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Regaining Independence One Step at a Time

Walking 10 miles a day is nothing new for retired teacher Karen Menard. Between her active lifestyle of walking and weightlifting, she keeps her mind active by reading mystery and historical fiction novels. But her lifestyle came to a screeching halt when she took a fall and fractured her shoulder.

Why She Entered PT

Even though it was mid-January and the ground was covered in melted snow, Karen didn’t let that stop her from going on her morning walk. When she was 5 minutes from home, her foot caught on a patch of black ice, and as she describes it, the experience was “just like a slapstick comedy… my foot went out from under me!” When she fell, she was leaning towards her left shoulder, which is when she heard the snap of her shoulder fracture.

The orthopedic doctor was confident the bone would heal but recommended that she see a physical therapist. Since she had such a great experience in the past with Dr. Sidra Ethier, she knew she could trust Performance to treat her fractured shoulder.

From In-Clinic to Telehealth to In-Clinic Again

Karen began her physical therapy in the Pawtucket clinic and was soon transitioned to telehealth due to the Coronavirus. Although she had no idea what to expect initially, she assumed that it would be much easier than an in-clinic session. “I thought it was going to be a walk in the park. I knew I would be able to see my physical therapist, but I had no idea she would be able to see me – much less critique me during my exercises,” she said.

After her first session, she realized her initial assumption of telehealth was far from the truth. “When you’re in the clinic, you can ask for a second to rest or you can take a break when the physical therapist walks away to grab some equipment. When you’re at home during your telehealth appointment, you’re the one with the equipment, so if you need a break, you’re just staring at your screen.” Although tiring, her appointments proved to be the good workouts she needed to push herself to keep going.

She noticed her progress gradually when she realized that she was able to do something that she couldn’t do before, like take a shower without pain, carry a 12-pack of soda, and get dressed on her