Injury and Transform My Body Through Exercise and Strength Training
– By Fanny Galanis, Client at Progressive Physical Therapy & Health Club –
Isuffered with a bad rotator cuff and bicep injury. The cause – I think plain old wear and tear. I was overweight for many years and as a widow did a lot of things for myself. I finally made an appointment to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon and decided to have shoulder surgery in January of 2011 at age 68.
I Couldn’t Even Lift a Cup of Coffee!
The pain before surgery was horrible – 24/7. The surgery was difficult to go through, but well worth it because of the pain I had lived prior to that. The pain traveled from my shoulder to my hand. I couldn’t even lift a cup of coffee! The injury was on my right shoulder and I am right handed, so everything was difficult. Surgery took longer than expected as the bicep was damaged. They had to shave off part of the bone to get in there and I now have three bolts in my shoulder. Before surgery, things were literally held together by a thread.
My First Experience with Physical Therapy
I started physical therapy (PT) at home for the first 30 days. After the first 30 days, I continued PT out of the home. I went to one practice and was not satisfied. It felt very unprofessional. The therapist had my chart and asked what I had done. I felt he didn’t even look at the chart., that they didn’t even know how serious the surgery was I had just been through. I had to sit in the waiting room for a therapist to be assigned as they were all out to lunch. I just didn’t feel comfortable. After the exam, I knew it was not for me. I never went back.
Progressive Physical Therapy Was The Answer
I decided to try Progressive Physical Therapy as I passed it all the time and it was close to my home. As soon as I walked in, I immediately felt comfortable. Just the way they handled everything, it was very professional and friendly. I asked to see the facility and physical therapy area and was very impressed. It was very clean and everyone knew what they were doing – every one of them. That’s important to me.
Wayne, the owner, handled my physical therapy. I gave him a letter describing the issue. He immediately realized how bad it was and was concerned about helping me heal and gain strength. I went three times a week and got better and better. Wayne pushed me a bit, but in the right direction, using hands on manual therapy, graduating to bands. We started off slow and comfortable and then he slowly built me up. As I continued with therapy, I continued to receive increased motion and range, getting better and better. I was able to do more and more. The more I went, the better I got!
The Journey Continued – I Joined Progressive Health Club
When I was discharged from PT, I walked just a few steps and joined Progressive Health Club, wanting to build up strength in my arm even more, as well as in my entire body. It was so convenient being in the same location as physical therapy.
What I liked was when I joined the gym, they would come out and watch me and tell me what to do, i.e. only work with 5 lb weights, guide me on which machines to start with, etc. Wayne encouraged me to add the treadmill and additional strength training to help me lose some of my weight and get in better condition. Everyone was so nice. Claire gave me a Burger King crown when I lost 50 pounds and put it on my head. She would always give me high fives. You don’t get that everywhere. They’re truly like family.
I Decided It Was Time To Change
I joined Progressive Health Club in June of 2011. The new found exercise I was enjoying combined with my joining and sticking with Weight Watchers made success for me. I have always been a yo-yo diet person. Joining the gym changed my whole attitude. I have lost 88 pounds and continue to lose. Health wise, it is better for you to lose weight and get in shape. I did Weight Watchers, but any diet will work. You have to want to do it. It is a life change. I decided it was time to change. There is something about the physical fitness end of it. I could not have been successful without the gym. I am amazed at how much I’ve progressed, from laying on the table for surgery to being able to work out at the gym, do the treadmill and lift weights.
Treating the Whole Person
Once I got into exercising, I blossomed! They encouraged me every step of the way. They didn’t just treat my shoulder, they blended both physical therapy and exercise, effectively treating the whole person. They take care of you on both ends – physical therapy and fitness!
My Doctors Were Amazed
One of the best parts of all this was my doctors were in shock. They did blood work and all was perfect. One doctor asked me where I go and I told him, Progressive! My cardiologist also saw the blood work and his face too was in shock. He said, “You made my day!” He couldn’t believe it. He too asked where I was working out and I said, Progressive! At a recent check up, my pulse rate was at 60. The RN told me that was the pulse rate of an athlete! She said, “Obviously, you must be working out.” She asked what I was doing with my work out and I told her I work out three times a week at Progressive!
