John Seivert: A year of gratitude
I know what you’re thinking; no this isn’t a sarcastic joke. This is a real reflection of my past years’ monthly Health & Wellness Column in the Healthy Tuesday’s section. Over the years, there have been many responses. They have come to me via email, letters, in the isles of SPDs supermarket, or even on the county’s popular single-track trails. I love the feedback and appreciate the “kudos” (that came from the June 2020 article on the App Strava) when given out to me. Looking back at this years’ list of the titles of the articles written, they give me a sense of pride and gratitude. I have been able to share critical information with the readers of The Union. This is an honor. The information shared had helped people get out of pain or improve function when they thought no improvements were possible. I have also been able to instill hope for some in despair. With that hope comes a plan that translates to a specific set of exercises designed to accomplish the patients’ goals. I truly feel blessed to have a profession that challenges me each day.
In May, I wrote about the origin of the foam roller used as a therapeutic device. This was 1986, and it was a great story, and I felt like I was in the front row watching it all unfold. All of us PTs were using these large white foam rollers in the Sacramento Kaiser Permanente PT department’s gym. Little did we know those foam rollers used as shipping container protection for goods shipped worldwide would be in every PT clinic across the globe in less than 30 years.
I’m going to cheat and go into 2019 to share the most talked about article I have written with you. In March of 2019, the “Sex and Back Pain” article was a favorite for many. So many people felt the need to tell me, “Thank you” personally. I was stopped several times in the isles of SPD to thank me for writing that piece. One older woman told me she was so grateful that I wrote that article because she could get her husband back to making love to her again, and it didn’t make his back worse. She was almost in tears when she walked away. I had a patient in my practice do the same thing. He stopped me in the hallway and thanked me for giving him the green light to “Get after it again.” His wife was next to him, smiling. I was thanked by younger patients, as well. It seems that sex and back pain is quite common but rarely discussed. There is a PT in my practice and in the community that are a pelvic rehab specialist. They specialize in treating pelvic pain related to intercourse as well as bowel and bladder dysfunction.
The columns that deal with “Myth-busting” happens to be my favorites. It was not only because of the powerful statements made and the globally recognized beliefs that are squashed, but because I had those beliefs. For example, in January 2020, the article, “Is lifting with a straight back safer than lifting with a rounded back?”
Answer: NO. There is no evidence in the peer-reviewed literature that lifting with a straight back is safer than lifting with a rounded back.
In 2018 the article, “Is bending over repeatedly bad for your back?”
Answer: No. If you want a strong back, you must work out hard, performing lots of bending exercises with weights to get a strong and healthy back.
In February, I shared that our national PT organization wrote a position paper stating that degenerative disc disease (DDD) is NOT a disease. It is a normal aging process. And this normal aging process is not the cause of back pain.
COVID-19 created a great deal of attention in rehab medicine, and we PTs have found that Telehealth is a safe and effective way to deliver healthcare.
Lastly, I am grateful that physical therapy is an essential business, and all of us PT clinics in the community have been able to stay open and help people get out of pain. I am grateful.
John Seivert is a doctor of physical therapy and he has been practicing for 34 years. He opened Body Logic Physical Therapy in Grass Valley in 2001. He has been educating physical therapists since 1986. Contact him at bodylogic2011@ yahoo.com.
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