I have the great fortune to work with Radhika, a very smart, former San Francisco native who relocated to New York City. Many years ago Radhika started out as a massage therapist, subsequently went back to school and got a Masters of Science in physical therapy. As if that wasn’t enough, she is a certified Pilates and Yoga Instructor.
Clearly Radhika brings a lot to the table. So, how does the “Limp begone” process begin?
As it turns out, the process starts simply. Radhika suggests let’s talk and then observe how I walk. The talking phase is about my personal history (i.e., Pre-Medical, Pre-Surgical, medications, lifestyle questions), and a description of my current issue. My usual response to these kind of conversations is to minimize my complaints (that is probably the result of a mid-West based upbringing) and just stick-to-the-facts (i.e., surgeries, significant injuries, weight-gain, etc.). However, this time, I made a real effort to include more subtle information like how I had been trying to fix things, how the symptoms could vary from day-to-day, or how my leg cramped consistently in one area.
Radhika listened closely to my description and then sent me walking through the rehabilitation gym. I did my best to walk naturally and not suddenly turn into a cheap imitation of Frankenstein’s monster’s walk. I think I was successful, at least Radhika did not burst into laughter. After limping around for a bit she asked me to stop and started manually testing various body parts, specifically related to my “core” (e.g., the “core” encompasses a big area but basically from the bottom of my ribs to middle of my thighs). The tests were designed to look at various muscles in isolation. After all, the “core” is a very big area and if you’re going to improve things, you need to know the exact “why” something is happening.
Assigning me 100 sit-ups and going for a coffee-break was not going to eliminate my limp. Hint, pay attention when they say, “Hmmmm, that’s interesting”. Thanks for reading.
_ Gary Barton