Hi, I'm Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy it's December. And so this is the time of year where lots of people are wrapping presents and putting new furniture together and all sorts of things. Which means that you tend to want to sit on the floor because it's just easier to put all the wrapping paper and everything around you and try to put things together. But for a lot of people sitting on the floor can be painful for your back or your hip or your knees. And that is what prompted this video, because I feel like people might need a little bit of encouragement that it is possible to sit on the floor without pain.
Patricia is my wonderful example of this. Patricia is 42 years old and she called me roughly a month ago. She called because she was having some severe pain and she couldn't tell me if she thought it was her hip or her back, because it was kinda of blended all together.
And some pain was shooting down when she walked. She just couldn't tell if it was a hip problem or back problem. But what she did know is that it was very painful and very scary because it came on very suddenly. What happened with Patricia was that she ordered something from Ikea. So of course, you know, that means hours of sitting on the floor, trying to screw every little nut and bolt together. She had been sitting on the floor for about five minutes when she realized that her leg was kind of going numb, it just didn't feel good.
So she stood up, but when she stood up, she couldn't put weight on her left leg. And obviously that's a little scary. She was able to walk it off and eventually the numbness went away and she was able to put weight on it, but it was still very, very uncomfortable.
She waited a little bit. She put some ice on it. She tried to do a little stretching, but it just wasn't going away. She ended up calling because she was freaked out. November and December are when you have parties to go to, you have family coming in, you have all of these other requirements. She has a son in high school so there's all sorts of things going on with taking him places and trying to navigate different events.
She was like, “I don't have any time to be broken on top of that.” She's just very, very upset and very worried about why just sitting on the floor, something so simple, could’ve caused this much pain. She found me on Google through, nearest PT clinic on Google maps and she calls stating, “I need help.”
I talked to her for a little bit, then we decided that it would be a good idea for her to come in and we got to talk a little bit more. I asked her about past problems with her back. She occasionally woke up with a stiff back, but she thought that was normal. She believed that since she was in her forties, it was completely normal to have a stiff back. I ask about how her back felt while she was walking? She believed she could walk for a really long time, a good 30 minutes before anything starts to hurt.
However, after about 30 or 40 minutes, she’d have to take a break. Because her hip would ache.
I asked her how long that had been going on? “
Oh, that's been going on for a long time. I just thought that was normal again. I mean, I'm 40 and things start breaking down.”
I asked about other things that she’d tried but was limited while doing them. She'd tried to get into working out, but again, my hip started bothering me. She figured she was doing something wrong and just gave up. I told her that there's a lot going on with her. It's not just sitting on the floor. But I asked her “If all these other pains were something that you could ignore, why does it bother you enough to call me?” You could always set these things up on a table. You don't have to get onto the floor.
She said, “Well I noticed that when my parents or specifically, my mom couldn't get back up from the floor, then that was the beginning of the end. She started saying, I can't get up from the floor, so I'm not gonna do that. She stopped picking things up off the floor. She would have us pick things up. Eventually it got to be where she just was afraid to walk because she was afraid she was gonna fall. So I guess I just associate the floor with freedom and independence and staying healthy. If you can get up and down from the floor, it means that you're still really mobile and that you're still able to get up and move around.”
She’d never really thought about that so it was interesting for her. When she realized that was what triggered all the anxiety she felt about not being able to sit on the floor. She didn’t want to be afraid like her mom was. A lot of people, as they get older, have a lot of problems sitting on the floor, getting up from the floor. It really could be anything from your low back, your hip or your knee but the good news is all of these things are fixable. There's nothing that you've described that is not completely fixable.
You shouldn't have an achy back in the morning. You shouldn't have pain when you're walking and you certainly should, in your forties and well later than that, be able to sit on the floor and get back up without a problem.
We're gonna look and see what's going on. Then we're going to come up with a plan for you. And that is in fact what we did. We looked at what was happening at her hips. We looked at her posture, we looked at her flexibility. We looked at her overall strength. I asked a little bit more details about her overall activities. Then we came up with a plan on how to get her back to being able to sit on the floor, being able to wake up in the morning without back pain, to being able to do all the things that she’d given up on because she was forty.
Now Patricia is able to go for walks at the park and not have to worry about it.
She told me she went on a nice two mile walk the other day because of course there has been beautiful weather here. She isn't nervous about doing all the Christmas wrapping, that's going to be happening soon. Because she feels a lot more stable and a lot more flexible than she did just even a few weeks ago. She is not a hundred percent, she's not back to exactly where she wants to be, but she is very close. She's doing a lot better and she's very excited.
So I just thought I would share that especially now since it is the season to be sitting on the floor and trying to wrap presents. If you are dealing with pain in your back or your hip, or your knee, when you're trying to sit on the floor, there is 100% hope for you, but I can understand why you would be a little apprehensive because it's a little bit weird.
We do get really used to the idea that we're going to be in pain or have some weird aches and pains. Maybe it's not full blown, I'm freaked out from the pain, but some aches and things just don't feel great. And they take a little bit to warm up. You know, we sort of associate that. We assume that we're going to have that even starting as early as 40, but there are ways to combat that so that you're not suffering with those things every day. I know that there can be some skepticism with that. So if you'd like just to talk to me, to see if your specific situation is something that I can help with. I will leave a link so that you can set up a phone consultation and we can spend 20 minutes talking and just seeing if there really is a problem or if there's something that can be fixed. If this is something that you think that somebody would benefit from hearing then, please please pass this video on.
I hope that everybody's having a wonderful Christmas season.
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WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald