In August of 2019, I am not sure what I did to my back but it was painful. So painful I missed work and went to the doctor twice!
Dr. Lovejoy-Evans provided me with a phone consultation. She talked me through some stretches, within seconds the pain was greatly reduced. It was incredible how these simple stretches made such a difference in my life. I did them several times a day and within two weeks I was back to my normal self. I continue to do them daily.
Dr. Lovejoy-Evans has made her expert skills and knowledge as a physical therapist simple and easy to understand. I highly recommend you seek her out! She is friendly, compassionate and knows her stuff. She made a world of difference for me.
Melissa G. Green
BHA Policy, Public Disclosure, Privacy Administrator
TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT
As a 71-year-old very active outdoorswoman, with a history of over 30 years of running, I found myself scheduled for a total knee replacement. Even though I felt I was in pretty decent shape I knew the surgical procedure would affect my lower extremity with pain and swelling. Enter my home health physical therapist, Loraine Lovejoy-Evans. The first day I met her she emphasized that the pain would be reduced when the swelling was reduced. Loraine instructed me in manual lymphatic drainage massage and to do it twice a day. From the onset, the swelling reduced daily, as did the pain level. The range of motion increased as the swelling and pain subsided.
Then I had a self-imposed set-back. Wanting to enjoy the sunshine and warmth of the day I decided to walk, with my walker, back and forth across my front porch. About twenty minutes later I went inside and then my leg started to ache and swell and range of motion was less. By the next day, when Loraine visited my leg girth measurements were increased and the range of motion was less since the last visit. I knew I had overworked my leg. Back to square one and I worked hard on the manual lymphatic drainage massage. By Loraine's next visit I had markedly less swelling and aching and improved range of motion. I learned two things: how important the Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage was and how important not to overdo it.
Now a month out I have no swelling and range of motion of 0-127degrees. I only have aching after being too active, no obvious pain. I continue twice a day to do the massage. Every day is better. I feel that the manual lymphatic drainage made all the difference in my recovery.
Marilyn P., RN, BSN
Retired Orthopedic Surgical Nurse
BACK, HIP, and NECK PAIN
October 26, 2010
MIRACLES DO HAPPEN
If there has ever been a greater skeptic than I am, I have yet to meet that person. So, I can assure you, I never thought I would be writing this testimonial Please read the following with the aforementioned in mind and hopefully even the greatest skeptics among you will open yourselves to the possibilities.
Approximately ten years ago I had a fall down a flight of stairs. This fall left me unable to work, and in constant and severe back, hip and neck pain. Over the past ten years, I have seen every type of specialist imaginable, including pain specialists and countless physical therapists. At best I never had more than a few hours of relief from the hundreds, no thousands, of hours of analysis, and counseling.
I came to Loraine Lovejoy-Evans at a time in my life when I had resigned myself to the constant pain and the depression that it created. She was recommended to me by another professional who has unsuccessfully treated me.
When I listened to what Loraine had to say, my first thoughts were,..” oh no….just another flake with a lot of mumbo jumbo”; and my first inclination was to leave, and I almost did. But something, perhaps my desperation, made me stay and hear her out.
When our hour ended, I was still extremely skeptical and expected nothing of value to come from what Loraine was offering. But, something inside of me said, “do it……you’ve wasted ten years…..what have you got to lose?” So I did!
From the very first week, I have been improved! My pain in only a few months has been reduced, at times so greatly that I often have pain free periods for the first time in ten years; and much of the time my pain is reduced 50% OR MORE.
So, to anyone reading this, all I can say is just do it”!….and get your life back.
BACK and SHOULDER PAIN
I have noted a significant reduction in back pain and I now have the ability to stand straighter. This permits me to conduct choirs, practice and perform at the piano, and continue our forestry program (limbing trees, splitting wood, stacking wood, etc.). I can resolve most of the symptoms through the methods I have learned in physical therapy with Loraine. I had gone through chiropractic therapy for 2 years and still could not stand up fully and the pain persisted. I am now pain-free and standing tall. I would, and do, recommend this program to all of my friends.”
THIGH and BACK PAIN
For years I thought the pain in my right thigh was because of an imbalance in my hip. If I needed to drive a long way or time, I would put a telephone book under my right hip. Finally, it got so bad (and Gary McRoberts told me about his "miraculous new physical therapist”) that I made an appointment with Loraine Lovejoy-Evans. During the extensive evaluation, she suggested I do some simple stretches which, after 90 seconds eased my discomfort. She then gave me written instructions to take home including some of these exercises and stretches. She said I should be able to pinpoint any pain I had, and this is the real kicker as far as I was concerned, I could relieve the pain on my own! She did not tie me to her as many practitioners do. She just wanted me to feel better.
I did have to call her again recently when I had some back pain, but it was a one-time visit. She sent me home relieved of the pain and with a new series of stretches and/or exercises that have been completely effective. Truly a "Patient, Heal Thyself" sort of approach - that works!!!
GROIN, BACK, and ARM PAIN
I have found Loraine Lovejoy-Evans to provide the best physical therapy treatments I have ever received. In the past, I have undergone what I would describe as more conventional therapy. Those sessions involved a lot of muscle manipulation, heat,
cold and weight machines. The results were less than one would desire and didn't last long. So, there was a need to repeat the treatments again and again. By contrast, Loraine's treatments for my injuries, a groin pull, back discomfort and
an arm with limited movement have lasted and I can treat myself if any discomfort returns. Her ultimate goal is to heal one quickly and develop a program by which the patient can be independent of her. Her treatment basically involves teaching the patient how to identify trouble spots and the stretches that relieve the pain.
As the old slogan stated, "relief is just a stretch away" (or, something like that). Try Loraine, you'll like her.
Jim Dries, July 6th, 2008
A couple of years ago I was scheduled to conduct two concerts – a Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, at the dress rehearsal, I could hardly walk or stand. The pain and restriction in my right hip were draining my system and destroying my concentration – a necessary item for a conductor.
I telephoned Loraine and she had me come in for diagnosis and treatment. I was absolutely amazed at her diagnostic skills. She found the problem, treated it, and within minutes I was able to stand and walk without pain. To me, it was a miracle and it had happened to me.
Following that, I was under regular treatment and the problem has never returned. I have all the confidence in the world for Loraine’s knowledge and skill in physical therapy. I knew of several others she has helped, but the real impression comes when you yourself get the help when needed.
I continue to depend on Loraine for physical therapy. One of the strengths is that she gives you advice on how to “self-treat”. The routines she teaches have become daily exercises and help to keep this elderly body strong enough to cope with rigorous rehearsal and performance schedules.
PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY, BACK, SHOULDERS, and NECK PAIN
April 12, 2011
A year ago January 5th, 2010 I awoke with excruciating debilitating pain in my back. I could hardly move. It took me over an hour to crawl to the side of the bed. The pain was so severe that I could not stand. I was aboard a friend’s sailboat transiting the Panama Canal. I awoke my friends who called for an ambulance. Paramedics helped carry me off the boat and an ambulance transported me to the Panamanian Hospital Nacional. Through exams and x-rays, they diagnosed that I had a severe infection. I could barely walk and had to be assisted to get out of bed. I had to use a walker to barely move with terrible back pain from the bed to the bathroom. It took 5 days of nursing care to enable me to sit in a wheelchair and be transported to the airport and fly back to the USA. Upon returning to the USA I learned that I had Osteomyelitis (Infection in my back) caused by a minor fall and bump to my elbow 6 months prior that resulted in bursitis in my elbow and a severe debilitating infection that spread to my back.
After 3 weeks in the USA hospital and 3 months of home health care and a portable antibiotic pump that I had to carry day and night, I was ready to begin my Physical Therapy to regain my physical strength and learn how to manage the residual pain in my back, shoulders, and neck.
My home health therapist and a retired nurse friend recommended Loraine Lovejoy-Evans. My nurse friend had been a patient of Loraine’s and she confirmed that Loraine was an excellent Physical Therapist who would teach me how to manage and eliminate my back pain through exercise and stretching programs that I could do in my home or normal active day. Loraine has taught me to find my pressure points that are causing pain in many areas of my body and release them to minimize my pain. I have gone from barely being able to walk with excruciating back pain to my normal life. I am retired and have a sailboat that I teach students to sail or take them as a charterer to the San Juan, Gulf and Desolation Sound area of British Columbia. One year ago I never thought that I would be able to do this again. This year I am going to Alaska on our boat.
During my recovery and Physical Therapy, I expressed to Loraine that I had a severe Neuropathy medical problem. My feet were hot, I felt like I was walking on pins and needles and I had lost the majority of feeling in my feet, ankles and lower calf of my legs. I had gone to specialists at Barnes Hospital in Saint Louis and the University of Washington in Seattle who had conducted tests and confirmed that I had Neuropathy and I was not diabetic. They had prescribed Gabapentin medication to numb the pain but the pain continued to increase over a 10+ year period. The specialist physicians stated there is no cure for the disease. My mobility and sense of balance were slowly being lost. I watched other patients in the physician’s office starting to walk with canes and walkers. I tried acupuncture and found some relief; I began using an electrical shock device “ReBuilder” to stimulate my nerves. The medication, acupuncture and shock device helped but slowly the pain increased and my mobility was reduced.
Loraine recommended that I try special medical pressure socks to relieve the pain and enable me to regain my mobility. She stated that I had lymphatic fluid trapped in my legs causing pressure on my nerves. The lymphatic fluid pressure on my nerves caused pain in my legs and feet. The special medical pressure socks and Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage to drain the lymphatic fluid reduced the pain and improved my mobility. Because I waited a number of years before using the socks I have had to use very special tightly woven custom made socks that hardly stretch. These are working and have reduced the pain and increased my mobility. Had I gone to her earlier for treatment I could have used over the counter medical socks to solve the problem.
I am very grateful for Loraine’s care and knowledge that has assisted me to return to a healthy and productive life in my retirement years. Thank you for enabling me to regain my body strength, control my back pain and manage the pain caused by Neuropathy in my feet and legs.
Loraine, you are a wonderful caring “Jewel” that has given me new life.
ROTATOR CUFF (SHOULDER) SURGERY
If you are reading this I will have to assume that someone (Loraine) thinks you may possibly be as thick-headed as myself. So with that in mind, I will try to convince you to pay attention to the crazy girl/therapist.
Born and raised in Port Angeles, educated (or not ) to 11th grade. commercial fished and crabbed in Alaska, drove log truck, cut shake bolts, worked at Rayonier Mill 5 years, got into Heavy construction (foundation drilling) labored for 3 years, Operating engineer for 26 years. At this time I am 53 years old. I believe this qualifies me to be full-blooded blue-collar redneck. So what that means to me is that in MY world we don't whine about our aches and pains and when something hurts we just try to ignore it, tough it out. I don't want to be a pain in the ass to my employers or the people I work with. I avoided the whole L&I thing because, regardless of the official take on it, it is viewed by most employers as a "red flag" largely because
of it being abused by lazy, shiftless, whining, ballbags, who have given the process a bad name. I do not want to be one of those!
Given this point of view, I fell on a job site 2 years back and according to the guy at the clinic "sprained" my right shoulder I actually lied and said I fell coming out of my trailer (see reasons for lying above) had 3 weeks P/T and lived with the pain and discomfort for a long time and never had the full range of motion return to my right shoulder however the pain subsided and I just didn't move my arm into the painful positions (what a good soldier huh?). Jump ahead 2 years. On Jobsite, mind on other matters, I pick up a set of metal stairs turn and hoist in front of me and without warning my right shoulder just gave out, it made an audible crunching noise and hurt like hell. Went to doctors had x-rays told to take it easy to take pain meds and to come back in a week or two if it still hurt.
The next day my father in law died, put off a return to the doctor till things settle down. 30 days later my Dad died. Put off seeing doctor till things settle down. 30 days later, my house is robbed for 2nd time, my wife decides it's time to move, buy a new house in another town, fix up and sell the old house. Move to new town, don't want to screw up job by leaving in the middle, finally, the world stops spinning, the moon aligns with Jupiter, I get my ass to a surgeon, find I have a huge tear, get the surgery.
I began Physical therapy with a woman who tells me that to get strong again I have to do "NOTHING". Be still, Rest, Don't use the arm even when it feels better. Now considering all my experience with taking care of my physical well being obviously she must be wrong. you can't get stronger by NOT doing things, that is bullshit. I have seen many people that talk like they know what they are doing and can be very convincing but actually don't know shit so I have a hard time trusting people at first. That is why I am writing this. Had I listened to Loraine and followed her advice I would have been out of pain sooner and had more functional use of my arm faster. I have encouraged her to let patients know upfront that she has had much experience with exactly my situation so they will have confidence she knows what she is talking about.
So .........the Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage works, it helped me to relieve the pain significantly. If the Doctor says to rest, Just Do It. I was very concerned that something was just not right with my arm that the surgery had failed because the recovery was taking so long. It simply takes a long time to heal and IF you don't reinjure yourself by trying to do too much too soon it will go quicker. Do the exercises as given. It doesn't have to hurt to be effective. For me, it seemed that I went for a long time with little improvement and then I would get a large jump in it. It is a gradual process. I try to be much more aware of what my body is telling me and not to ignore the pain. Tough guys end up like my Dad, the crab boat skipper, barely able to lift either arm, almost totally dependant on his wife to care for him.
It is my hope that by telling you my background and my experience with my recovery that your recovery will go smoother by not making the mistakes I did, because of my background. So here is a concept you may have heard before, if you're like me, JUST FOLLOW DIRECTIONS DUMMY!
Take it easy and get well.
Dave H. Morris Jr.
LEG ACHING, PRESSURE, and NUMBNESS: LIPEDEMA
My first exposure to Lipidema was in a class that Loraine was teaching. After the class, I asked her, "how do I know that I have it and I'm not just fat???" I had the aching legs, bruising feeling with pressure to my thighs, dull almost numbness in my feet at the end of the day--all the symptoms--but I couldn't grasp that there might actually be some relief.
I mulled it over a few weeks then called her up. I got started with Loraine just before taking time off from work. I planned it so that I worked a couple of days in the bandages then took a week off. (I still had to go places because my girls were out of school.) I went back to work for a couple more days in bandages and thankfully that was all I needed!!
The bandages are a real pain but well worth the trouble. I was fortunate that I had a friend to help re-bandage, and that I was a fast learner. I lost enough edema to loosen the bandages within 1-2 days, so I had appointments with Loraine for re-bandaging. The Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage is easy.
While bandaged I wore a rayon skirt with Mary Janes to work. I'm a PT in a Rehab Center so I wasn't sitting around! At home, I wore either a biking skort that is ultra stretchy or a pair of XXL capris from Wal-Mart. I have had to re-bandage each time I've ordered new socks and I never sleep well in the bandages, but again, it's been worth it.
I have liked the Elvarex specialized compression stockings from Jobst. The material is comfortable and I feel very supported. I started with separate ankle to thigh socks but I had to wear them with SPANX underwear to keep them up, and they had a tendency to roll under my buttocks. Next, I tried the pantyhose to my ankle & I've stuck with them. I wear lightweight pants, stretch yoga pants, cords, jeans, capris-- all without trouble--if anything my figure is much improved. My sister gasps at the capris but really I haven't had anyone notice as long as I have short socks on with my Mary Janes.
I did try the Mediven to go seamless, but the tension in socks wasn't strong enough. I also tried the seamed Mediven to avoid the bunching that can happen at the back of the knee with the Elvarex, but again I wasn't happy with the fit.
So I'm a walking commercial for Elvarex. My legs feel fantastic, even after standing and working all day. My feet do not ache and pain like they used to do. I can see the difference in the shape of my legs without a doubt, and at the back of my mind I know that I am preventing worse problems later, but really I wear the socks because I feel ever-so-much better.
So I hope that this helps. I hope that you GO BROWN!
Sandra, Physical Therapist
On January 19, 2010, I completed my first consultation with you. At that time, I had to pause 10-12 seconds when standing up in order for excruciating pain to dissipate in my lower and upper right leg. I was forced to drag my right foot when walking, and I could not lift nor retract my right leg due to extreme stiffness and pain.
The question on what caused the above condition (e.g., sports injuries and/or horse accident, linked with age) is perhaps moot; what is not moot is that you competently and accurately diagnosed the physical contributors for the conditions.
I executed daily, and religiously, the Strain and Counterstrain and isometric strengthening exercises you explained and demonstrated.
