Starfish Therapies

June 19, 2012

Putting Myself in Someone Else’s Shoes

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So, I am going to be having hip surgery in late July.  Not really how I wanted to spend my summer but sometimes (or a lot of the time) life doesn’t go according to my plan!  Its been interesting for me to watch and notice how I have compensated and adjusted my movements over the course of the last couple of months.  Many of these compensations have been completely unconscious and by time I noticed them they are a habit (that means it is much harder to break).

For instance, I now find myself standing with all of my weight on my right leg.  I have to remember to remind myself to stand with my weight on both legs.  I also have been bending to pick things up from the floor without bending my knees (causing my back to perpetually hurt) so I now have to think about squatting down and engaging my abs every time I want to lower to the ground.  There are a lot of other little things I have noticed as well but what amazed me was how quickly my body made these adjustments without me even noticing it.

The problem with changing a habit is I now have to think about a lot of my movement which isn’t always the most convenient when I am used to moving without giving it a second thought.  This is what got me thinking about how so many of the kids I work with have developed compensatory patterns to help them succeed.  While it is creating a short term fix for them it isn’t always the best in the long run and can develop a habit or movement pattern that can create secondary changes down the road.  I don’t think I ever consciously realized how much thought went into changing a habit and how much practice our kiddos needed so that a new movement pattern became second nature.

Going through this and noticing these small things will help me to focus even more on caregiver education because while I get to see these kids for an hour or so throughout their week its the day to day carryover of the little things that will make the big changes!



  1. Sorry you are having to deal with this one. Hope all goes well.

    Comment by Sandra — June 19, 2012 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  2. I am a pediatric PT, too, and was in a car accident in Jan and had a bone bruise on my femur. I also had pain with squatting (which we do so much of in our job) and had difficulty getting up from half kneeling holding a child. Had no idea I had atrophy in my quads–guess I was in denial (and never looked at my legs in a mirror). I hope your surgery goes well and that when you recover work will be a lot easier for you.

    Comment by boxbot — June 19, 2012 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

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