Physical Therapy and Advice for Young People

I’m in my fifth week of physical therapy in preparation for hip replacement surgery. Next week I see the surgeon, and I will learn when I will actually HAVE the surgery. I am of two minds about this (this is progress; I was of THREE minds). One mind says, “Do it sooner than later because your carer will be available and it will be over.” The other mind (which is attached to a very sore left leg, details to follow) says, “Wait a few months and you’ll be in a LOT better shape for this as you continue physical therapy to stretch out those tight muscles.”

Fortunately, neither of my minds has the last word. The surgeon’s schedule has the last word. And my carer’s schedule has the second to last word. Her husband is also likely to have this surgery this spring or summer. Obviously we can’t be doing it at the same time.

Progress is happening, but it isn’t exactly speedy. It can’t be. Yesterday we did more aggressive stretches than before, and today I can barely walk. Nonetheless, later on, I will do it again on my own and tomorrow will be better, but I don’t think a dog walk is on the horizon today. 😦

So, young people. Keep moving. Do yoga. I always thought yoga was for sissies, but now I wish I had thought differently about it. I might not be where I am now. Do more than one sport. Balance work with sport, emphasis on sport (even though we all have to earn a living). Take care of your joints. Use trekking poles on the trail. I always thought trekking poles were for sissies. Now I wish I had thought differently about it. Savor every moment on the trail. That, at least I did, do. Stuff is going to happen to your body. Try to keep a positive attitude. It really does help. ❤

9 thoughts on “Physical Therapy and Advice for Young People

  1. That positive attitude truly is a key, both in the anticipation and in the healing process. Another is the doctor who cares, and good after-care. Keep up the good work, and you’ll do fine! 🙂

  2. I’m sure you’ll make a sensible decision. I did upper body stretches (washing the floor), bend and stretching (replacing the dog covers on the sofas. Lower body stretches (cleaning out a new horde of ants under the sink. Heavy lifting — hoisting 29 lbs of Gibbs into the car.

    I think I feel exercised and my back hurts. But the house is as clean as a house full of mice and ants and dogs ever gets. I can’t even IMAGINE what this place would look like if I were off my legs for any length of time!

    I had the whole positive attitude discussion with Owen’s partner, Dave. He’s got MS, he has had several major motorcycle accidents and two years in a wheel chair … and he’s up and walking. As long as his MS is in remission. He’s expecting, after a 9 year remission, that one of these days …

    At 62, he does amazingly well for someone who has been so bashed up and he is sure it IS his positive attitude that has made the difference.

  3. Sound advice. Good maintenance habits start early, and the old tractor runs better longer if its well maintained. So hard when we are young to believe that we personally are just as likely as anyone else to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous behavior and time.

  4. I’ve been thinking about this more and more over the last few years. I love running and being active and want to keep doing both for a long time: daily mobility exercises (a weekly schedule covers all areas of the body) for the past year and a bit have really helped, but I’m always trying to do more to take care.

    • I don’t have any answers. I was compelled to live a pretty sedentary life toward the end of my career and that was not helpful. I suspect that if I liked to swim (I hate it) it would be a good thing for me. Time takes its toll, even on elite athletes, and the body we inherit has a lot to say, too. Some of what I have to do in PT is excruciatingly painful, but I understand what it is and why — and that with time it will be a lot better.

      One of my students, also a trail runner, asked me — when I was crippled up when my other hip went south about 15 years ago — “Professor, was it worth it?” I was in terrible pain and had serious problems moving. My doc had not diagnosed me correctly so it dragged on longer than it should. I thought about the kid’s question and then I said, “Absolutely worth it.” I stand by that. 🙂

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