Ken | WPT Patient Spotlight

“I have always been an active person. It’s hard enough as it is getting old, but old and inactive is a killer”.

These are the words of Ken, a patient at WPT. Ken has been a patient of ours for nine months and after following his story since last November, I knew I had to join him for a session of PT and fully understand how he got where he is now. Ken’s is a miraculous story about sickness, health, and the importance of maintaining hope.

On March 22nd, 2021, Ken was admitted into intensive care for COVID double pneumonia. During his time in intensive care, Ken suffered internal hemorrhaging which led to emergency surgery and being placed on both a ventilator for nine days and dialysis for two months. Things were looking extremely grim.

“I don’t really remember the time in the hospital but while I was on the ventilator, my daughter, who studies music and well being, would sing to me over the phone”, Ken told me. “A nurse would hold the FaceTime up to my face and she would sing to me.”

Ken would go onto have a few more complications including sepsis, infections, and multiple surgeries over the course of four months. But in July of 2021, Through nothing short of a miracle, Ken was admitted into impatient rehab and was ready to start his recovery journey.

“I didn’t think I was going to walk ever again,” Ken Said. “I had drop foot in both feet. I thought I would be confined to a bed for the rest of my life”.

With the cards stacked against him and a challenging road ahead, Ken did not back down; Ken chose to fight. After just a few months in impatient physical therapy, he was able to stand with a walker and began taking his first steps in 6 months. Ken was released from impatient care in October and was able to go home for the first time since he got Covid. Though mobile, this was not enough for Ken, this was just the beginning of his journey.

“I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to function like a human being. I felt weak and I was not ready to keep trying to get better”. During his time at the hospital, Ken lost 75 pounds and was lacking the strength he needed to resume what he considered a normal life. This is when Ken decided to call WPT.

Looking at Ken’s situation it was easy to know that this was not going to be a task taken lightly. He had substantial goals and a laundry list of reasons why achieving those goals would prove challenging; but we were up for that challenge.

Before every evaluation we do at WPT, we have patients fill out intake paperwork. One of the questions on the paperwork is to write down your goals for PT. On his intake paperwork, Ken wrote that he wanted to be able to play golf again. Golf had always been an interest of his and before COVID, he would play 3-4 times a week. Though it seems simple on the surface, when you really break down the mechanics of golfing, it requires a lot of coordination. There is a significant need for good balance and strength because standing is one thing, but swinging a weighted club while standing is a whole other beast. There is a level of strength that Ken needs to feel comfortable golfing. This is why during his care at WPT, Ken did Rotational movements, strength building for pelvis control, dynamic activities on uneven surfaces like grass, hills, and pebbles. He did pivot steps and worked on control of left foot that has more weakness.

In November of 2021, Ken walked into Wonsettler Physical Therapy with Braces on his legs and a walker in his hands. Today Ken left Wonsettler Physical Therapy without braces, without a walker, and with the same results driven attitude that is going to push him to accomplish all the new goals he has set for himself. This is the story of a man who never gave up, even when the odds were stacked against him and we could not be more proud of Ken and his journey.

Finding Freedom, Virginia’s Patient Spotlight

“You think I’m going to come to the lake and not try to catch a few fish?”

This was the first thing I heard Lenny say when I arrived at Cross Creek Lake a few weeks ago. Lenny was unloading some kayaks from his truck and grabbed his fishing pole to take along with him on the journey.

We were at the lake for one main reason, Virginia. Virginia is a patient at WPT who came in with a knee replacement and a few concerns at the beginning of her journey.

“When I found out I needed a knee replacement, the first thing that ran through my mind was that I am young. Is this something I really need? Is this going to benefit me? Is it going to work? These were all very real fears because I’ve never had a joint replacement. There was a lot of anxiety.”

A good amount of positivity can accompany a physical therapy journey. There is optimism, high hopes, and determination-turned-triumph. However, what can often be overlooked in a typical PT setting is the fear a patient may bring into their treatment; but WPT is not a typical PT setting. Understanding every aspect of how a patient is feeling better informs our decisions in how we go about treatment. Having a holistic idea of patient health is crucial to recovery, so Virginia’s concerns were met with compassion, not apathy.

During an initial evaluation, our physical therapists make sure to understand our patients goals for physical therapy. Goals can range from big to small, but it is important to understand them because it helps our PTs decide the best course of action to help our patients regain their freedom to move. In Virginia’s case, her main goal was to get back in a Kayak, unassisted.

