Thursday, July 9, 2009

Life As a Quad III: Physical Therapy

One thing that is very important for people with disabilities is physical therapy. Therapy can help in many ways and be very beneficial to someone who is unable to move on their own. Not only can physical therapy help with the body, it can also help relieve stress on one's mind.

I get physical therapy 3 to 4 times a week. My therapist comes to my house for a 45 minute visit each time. We do many activities and exercises during this therapy time to help my body. These help loosen my muscles, help me strengthen my ability to move, and help with pain management. I also gain more energy by working out in therapy which gives me the ability to do more things during the day.

My physical therapist has helped me with being able to tighten any muscle in my body in order to move certain things (i.e. my arms, legs, back, stomach etc.). The picture above is of me sitting on the edge of my bed. This is one of the activities that I have been doing to help strengthen my back and stomach muscles. When I first started sitting up by myself, I could only do it for about 30 seconds before I would start to lean forward and my therapist would have to hold me back up. That was a few years ago. Now, I am able to sit up on the edge of my bed for a lot longer. My record so far is 5 1/2 minutes. If I start to fall forward, I am able to tighten my back muscles and pull myself back up straight. Same with if I start to fall to the left or right. I am very proud of all the work that I have been able to do because of physical therapy.

The physical therapy that I receive is private pay. That means that I pay for every visit with the therapist. Unfortunately, insurance will not pay for physical therapy. With most cases insurance will only pay for a couple of months of therapy directly after the persons injury/accident. That's what happened to me. I was able to get two months (16 visits) of physical therapy paid for. I went to the Courage Center to complete my therapy. After that I was on my own to pay for therapy.

This is very difficult for the people who do not have the funds to pay for physical therapy. They spend the majority of their life with extremely tight muscles, making it difficult for them to be moved and transferred. They also experience great pain due to their tightness and end up taking pain pills to try to alleviate pain. I am very lucky to be able to pay for my physical therapy. However, this may not be the case forever.

I recommend physical therapy for anyone who has a disability and has trouble moving themselves, has tight muscles or needs help with strengthening.


"To believe in yourself and follow your dreams, to have goals in life and a drive to succeed, to surround yourself with the things and the people that make you happy-this is success!"
-Sasha Azevedo


jan said...

you are doing just fine jenni. go on.

Jenni said...

Thanks Jan, you too.

Anonymous said...

Hope you get better! Keep it up Jenni. You seem to be so positive, I believe in you. /Basse