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How 4 Sessions of Physical Therapy Have Changed My Life

My name is Becca and I work for SOL Physical Therapy, but I’m not a physical therapist.

After just 4 physical therapy sessions at SOL Walnut Creek, my relationship with the pain I’ve been experiencing since 2009 has completely changed.


The View from the Treatment Room at SOL Walnut Creek

The View from the Treatment Room at SOL Walnut Creek

As I mentioned in my first post, after 5 years of experiencing neck/arm/shoulder pain, I was starting to accept that pain was going to be a part of my life. This acceptance was rarely cheerful or peaceful.

When my body would hurt, my mood would plummet. If I was having a particularly painful day, I would skip out on the fun physical activities that improve my mood and my quality of life.

After just four physical therapy sessions with Korey at SOL Walnut Creek, my relationship to my pain has been completely turned on it’s head. Instead of letting my pain control me, I’ve started to listen to what my pain is saying.

When my pain is bad, I let it teach me.

My pain is worse when I don’t get up out of my chair at work. It’s worse when I’m stressed out. It’s worse when I sit on my couch and work on class stuff after already working a full day at SOL. It’s worse when I don’t exercise, and much worse when I skip my home exercise program.

Because I’m letting my pain teach me, I have a greater awareness of what makes my pain worse. I avoid these destructive activities or movements when I can, and when I can’t, I try to minimize their damage using some of the body movements and postures I’m learning from Korey.

When my pain is minimal, I try to figure out why.

My pain decreases when I play softball, and after a long trail run. My pain decreases when I don’t type for a day, and is minimized when I work at the standing workstation I have at home. My pain decreases when I spend a relaxing weekend away, or when a stressful situation finally resolves.

I’m compiling a list of mental notes on things I can do to reduce or minimize my pain. On days when the pain flares up, I try to use something my pain has taught me to help the flare-up go away.

Some of the tools that help with moving past pain.

Some of the tools that help with moving past pain.

I no longer limit my activity because I have a partner in my pain management.

I’m not afraid of the pain any more. I know that when the pain is bad, and my strategies haven’t worked, I can check in with Korey about what I might have done. I can ask her what I can do to avoid causing pain in the future.

I know she’ll modify my treatment for that day based on my questions and feedback, and I know she’ll give me new exercises to do to accommodate whatever new issue I bring up.

Physical therapy has straight-up changed my life, because I no longer feel controlled by my pain.

My pain is no longer an inevitability; it’s something I have the power to overcome. (With a little help from Korey, of course.)

Don’t get me wrong, after 4 sessions, my shoulder, arm, and neck still hurt, but I’m starting to figure out how to make them hurt less often, and how to make the hurt less intense.

All I have to do is dig in, commit to the treatment, do my part at home, and keep learning from my pain.

One Response to How 4 Sessions of Physical Therapy Have Changed My Life

  1. Tammara 2014/09/11 at 4:34 pm #

    Love your story and your hope. You inspire.

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