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This month we are celebrating some of the success stories that come from physical therapy. As a continuation of our blog earlier this month, this week’s blog will highlight three more stories. The stories feature patients whose lives were changed for the better because of their determination to stay the course and commit to their physical therapy program. But their success would not be possible without the talents of a special team of physical therapists. We are grateful to be able to share these stories with you.

Chuck’s Story: Osteoarthritis

Chuck Perry loves fly fishing and hiking. Yet, his ability to fly fish and hike came to an abrupt halt several years ago because of severe pain in his knee.

“It felt like I was stabbed with a knife in my knee whenever I used it,” said Chuck Perry of Sisters.

Chuck had osteoarthritis, a common, long-term, chronic condition that is without a cure and affects approximately 27 million Americans. While most common in adults over 65, osteoarthritis can happen at any age.

He was referred to Seth Wilkie, PT, DPT, OCS from our Sisters, OR clinic for treatment.

“I was surprised by how the different parts of the body are interrelated,” said Perry. “Seth showed me how my back and even my ankle affected my knee. We began addressing and strengthening the different parts of my body to reduce knee pain,” added Perry.

“I am impressed with how physical therapy has helped me become pain-free. I am back to fly fishing, hiking, and softball. Seth Wilkie is a quality person. I really enjoyed my time with him and highly recommend him.”

Diane’s Story: Foot & Ankle Pain

Diane Reynolds had been suffering from foot and ankle pain for years. She knew she didn’t want surgery. She also knew that she wanted to get back to enjoying the things she loved like walking, cross-country skiing, and wearing cute shoes. 

Diane had insertional Achilles tendinitis, a painful condition where the Achilles tendon breaks down with tiny tears that swell and thicken. In Diane’s case, the torn fibers calcified creating a bone spur. This made it difficult to wear closed-heel shoes because of painful rubbing. Diane heard about Shanette Menegus, PT, at Step & Spine Physical Therapy’s Bend location and began seeing her for help. 

“I was in a lot of pain,” said Ms. Reynolds. “But for about six months, Shanette worked on it, and I am in no more pain. Cross-country skiing is no problem, and I can now wear fashionable shoes!” 

“To help Diane I used cupping therapy techniques to decrease inflammation and diminished the heel spur through soft tissue mobilization, among other treatments,” said Menegus. “The thickening of her Achilles is 40% less, and she no longer needs special shoes. She also had an orthotic heel cup custom-made to prevent her heel from going back to its previous position.”

Randy’s Story: Vestibular Dysfunction

Blackouts, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and significant neck pain were his reality. And for more than forty years, Veteran and Sisters resident, Randell (Randy) Drake didn’t think anything could help.

His time serving in the military during the Vietnam War resulted in several head injuries that caused his debilitating symptoms. Then in 1978, a severe car accident left Randy with an open skull fracture.

“My car accident reopened the unhealed wounds I had from my time in the military,” said Randy.  

He spent years visiting doctor after doctor only to receive pain medication and a couple of physical therapy appointments. Nothing seemed to make a difference. 

For unrelated knee pain, Randy went to the Sister’s clinic for therapy. As he progressed into single-leg exercises, his therapist noticed he was having some trouble with balance and dizziness. 

The cause of Randy’s symptoms was not clear-cut. His dizziness could be attributed to arthritis in his neck, also known as Cervicogenic Dizziness, as well as vestibular dysfunction.

His physical therapist began treating Randy using vestibular habituation. The results were good, but he plateaued after a few treatments. When she started working on his neck, Randy’s progress moved into hyperspeed. 

By relieving his general stiffness with manual techniques and incorporating exercises to strengthen and minimize joint hypomobility, his PT provided a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. For the first time in forty years, Randy felt significant relief in his neck, which resolved his headaches and reduced his dizziness.

Today, Randy’s quality of life is steadily increasing. Randy has learned invaluable tools for managing his symptoms and knows what to do to prevent dizziness and blackouts. 

“I feel PT has done more to help me than anything else, including injections,” said Randy. “If I had done it the other way around and seen my physical therapist first, I would have never gotten the injections, and I wouldn’t have lost all this time. Don’t wait 40 years before seeing a physical therapist.”

If you feel inspired to learn how physical therapy can help you get back to enjoying the things you love, schedule an evaluation. We have offices in Bend, Eagle Crest, Redmond, and Sisters.