Dee, age 59, had 2 year history of back pain that was progressively worsening. She was experiencing debilitating back spasms that would spread from her lower back to her mid back. Her pain fell dull with intermittent sharp and shooting pain. She had difficulty sleeping, sitting very long, rolling in bed, standing, bending and stooping. Her pain and difficulty with activities worsened as her typical daily progressed. She felt weakness of her trunk and was often fatigued. She had history of multiple lower extremity joint surgeries from osteoarthritis including her ankle, bilateral knees, and bilateral hips.
How We Helped: After examination, Dee’s PT recommended aquatic therapy at 2 times/week progressing to land based intervention as tolerated.
Where They Are Now: Over 10 weeks Dee participated in her prescribed program. She reached resolution of the severe episodes of back pain and spasms. She improved to be able to do her desired house cleaning, shopping, and quilt making because she could stand, sit, walk and stoop over with significantly less pain and no episodes of severe sharp/shooting pain. Since she felt better and enjoyed water exercises, she planned to continue her HEP on her own at a local pool.
Erica, age 34, had left shoulder pain for a month. She wasn’t sure what initially caused her problem, but pain ranged from 2/10 to 8/10 and worsened with reaching forward, over shoulder level, and out to the side. It was limiting her ability to do housework, yard work, and part time work in childcare. She could not sleep on her left side.
How We Helped: After examination, her PT recommended treatment at 2 times/week for 4-6 weeks. In the clinic, she received manual therapy of joint mobilizations and soft tissue techniques to address joint limitations and the specific irritated tendons and bursae of her shoulder. She was instructed in an exercise program to strengthen the weak scapular and rotator cuff muscles and stretch her tight pectoral muscles.
Where They Are Now: After 6 weeks, Erica improved to no more than mild soreness on occasion. She could reach her arm in all directions without pain. She could lift and carry her child, do her house and yard work, and she returned to her part time job.
Kerry, age 43, came to Redbud PT with a history of 6 months of lower back and anterior thigh pain and back stiffness in the morning. Her pain and stiffness would improve as she was active throughout the morning and would regularly intensify again by 3 PM, with peaking by 6 PM. Her back pain ranged from 0-6/10 at worst. She felt that her back would “lock up.” It disturbed her sleep, greatly limited her standing, and limited her afternoon and evening activities. Her goal was to improve her daily pain and no longer have to rely on regular anti-inflammatory medication.
How We Helped: After examination from her PT, she received manual therapy to address her back pain, joint mobility and muscular spasms. She was instructed in an exercise program for trunk and hip muscle strengthening and hip flexor stretching. To specifically address her morning pain and stiffness, Kerry was given an individualized morning program. Kerry attended 10 visits, at 1-2 times/week over 8 weeks.
Where They Are Now: Kerry’s leg pain resolved. Her morning symptoms improved to minimal pain upon getting up from bed with lasting only a short duration. As her day progressed, back pain ranged from absent to minimal. She could sleep in her bed in any position without disturbance from pain. She went on her vacation and reported doing great!
When Joan, age 57, came to Redbud, she had been suffering for three weeks with consistent neck pain that was radiating to her right shoulder blade. However, she had not suffered any trauma that might have caused the pain. Her pain rating was a 6 out of 10, and she was struggling to bend and rotate towards her right side. Joan was also suffering daily headaches as a result of the pain.
How We Helped: After examination by a Redbud therapist, Joan was prescribed manual physical therapy and exercise to be completed in 6 total visits over the course of 3 weeks.
Where They Are Now: Upon completion of her treatment, Joan’s neck and shoulder pain has resolved completely and she is back to full range-of-motion. Her headaches are milder and less frequent and can be managed with stretching.
Low Back Pain
Scott, age 42, came to Redbud PT during an exacerbation of his “typical back pain.” Five years prior he had injured himself shoveling snow. Since then he has experienced flare ups 2 times a year consisting of pain across his lower back and inability to bend over, lift objects, and stand and walk without pain. They typically began after bending, lifting or twisting activities while working around his home. His flare ups were intense and long enough in duration to disrupt his normal functioning with his wife and kids. He was seeking relief from the aggravating cycle of pain that disrupted his life. He also had a family ski trip planned in a month and hoped to be pain free.
How We Helped: After examination, Scott’s PT recommended treatment 1-2 times/week for up to 6 weeks. On day 1, he was prescribed a specific exercise program to engage key core trunk muscles and instructed in good body mechanics for lifting, carrying and yard work. Over the course of 2 weeks, Scott attended 2 times/week and received progressions in his core home exercise program. He also received manual therapy addressing lumbar spine joint mobility restrictions.
Where They Are Now: After 4 sessions, Scott reported minimal pain overall and complete resolution of his morning pain. He felt confident in continuing his home program, was back to yard work and confident to go on his ski trip!
Jessica, age 31, came to PT with a 12 year history of bilateral knee pain felt around her patellas. She is a wife and mother of 3 active kids, including a 2-year-old. She decided to try PT after experiencing intensified pain in her left heel while on a beach vacation. She was at the point that her knees would regularly give out, with near falls. She had difficulty with stairs, difficulty with squatting to lift her kids, and daily constant pain that ranged from 4/10 at best and 10/10 at worst. She was told her knee caps were out of alignment per x-ray. She had no improvement with trying Yoga and Pilates on her own.
How We Helped: After examination from her PT, treatment of 1-2 times/week for up to 6 weeks was recommended. She was prescribed a specific home exercise program to address her significant hip muscle weakness. She was taught transverse friction massage to her patellar tendons to reduce her daily knee pain and promote healing. In the clinic, her Home Exercise Plan was updated with exercise progressions for trunk and lower extremity strengthening.
Where They Are Now: Jessica completed 7 visits over 7 weeks. She progressed to ability to perform a functional squat to lift her child without knee pain. She was able to do stairs with significantly less pain and no incidences of her knees giving way. She reported feeling stronger and more confident. Pain at worst reduced to 3/10. Instead of daily knee pain, she improved to pain free knees for 3-4 days/week. With her Home Exercise Plan, she reported feeling confident that she would continue to improve!
Linda, age 56, was experiencing pain in her left hip that had gradually worsened over the last year. She participates in a yoga class with her daughters on a regular basis but has no history of injury that might have caused her pain. Before physical therapy, Linda had constant groin & thigh pain (which she rated 7 out of 10) that caused occasional knee pain and was struggling to internally rotate her left hip.
How We Helped: After examination, Linda’s therapist prescribed manual physical therapy and exercise for a total of 8 visits over 4 weeks.
Where They Are Now: Linda's pain has resolved to a 0 out of 10, and she is able to rotate her hip internally. She is thrilled to be pain free and back in her yoga class!