Since the Pandemic of 2020 began in early March 2020, Lester Holt has ended his popular newscast with the phrase, “Please take care of yourselves and each other.” This phrase prompted me to take action and provide a message of hope to others like me who have lived with chronic pain.
An injury to my back six years ago changed my way of life without physical limitations to one with many challenges. I know firsthand that pain will wear you down, depression creeps in over the loss of enjoying activities you used to not even think about, and you question whether you will have quality of life restored. After many prayers, doctors’ visits, x-rays, tests, physical therapy, aqua therapy, pain management, not to mention searching the internet in desperation and buying anything and everything I thought might make me feel better, a solution landed right in my lap.
I joined MUV Fitness Gym where I saw fliers for HPRC Physical Therapy (Human Performance and Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.) but didn’t give them a second thought. I had already been to several different physical therapy groups only to feel just a little better. It wasn’t until my sister who suffers from back issues expressed that she really wanted me to try her therapist, because she was convinced he could help me. As it turned out, he was the Director of HPRC Physical Therapy for Columbia and Lexington, practicing right in the gym I had been attending each week. Although I didn’t want to feel disappointment again, something was telling me to try her therapist, Roy (Dunny) Dunlap, Jr.
What I discovered was a concept in physical therapy I had not encountered. Previously, I would go to a physical therapist, receive an evaluation, and over the six to eight weeks course I would work mostly with PT assistants. I was amazed that week after week for each hourly visit at HPRC, I was receiving professional care – not from an assistant but from a highly experienced, knowledgeable physical therapist. No, the facilities are not over the top (more minimal), but the care is 100% patient focused.
I realized that the concept was not about numbers or volume but more about restoring patients to good health. Dunny listened keenly to everything I said about how I felt. He drew on years of education, experience and expertise to customize a plan not just to help me in the short term but one for long-lasting health. He even sent me to one of his colleagues, Tim Sutton, for a few visits, because he felt that Tim had specialized experience with my type of injury. There was no competition for control of care, only teamwork for optimum results for me. Speaking of teamwork, Nicole, the Patient Service Representative, was always friendly and helpful in arranging appointments convenient for me. That type of partnership and teamwork totally focused on helping the patient was impressive, especially in today’s health markets where the three to five minute per patient rule is evident at some providers.
I learned how to strengthen my back through an understanding of muscle groups and proper exercises, but most importantly, how I could be the best manager of my pain. Through the sessions, I came away with a renewed sense of hope that I could lessen the pain that had stripped me of joy and enthusiasm for my life. I may never be completely void of pain in my back, but HPRC Physical Therapy restored my hope in actually feeling good and living my best life. I am currently back in physical therapy for a condition with my foot called plantar fasciitis. But this time, I am confident that I will receive the same professional, patient-focused care and will soon be free of pain.
In watching an interview with George M. McCluskey, Jr., owner and founder of HPRC 65 years ago, I think he said it best with “We are not trying to see how big we can get, we are trying to see how good we can get.” His mission for the company is to provide the best care possible and improve lives one patient at a time.
Don’t waste another day of life living with pain. Invest in yourself and see for yourself how the professionals at HPRC Physical Therapy, especially Dunny, can help you! And when I watch the evening news with Lester Holt, I will know that I have done my part in some small way to take care of myself and others! Thank you Dunny and HPRC Physical Therapy!