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Personalized Attention After Shoulder Surgery
My experience at Advance Physical Therapy was not only healthy but very pleasant. The personalized attention that I received (after shoulder surgery) helped me greatly to recover in the time frames set. This personalized attention makes a difference from other places where I received therapy and medical care. Professionalism, knowledge and human sensitivity are the most conspicuous attributes that identify Nancy Toole. Nancy not only is limited to fulfill routines of physical movements; but gives a personalized attention to patients. During my therapy sessions, Nancy taught me to breathe properly and correct postures for a recuperation of my health. Nancy reflects clearly what it means “love to others”. She seeks that her patients recover their health in a disciplined manner, helping us to understand how to address areas for recovery.
“When I was 14 years old in 2006 my family and I found out that I had scoliosis. It means my spine is curved. It is sure that all spines have curves, however when there are abnormal side-to-side curves in the spine, it is called scoliosis. I learned that a curve is considered bad if it is greater than 25 to 30 degrees. My doctor said my curve was 37 degrees and recommended using a brace while sleeping. He also informed us that 45 degree is a critical degree for a surgery.
After knowing a brace and surgery are all treatments in a hospital, my mother started researching about scoliosis. She wanted to know any treatment for my scoliosis. My mom took me to chiropractic and physical therapy. We chose to keep going with physical therapy because we believed that it would be better to make the muscles stronger, instead of cracking my bones in place. The stronger muscles will finally push my spine and straighten it.
For half of a year I had used a brace while sleeping, and I had done special Postural Restoration exercises taught by my physical therapist. However, in April 2007 my curve turned out 42 degrees. My doctor warned my family and me if the curvature exceeded 45 degrees at the next visit, we would need to seriously consider a surgery. He said he would put metal rods next to my spine to straighten it in an operation.
My mom, my physical therapist, and I discussed about this situation and decided to try hard one more time. Three of us have worked hard together and especially my physical therapist has been wonderful. She has kept encouraging me and has been cautious about my situation. She always helped me.
Finally, I took an x-ray again at my hospital in September 2007, and my curve was 29 degree. It was even better than my first degree (37 degree). The option of the surgery was out of topic. My doctor came to measure the curve of my spine again and again because it was not normal. Usually the curve tends to go worse and worse. He said the measurement of truncation is also better. He finally concluded the brace worked very well. However, we don’t think so. The exercises taught by my physical therapist have worked well for me.”
Scoliosis. . .
” I must admit, that I was more than a little skeptical of postural restoration when I first heard about it. I had heard claims of non-surgical ways of arresting the progress of scoliosis, but frankly didn’t believe these claims. My orthopedist had only told me about very invasive surgical correction for my progressing scoliosis. He believed the condition of my spine was responsible for the shoulder, hip, and back pain that had visited me intermittently for many years.
One day, a friend, whose advice I respect greatly, referred me to Advance Physical Therapy. Because I didn’t want to take time from work and assume the risks associated with surgery, I decided to give it a try. Also, I work hard at my daily fitness program, and was afraid surgery would temporarily, if not permanently, affect my ability to reap the rewards of such a program.
My physical therapist graduated me through many very unusual exercises, which I did twice a day for a year. At first I was still skeptical, as these were very different from exercises I had been given by other physical therapists. However, my pain began to subside quickly, so I continued with the program. Now, not only am I pain free, but x-rays performed by my orthopedist show no progression over the past year.
I highly recommend postural restoration, especially to any one who is considering surgery to correct posture-related discomfort.”
Chronic Pain and Postural Restoration…
“Thirty plus years of chronic pain. Surgeries that made things worse. Fibromyalgia. Physical therapists either helped very little or exacerbated two things while trying to fix a third thing. I spent a year with a hypnotherapist trying to achieve pain control with no success. I took Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes trying to accept pain with… well, mindfulness. No good. None of it any good.
I was not particularly hopeful about postural restoration.
