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When the Teacher Becomes the Student or How this Physical Therapist Became the Patient

Vestibular Physical Therapy

By Devin Wurman, DPT

I have been a physical therapist for 12 years.  It’s a career that quickly became a sincere passion as I am able to help patients get back to the activities they love and jobs they need to do without feeling pain.  One of the main reasons I chose to become a physical therapist though was because of my firsthand experience with it.  When I was sixteen, I was involved in a car crash that left me feeling pain in my neck and my back.  I went to physical therapy (PT) three times a week and by the time I finished my plan of care, I was not only pain-free but really understood how powerful physical therapy can be.  I thought, ‘hey, this is cool!’ and knew I wanted to be a physical therapist.

Little did I know that years later, I would be a PT patient once again.  When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I started experiencing right-sided sacroiliac joint pain during my second trimester.  This is the joint that connects the hip bone with the sit bone.  One thing that happens during pregnancy is that hormones cause the ligaments in your pelvis to loosen in preparation for giving birth.  This can in turn make your sacroiliac joint unstable.

At first, I just felt a dull pain.  But one day, I bent down to pick something up, heard a noise, and then felt excruciating pain.  I couldn’t even get up off the floor.  I tried doing some gentle stretches on my own but the pain only got worse.  Standing and walking were a struggle.  The pain was so bad it would shoot down my leg and within just a week after it started, I noticeably lost strength in my leg and felt numbness in my knee.  It severely affected my daily routine.  For the next five weeks, I had to sit in a chair while treating my patients.  I knew I needed to address it head on.  I modified my schedule so I could attend my own physical therapy sessions three times a week.  In the beginning, I felt helpless and frustrated because of this pain.  I started to worry about my ability to continue working and even my ability to take care of my family.  Finally, after three to four weeks of treatment, medication, following my home exercise program the therapist prescribed, and being compliant with my home exercises, I started to feel better and see results!  I can honestly say I practice what I preach.  When I talk to my patients about the importance of getting to all of their appointments and being diligent with their home exercise program, I speak from experience.  At Loudoun Sports therapy Center, our highly-trained staff will help you recover from any injury.  Pain is not something you should push through or just deal with.  Call our office today at 703-450-4300 to set up your personalized evaluation so you can start living life pain free!