The psychology of being injured: When your physical therapist is out of answers, get another physical therapist


I’m on Physical Therapist No. 11 for my mysterious leg malady. I’ve seen him 7 times now. He’s done myofascial release, aggressive manual therapy, given me dozens of stretching exercises to do at home (which I’ve done) and applied electrical stimulation.

And. Nothing. Has. Changed.

The last time I saw my therapist I complained to him that I was unhappy that I hadn’t even
noticed 1 degree of change or improvement. His response is always this: Because I’ve been
messed up for so long it’s going to take a while to see improvement.

I know I’m not a doctor, but that doesn’t make sense to me. To the runners out there: if you
see a therapist 7 times, wouldn’t you expect to see just some improvement? That’s what I

The scary thing is this: I’ve Googled and Binged and Yahooed my condition and I’ve found
no one else with the problem that I have.

I know its probably time to say goodbye to my current therapist because he is now prescribing things to me that therapists No. 8 and 9 prescribed. Translation: He doesnt know what’s wrong with me and doesnt know how to fix me.

I keep telling him that I feel something weird in my quad/adductor area. He says its my hip or my back. But I have no pain in either area, I tell him. He insists that its my back, that a
nerve in my back is causing my gait to be off. This is what the other therapists have told me.

He tells me I shouldn’t run. So I don’t run. And things don’t get better – even with the
rest. On Wednesday (April 24) I ran 4 miles – my first mileage of any kind since the first of
April. And things were terrible – in the beginning. As I warmed up, though, things got a
little better. Not great. Not change-the- world-better. Just a little better.

This tells me that resting is not going to help me. So I might as well run till I figure this
out. Running is my life. It makes me whole.

This guy – this therapist – is telling me not to run, but he can’t figure out what’s wrong with me, and nothing he does seems to help.

And so now, the decision I’m making is to dump this therapist.

But I don’t know what I’m gonna do next.

7 thoughts on “The psychology of being injured: When your physical therapist is out of answers, get another physical therapist”

  1. You need a Pain Manager. Someone who is a good listener and empathetic. You need to trust hin or her. You need to get the info, trust it, believe that you are *not* the only one in the world with your pain, and you need to believe you will get better. You need to find your baseline of activity, and only gradually increase.

    Change your brain, Change the pain.

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