movement (noun): 1. the act, process or result of changing position. 2. a group of people working together to advance their ideas.
Movement. It compels us. Our bodies were designed for it. It advances us to higher levels of achievement, including better health. In “Achieving Better Health Through Motion,” we covered the positive and abundant benefits of incorporating movement into your life. We have seen the results, have made it our focus, and are encouraging our patients to do the same. While there is change required of you individually (e.g. lifestyle adjustments, routine exercise), you are not alone. Getting you back in action is a team effort, and it extends beyond you and your physical therapist. Once you’re reaping the rewards of your decision to get active, we assure you that your enthusiasm about the new doors opening for you (yes, the ones you’ve always seen but now you’re actually blazing through) will be contagious. So do your thing and spread the word, encouraging others to make it their journey, too…it’s a MOVEMENT movement!
Kathleen Ballard is part of this movement and has wholeheartedly embraced her Better Health Through Motion journey. After dealing with low back issues for 15 years, Kathleen found herself suffering with sciatica, the result of a herniated disk. In April of 2000, she had a lumbar laminectomy. In recent years, her low back and hip pain would affect prolonged periods of sitting and walking as well as rolling over during the night. She was also experiencing difficulty with balance and flexibility. It was time to reach out. “I received PT at another clinic last May which offered some relief,” says Kathleen, “but there was not much interaction between the PT and myself. I was given stretching exercises which I would do on the therapy table and I was told to limit my walking.” However, Kathleen didn’t want to reduce her activity, she wanted to get moving! “I told the PA at the orthopedic clinic that I wanted to continue therapy. She suggested Sport + Spine since I wanted to try something more movement-based, something other than just stretching. At Sport + Spine, I was encouraged to continue walking. This was great news to me since my sisters and I were planning to do a 5K Walk for Alzheimer’s the first weekend in October – and we did!” Kathleen’s progress continued. “Strengthening exercises had the biggest impact on my recovery. By increasing my strength, I gained confidence that I could engage in various exercise activities. I am now a regular gym rat! I do ‘Aqua Power’ twice a week which incorporates lots of squats, lunges, etc. There is an ‘Innovative Chair’ class twice a week for which my FitBit displays at least 30 minutes of cardio. I have even tried ‘Pound’ class a few times on Friday mornings. It is challenging, but I made it through. Of course, I still tap dance on Monday afternoons, too!”
Kathleen’s success story is a wonderful example of the positive effects of getting active. “As long as I keep moving, the pain stays away. I knew that if my activity level increased, the pain would decrease, but I needed help getting to that point.”
Similarly, a patient of Ethan McCoy (who wished to remain anonymous) had been suffering with back pain for about 12 years. He had tried chiropractors and another physical therapy practice but was not able to get lasting relief. As his pain worsened over time, loss of sleep became the motivating factor that propelled him to seek help elsewhere. “I wasn’t able to sleep more than 4 hours per night without waking up with back pain.” His wife, who works for a local hospital, started asking physical therapists there for suggestions. Again, our reputation as movement specialists resulted in a recommendation. “The scope of treatment services offered at Sport + Spine gave me hope that one would help my pain. I knew it wouldn’t be a quick fix and had realistic expectations. A problem created over 12 years isn’t going to be completely fixed in a few visits. I did gain a better understanding of the cause of my back pain (shortened hip flexors and associated core stabilization anatomy as a result of sitting all day at work and exercising without much variation) and learned specific movements I could do to help reverse the effects. While I thought I was relatively active, I now realize I was still very confined in the movement I practiced on a consistent basis.” As he began to see the benefit of incorporating new stretches and exercises into his routine, he also found relief from trigger point treatment. Prior to coming to S+S, “I couldn’t get the muscle spasms to subside long enough to effectively stretch. It provided immediate improvement, loosening tight muscles.”
While incorporating not only movement, but new targeted movements that work in all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse), he is now a patient who is actively achieving Better Health Through Motion. “I appreciated the more dynamic and full body movements recommended by S+S. My previous physical therapy consisted primarily of stationary stretches that didn’t seem productive. Being a fairly active individual, I really appreciated the movements that both stretched and strengthened simultaneously. The exercises were more natural to body physiology.”