At this writing, I can stand up and immediately start walking without pain, I no longer have to drag my right foot when walking, and I can lift and retract my right leg without experiencing much stiffness and pain.
I am most appreciative of your professional expertise and assistance that guided me to help myself in this physical episode.
While I probably will never be completely pain-free in my right leg, no longer will debilitating pain in my right leg control and manage my life activities as long as I am vertical. (If not the case, I know how to contact your office.)
Eldon E. Baker, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, The University of Montana
CONCRETE LEGS: LIPEDEMA
I WISH that I had met Loraine when I was 16 years old.
I WISH that I had tried the over the counter compression hose and the bandaging and the custom made compression hose back in my teens and twenties!
The first time I walked into Wal-Mart with the custom compression hose on, I realized I was springing into the store, not dragging concrete legs for the first time in my life. I’ve even run marathons with those concrete legs… I didn’t know what I had until I didn’t have it anymore and you couldn’t pay me enough to not wear these hose!!!
I came to Loraine because of a cycling injury I just wasn’t healing from, and she looked at my bulging thighs and just said the magic words “Lipedema”. The bandages weren’t that bad, especially since it was just one leg at a time. It didn’t take very long to recognize the food allergies from the tingling and itching and drive you nuts feeling when the ‘bandages start shrinking’… tomatoes, red wine, and red dye! I miss candy canes and red licorice… sigh. BUTT and like Pee-Wee Herman said, ‘Everyone he knows has a Big Butt” The thunder thighs are gone. ( I actually had Loraine measure my butt because I swore it was getting huge, turned out, my legs were just getting skinny) Not having my thighs touch for the first time in my life, looking fantastic in shorts and having boundless energy are just two of the successes I found from putting up with a few weeks of being mummified! I like the full pantyhose with less compression in the body than the legs and no feet the best. The thigh highs can give a double butt and tend to slide, and anything below the ankles isn’t easy to get off and tend to wear out. I do the exercises, the Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage every time I go to the bathroom and in the shower every day. It’s like a mantra. Cycling is amazing now, I can go forever! My husband was a triathlete and loves to ride, we ride all the time, NOW I can almost keep up with him and my legs never wear out or feel like the stumps they used to feel like. (I can still feel the seat four hours later but my legs never tire out).
I gave my daughter my over the counter compression hose I bought while waiting to get into therapy with Loraine…. SHE LOVES THEM! She is going to try doubling them up to see if it helps and if it does, she’s going to start therapy with Loraine.
SCOLIOSIS, BACK PAIN and LYMPHEDEMA FROM BREAST CANCER
It still amazes me, almost startles me, that I can now take a satisfying breath…
I went to Loraine because the Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage I had been taught for lymphedema was not working. I had been told that Loraine would be able to help. And she did. From her, I learned a simple method of preventing edema, and have faithfully done the massage regularly spurred on by the wonderful people that I have met at her monthly potluck lunch/teaching sessions. Many that attend these great sessions wear compression sleeves. I decided that would be something that I would like to avoid, if possible.
At luncheon lectures, I learned lots more. For instance, the discomfort (pain) that I experienced while wearing compression bras (due to lymphedema) was caused by my scoliosis. I had gotten so used to the back and hip pain I had from scoliosis that I was not consciously aware of it. But now I became aware that there was a way to treat the cause of the pain, thus treat the pain.
So, I embarked upon a year-(life) long journey to be more comfortable. And journey it has been. Loraine has walked it with me. She is always teaching me how to care for my lymph system and how to get myself in alignment. She listens to me, supports me, helps me see different aspects of myself and how they contribute to the way I move and care for myself. It has been hard. Sometimes I tell her, “This is so hard” and she puts that into perspective for me. Sometimes it has been exciting. Sometimes it seems overwhelming. I had severe scoliosis and was still recovering from bilateral lumpectomies with the sentinel node removed on one side. It involved body changes and emotional changes. It has been hard, but now it has become very satisfying.
