Amy is a 34-year-old nurse who began experiencing excruciating pain in her back and hips during her late twenties. She struggled for years to find treatment and relief before discovering KCP Physical Therapy.
“You’re Always Going to Have Back Pain”
Amy initially went to see the spinal surgeon who had operated on her father. She told him that she “felt like something was horribly wrong.” The surgeon told her that she had SI joint inflammation and that she should go to physical therapy for six weeks.
During that first round of PT, Amy says that they focused on safe bending and lifting techniques.
She was still in pain most of the time, though. She saw another physical therapist who ultimately told her, “This is just going to be a problem for you. You’re always going to have back pain.” Amy says that she felt very discouraged after that.
She questioned her next move. “Do I even want to keep looking for someone else who is just going to give me the same answer?” she thought.
Instead of going to another doctor or physical therapist, Amy decided to change her approach. As a member of her local YMCA, she knew that they offered personal training. She asked for a consultation with someone who specialized in back injuries, thinking that would be a common request. Unfortunately, the trainer had never heard of SI joint dysfunction, and Amy decided not to pursue the training further.
Finding the Right Provider
Amy wanted to work with someone who specifically focused on treating her condition. She did a Google search for “physical therapist + SI joint dysfunction” and said that she was excited to find KCP’s information. “They actually had SIJD on their website!” she says. “I didn’t have to explain to them what this was.”
She began working with physical therapist Joy Pfuhl. During their initial assessment, Joy discovered that Amy had pelvic instability. This condition had been missed during previous PT experiences. By the end of that first session, Amy said that she learned key exercises which would be foundational to managing her instability. “I told Joy – you helped my pain immediately! No one had ever said they could help mitigate my pain or make it better for me,” she says.
“It was mind-blowing that I had such different experiences,” Amy says.
Managing Pelvic Instability
Over the course of her treatment, Amy says, “I learned how to work out in a correct manner – strengthening my core and pelvis and working out in a healthy way. Before, I had just been trying to avoid all activities so that I could keep it under control.”
Joy says, “Once we corrected her pelvic mechanics, Amy improved and has minimal to no daily symptoms. She now understands and manages her pelvic instability through exercise and body mechanics.”
Amy learned that strength training is key to managing pelvic instability. She joined KCP’s training program, starting with individual sessions, and then moving to group classes. Having recently moved to Winston-Salem from Charlotte, she appreciates that she can still participate in virtual training sessions. She also says that “Joy is always available for questions if I’m having issues. She is such a great resource who is always willing to help me.”
A New Outlook
Understanding her condition has made all the difference for Amy, she says.
“I used to be in severe pain at least once a week and had underlying pain the rest of the time. Now, I might have a flare-up once a month, but it’s not severe. And I know the exercises I can do for immediate relief. It’s not discouraging anymore because I understand what’s happening and how to manage it.”
A Positive Experience
Amy says that she had a “super-positive experience” at KCP.
“It’s just a really nice community,” she says. “And it’s not just the therapists and support staff – it’s even the other patients. All of us are there for some kind of physical issue, and it’s a really encouraging environment.”
“I would recommend them to anyone,” she says. “I want to tell everyone about KCP! I wish that everybody had a resource like them.”