Carla’s Story About Low Back Pain

Carla had just recently given birth to her first child just four months ago. She triumphed in the challenges that her body had endured over the past year through the pregnancy and delivery but now she was committed to returning to the body she had prior to pregnancy.

Setting out on her quest she signed up at a friend’s gym to be part of a 6 week boot camp. She knew that she would have to take it easy. Carla was scared that she wouldn’t be able to handle it, or worse yet, that she would get hurt.

Week one was anything but easy. Week two improved slightly. On week three she was starting to see results! Not only that but the workouts began to feel easier. Week four brought in something incredible: confidence. Now confident in her ever strengthening muscles she felt empowered to take on the ever-dreaded burpee exercise. Set one done, ten reps complete…Nerves eased some…Ten more reps: down, push-up, jump, repeat…Now four sets in she felt unstoppable.

And then in between “push-up” and “jump” something terrible happened. All her motion came to a halt while the rest of the room continued on. Carla was crippled with pain shooting across her back and down her legs. She was also crippled with disbelief as her fears of this moment came true while her trainer came running to check on her. “Let’s get you to my doctor,” she said as she helped Carla to her feet.

Carla knew what to do, “Help me to my car.” With some struggle she finally made it into the front seat of her car. She knew the exact person she could trust with her back in this situation: her physical therapist. It was Saturday morning but luckily she was able to be seen and didn’t need to get a doctor referral first.

By the time she got to the clinic the pain was unbearable. She could barely even bend forward; tying her shoes would be impossible. But remarkably after an hour of thorough evaluation and one on one treatment by a Doctor of Physical Therapy she could touch her toes again without pain.

She was cautious over the weekend but was able to return to boot camp on Monday evening without missing a beat. As she walked through the gym door her trainer’s jaw hit the floor. She couldn’t believe that Carla had returned so quickly considering the pain she was in just a couple days before. Carla spoke of how her physical therapist helped her with her back so she wouldn’t have to miss out on the things she loves.

Carla’s experience with physical therapy is not uncommon. Physical Therapists (PTs) are experts at evaluating and helping with joint, muscle, and other painful conditions. Many states do not require you to visit your family doctor before starting therapy. This helps to lower the overall cost of treatment and get you better, sooner. If you are experiencing any pain or are limited in your daily activities, please consider being seen by a physical therapist first just like Carla.

Kevin R. Gennrich received his doctoral degree in physical therapy (DPT) from the University of Minnesota in 2009. He has undergone advanced training and is a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS). Additionally, he is Minnesota’s first certified Functional Dry Needling Therapist in outpatient orthopedics. His passion is to eliminate people’s pain as quickly as possible, improve performance, and reduce injury. He is a private practice owner of Overhaul Performance Based Therapy in Edina, MN. You can also connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.