Almost three years after my broken leg injury, I decided to go back to physical therapy. The truth is, up to now, I’ve been lazy. I didn’t continue with physical therapy or daily exercises, I was hoping that everything would get better in time.
Unfortunately, my lack of dedication weakened my left leg -, to the point that were previously simple, almost impossible to do – running, hiking, etc. My range of motion (ROM) in my foot and leg was abysmal. The constant ache that I had gradually grown accustomed to as the new norm was ongoing.
In December, I went to my orthopedic surgeon to get a prescription for physical therapy. I made an appointment at the nearest clinic to work. It was a disaster. I felt like I was in some sort of factory. There was no personalized treatment. They used a checklist. I hated it. I have the good luck of having a younger brother who has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and has his own clinic. I might be biased, but he is the best PT in the world! Unfortunately, he lives in another state so I knew I could not see him regularly. (Shameless plug - If you’re in Phoenix, go see him at Synergy PT, https://www.synergyptph.com– you won’t be sorry!) I scheduled a “session” during my holiday visit – and boy was it telling. While my body had been telling me that my left leg was weak, now there was validation with a professional who wasn’t going to indulge (what little brother does!) As it turns out, the angle measurements for my dorsiflexion (the backward bending and contracting of your foot by drawing your toes back toward you) and plantarflexion (the bending of the foot or toes toward the sole of the foot) were off. My ankles and muscles on my left leg were WEAK.
I left the clinic with a list daily exercises, including heel raises and standing on one leg at a time. I intended to stick to it (six weeks later and I still do them every day!)
So what are the life lessons here?:
· If you want change, you have to work for it. Things don’t just happen. My leg was not going to get better without me taking action.
· If something isn’t working for you, change it. I immediately knew that I did not like the physical therapy place I originally went to. If I didn’t like it, I wasn’t going to go.
· Practice consistency and dedication to reach your goal. In order for my leg to get better, I’m going to have to spend time on it each and every day.