In order to achieve this goal, we had to break down the motions. Lowering yourself into a kayak, pushing off, rowing, and getting out of a kayak are all motions that need a good amount of strength and coordination.

These actives, in conjunction with an abundance of other physical therapy techniques, assisted in Virginia’s ability to move freely. However, her goal was not to do exercises in a PT gym, her goal was to Kayak. So once Virginia’s strength was where it needed to be, it was time for the next phase of her PT journey and that is what brought us to Cross Creek Lake on Tuesday, 8/9.

Virginia arrived a few minutes after we got there and was as happy as can be. She was cracking jokes and enjoying her time during the set-up process. Before I could even get my camera out to snap some photos, Virginia had already lowered into the Kayak and was off onto the lake. This was the first time in a long while that Virginia had been on the water and her face said it all, she was smiling ear to ear. It was amazing to watch her float freely among the water, knowing that her goal had been achieved, Virginia was in her Kayak.

Today (about 2 weeks after our lake outing), I was chatting with Virginia and she told me that she has to get her other knee replaced. But this time she said she feels no anxiety. She is confident she’ll have a fast and successful recovery.

Virginia has a biking and Kayaking trip next spring and she is super excited for it.

“That is whats next. Thanks to you guys I got into my kayak and I’ll be back on my bike and getting back in shape”

Virginia’s story is an inspiration to us all at WPT and we are so proud of the journey she has been on and the accomplishments that she has achieved.

Melissa | Patient Spotlight

Starting over is scary; there is no doubt about it. Challenging yourself to overcome adversity and pull yourself up is no small feat, but for Melissa, it was a challenge she was ready to face.

In November of 2018, Melissa had a stroke that put her in the hospital for three weeks. When she left the hospital in December, she knew immediately that things were going to be different. “I had to relearn how to do everything again. I couldn’t walk or talk right; I had no control processing different things. Walking up and down the stairs, standing and sitting, really everything,” Mellisa said.

Melissa’s recovery journey started at a different PT clinic. Over the next few years, Melissa got to the point where she could walk without a walker, but she had to think about every motion.

“Nothing was second nature. It was like going back to being a toddler because I had to learn everything all over again.”

Melissa’s fear was that she would be in a situation where she wouldn’t be fully independent. Whether it be tending her land or recovering from a fall, Melissa wanted to have control of her life and feel unrestricted. In May of this year, Melissa saw an advertisement in the newspaper for WPT’s “If You’re 50+, You Need Muscles!” Workshop.

“I saw the ad in the paper and I knew I had to go. I talked to my Doctor and they thought it was a great idea. My husband and I came to the workshop and went through the cycles. One of them was to get down on the floor and then get back up. I realized I couldn’t do it. I thought my knees would break.”

But instead of taking this as a defeat, Melissa took it as a challenge. She inquired about physical therapy and after her evaluation, Melissa got right to work. Together, Tyra and Melissa focused on confidence. This included walking and balance tasks as well as generalized strength and mobility work. They gradually made the tasks more difficult by incorporating different obstacles, cognitive exercises, and surface types. As she was building confidence, Tyra and Melissa started to incorporate recovering from a fall and getting up from the ground safely.

“My care was incredible. Tyra found problems I didn’t even know I had, and guided me in the right direction to get better!”

Today and for the first time in years, Mellissa got onto the ground and stood up unassisted; an astonishing feat that she had deemed impossible just a few short months ago. With positivity and a results-driven attitude, Mellissa was able to achieve her goal.

Brian’s Journey: Overcoming Injuries and Regaining His Active Lifestyle with WPT

Meet Brian, a patient at WPT who has a history with physical therapy.

“Being an active person on the older side, various activities aggravated some previous injuries. I sought out PT to improve those issues.”

These issues prevented Brian from doing his daily activities around his farm and playing sports. He was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get back to 100%.

But then Brian met Lenny. Lenny customized a plan to fit his main issues and adjusted his program as certain things got better, adding exercises if things were not improving.

“Lenny didn’t just work on the troubled area, he made a plan to work on the whole system surrounding my injury. This helped me improve my strength, balance, flexibility, and anything else that he saw necessary.”

Thanks to WPT, Brian has the tools to maintain his active lifestyle and improve his overall health and activity level.

“I am certain that I would not be anywhere near the physical and mental shape that I am in now if I did not have PT. I have had many experiences with other physical therapists, but WPT is by far the best place that I have ever gone for treatment.”