There are many things that I enjoy about my new body. The list goes on and on and I can try to write down some of them:
I can take deep satisfying breaths
My clothing does not fall off my left shoulder like it used to (it is very distracting and takes energy to pay attention to clothing all the time)
My digestion is better, and my sinus’ are consistently clear, perhaps from better alignment and the various types of treatment Loraine has used to help me, working with the viscera and craniosacral intervention
My lymphedema is under control. So is edema (swelling) in my legs, which I had experienced for years. I have consistently noticed that these are affected by my alignment
I am not in constant pain, nor do I consistently make compensatory movements trying to avoid pain due to poor alignment
I can sit, rise to standing without compensating for being crooked, work in the garden, do baking (a hobby), reach for things in the cupboard, take care of my daily needs, etc., etc., in comfort. I can sit cross-legged to meditate without meditating on the pain in my body
Yes, sometimes I still get into pain and I still get crooked; but now I know how to get out of it. Sometimes I choose to ignore the correct way to move and opt not to do things that I know will keep me aligned and out of pain. But, I also know that I can ‘get back on track’ and get comfortable again. It is a very liberating feeling.
I am grateful to you, Loraine, for all you have helped me accomplish, and for putting me in charge of my own body. When I embarked on the journey, I didn’t know what was possible. It has been quite an adventure, and I suspect it will continue to be so…
BREAST CANCER: LYMPHEDEMA; BACK AND HIP PAIN
I was referred to Loraine after I had a bilateral mastectomy for breast cancer. I had read on the internet that the recovery time for a mastectomy was 3-6 weeks. Since I was in good shape I figured I could recover in about 2 weeks. I soon realized that it was going to take a lot longer than I had thought.
At the time I first met Loraine I was about 7 days past surgery. The surgeon had told me that women who were active recovered faster so I had resumed my walks and household chores but hadn’t been able to resume aerobics because I still had my drains in. To my surprise, Loraine told me to STOP DOING SO MUCH. She said I should TAKE IT EASY as if I were on a cruise ship. (I didn’t tell her that the one time I actually was on a cruise ship I was bored and spent my time exercising in the ship’s gym and walking around the deck!)
Loraine explained to me about how the body needed to heal and that by constantly moving and stressing myself I was interfering and preventing it from healing. It made sense to me logically but I had a hard time taking her advice. I was resisting because I was afraid I would gain weight and also because of my family background. Even though I never heard the expression “no pain no gain” when I was a kid it could have been my family’s motto. I was also brought up on the belief that doing your duty even if painful “builds character”. The idea that it would be ok to drop everything and let my body heal never occurred to me before I met Loraine.
I did manage to slow down and got my drains out of my chest wall. There was some fluid under one of my incisions that wouldn’t go away even after using compression, doing my Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage many times each day and being drained by the surgeon drawing out the fluid in my chest with a needle. This was frustrating for me and for Loraine. I was afraid I was never going to get better. When my incision had healed enough Loraine proposed that we try taping the area of fluid retention, in order to increase the compression. I still did my MLD but didn’t have to wear the uncomfortable rib belt anymore because the compression was now focused on the area that needed it. After 1 week she took off the tape and things looked better… she put new tape on and the next week it looked even better… after 3 weeks most of the fluid was gone and I haven’t had to have compression since then. I still do my MLD each day, that’s all I need to do.
I also worked with Loraine on back and hip problems unrelated to breast cancer. Learning to hold my pelvic floor and do the Releasing Joint Restriction positions has helped me keep the symptoms at a minimum. I still have work to do on this but I’m making progress. The other day I noticed that I was automatically holding my pelvic floor when bending over to take the laundry out of the dryer. J
The most important thing I have learned from Loraine is to pay attention to my body and SLOW DOWN when I notice symptoms. This gives me more confidence that I’ll know when to do self-care and when to call for help if things don’t get better.
TOTAL HIP REPLACEMENT
I recently had hip replacement surgery. At the two week point, after 3 days in the hospital and 6 days in Rehab, I continued to exercise aggressively and walk about 2 miles a day outside with my walker. I began to feel very sore around my incision. It was then that I went to Loraine. She suggested that I needed to heal the soft tissue first and to stop the exercise and walking temporarily while the soft tissue healed. So I rested, used ice and elevated my swollen leg, as she stressed. As well, she felt that compression would help a great deal, both in the lower leg and in the incision area. I followed her instructions, and within 3-4 days the swelling disappeared and so did the soreness. I am now pain-free and am able to exercise as before, but I am going more slowly and monitoring my level of discomfort so that if I need to slow down and begin to rest, ice and elevate, I can do so and avoid any increased pain.
