PTIf you have lived into your seventies and managed to avoid back issues, you are indeed lucky.  From the number of seniors I know … myself included … who deal with pain from various back ailments, it seems clear that although we may have evolved to live our lives upright our long life expectancy is too much for our backs.  I have been lucky nonetheless because my pains have been manageable, that is, I can navigate my life as it is in my seventies without too much trouble.   Lately, though, the pains in my legs have gotten worse, limiting how far I can walk and making my Thursday morning shift of cat care at Best Friends Animal Society a reach for this old body.   So, I went to see my Doc, Dr. Preston Wilson (or is it Wilson Preston?) and asked what my next step might be.  He said, Well, I could send you for an MRI but no matter what it shows, your insurance will insist that you try PT.  So you might as well try it first.  So, last week I put on my loose fitting clothes suitable for exercise and made my way to the local Physical Therapy Center.

You know what physical therapy is, don’t you?   It’s a place you go when you have pain somewhere and they give you exercises that make you hurt in other places so that the pain you already had won’t feel so bad.  That’s a little harsh but not always.  My experience in the past with PT has been mixed.  I either go until the pain I’m dealing with subsides and I don’t need PT anymore … or I go until I decide it doesn’t help and, well, I don’t need it anymore.  Now, since my Doc told me my leg pain was due to the aging of nerves in my back, I’d already been doing a dozen or so leg and back stretches every morning.   Well, almost every morning,  Uhhh, well, every morning that my legs are hurting.  Of course, that is part of the problem.  I know how to take care of my back and legs … I need to watch my posture, lift with my legs, not sit with my legs crossed, and do my daily exercises.  But I’m a my-roof-doesn’t-leak-when-it-doesn’t-rain guy.  I tend to forget when my legs don’t hurt.

stretchesAnyway, now I have four more exercises to add to my morning regimen and to do again before bed.  Prone on Elbows is just what it says … lie on your stomach with your shoulders propped up on your elbows and stay that way for two minutes.  If you think that sounds boring, wait until the next one, the Transverse Abdominus Activation.   I didn’t even know I had one of those.  Instructions: activate your traverse abdominus by drawing in your abdomen without moving your spine on exhale.  Then there’s the Sciatic Nerve Glide (I seem to have missed the glide part) and the Active Hamstring Stretch, guaranteed to make you hurt in places you didn’t before.  The front of my thighs are now sore and I have a nerve pain hotspot on the top of my left foot.   But that’s OK because my physical therapist said, This could be a hurt more before you feel better proposition.  Which I knew going in.

Wish me luck.

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4 Comments on “PT”

  1. Muriel Reed Says:

    Good luck!❤️

  2. granny1947 Says:

    You are better than me.
    I am dreadful at doing exercises.
    While I was working I really battled with back and leg pains.
    Now that I have finally retired most of the problems have subsided.
    I think lying on my bed and reading helps!

  3. barrythewiz Says:

    Feel better soon. I think of PT like chicken soup; it couldn’t hurt! (And sometimes it really helps!)

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