Sarah is standing stronger these days.
When Sarah saw her doctor about chronic pain in her hips and trouble sleeping, Dr. Hernberg suggested physical therapy.
At her first appointment, Maria Bohl, DPT, evaluated Sarah’s strength, posture, gait and more to rule out structural problems. The muscles in Sarah’s core were weak from childbirth, and Sarah had a habit of standing with her hips loose, especially while holding her toddler. “I was letting my muscles relax and forcing my joints and bones to carry the weight of my body,” Sarah says. Plus, lack of sleep contributes to chronic pain – common for parents with young kids.
To relieve her hip pain, Sarah needed to strengthen her core and heighten her body awareness “to engage my body mechanics to support my weight . . . and my child’s,” she explains.
To fit her schedule (and her habit of procrastinating), Sarah asked Maria for exercises she could do in bed, and at her desk. Maria adapted Sarah’s treatment to her lifestyle, to give her the greatest chance of success.
"A lot of pain and discomfort can be resolved by learning how to use your muscles correctly and build the strength and endurance needed to perform the activities you want," Maria says.
“Maria was really willing to talk about my plan of care with me,” Sarah says. “She was always supportive, and never judgmental.”
After three months, Sarah’s pain is “definitely improved,” and she’s building new habits by listening to her body and keeping up with exercises and stretches.
“I’m very pro-active about pain management. I have chronic headaches and migraines, so I deal with a lot of pain and manage the pain that I can,” Sarah says. “It’s a lot easier to manage pain before it becomes debilitating.”
Sarah’s advice to those with nagging pain? “Talk to your doctor, and ask about getting a referral for physical therapy. Chronic pain affects your quality of life. A lot can be solved by making lifestyle changes.”
And standing up for yourself.