As a cancer survivor of 14 years, I saw my radiologist who said, “I can’t believe this is the same woman from 14 years ago!” He even wrote a letter to some other doctors sharing my story and told them it can be done! I am cancer free and so happy about that.
My Orthopaedic Surgeon was also very happy with my results. He believes in PT, feeling it’s a must do immediately after surgery, not waiting 4-6 months. If you wait too long, you can have issues with scar tissue. Wayne can work with scar tissue too.
You’re Never Too Old To Start!
I knew I needed to do something about my weight. It was getting out of control. As we age, things get more and more difficult, especially when you’re heavy. I didn’t really set goals. If I lost 10 pounds, I would say, I’ll shoot for 15. I did say I wanted to lose 69 pounds by my 69th birthday, and I did! What I have learned is, you’re never too old to start! I started at age 68. I’ll be 70 next April. It can work no matter how old you are!
If you go off a diet and slip, get back on the next day. Don’t wait. Don’t get down on yourself. If you slip, get right back on. Don’t think you’re a failure. Don’t go there. I never said I need to lose 90 pounds. That sounded too far away. I didn’t do that. I took small steps. If I go on vacation, I know I can’t be 100%. That’s ok. Get back on your diet the next day.
Some of the Benefits of My Body Transformation Include:
- I don’t need an extension belt on airplanes anymore.
- My hip was bothering me. Since I lost weight, it doesn’t bother me anymore.
- My ankle was hurting me. My podiatrist said my extra weight was not helping. I’ve lost the weight and my ankle feels better.
- People are very prejudiced about obese people. Now I’m able to go into a restaurant and I don’t have to push the table back to get in. This was the first thing I noticed
- after losing 30 lbs.
- When I sent shopping, I would rest my elbows on the shopping cart as it was hard on my hips. I don’t need to do that anymore. I zip zip through the store.
- I used to only be able to push my grandson in the swing. Now, we walk on the beach. I never say I can’t do this or that. I can do anything!
They Are Like Family. I Recommend Everyone Go There!
I started physical therapy in March of 2011 up until June of 2011. When I first went in, I couldn’t do anything. As Wayne worked with me, I gained strength and look where I am today – healed, healthy and strong! Thanks to Progressive Physical Therapy & Health Club, I received the help and healing I needed. Progressive is just wonderful. They are like family! I recommend everyone go there!
About Progressive Physical Therapy
At Progressive Physical Therapy, we believe that you deserve a customized approach to solving the cause of your pain and weakness. At our dedicated facility, we use a team approach to patient care and have a reputation for great success. On your first visit we perform a comprehensive initial evaluation of your strength, range of motion, gait or walking ability and any other factors that may be impeding progress, and set goals for your treatment. We are trained in techniques to facilitate reduction in swelling and inflammation, and will guide you step by step to achieving your therapy goals through hands on treatment, modalities (such as ice, electrical stimulation or ultrasound) and progression of strength and ROM through use of exercises on the mat tables, as well as our full gym of Cybex equipment. Typically, at the completion of outpatient physical therapy, patients will have full pain free active range of motion, normal balance and gait, and an exercise program to continue independently. We’ll help you return to the active life you enjoyed prior to surgery and often times even more.
About Progressive Health Club
We lose about 5% of our muscle every year after the age of 40 and an additional 1-2% more each year after the age of 50. But there is a “magic pill,” and it works at any age. It’s strength training. Strength training can prevent the loss of muscle, stop osteoporosis, lower your blood pressure, reverse type 2 diabetes, and help prevent some forms of cancer. Our Personal Trainers at Progressive Health Club not only help clients implement a safe and effective exercise program, they educate them on proper eating and exercise.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call Progressive Physical Therapy & Health Club at 941-743-8700 or visit us online at