John 'Andy' Plumer
Two different therapies, one location, successful outcomes for both
“Andy” Plumer is a busy man who travels internationally for his work at Lightening Technologies in Pittsfield. Two very different medical conditions requiring very different forms of therapy could have made his life a lot more hectic. Yet both were handled successfully at the Center for Rehabilitation at BMC with back-to-back appointments, facilitating both a demanding schedule and important healthcare needs.
"The staff tried very hard to make it possible for both of my therapies to take place one right after the other," he said, "and that made things so much more convenient for me. The results were very successful and I'm quite happy."
Andy underwent hand therapy to help recover from surgery to correct symptoms associated with Dupuytren's Disease, which causes the fingers to contract and curl into the palm. At the same time, he also went through a course of physical therapy to ease severe back pain associated with spinal stenosis.
The Hand Clinic at the Center for Rehabilitation, staffed by board certified hand Occupational Therapists, provides specialized treatment for those with hand trauma and disease. In Andy's case, therapy included ultra sound treatment, massage, hot wax and a variety of exercises. "You plunge your hand into a pot of hot wax and it feels great," he said. "It limbers up your hand before the flexing exercises."
"All of the therapists were quite professional, well trained and answered all of my questions," he continued. "Hand therapy was actually a pleasant experience."
At the same time, Andy was suffering from spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal column that causes painful pressure on the spinal cord. In Andy's case, 15-hour international flights followed by long walks in airports were becoming increasingly difficult. To ease the pain in his lower back and legs, Andy's physician prescribed physical therapy at BMC.
Therapy included ultrasonics, which uses high-energy sound waves to help painful joints and muscles; manual therapy, and various leg exercises. In addition, his therapists used transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to also ease Andy's back pain.
"The goal of therapy was to strengthen the muscles that help me stand and walk straight," he said. "The outcome is that I'm now walking with much less pain. At the end of my therapy, they gave me a list of exercises that I do every day and they have indeed made it much less painful."