“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. “