I never though just carrying a baby would send me to rehab.

To the Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine unit of San Juan De Dios Hospital, I mean!

And my, I have never seen that many a people in a rehab facility on a Monday morning! Mostly old folks were there who are recovering from stroke and had to undergo therapy, both PT and OT – Physical Therapy for their weakened bodies and Occupational Therapy for their simple motor and cognitive skills to get back to shape.

The patients, along with their relatives or personal nurses, were assisted by cheerful physical therapists, who would greet patients with a big smile and shouting at the top of their lungs.

For the PT, they used gym equipment. I didn’t know they now use Wii for therapy! I’d want to try it, but it’s not part of my session.

The OT was amazing. I didn’t know simple motor skills like pinning sipit or buttoning clothes and zippers can equal to therapy. There was this guy who injured his hand because of riding the motorcycle. So he was asked to take out coins from a clay using only one hand. And an old man who was answering a questionnaire to build back his cognition after a stroke.

I have De Quervain syndrome, or Radial styloid tenosynovitis . In simpler terms, it’s called washerwoman’s sprain, or mommy thumb. It is tendinosis or chronic injury of the tendons.

My right thumb is painful when I stretch it. This started when Aria is starting to get heavy and really malikot when I’m carrying her. My mom, who helps me out in taking care of Aria during the day, has a more serious case of De Quervain’s because aside from carrying baby, she also does other stuff like washing clothes and dishes.

My treatment goes like this:

1. Paraffin treatment: Hands are dipped in uber-hot paraffin wax. I asked if I could just melt candles and do it at home. Of course, they don’t allow it. Salon paraffin also is not an acceptable treatment.

Hospital paraffin treatment. Not your ordinary salon paraffin treatment.

2. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrial Nerve Stimulation): Electricity runneth over your wrists. I don’t think this is powerful enough to cause electric shock.

A TENS unit. From Wikipedia

3. Therapeutic Ultrasound: where a cold gel is applied, just the same as the pregnant ultrasound. The energy is absorbed by the connective tissues.

4. Stretching. Certain stretches were made after the treatment and recommended to do even at home. These stretches were meant to relax the tense nerves but should be done properly.

Another warning is for those who use the cellphone too much. I found out that this condition is also called “Blackberry thumb!” So for those who love texting, better not overdo it. It might send you to your nearest rehab. I tell you, PT/OT is really expensive!

My right thumb is feeling a lot better. I cannot take any medicine since I’m breastfeeding, hence, I was recommended to do the therapy. I have four sessions left and I hope the pain would soon be all gone.

~ Touringkitty

3 Comments on PT/OT

  1. Aaawww… hope you feel better soon! 🙂 Reading your post brought me back to my PT internship days, esp. at UP-PGH! hahaha. Makes me miss my UP days even more! 🙂 Mahal nga magpaPT/OT/SP treatment ano? I wonder how much it costs now, my last practicing days as a PT were almost 10 years ago. 🙂 Godbless always dear!

  2. Hi Ms Em!
    Back reading your posts and saw this. Exactly experiencing this for more than 2 months now on my left thumb. I had it checked in Cardinal Santos and said its just plain tendonitis and gave me pain reliever. I didn’t take the med since am breastfeeding. Kaso the pain is still there and my right thumb begins to ache, too. Pero bearable na yung pain for both, there are just some mornings na pag biglang nastretch yung thumb, super sakit. Dapat na bang ipatherapy to? Am getting used to it na rin. Sayo ko na talaga tinanong no? :D BTW, will be attending the mass in honor of Our Lady of La Leche. Hope to meet you there :)

    • Hi Tina! You must have it checked with a specialist if pain is recurring. Usually they will do physical checks or x-ray if needed. They could recommend either meds (most pain relievers are safe even when breastfeeding) or therapy. Tendinitis might need meds or therapy. I had one waaaay back in college. Take care. And do say Hi on the 30th, our family will be there 🙂

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