T Nation

Effectiveness of Physical Therapy?

I just got my 5th PT treatment last night for my lower back/right hamstring. And I don’t get the point of going anymore…so I canceled my last few appointments.

All I have been doing when I go there is:

Walk on treadmill for 10min
Get a VERY light massage for 10min
Get my quads and hams stretched for me
Do Glute Bridges x 20
Do Prone and Side Planks for 15 seconds
Finish off with Band Pallof Presses

Things I don’t like about this setup:
I can do all that on my own; minus the massage but it
is so light it’s useless (IMO). Also, I am capable of doing all this at my home and at the gym; which I ALREADY DO.

Is that all PT is? I mean, I even asked them and they said they are tracking my progress and that’s the most I’d be doing. And at $15x2 a week, it’s a waste.

Was I expecting too much? (My first time getting PT)

I think for a lot of people, PT is necessary because it makes them do stuff they won’t do on their own. Or, it might give you information that you wouldn’t get on your own.

After my husband blew out his patellar, he had a lot of PT and I think it helped him address some imbalances and regain strength. A lot of people who went to the PT place at the same time as he did had no idea how to do any exercise whatsoever, and bitched and moaned the entire time.

My coach tore both his quads and is back to squatting 600+ at 180lbs without PT (IIRC).

It doesn’t sound like you’re getting much out of it. I think if you research and exercise on your own, PT isn’t necessary.

I’m just glad the first post wasn’t anything like “WTF your out of your mind?!”

I like to think that I’m smart enough to take basic care of myself; I just thought I’d get some other type of activity/help there.

Guess I’ll “have to” go back and see the guys at CP sometime soon…

The way I look at it is no one knows your body better than you. A lot of PT’s give you a standard set of exercises and never change it. Just do whatever helps you the most, the hardest part is just figuring out which exercises are most effective.

I had a shoulder impingement surgery in Sept. on my left shoulder and did PT, then in Dec. I had my right done. I canceled my PT for right shoulder because I felt I could do it on my own. I am not even doing a lot of the exercises I did for my left during rehab and I feel a lot better.

I do not think it is crazy at all. Never feel like your stuck somewhere that is not helping.

Good luck with your injury.

the doc can assess you in certain situations.

He is probably wanting to see you in basic movements to get an idea of how severe your injury is.

Unless he is just a shitty doc he most likely has an agenda that will work for you and a reason for the program he designs.

PT is only as effective as the doctor you’re being treated by, and the severity and nature of your injury. When I banged myself up something horrible summer of '07 (torqued sacrum, hernbiated disc, torn rectus femoris and who knows what else),

I was amazingly fortunate to have my youngest brother, who in all honesty, I had a difficult time viewing as the amazingly knowledgable person he has become, as my Therapist. Long story short, I went from not being able to get out of bed,

Not being able to sit on the damn toilet for more than a few moments without excruciating pain, to being back in the gym doing light deads in a month’s time.

I imagine not all PTs deal with athletes of the gym rat cliber, fortunately, as he likes to joke, half of his patients were listed on the MItchel Report -lol, so he’s quite familiar with the athletic nature of our injuries, and our desire to get back as soon as humanly possible. Sometimes, I didn’t quite understand why I was doing protocols he suggested, but obviously he knew far better than I, I just couldn’t always see it.

S

[quote]B rocK wrote:
I just got my 5th PT treatment last night for my lower back/right hamstring. And I don’t get the point of going anymore…so I canceled my last few appointments.

All I have been doing when I go there is:

Walk on treadmill for 10min
Get a VERY light massage for 10min
Get my quads and hams stretched for me
Do Glute Bridges x 20
Do Prone and Side Planks for 15 seconds
Finish off with Band Pallof Presses

Things I don’t like about this setup:
I can do all that on my own; minus the massage but it
is so light it’s useless (IMO). Also, I am capable of doing all this at my home and at the gym; which I ALREADY DO.

Is that all PT is? I mean, I even asked them and they said they are tracking my progress and that’s the most I’d be doing. And at $15x2 a week, it’s a waste.

Was I expecting too much? (My first time getting PT)[/quote]

Overall the state of affairs in physical therapy is absolutely pathetic. They milk your insurance with worthless modalities like ultrasound and EMS that accomplish little or nothing,

Then precrible totally unproductive exercises that any mildly retarded kindergartener could figure out on his own, which usually amount to arbitrarily moving a limb through space with no resitance while the therapist sits there and counts reps or does ultrasound on another client.

Having worked with a long list of therapists for various injuries in my life I find it shocking that anybody would need to attend school for 4-8 years to instruct someone how to pick up marbles with his toes and make figure 8s with his foot, and perform 8th grade PE stretches.

Oddly enough, I’ve thought about going into PT, just because I think I can do it right.

[quote]B rocK wrote:
I’m just glad the first post wasn’t anything like “WTF your out of your mind?!”

I like to think that I’m smart enough to take basic care of myself; I just thought I’d get some other type of activity/help there.

Guess I’ll “have to” go back and see the guys at CP sometime soon…[/quote]

WTF you’re out of your mind?!

There you go.

I rate it ineffective.

depends on the injury and the therapist.
after my surgery (shoulder arthroscopy) had
a very good therapist and requires trust. due to the serverity she had to do all the
moving while i laid there and that took some
use to.

it took months to gain any form of movement. last time i had therapy was sept,
and still not quite where i was before i got
hurt.here’s what i tore: rotator cuff, labrum, acl,short head bicep tendon. pt has it’s use just depends what’s needed, especially if never had major surgery.

I’m going to get some appointment at another place that is a Chiro/ART/PT with two DOCTORS on staff.

But if they start me off doing crap like this place; I’m just going to leave.

As mentioned before, it all comes down to who your therapist is. I would compare it to taking a class in college: there are shitty professors and you would learn just as much teaching it to yourself out of the book. However, there’s no way you can learn as well on your own as you can with a great professor. Same with therapy. There are plenty of mediocre assholes out there who finished toward the back of their class and don’t try particularly hard but they still have their license to practice.

Find somebody who knows what they are doing and you will be amazed at how much they can help. I play college volleyball and have a torn labrum and am trying to play through it to finish the season. I originally went to a PT place that basically had me stand there and do some cuff with with very light tubing. Worthless. Then I talked to my strength coach and he said he’d do some ART/more agressive soft tissue work as well as some other stuff. It has been working like gold. There are days when I can barely raise my arm to brush my teeth in the morning, but after he works on me I am ready to play the game in the evening almost as good as new.

Also, I would imagine that any sort of therapy is a situation where you get out of it what you put into it. I’m sure therapists deal with lazy, unmotivated assholes all day. If you were the therapist and somebody came in there and looked like they didn’t want to be there, didn’t believe in your stuff and wasn’t trying that hard, would you put in the extra effort to help them, or would you just stick them on a cookie-cutter plan and let them do whatever? I’m not saying this is the case with your situation, just something to keep in mind.