Unbroken Spirit: Chuck’s Triumph at WPT

From a devastating motorcycle crash to reclaiming his freedom to move, Chuck’s journey at WPT has been nothing short of remarkable.

When a deer unexpectedly crossed his path last fall, Chuck found himself in a life-altering motorcycle accident. With seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a lacerated kidney, and a broken back, Chuck’s injuries were extensive. Adding to the complexity, his shoulder and hand were also shattered.

After spending days on life support, Chuck had an extensive stay through inpatient and outpatient therapy. Chuck was almost back to his normal life and routine, but there was one more issue he needed to resolve, his shoulder.

After talking to his wife, a former WPT patient, Chuck gave us a call.

“I got paired up with Mike and he put me to work immediately,” Chuck said. “I really believe that if it wasn’t for Mike, I would not have recovered my shoulder”

Chuck’s inspiring journey reminds us that even in the face of life-altering events, there is hope for recovery.

If you need guidance to help you regain your freedom to move, reach out to us. We are always happy to help!

Beyond Kegels: The Real Deal with Pelvic Floor Fitness

We’ve all heard about Kegels and their magic for pelvic floor strength, but let’s get real – lying on your back and squeezing isn’t the whole story.

Sure, Kegels have their perks, but they’re just one piece of the puzzle. Imagine your pelvic floor as a superhero team – Kegels are like the captain, but there’s a whole squad behind them.n

Think big: beyond Kegels, here’s what matters:

Core Power: It’s not just about the surface muscles. Deep core stabilization is like the foundation of a sturdy house – you need it to hold everything up, including your pelvic floor.

Teamwork: Lumbopelvic control is the buddy system at work. Your lower back and pelvis need to communicate and work together like dance partners for a smooth, strong pelvic floor performance.

Smooth Moves: Coordination training is like teaching your muscles to tango. It’s about getting the right muscles to join the party at the right time, ensuring your pelvic floor is a star performer.

Real-Life Tests: Functional loading is the ultimate challenge. It’s like taking your pelvic floor to the gym and teaching it to handle real-life situations.

Kegels are great, but they’re just the beginning. Dive into deep core love, perfect your teamwork, groove with coordination, and conquer real-life tests.

If your routine feels like a broken record, switch the track!

The “Ins” and “Outs” of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

At Wonsettler Physical Therapy, we believe in providing the best care and the latest techniques to help you achieve optimal pelvic health.

Today, we’re going to break down the “Ins” and “Outs” of pelvic floor physical therapy.

What’s In: Functional Training

Gone are the days of generic exercises. Functional training is the move! We focus on exercises that mimic real-life movements, helping you to improve your pelvic floor’s function during daily activities.n

What’s Out: Blindly Prescribing Kegels

The one-size-fits-all approach to pelvic floor exercises is a thing of the past. We believe in customizing our treatments to meet your unique needs. Blindly prescribing Kegels is no longer our go-to solution; instead, we analyze your specific pelvic floor issues and tailor a personalized exercise plan just for you.n

What’s In: Dynamic Core Stabilizationn

Bid farewell to belly gripping! Dynamic core stabilization is the way to go. We’ll teach you how to engage your core muscles effectively without resorting to excessive gripping, helping you achieve a balanced and functional core that supports your pelvic floor.n

What’s Out: “No Pain, No Gain”n

We know that pushing yourself to the limit doesn’t always yield the best results, especially when it comes to pelvic floor therapy. Our approach focuses on restorative movements and down-regulating the nervous system. We want you to feel comfortable and at ease during your sessions, ensuring a positive and effective healing process.

What’s In: Plyometric Training

Say goodbye to the notion that leakage is normal, especially for women. We believe in empowering our clients through plyometric training, building strength, and confidence to overcome pelvic floor challenges. No more excuses – we’re here to help you regain control.

What’s Out: One Size Fits Alln

At Wonsettler Physical Therapy, we understand that every individual is unique. That’s why we provide 1:1 specialized care, tailoring our treatments to suit your specific needs and goals. Your journey to pelvic health is just as special as you are, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

In conclusion, pelvic floor physical therapy is evolving, and we’re at the forefront of this exciting transformation. Say hello to functional training, dynamic core stabilization, restorative movements, plyometric training, and personalized care. And bid farewell to blindly prescribing Kegels, belly gripping, the “no pain, no gain” mentality, and the idea that leakage is normal.

