From Move Forward Radio: A Journey Out of Pain and Away From Painkillers, Thanks to Physical Therapy

Morgan Hay had been down with the flu for about a week and was starting to get bored. So she turned on a horror movie to break up the monotony. It worked: not long into the movie, she jumped off the couch and attempted to run upstairs, away from all the scariness, only to slam her right big toe into a stair. The resultant pain was intense.

That's when she entered what turned out to be a real-life nightmare that took her from specialist to specialist, and subjected her to multiple painkillers that made her feel "like a zombie." The pain was so overwhelming that it caused her to lose consciousness nearly 2 months after the initial injury.

It was a nightmare that only ended after extensive work with a physical therapist (PT). Hay recounts her story in the latest edition of "Move Forward Radio," APTA's twice-monthly podcast series that educates the public about the benefits of physical therapist treatment.

Initially, Hay thought she had badly stubbed her toe. But when she woke up the next day still in excruciating pain, she went to the local hospital emergency department to find out that she had sustained multiple fractures in her toe. She was put in a cast, but 11 days later, her orthopedist removed it due to the intense pain Hay was still experiencing.

A neurologist diagnosed Hay with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and then the pain medications started rolling in: at one point Hay says, she was taking Cymbalta, Lyrica, and methadone for the pain, and some doctors she visited were even pressing her to begin taking additional antidepressants.

Hay understood that the current course of treatment wasn't really addressing the pain, but merely masking it. Finally, in desperation, the 23-year-old made an appointment at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where she was seen by a team of providers, including Nancy Durban, PT, DPT, MS.

Continue reading at the address below