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Columbus resident Talisa Burnett has undergone three surgeries to remove a tumor and surrounding tissue from her right hip. Since a considerable portion of muscle was removed during the third surgery, strengthening her hip,
reestablishing balance and re-learning to walk correctly have been her biggest challenges.
She began her journey to recovery with three months of traditional physical therapy and personal training once a week.
“When I first started, I worried it would hurt or it would do more harm than good,” Burnett said.
Since her physical therapy ended, Burnett has incorporated Pilates and yoga into her rehabilitation.
“The muscles on my right side were tight after surgery,” Burnett said. “Basic yoga helps with the stretching, and Pilates helps strengthen the muscles.”
Burnett recommends incorporating low-impact exercise to anyone who has sustained injury or is recovering from illness or surgery.
Others have similar stories to tell.
20-year success story
Kathy Therber sustained a soft tissue injury in a 1992 car accident that left her in constant pain.
When her physical therapy ended, she signed up for a therapeutic yoga class.
“I felt better after the first class,” Therber said. “So I had a little window where I didn’t feel any pain, and that is what kept me going back.”
As her pain-free time grew, Therber realized she was feeling the cumulative benefit of an ongoing practice.
When you practice yoga, you are finding the proper alignment for the body — and the whole body benefits, Therber said.
It is a restorative, as well as preventative, practice.
“I attended the class for pain relief,” Therber said. “And now it’s become a practice that’s lasted 20 years.”
The certified yoga therapist maintains that the practice can be used as a therapeutic tool, but it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
When Columbus resident Suzanne Davis had surgery in 2012 to correct a tendon tear in her knee, she used Pilates to regain strength. Traditional physical therapy wasn’t recommended since the tear was deemed minor, she said. However, Davis continued to experience mobility issues. Even navigating stairs caused her discomfort.
Constantly aware of her injury, Davis was protective of her knee and mindful of her movements for fear of reinjuring it.
“The biggest challenge for me was making myself realize my knee was not going to give out on me,” Davis said. “It is that little voice in your mind that says, ‘I’m injured.’”
When she began Pilates, Davis was skeptical about the benefits.
Following four months of private 30-minute Pilates sessions twice a week with Kate Connor at Zen Fitness, Davis said she began to feel like a new person.
“Last year, I couldn’t hardly mow my lawn,” Davis said. “But this year, I mow without any problems.”
Davis plans to continue Pilates to maintain the progress she has made.
“When I get out of there I’m so energized. I get so much done at home those evenings,” Davis said.
Connor said many of the clients she works with have sustained an injury or are recovering from an illness.
“Insurance only goes so far with rehabilitation programs,” Connor said. “When a patient needs ongoing care, they look for other avenues. Keeping up is very important.”
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