My daughter, who lives on the other side of the country, told me about this fairly new thing and suggested I find someone locally. I really dragged my heels. I was recovering from heart surgery and had never fully recovered from back surgery. The exercises prescribed for strengthening my heart were playing merry hell with my sciatica. My life was revolving around pain day and night and I wasn’t having any fun, nope, none at all.
On top of the pain, I had come out of heart surgery with a partially paralyzed diaphragm. Exercise not only was painful but I could barely breathe.
I tried Google, searching ‘postural restoration’ and found a place in nearby Chapel Hill. I put off calling. My daughter nagged. She had heard more good things. Okay, okay, I finally made an appointment.
Then I met the therapist of Advance Physical Therapy. She listened patiently as I listed all my ailments and explained to her why she couldn’t possibly help me. “Let’s just try this.” she said. As she measured and evaluated the movement of my limbs, she explained how Postural Restoration works. I was not fully convinced but made two more appointments to come back.
It has been about six months now. I walk without a limp. I climb stairs upright instead of hauling myself up hand over hand using the railing. I walk down stairs casually and without fear of falling. I go for long spells without thinking of pain every minute instead if pain constantly pushing all other thoughts away. I still have sciatica, but it is no longer the most controlling factor in my life. Now I can sit at a table and enjoy meals with my friends and family or watch an entire movie without having to get up and walk around the lobby to ease pain in my leg and back. I’ve come a long way from spending days in bed because it was too painful to sit or stand or walk.
Postural Restoration is working for me. I’ve learned a different way of standing and sitting and do a few simple exercises each day. A great depth of thought and understanding of the body and how all its parts work together are behind this. Not everything we’ve tried has worked, it’s true. But every body is different and every time something does not work it gives the therapist new information and we are able to go on. I’ve come to appointments saying I was in too much pain to do anything and she listens carefully and says, “Let’s just try this.” And usually by the time I leave the clinic I am in much less pain – even feeling pretty darn good. After 30 years, ‘good’ is something I never thought I’d ever feel again. “
Scoliosis and Schroth Method of Exercises
C (13 yr old female) had a scoliosis upper curve of 51 degrees and lower one of 45 degrees in Jan 2013. Two top Ortho surgeons in Raleigh both recommended surgery ASAP. We felt that surgery for our 13 yr old should be the last resort. After much research, and a trip to the Northeast with a Schroth trained therapist, we decided to try intensive PT for C. We were excited that 2 therapists at Advance Physical Therapy in Chapel Hill became certified in the Schroth Method. C has been seeing Susan Henning since last May. Susan is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, encouraging, supportive, compassionate, dedicated to helping in many ways and always positive in guiding patients. C loves to go to see her for therapy! The fantastic news is that her recent x-ray – Aug ’13 showed the upper curve improved by decreasing down to 40 degrees and her lower curve to 35 degrees . C will continue to go and anticipates her scoliosis curves decreasing even more in the next few months! We are extremely pleased with the professional and caring treatment C has received each time at Advanced Physical Therapy. We highly recommend this practice and the Schroth based method of PT that they offer.
Adult Manages Scoliosis and Kyphosis
I have a smaller thoracic curve and kyphosis as well. I have tried different physical therapists, acupuncture, massage and exercise but nothing worked for the pain I was experiencing or the progression of my curve. I felt helpless knowing that a very extensive surgery might be the only possible way to deal with this issue.
I had done some extensive research and found Schroth Therapy. I traveled from North Carolina to New York City to work with a therapist at the Hospital for Special Surgery Spine Clinic. After continued research I discovered Advance Physical Therapy in Chapel Hill , NC. Although I live two and a half hours away from this facility, Advance Physical Therapy had the only certified Schroth Therapists in the state of North Carolina.
