Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The PT starts

Going to PT was quite a strange experience at first (and maybe at last too...) I had done PT in the past when my shoulder was operated on and while painful, it was good to have made progress and regain full mobility. I had hoped for more of the same here. According to many sources it had a very high success rate in spondy cases, and I knew I wasn't nearly at my peak condition so there was certainly room for improvement. If you haven't seen spondy exercises, they are an interesting bunch. From the "pelvic tilts" to the "bridges" it trains you not only for back support but for bedroom acrobatics as well. I spent more than 3 months in physical therapy, and by the end I was back to nearly my military levels of sit-ups, with greatly improved flexibility. This was all good--except that I was still in pain, and even worse than before. Regardless of the strengthening it had continued to progress at an alarming pace.

At the initiation of PT I was standing for hours at a time with mild (but tolerable) pain, walking miles with the same. At the 3 month point I was in moderate pain after a mere 30 minutes of standing (total throughout the day) and able to walk no more than a couple of blocks before I was done. My job requries standing, lots of it. I can try to sit in the occasionally available stool every now and again, but that is a luxury and not always a given. At this point it began to affect my work. I could no longer think clearly because of the amount of pain I was in. I started making mistakes and paying less to what I was doing and more to what I was feeling. This I knew I could not keep up. After nearly four months I stopped going to PT so I could save the remainder of my allotted visits in the case I need surgery that year. I made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in backs.

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