MedWatch: Physical Therapy Help

"The majority of our patients are individuals who are in pain. Ninety-five percent of the patients that actually come to see us are because they’re having pain with normal daily functions, walking, being able to get in and out of bed, climb steps."

For Sally Hallert that pain came from a broken ankle.

"I just slipped on ice, didn’t watch what I was doing for one second and that was it."

Her first part of treatment was rest.

"I had about three weeks when I couldn’t do anything, just lay on the couch with your foot up and then after that I could start putting weight on it. My doctor recommended physical therapy here at Kalkaska," said Sally.

Sally started therapy three times a week with Kassi Burkam at the Kalkaska Memorial Health Center.

"When patients first come in for the initial evaluation, part of the eval is talking about their goals and what they want to get back to and what’s important in their life," said Kassi.

And Sally knew exactly what that was. She had scheduled a trip to Europe.

So they got to work here, and sally kept it up at home.

"Kassi was really good about giving me exercises that didn’t require a lot of equipment," explained Sally. "Most of the things I could do at home, like take your foot and write the alphabet in the air, or stretch a rubber band she gave me. So the emphasis was do these at home as well as here and I did. That encourages the recovery much faster than if you just sit around a and wait for a rehab day."

Sally made it overseas.

"I went to Europe and did wonderful, could get around everywhere and I started having some other problems with my right leg, the break was on my left ankle, and I think it was because I was not walking straight, I was sort of limping."

And because the pain got worse, Sally ended up back in physical therapy.

"I couldn’t get up the stairs without yanking on the banister, but she did this very quick exercise. She said ‘well, lets go try the stairs now’ and it was like magical there was no pain. I could get right up the stairs and down," said Sally.

"One of the things we strive for ourselves here at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center is providing hands on therapy," said Kassi. "All of our patients get some sort of hands on care and that is crucial for Sally. We did what we call muscle energy techniques. We put her in positions, we were able to use her muscles, we were able to use her body to correct the alignment, and by doing that we could teach her to do similar things at home."

And soon Sally was back doing the things she loved again. 

"I’ve been traveling some and going up mountains and all kinds of things, so it was really important to keep doing things I enjoy, as well as gardening and all that stuff."

And for Kassi, that’s the ultimate goal

"Seeing Sally come in and doing well is an awesome experience for any therapist. That’s our goal, to get them back where they want to be," explained Kassi. "It’s a feeling that’s almost indescribable and I think that’s why a lot of people get into this field."

Categories: MedWatch