was very understanding and taught me so many things that helped me get my mobility back. I'm about 80% there two years later, and for once in my life, my feet aren't killing me!

marzaally

@mandalamassageregina / Via instagram.com

Read More


Concerns or questions?

See our support area where you can find questions asked by our clients and answered by the PURRsonals.com team.

SEE SUPPORT AREA
NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

By subscribing to our mailing list you will always be updated with the latest news from PURRsonals.com.

SIGN INTO YOUR ACCOUNT CREATE NEW ACCOUNT

Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information.

 
×
CREATE ACCOUNT ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT?

 
×
FORGOT YOUR DETAILS?
×

Go up