WALKING WITHOUT PAIN
Loraine; I’ll never forget your kindnesses to me, along with Tani.
Your encouragement and matter-of-fact attitude made a world of difference in my life. There are so many more things I can do now thanks to you. I was supposed to be a wheelchair by now but I just got through walking all over Costco and Fred Meyer just using my walker. I’m also attempting lots of stuff I thought I’d never be able to do again.
When I think “I don’t think I can do that” I remember your encouragement and plain common sense and usually give it a whirl.
(Did I just write a testimonial for you? That wasn’t hard at all and it all comes from the heart.) -
BREAST CANCER: LYMPHEDEMA (ARM SWELLING)
Loraine keeps very precise records and will quote you months later! That’s extremely helpful, as you tend to forget how you felt and what you were able to do at a given time. This is a terrific “improvement tool.”
She is a wonderful teacher and is constantly aware of your progress. She is always pushing you to do better. And...she doesn’t DO the work for you. Rather, she teaches YOU to do it yourself, which is ideal. That way you can, for example, perform the necessary exercises on your own time and at your own pace. There is a definite sense of satisfaction in knowing you’re making YOURSELF better. You become part of the healing process.
If you need to check in with her, she is always available and very helpful.
Two years ago I went through a whole year and more of treatments for breast cancer. While I felt well at the end of those treatments, I was still left with lymphedema. Loraine has helped me deal with that in a very positive manner. She is extremely accurate in her measurements and was able to show me the improvements I had made. She taught me very specific exercises, which I still perform daily. It is a part of my life now, a part I am happy to embrace in order to feel at my best.
My husband and I travel often and I am able to withstand very difficult trips with long plane rides rather easily. As well, I take my exercises on the road with me. They can be done anywhere. I owe the excellent quality of life I am enjoying thanks to Loraine and her incredible knowledge and teaching ability.
There is light at the end of the tunnel with cancer. It forces you to think more clearly about your actions and to be certain you’re doing all the right things. Loraine will teach you what those are.
LEG SWELLING: LIPEDEMA
I became a patient of Loraine's in 2007. I had large saddlebags which were an indication to Loraine of a swelling issue called lipedema.
Loraine wrapped both of my legs. I wore the wraps for 2 weeks, which was the protocol at the time. After the 2 weeks l was measured and lost 5 cm (2 inches) off of each leg. She fit me for compression hose-waist to ankles. I have worn the hose every day since then, usually between 16 to 18 hours a day. I do not wear them at night while sleeping.
In addition to the hose, I did Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage 3-4 times daily. Admittedly, the lymphatic massage has fallen by the wayside for the last couple of years as life has become very complicated.
Since wearing the compression hose I don't experience leg swelling anymore. This was at times painful.
KNEE PAIN AND LEG SWELLING
“Yes, No, Maybe, I Don’t Know”
It was back in about 2011 that my lower legs started swelling up after I stumbled off the tailgate of my truck retrieving my fly fishing rod. After hobbling around for 2 years with my left leg progressively swelling up, my primary care doctor suggested I see an orthopedic specialist who diagnosed torn tendons and lack of cartilaginous support below my knee cap. The recommendation was for a total knee replacement.
So off we go to the Olympic Med Center for several orthopedic consultations and measurements. The result was the scheduling for a total knee replacement in March, 2013. After the operation, I was up and about the hospital exercising per doctor’s instructions. About the third day, I had a negative reaction and experienced shortness of breath, and was transferred to the cardiac wing for several days of watchful exercise and movement. About a month later, I was discharged, and my home care began. My PCP noticed my swollen legs and suggested I see a specialist. Fortunately I was referred to “Independence through Physical Therapy” and met Dr. Loraine Lovejoy-Evans. She very quickly diagnosed my problem as Lymphedema and explained about this condition and treatment for it. I was quite impressed with her experience and knowledge about this condition, which had not been mentioned by other specialists.
