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Movement is medicine

Once upon a time, there was a gentleman who loved to travel with his wife and got great joy from visiting the same destination for weeks at a time every single year.

Months before he would plan their next trip across the nation to the place they loved dearly, he began to notice that his balance was getting worse and worse.

Now, he knew that he had a balance problem for the last 4-5 years, but it was now becoming something that could potentially interrupt his enjoyment and safety, potentially even causing him to cancel their yearly trip.

He had tried different medical interventions as well as physical therapy at a local clinic but gave up as he didn’t forecast that particular program being successful for him. But his love for traveling with his wife led him to keep hoping there was a solution for his unique needs.

Fast forward several months, after a referral to a physical therapy group who specialized in balance problems, and weeks of hard work, and the gentleman spent three weeks traveling with zero falls.

Oh! I forgot to mention, he was falling on average once per day.

His failure to give up led to his success and days and weeks of joy for him and his wife, joy that at one point looked like it would be robbed from him.

Conversely, once upon a time, there was a woman who started to get worried about her balance. Her family was encouraging her to exercise and stay active and seek some help from experts. Her choice was to be passive, accept that she was “old” and that her balance problems are a natural part of aging.

That’s what her friends told her. And that’s also what society told her in general.

Society in general suffers from ageism … it is absolutely wrong to think that age is a reason to believe that there is no hope to continue being active and independent.

The woman did nothing about her balance problem, fell twice within a year’s time until the third fall which led her to where she currently is, in a wheelchair in a nursing home as a result a serious injury and days and weeks of every deep human emotion, except joy.

So, quite a disparity in these stories … they are very similar to start but the thing that makes them wildly different is that one took action, and the other did not.

One went against the grain and believed that he could still enjoy his life despite being a “senior” and experiencing what others call a normal result of aging, poor balance.

The other fell into the stigma that old age is a downhill slide that everyone must accept.

I sympathize with the woman and I admire the man simply because of their choices.

So, if I have any ability to impact your life in any way, it would be to hope that this comparison leads you to action.

If you have pain, balance problems, weakness or you are battling a chronic condition, do something to fight back against it and please do not accept it simply because you’ve been lucky to live on earth for many years.

There are great clinicians out there who can help you completely change your life. In my world, movement is medicine. And only action leads to progress.

Don’t fail to take action. Take action so you don’t fail!

Joel J. Digris is a Schuylkill County resident with a master’s degree in physical therapy. He is currently employed by Achieva Rehabilitation as an outpatient provider of physical therapy and serves residents in Carbon, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties.

The Times News Media Group does not endorse or recommend any medical products, processes, or services or provide medical advice. The views of the author do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Times News. The article content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.