How Can I Prevent Back Pain?

If you’ve experienced low back pain after lifting heavy objects, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are simple yet effective techniques you can adopt to minimize the risk of such discomfort. Here are three essential tips to incorporate into your lifting routine:

1. Engage Your Core: Before lifting anything, activate your stomach muscles. By gently flexing and engaging these muscles, you provide vital stability to the lower part of your spine. Placing your hands on your abdomen can help you feel the muscles tense as you prepare to lift, ensuring you’re employing the correct technique.

2. Bend with Care: To avoid strain on your lower back, remember to bend at your legs, not your waist. Instead of hunching over, which can stress your spine, bend at your hips, knees, and ankles. This technique not only offers more strength but also prevents unnecessary stretching of your back muscles.

3. Maintain Proper Alignment: When approaching the object you’re about to lift, ensure you square up with it. Avoid reaching and twisting, which can place undue stress on your lower back. By positioning yourself squarely in front of the item, you can maintain a stable and balanced posture while lifting.

Incorporating these three techniques can significantly reduce the risk of low back pain when lifting heavy objects. Remember, a strong core, proper bending, and mindful alignment are your allies in promoting a healthy back and preventing discomfort. So, the next time you’re faced with a hefty load, apply these strategies to lift with confidence and keep your back pain-free.

5 Effective Shoulder Pain Relief Exercises!

Dealing with nagging shoulder pain can be both frustrating, but incorporating targeted exercises into your routine can make a significant difference.

Check out these five exercises:

1. Scapular Stabilizers Activation: 2 sets of 10 reps:

Begin by sitting or standing with your back straight. Retract your shoulder blades by gently squeezing them together. Hold for a few seconds, then release.n

2. Sleeper Stretch (Internal Rotation): 3 sets of 15 seconds hold per side:n

Lie on your side with the affected arm positioned at shoulder height and bent at the elbow. Gently press your forearm towards the bed or floor, feeling a stretch in the back of your shoulder.n

3. External Rotation: 2 sets of 12 reps per side:

Secure a resistance band to a sturdy anchor at waist height. Stand sideways, grasping the band with the hand opposite the anchor. Keep your elbow at a 90-degree angle, and rotate your arm outward against the resistance of the band. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

4. Banded Flexion: – 3 sets of 10 reps:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the resistance band anchored overhead. Hold the other end of the band with both hands and slowly raise your arms overhead, feeling a gentle stretch in the front of your shoulders.

5. Prone T’s and Y’s: – 2 sets of 12 reps each:

Lie face down on a flat surface with your arms extended to form a “T” shape (for T’s) or a “Y” shape (for Y’s). Lift your arms off the ground, engaging your upper back muscles. n

Remember, these exercises are most effective when performed with proper form and control. Start with the recommended repetitions and gradually increase as you become more comfortable.

If you experience persistent or severe shoulder pain, please reach out to us. We’re happy to help you regain your freedom to move!

Relieve Your Low Back Pain Today!

Low back pain affects many individuals, hindering their daily lives. Here is a targeted mobility routine to alleviate discomfort and enhance flexibility.

  • Cat-Cow Stretch: Start on all fours, round your back like a cat, then transition to an arched cow position. Repeat 8-10 times, focusing on spinal movement. This stretch reducestension and improves flexibility.
  • Cobra to Child’s Pose: Lie on your stomach, lift your upper body into a cobra pose, then transition to Child’s Pose. Alternate between the two for 8-10 repetitions, promoting spinal flexibility and soothing lower back muscles.
  • Lower Trunk Rotation: Lie on your back, lower both knees to one side, hold for 10-15 seconds, and switch sides. This exercise enhances lumbar spine mobility.
  • Quadratus Lumborum Stretch: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, cross one arm over your head, and lean to the side. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides. This stretch targets the lower back muscles, reducing tightness.
  • Hamstring Stretch: Sit on a chair or bench, extend one leg forward, and reach towards your toes. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch legs. Stretching hamstrings alleviates lower back discomfort.
  • Hip Flexor Stretch: Kneel with one knee down, push your hips forward, and hold for 15-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. This stretch releases tension in the hip flexors, relieving low back pain.
  • Incorporating WPT’s targeted mobility routine into your daily routine can relieve low back pain and improve overall well-being. Remember to perform exercises within your comfort range.

    For chronic or severe pain, reach out to us. We’re here to help you regain your freedom to move!