New PT approach for recovery

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on August 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

I have never, previous to fracturing my patella in a fall, required the skills of a Physical Therapist, so my expectations were relatively uninformed.  After injury, I’ve had two Physical Therapists through my co-operative health group, and they did their expert best for me.  Although I have been very appreciative of their work, my pain levels and mobility had not improved significantly from the exercises they had assigned to me.  Thus, I took it upon myself to find further, less mechanically oriented PT guidance.

My Gyrotonic instructor, Lindsey, referred me to a PT who is a former dancer and Gyrotonic instructor.  Heidi spent a considerable amount of time in listening to how I am now, how I have been since injury, and then observing how I walk.  She gave me new ways to think about walking that helped me tremendously.  And, happily from an Alexander perspective, the “exercises” she gave me were far less about strengthening specific muscles than concerned with overall awareness of co-ordination.  Although she didn’t employ the term “use” in an Alexander fashion, she attended to use and the big picture of personal co-ordination choices.

The result is that my mobility and pain levels have improved.  I walked home from work today at my pre-injury speed and ease.

There is more recovery in my future, I hope.  I can’t walk down stairs like a normally co-ordinated person, walking downhill is very challenging and often painful, and running, riding a horse, or doing many of the activities I did previously with confidence are currently far beyond my capability.  I am grateful to be able to teach well.  I have renewed hope that  with the skilled guidance of a PT who thinks less mechanically and more widely,  combined with Alexander lessons,  I will be able, in time, to enjoy all the activities I love, and more, once again.

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