Mary, who is 79-years old, came in to see us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City complaining of low back pain that occasionally radiated down to her left leg after long periods of standing or walking. As a result of this pain, she was unable to walk for long distances. Mary also reported that she had a significant fear of falling, which was making her activities of daily living more challenging and limiting her activities outside of the home.
After hearing Mary describe her symptoms and the resulting problems she was experiencing, her therapist performed a full evaluation to determine what was causing these issues. The evaluation revealed that Mary had scoliosis, which was diagnosed based on a 30° curve to the left in the mid-to-lower portion of her spine, as well as a right-sided hip shift. Mary also showed significantly decreased balance—especially on her left side—as well as decreased core stability and some limitations in her lower spine extension and hip strength. Finally, it was discovered that she had a difficult time with diaphragmatic breathing, especially into the right side of her lower thoracic and upper lumbar spine.
How Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City addressed Mary’s issues
Once she was informed of her diagnosis, Mary stated that her primary goal was to improve her ability to perform activities both inside and outside the home without feeling pain or exhaustion. She also wanted to increase her range of motion and balance, and have less fear of falling when going about her days.
Mary started specific scoliosis exercises based on the Schroth Method, which focused on elongation of her spine and utilizing breath to expand specific parts of her spine opposite her curve. Mary was able to learn how to perform these exercises while lying on her back, abdomen and side, always with the goal of creating space and driving her breath into specific areas of the spine. In order to make the improvements she was gaining last, Mary was instructed to incorporate these exercises into her daily routine on a regular basis. Her physical therapy program also included core stability, balance and lower extremity strengthening exercises to address some of her other impairments.
Now that she has completed her treatment program, Mary reports that she has minimal complaints of low back pain, and is currently able to walk for significantly longer distances throughout New York. She feels that her balance and strength have all improved, and while recently moving apartments, she surprised herself with her ability to pack and move boxes. Mary still comes in to Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City to check in, progress her exercise program and ensure that she’s using proper form with her Schroth exercises, which shows that she realizes the importance of staying diligent with her homework.
Mary had this to say about her experience with us: “At DSPT, I’m learning how to manage my scoliosis and while I can’t reverse it, I can work at stopping its progression. I learn fun things I can do every day to lengthen my spine, like hanging and breathing, and how to increase my core strength and leg strength. What I learn also helps my balance and agility. I’m a big fan of DSPT!”
Come in for a visit and experience similar outcomes
Mary’s story shows that even at an older age and with a number of limitations, sticking to a focused physical therapy program can lead to positive outcomes. So if you’re dealing with any pain or physical impairments of your own, we invite you to come in for an evaluation so we can figure out what’s bothering and create a program that will work best based on your abilities and goals. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog on scoliosis.