Rebuilding year

Finally saw the physiatrist this morning (made the appointment back in November). In case you don’t know what one is, he’s a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

I was impressed — not just at his range of knowledge, but in his willingness to incorporate anything that works. It was a real change from the orthopedist assembly line routine; the appointment lasted almost an hour.

During that time, he was only the second specialist to actually feel around my ankle, work the joints and try to assess its current condition. He said he thought an entire cluster of minute muscle fibers hadn’t healed properly, and that when I put weight on it, it simply tore them again.

So he stuck in some acupuncture needles really deep. (“The concept is kind of like tenderizing a steak,” he told me.) Then he did a very deep stretch on some of my leg muscles and now that’s all loosened up — except now I’m out of balance again. So he showed me some balancing exercises to do.

He said it would take a little while but he was pretty sure the acupuncture was going to help.

I’d actually gone to get an opinion on whether I was ready to start a walking program. He said no, not even yoga. He wanted me to do water therapy first, and wrote me a PT prescription. (There used to be a free program at one of the city pools, and I hope it’s still there.)

But I feel like he knows what he’s doing, and he’s cheap. So that’s good.

2 thoughts on “Rebuilding year

  1. This is great news, Susie–I got my only relief from terrible back pain from a physiatrist. It was back when my health plan allowed me to choose specialists, and thank dog for that.

    He asked questions, he listened, he knew the human body to the nth degree, the moved things, prodded, stretched–listened carefully to my responses. And, after three years of pain and stiffness, I had relief.

    Not total, but so much I thought I was totally back to normal. I’ve never been able to play tennis again, however.

    And water therapy is fantastic. Good luck! Good health, for which mobility is so important. (Did you mention your problems typing?)

  2. There always have been branches of medicine that tried to take seriously the muscles and bones and how it all worked together, but they were overwhelmed and discredited by the ones who believed in attacking illness with chemicals and surgery instead of restoring balance and normalcy.

    I am really glad you are getting some relief.

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