Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just Call Me Gumby


Yesterday I went for my first real PT treatment. After discovering that my copay is $20 (Gasp), I was met by "Noonan" or whatever the heck PT guy's name is. Seriously, it's something like that, and I should be able to remember it, but of course I don't. So I'll just call him PT Guy for now. PT Guy and I headed into the PT treatment room which is about the size of the trunk of a Cadillac. The room is large enough to hold lots of bags of groceries, but barely big enough to hold me and PT Guy. OK, I'm lying, but it was a small room. So PT Guy has me lay down on my back on the PT table, which is 6 feet long, and I'm 6 feet 2 inches tall. So I laid (lie?) there with my heels hanging over the edge of the table, and he tells me to get comfortable, which meant put the two ridiculously thin pillows under my head, and lie there with my heels still hanging over the edge of the table. He then proceeds to tell me the treatment plan. First, ultrasound heat around my groin area, followed by massaging of the groin area, followed by stretching. Now I'm freaking out because I'm not looking forward to PT Guy massaging my groin area. No explanation required. He then instructs me to unbuckle my belt and unfasten my pants so he can put this cold gel on me before he does the ultrasound treatment. He covers my groin area with a towel, and proceeds to use the ultrasound treatment to...well let's let ehow.com explain how it works: Use Ultrasound Therapy to Relieve Pain
Step 1: Recognize the benefits of ultrasound therapy. Increased circulation and decreased inflammation are two healthy advantages of this method of physical therapy.
Step 2: Treat injured tissue with high frequency sound waves. Sound waves are used to penetrate specific muscle areas, causing internal warming to the area. As a result, tight muscles become relaxed, providing relief from pain.
Step 3: Understand that the use of ultrasound increases the blood flow to the affected area thus allowing the proteins in the blood to repair themselves. This is ideal for soft tissue injuries.
Sounds great, huh? Well, apart from the weird pulsating sensation that I felt, and the warmth, it was indeed great. Great until PT Guy performed the next step: The deep kneading of the groin area. (Please note I'm saying the groin AREA, not the groin) OMG, it was torture. After about 5 minutes, I had enough, and thankfully he was finished. I felt some pain, but it was good pain. He followed that with what I will call the "Gumby" moves. The Gumby moves involved stretching my legs in every conceivable direction while asking me if I felt any pain. It was pretty much one extreme or the other, depending on which way he gumby'd me. It made me realize that I still have a long way to go to gain better flexibility. Before leaving, PT Guy showed me two simple stretches I can do at home. Since they're not too difficult or painful, I know I'll be doing them as instructed. I didn't bother to ask him whether I'll be able to run in the NY City Half Marathon on March 21st. Right now I'm taking it slowly and easy, one session at a time. I'm trying to be patient and look at the big picture, where I'm a more flexible and stronger runner. At least that's what I'm telling myself right now to ease the pain of not being able to run.

13 comments:

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Funny post! I "feel your pain", but mine is in my hip. Luckily, mine is much better, but I still can't train hard like I want to. Happy now, to just be running.
Good Luck!

Tara said...

I bet that it was just a little bit strange having PT guys massaging your groin "area". Oh well, as long as it is helping and you are back to your normal self soon!

Lisa said...

Did he at least offer you a glass of wine lol.

Just kidding. That sounds kind of awkward but it's all in the name of running so it is good.

My PT lady does the ultrasound on my achilles. I don't like it. It doesn't hurt it's just a weird sensation.

Just do whatever he tells you because it will help.

Meg said...

HA! Sorry to laugh at your expense but you are hilarious. I'm so sorry you had to "suffer" through this experience but it will definitely help you out in the long run. I've been having a great experience with my new PT treatments and exercise...of course, I don't have a groin issue so...

Jen said...

I always enjoyed my PT visits.. but I did not have a groin issue. Sorry I laughed at your post... it was funny though.

Rachael said...

I hated the ultrasound in PT. I hated the electro-therapy more though. Hope he doesn't go THERE.

lindsay said...

what a lovely area to injure and need to have treated/massaged...

i lol'd at your descriptions of the whole session. glad it's going ok so far!

Anais said...

Oh boy, that definitely seems like quite an experience... Hope you're at least feeling some improvements :) You know, what with all the massaging... :P

Bootchez said...

Hey Gumby!

Hang with the PT -- I've had it for two separate tendonitis problems (one running related) and, for me anyways, it worked wonders. The ultrasound, the massage, even the electronic muscle stimulation apparatus. Granted, I never had a guy named Nooner rub my groin, but . . .

I did dedicate Monday's run to you and despite some recent back trouble of my own I'm going out again today (perhaps against better judgement) and will lay that one down for you, too. Hope you're back at it soon.

RunKathyRun said...

Thanks for making me smile with this post; that being said, I had a deep massage of my adductors a while back because of an IT Band issue.........OMG I wanted to cry it hurt so bad.

What's that John Cougar Mellencamp song - Hurt so good?

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Awwww, sorry to hear about your injury Gumby... errr, Rick. Feel better soon!!

Denise said...

That was funny! I'm sure it was more funny to me, though!! Hope it helps.

prashant said...

as long as it is helping and you are back to your normal self soon!

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