Mariana R. - Upright Health

Mariana R.

SONY DSCI first saw Matt in September 2016 for several pain and discomfort issues concerning both hips, my right shoulder and toe. It’s been five months since I started seeing him and my hips are much better, my shoulder issue is controlled, and even my toe has improved.

About 8 years ago, I started having discomfort in my right hip joint. It was a gradual worsening, to where in 2014 I couldn’t walk without feeling a clicking or snapping sensation while walking for even just a few steps. My orthopedist (Dr. Elly LaRoque) gave me an rx for PT, which I did for several months. The PT recommended I get a trainer to continue strengthening. In early 2016, I went back to the doctor because I found that the hip wasn’t any better after working with a trainer. It was actually worse, and my left frontal hip area was in pain whenever there was any kind of squatting motion. I was referred to a hip specialist, who ordered an MR arthrogram. The imaging didn’t show anything worrisome to the hip specialist, and he gave me another rx for PT. Dr. LaRoque suggested I get another opinion, so I did. That doctor reviewed the MR arthrogram and x-rays and recommended bilateral arthroscopy, because he felt that I had delaminated acetabular articular cartilage, which he would code as hip impingement. I only had x-rays of my left hip, but he said that he would do surgery on that one at the same time, because I likely had the same problem there. He also told me that I had “two different hips” and that there would be no way that I could improve with anything other than surgery. Bone would have to be shaved down, and cartilage would have to be sewn into place. Either do it soon, or do it later. Either way I would want to have it done, he said.

This didn’t feel right, but in the meantime I started seeing a PT at CPMC. I saw her a few times, with little improvement.

Finally, I saw a THIRD hip specialist at UCSF. His suggestions made no sense to me: A cortisone injection. If the injection improved it, surgery would be warranted. There was no evidence in inflammation, only discomfort and loss of functionality while walking. I’m not a surgeon, but this guy didn’t know what he was talking about or didn’t listen to what I said.

At this point, I was beyond confused and discouraged and did the only rational thing anyone would do: Search for help on YouTube! I found a video of Matt discussing hip impingement (FAI) in several videos, and saw that he had a special interest in this diagnosis. When I saw that Matt was local, I made an appointment.

Within TWO WEEKS my right hip (the one that was bothering me for 8 years!) was under control. I could walk for much longer distances without feeling any discomfort. I also felt like my posture and gait were improving.

My left hip area has been more difficult to fix. I started taking adult ballet classes last summer, and would feel pain ever time we would have to do a grand pliƩ (a deep, turned out ballet squat). Well, last week I was able to do it for the first time without any pain.

I also have a long history with my right shoulder. In 2002 I woke up one morning in excruciating pain and I couldn’t lift my arm. The doctor I saw for it told me nothing would fix my bursitis and thought PT would be a waste of time. He injected it with cortisone, which helped. Over the next decade, my shoulder didn’t improve. Resting it completely didn’t make the pain stay away, and some exercises also seemed to aggravate it. Over the next few years, I saw FOUR PTs, many doctors, had another injection and did more x-rays and MRIs. While the last couple PTs made great strides, the pain would eventually come back. I couldn’t keep up with the exercises, which would take at least an hour a day to do. When I consulted Matt about my shoulder, he gave me a set of exercises for it that take less than 10 minutes a day. As long as I do the exercises, my shoulder stays happy.

Additionally, I have a stiff and sometimes painful MTP joint. I’ve also had plantar fasciitis two years ago. Matt gave me two simple stretches to improve it, and the hip work we have done makes me feel really confident that I will not get PF again. I also started wearing regular shoes without my orthotics in them, which is something I was afraid to do for the last couple years. My arches feel fine now–no more numbness when I get out of bed.

I really appreciate the simplicity and efficiency of Upright Health. Appointments and payment can be made online. Emails are quickly responded to. Appointments go straight into my calendar app. My updated exercise plans are emailed to me promptly with links to videos of Matt/Josh demonstrating and explaining the exercise. This is great, because every PT I’ve been to just gives a list and expects you to remember how to do them, or a really crappy set of pictures. Doing the exercises incorrectly wastes time or can even make the problem worse.

I hope this review will help someone. Don’t give up!

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