Novi, MI (July 3, 2008)--- Mira Eisenberg’s hip pain was really cramping her style. Someone who has competed in marathons, gymnastics, and served on the front lines of the Six-Day War does not take well to being sidelined. In 2004, Eisenberg, now 62, experienced debilitating hip pain and by 2007 she had undergone four hip surgeries, including three hip replacements. She was relying on crutches, walkers and canes and had completed nine rounds of physical therapy with no lasting positive effects. Simply put, she had had enough.
In May 2007, when Eisenberg was referred to Hector Lacandazon, P.T., C.O.M.T., a physical therapist with Botsford Hospital’s Total Rehabilitation and Athletic Conditioning Center (TRACC) in Novi, she was skeptical. “When I met Hector I told him he had two weeks to convince me that physical therapy would work this time,” she says. Now, Eisenberg will tell anyone who asks that her experience at TRACC changed her life. “Hector saved me from being trapped in my body. I owe my freedom to him,” she says.
After the first two weeks of her three months of physical therapy with Lacandazon, she could feel changes for the better. “Hector used methods different from other therapists I had worked with,” she says. Lacandazon also worked closely with Eisenberg’s surgeon in order to proceed with her therapy at a pace that was comfortable for everyone.
Due to her extreme pain, her first month of treatment was spent in a therapeutic pool performing very low weight-bearing exercises, along with stretching and pain-relief methods. As she progressed Lacandazon introduced more land-based strengthening exercises with very light weights and also addressed some body imbalance issues. During Eisenberg’s final month of therapy she was able to use strength-training equipment and began improving her balance.
“If you trust your physical therapist and feel safe, you will push yourself harder,” Eisenberg says. “Everyone at TRACC was so encouraging and supportive.” Lacandazon agrees that trust between a patient and their physical therapist can play an important role in achieving their goals. “Mira trusted me and worked very hard. I am glad she was able to achieve so much,” he says.
At the end of her physical therapy treatment, Eisenberg and Lacandazon decided she would benefit from continued training at Botsford Center for Health Improvement (BCHI), the first medical model fitness center in Metro Detroit. In August 2007 she started training with Cliff Ewald, an exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer at BCHI. Initially, Ewald observed some of Eisenberg’s physical therapy sessions and worked closely with Lacandazon to develop her post-therapy conditioning program. Eisenberg and Ewald replicated many of the exercises that she performed in therapy at TRACC. As she became stronger and more flexible, Ewald added core stability and balance training to her personal training sessions. “Mira is almost unlimited in the types of exercises she is now capable of doing,” Ewald says. “She is extremely motivated and I am able to train her like a conditioned athlete!” Eisenberg works with Ewald weekly to continue her regimen of total body conditioning using free weights and stability ball exercises. Her program is now transitioning to emphasize lower body strength and endurance for the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk.
So, what do others have to learn from Mira Eisenberg’s journey? “Don’t always listen to the statistics. Believe in yourself, surround yourself with the right professionals, do your research and never give up!” she says. “It’s a joy to see my progress from where I started to where I am today.” Be on the lookout for her in the field of participants in the Breast Cancer 3-Day in Detroit in September, walking 60 miles in 3 days.
To learn more about the Botsford Center for Health Improvement, please call (248) 473-3100 or go to www.botsford.org/bchi.
Botsford Hospital, an independent 330-bed community teaching hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., was founded in 1965. Nationally recognized for quality, safety and medical education programs, Botsford has received the 2006 Governor’s Award for Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care in the Hospital Setting, and, in 2007, a three-year recertification as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Botsford’s Web address is www.botsford.org
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