Under our therapy supports umbrella, Therapy Care offers physiotherapy to participants who require physical therapy in their NDIS plan.
Therapy Care’s resident physiotherapist, Naomi works with participants with varying physical abilities who live with conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), stroke, and physical cognitive impairments.
Naomi is passionate about improving the physical health of people with varying abilities and obstacles and works with her patients to overcome physical and mental barriers to better wellbeing.
Despite the recent COVID-19 restrictions, Naomi has supported participants to achieve significant milestones in 2020.
Naomi has been working with Amanda since January 2020. Amanda experienced a stroke a few years ago while she was receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Experiencing two significant health implications at the same time impacted Amanda’s mental wellbeing and as a result, Amanda is now living with depression and anxiety.
The stroke affected Amanda’s mobility on the right side of her body, particularly in her arm where she had minimal movement. Amanda also has sciatica nerve pain in her leg to due her brain misfiring the wrong signals.
Amanda’s inability to move increased her depressive state and when she started seeing Naomi, her main goal was just to be pain free.
When Naomi first started seeing Amanda, she couldn’t lift her arm high enough to wash her hair and she couldn’t walk for longer than 30 second intervals without needing to rest.
Naomi started Amanda’s physical therapy with passive movements such as manually manipulating her leg to retrain Amanda’s mind to remember some of the physical movements it had forgotten due to the stroke.
Slowly, when Amanda’s body and mind started to show signs of working in unison, Naomi increased and then loaded Amanda’s movements. With the regular therapy sessions, Amanda went from walking four meters to walking 800 meters down her street.
Naomi also treated Amanda’s lack of mobility in her right arm by introducing regular movements such as spider crawling fingers up the wall. Now, Amanda can dress herself using both arms, hold heavy objects without pain or tremors and hang her clothes on the washing line; one of Amanda’s stretch goals when she started seeing Naomi.
But that’s not all. Naomi now takes Amanda through a two-hour weights and cardio session in the gym each week, where Amanda completes exercises such as:
• Sit to stand
• Heal raises
• Rope pulls
• Leg press
• Leg extensions
• Hamstring curls
• Chest press
• Bicep curls
• Shoulder raises
• Walking on Treadmill walking increase pace
• 5 x 1-minute intervals on the treadmill, increasing pace
While the two-hour session leaves Amanda feeling fatigued, she completes all movements pain free. We’re so incredibly proud of Amanda’s commitment and the progress she’s made over the past six months.
Another participant Naomi has been seeing is Anne. Anne was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1992 but only started therapy with Naomi in February. When Naomi first started seeing Anne, she was unable to bare weight. Because of this, Anne had to rely on a motorized wheelchair and relied on the assistance of her carers and a hoist to move in and out of bed.
Anne was unable to lift her palm higher than halfway to her shoulder. Her lack of independent movement and limited mobility left Anne feeling quite depressed.
While Anne did hear about the benefits exercise has on managing MS, she didn’t have a positive experience with previous therapists and therefore lacked the motivation to exercise and improve her health.
Because of this, Anne’s emotional state was the biggest barrier in committing to physical therapy.
After much resistance, Anne finally agreed to incorporate bed exercises as the first step with Naomi. Naomi knew that when treating a participant in Anne’s situation; where you can’t push against gravity, you must eliminate it. So, she started by incorporating movements such as shoulder raises, where she would assist Anne moving her arm up and down her pillow.
Because of Anne’s hearing impairment, Naomi ensured a mirror was placed in a position where Anne could watch herself perform each movement to which Naomi could deliver clear and concise feedback. Naomi had built a solid starting point where she’d eliminated many barriers and could now start making serious progress with Anne.
Now, five months since Anne first begun therapy, Anne can; lift her arm up in the air, perform 4kg weighted bicep curls, should press 3kg and perform triceps extensions with 0.5kg dumbbells. Anne can also lift her legs off the bed.
But according to Naomi, the biggest achievement Anne has made in the past six months, is her mindset. Anne lights up every time she has an appointment with Naomi, because she has hit another milestone that she can’t wait to share with Naomi.
Anne can now perform tasks she had not been able to for years, such as; reaching for the salt at the dinner table and sitting back into her chair without assistance, holding a drink at the dinner table without spilling it and hold a book for long durations without dropping – as that’s a favourite pass time of Anne’s, this is an incredible achievement.
Both participants have made incredible progress in 2020 despite the interruptions COVID-19 restrictions caused. In uncertain times, they both stayed committed to their goals.
One of Naomi’s favourite phrases she likes to remind her patience of, is; when you replace the ‘i’ in illness with ‘we’, it becomes wellness.
We’re so proud to have such inspirational participants in our community like Amanda and Anne as well as passionate allied health professionals who are committed to our participants’ wellness journeys, like Naomi.
If you or a loved one is considering incorporating physical therapy into their NDIS plan, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.