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Maria, 58, a mental health therapist, has spent most of her life battling foot problems.
"When I was a young girl, I developed a plantar wart on my left foot that had to be operated on,” recalled Maria. “My foot developed a propensity for weakness following that surgery.”
Due to being flat footed and not wearing proper footwear over the years, Maria tried using shoe supports but the problems still did not go away. With two torn menisci and arthritis in both knees, the pain was continuously increasing. Maria also developed plantar fasciitis, which involves pain and inflammation in the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes.
“I wanted to avoid medications and corticosteroid injections to reduce the pain,” said Maria. “My podiatrist suggested physical therapy at UPMC Centers for Rehab Services’ McCandless location and the experience was wonderful.”
Maria worked with a team of four physical therapists who taught her exercises that she could do at home. Since Maria didn’t own the large rubber bands needed for certain exercises, her therapists modified the exercise so she could get the same resistance using a wall.
“I really enjoyed my therapists’ team approach to care,” said Maria. “They were all so positive and encouraging to me, and all the patients around me as well. There’s such a nice atmosphere at CRS.”
Since her therapy ended, Maria has kept up the exercise momentum by swimming several times a week. She has lost some weight and can now walk pain-free.
“My little dog, Charlie, may have been the happiest with the results of my therapy,” joked Maria. “Now I’m able to take him out for walks every day.”