Bruno Tison, executive chef at the prestigious Plaza Hotel, suffered a major knee injury on April 10, 1995, while skiing. He had reconstructive surgery the following day in which his knee was rebuilt using bone grafts, pins and plates. Even though he was told he would never ski again, his ultimate goal was to return to his active lifestyle of skiing and riding.
Guided by Arnold Trachtenberg, physical therapy assistant and certified athletic trainer, Bruno commenced a very comprehensive program of physical therapy that would last almost one year. He was determined to return to his original level of physical activity. His initial visits were focused on controlling the post-surgical inflammation and pain. Arnold progressed through his next phase of rehabilitation which involved therapeutic exercise on his knee without compromising the reconstructed area. Initially there was very little progress and small movements were extremely painful due to the long period of immobilization. However, Arnold continued to provide encouragement. With small increases in range of motion, Bruno was able to ride the stationery bicycle and increase his strength by conscientiously maintaining his home exercise program and attending all of his therapy sessions.
Bruno was able to return to the ski slopes. At first he skied the beginner slopes, but eventually he worked his way back up to the advanced black diamond trails.
For two years Charlie Pantella had been to many doctors, physical therapists and psychiatrists. After one ATM session he had a 90% reduction of total body pain. He also canceled a knee surgery that was scheduled for the week after his session.
Cynthia Anderson started having pain in her knees when going down stairs or stepping off a curb. An MRI confirmed a severe sprain/strain and a small tear in the posterior horn of her left knee. Her doctor recommended arthroscopic surgery, which she had already had three times in the past. A second opinion convinced her to first try ninety days of physical therapy, three to four times a week, and anti-inflammatory medication. After two weeks of being treated by Rik Misiura and Juha Sinda at Bryant Park Physical Therapy, Cynthia was able to walk comfortably and by four weeks she was pain free.
"The therapy has been unbelievable and I think the Feldenkrais has helped a considerable amount. I've totally reconsidered having surgery. I can walk comfortably without pain and it's only been four weeks. In view of the fact that I've had three knee surgeries in the past three years, I'd like to be able to hold off another surgery unless it's absolutely unavoidable."
Cynthia also had a car accident ten years ago in which she was thrown every which way, broke through her seat belt and suffered severe whiplash. Six months of physical therapy at another practice made her condition even worse. She started having partial paralysis in her right arm. She underwent a disk laminectomy of C3, 4 and 5, wore a halo for four months and had intense physical therapy for three years. It helped a lot and enabled her to regain more range of motion than predicted.
Recently, Rik Misiura worked with her for three weeks and further increased her range of motion dramatically. "Just call him the miracle worker," says Cynthia.
When Darlene Rodriguez began physical therapy, the toes on her left foot were numb and she had back and arm pain. Her therapist at Central Park Physical Therapy deduced that a trigger point in her pirifirmis (hip) muscle was referring numbness to her lower extremity. What her therapist needed to determine was why Darlene's hip muscle was tight. He considered whether the nerve root of her lumbar spine might be irritated, or if there could be mechanical or psychological factors.
After two physical therapy visits including Feldenkrais, her pain was completely gone, but after five days she experienced a 15% recurrence. During treatment her therapist discovered that Darlene hated her job. Coincidentally, her pain started about two years ago, the same time she began her job, a perfect example of how emotional factors can contribute to a physical problem. Her therapist then incorporated stress management techniques into his treatment of Darlene.
Howard Wilson was a law enforcement officer and had been shot six times. He had pain from the top of his head to the back of his thighs and had unsuccessfully visited many medical and healthcare practitioners. The morning after he attended a Feldenkrais ATM session, he called to say he wasn't coming in anymore. All the pain in his back was completely gone for the first time in years.
Paula Claman, a singer, came to Central Park Physical Therapy complaining of back pain. Her therapist helped release her hypertonic psoas muscle and she was able to sing for the first time in her life without back pain. She had been singing for over forty years in pain.