Meeting Susan Henning PT, PRC was a life changer for me. She is not only certified in Schroth but also in Postural Restoration. I found that I required extensive work on my overall posture as well as the Schroth exercises to help with my problems. With her gentle manner, guidance, support and expertise, Susan taught me the exercises I required to gain control over my curve progression (kyphosis and scoliosis) and pain. Only having performed the exercise for four months, this is the first year that my curve did not progress.
I am forever indebted to Susan Henning for what she taught me. She is so passionate about what she does, is very thorough and cares deeply about you as her patient. I finally have a more positive outlook on my condition and plan to keep my scoliosis in check with the continued skilled help and guidance of Susan Henning.
61 Year Old Female with Scoliosis
I have been working with Susan Henning since the autumn of 2010. I am a 61 year old female whose scoliosis was diagnosed at the age of ten during a pediatric check up. I was most fortunate to avoid back surgery since my spinal growth stopped at about twelve years old. I was left with an “S” curve, left lumbar and right thoracic in good balance. Throughout my life, I have been inconsistently active, especially with regard to exercise because of my repetitive crash and burn pattern. Just as I would achieve some level of tone, strength, and cardiovascular conditioning, my back or a leg, or hip would start hurting, become inflamed and I would stop all activity in order to heal. My healing processes required months, despite whatever relief modalities I used. These included anti-inflammatory, over the counter and some prescription medications, icing, bandaging, bracing, physical therapy, deep tissue massage, energy work. Ultimately I spent more time not doing anything than doing.
My first contact with a Postural Restoration (PR) therapist was different. The therapist actually knew how to diagnose what type of scoliosis I had through a simple movement pattern. All previous therapist nodded their heads, they knew scoliosis, they understood it was quite asymmetrical and then proceeded to have me do activities that were symmetrical. If each side of the body of a person with scoliosis is different, then the symmetrical exercise will overload one side due to the opposite side’s inability to perform comparably. All the years of running, using treadmills or elliptical machines, or free weights or home gyms required bilateral activities that inevitably overloaded my “good” side and then the pain would start.
My PR therapists have understood what parts of my body need to be built up. The process has been quite slow. I came into this new approach over four years ago with a curve that was progressing to 60 degrees. I had experienced a pinched nerve, was feeling tingling in my rib hump, left side and have been struggling with right leg pain due to a tilted pelvis. The pinched nerve has not recurred, the rib tingling is completely gone and gradually I am building to muscle tone to correct the pelvic tilt. Most importantly, I am able to walk again! I was always a walker, able to go for and hour or more on weekends. I stopped walking about five years ago and have been attempting to return to a consistent practice. I am seeing real hope for the first time in many, many years.
Susan Henning is the finest therapist I have had in my life. Not only does she listen, she is passionate about my improvement. What I see in PR is the capacity to troubleshoot effectively. If I am having pain when I come in to a session, Susan carefully assesses my neutrality and can always figure how I am out of alignment and then get me back into alignment. When I leave that session, I know exactly what exercise I need to do to either maintain alignment or restore it.
Through Postural Restoration I have received an education about my body, its compensations, weaknesses and am learning little by little how to reconnect and rebuild neurologically and muscularly. I am learning how to hold myself differently, whether standing, sitting or sleeping. For the first time, many of my back and belly muscles are starting to move with breathing and regaining some tone. I have to be diligent. If I let too many days go by without my core group of exercise, then old pain and scoliotic postures resurface once more. I would not and could not be where I am today without the PR therapist I have. At this point in time, I see myself continuing to increase my strength and capability because of the work Susan and I are doing together.
Physical Therapy After Hip Replacement
I had hip replacement at the end of the year, and after a month with Nancy Toole, PT my hip was stronger than it has been in years. Every session with Nancy challenged me to work harder and smarter as she targeted all the core muscles surrounding my repaired hip.
Her positive, pleasant demeanor contributed to y looking forward to our sessions. When I left the sessions, I was given a new, specifically targeted set of exercises that helped me continue to improve both my strength and my flexibility.