TGIF. That’s all I have to say about THAT.
I’ve been meaning to write about my experience with physical therapy for awhile now but but wanted to wait until my six week program was up and until I could formulate a few concrete thoughts about it. I’m sure you’re wondering if my back is better by now. Well, no, it’s not (for any new readers, I’ve been having back pain for the past five years). Do I think PT worked for me? Maybe…
*Please note that this is my opinion based off of my experience and does not reflect the abilities of physical therapists as a whole.
The good: I was shown exercises I should be doing on a regular basis to help me with my posture (shown below). I have been doing these exercises on a (mostly) regular basis and I genuinely believe they will help me in the long run.
Also, this happened to me pretty much every session:
The bad: My PT would sometimes work with five people at the same time. Now, I’m not saying that my pain was so severe that I needed individualized attention, but I do think it would have been helpful for my PT to be able to watch and make sure I was doing the exercises she recommended with correct form.
The ugly: My back isn’t better–not even close. Some days I’m super chill about it and know that everything is going to be ok in the end and other days I’m not so sure. I keep crossing my fingers and hoping for the best but for now, I am sticking to simple exercises in the gym. No exciting exercises from The Almond Eater for a little while–my apologies.
Overall thoughts: I believe firm impressions say a lot about a person. On my very first day, I was asked by my physical therapist to talk about my back problems: when the pain began, when it got worse, possible causes, etc. When I told her that I had been foam rolling, she said that she believes foam rolling is pointless and that it causes more pain than relief. …..what? I mean, I’m not trying to question authority (I’m not a personal trainer or a physical therapist, you know), but I am almost certain that foam rolling is good for your muscles. So, it was on my very first day of physical therapy that I became skeptical of physical therapy. I tried to stay positive throughout the whole program though, and some days were better than others, but as a whole I unfortunately do not think physical therapy helped me.
My suggestion to anyone considering going to see a physical therapist would be to find a physical therapist with a specialty–something I didn’t even think of until I was half way through my program. Some PT’s specialize in sports, women’s health and orthopaedics, and I think that would have been helpful.
For now I am giving up the chiropractor (who I had been going to for the past three years) and seeing a massage therapist and she did say that I SHOULD be foam rolling. As of recently, my back hasn’t been hurting as badly, though my hip flexors are still very tight. I’d like to be pain-free for awhile before I begin my regular workout regime up again. Taking it slow, though difficult, is sometimes completely necessary.
Here are some of the exercises that I was given to do to help me strengthen my back and core.
And yeah, I’m going to continue to foam roll, even if it hurts. Oh, and I never actually smile when I foam roll. Ever.
Q: Does anyone have any recommendations to relieve back/hip pain? I’m sort of at a loss and ope to any suggestions–anything you can think of would be much appreciated!