Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Real Physical Therapy Begins Today


PHYSICAL THERAPISTS AT WORK circa 1500

After three weeks of range of motion and stretching exercises, I started today doing strengthening exercises--rowing motion, arm exercise bike, resistance bands, small weights, and other exercises to begin to build my weak shoulder back up. Most of the exercises felt good. But the last one was a simple elbow lift lying on my back with a four-pound weight. Joe the Therapist (no relation to Joe the Plumber) said to do 15. By 12 I was in serious pain. And my shoulder was stationary. At that moment I remembered why PT is so important. The therapists know every muscle and can isolate and strengthen specific muscles. Every time I have had therapy, that has meant there are some exercises with little or no weight that seem like nothing and hurt like blazes. The therapists know exactly where the problem is and how to fix it--which means they can turn a 4-pound weight into a torture device. The best part, though, was that outside of that one motion, nothing hurts very much.