Loraine explained about the lymph system and valve failure and the cures for the symptoms caused by the failure. She also noted that treatment was not an overnight, quick cure, and that I would have to be patient and cooperative (two of my best characteristics, I must say). Treatment began with wrapping my legs in successive layers of differing materials with the objective of containing and forcing the fluid that had built up in my legs upward and out of my lower body. After many weeks, my legs returned to “normal” diameter, and Loraine then prescribed knee-high compression hose to contain any return of leg swelling. I have been wearing the hose ever since. In 2018 after replacement of my other knee, Loraine prescribed full-length leg hose that extended from my toes to my upper thighs to control the swelling in both legs.
All this to regulate the fluid movement through my lymph system. That is important because the “pump” behind his system is my heart, which is already under stress from A-fib. There was no need to add any more stress. So I would say that Loraine’s expertise and treatment has been the major factor in keeping me healthy, walking around and alive for the past 7 years with great prospects for the future.
I should mention that just wearing compression hose is not there only treatment/control strategy for lymphedema that Loraine prescribed. In addition to this passive control measure,
Loraine gave me methods and active controls for lymphedema management. (NOTE: “gave” is the correct word; her instructions are for me to use, no need to return to her for follow-up appointments.)
These methods/controls involve daily exercises to actively manage (control) fluid transfer.
They consist of a series of exercises designed to circulate lymphatic fluid. This is called Manual Lymphatic Drainage, and consists of 7 basic steps, repeated several times daily:
Empty Neck lymph nodes (Yes, No, Maybe, I Don’t Know)
Ten deep breaths
Empty Groin lymph nodes
Empty lymph nodes at back of knees
Stroke all sides of lower leg
Roll tennis ball to areas of hardness
Lymphedema Class of 2013
FIVE CAR ACCIDENTS and STOMACH SURGERY FOR CANCER
I have been in five car wrecks, two were major. My mom took me to see a chiropractor after one of them, for weeks on end, to no end relief. It was not until my younger sister Loraine went to physical therapy school and while attending I was in one of my major car accidents that she worked on me and I found relief.
I found even greater relief from her years later, after having surgery to have tumors removed from my stomach. I was cut from just below the breast area to above the belly button. Due to the technique she did on me just one day after surgery I was up and walking that same day. Two weeks after surgery I walked upright into my surgeons office, he commented that if he, himself, had not done the surgery he would not have believed I was the same patient he had cut open as I was walking so straight up and down, not hunched over at all like his typical patients after this major surgery.
It has not been without Loraine's help that I have been able to keep myself in check physically. And when I am out of check, I make an appointment and get in for the help I need. It is totally worth the time and effort…
CAR ACCIDENTS, KNEE PAIN, BACK PAIN, and BACK SURGERY
My history of trauma begins at the tender young age of four, when I was showing off for the boy scouts gathered at my family’s home. Walking along the top of the couch, I slipped, fell, and split my head open just above the eye, where I had hit the edge of the coffee table. I continued this rough-and-tumble lifestyle by riding bikes, jumping on our trampoline, and generally doing any sport I could. At 13 years of age, my lower leg was fractured in a head-on collision, literally. I was walking around the edge of an inner-tube “track” in the dark after falling off during my turn. As it was dark, the driver of the snowmobile, unaware that I was walking off of the track, opened the throttle wide for his son, who was the next rider. When the inner-tube slid off the track, his son’s head connected directly with my tibia, just below the knee. (His son had a concussion.)
The first physician to read the X-ray misinterpreted the fracture to be a sprain and instructed me to walk on the leg. I remained with the rest of the church youth group in the mountain cabin on Granby Lake above Denver, Colorado. This experience was likely my introduction to the field of study that would later be the subject of my bachelor’s degree, Music Therapy. In order to get to the bathroom I sang “Ticket to Ride” by The Carpenters. The pain was more intense than anything I have recalled before or since that time. When the weekend of sheer misery was finally over, I returned home to crutches that my family had in the garage. These wonderful devices allowed me to move with significantly less pain.
Two weeks later, after resting in bed with my leg on a pillow, my mother took me to the doctor in Engelwood, Colorado because the pain continued to be intense whenever my leg left the pillow. We did not have insurance at the time and, since I had already seen a physician on the mountain who diagnosed a sprain, an earlier appointment had not seemed necessary. The next physician, however, diagnosed my intense leg pain as a fractured tibia with thrombophlebitis, or blood clots in the leg. He instructed my mother to take me to the hospital, where he planned to admit me. By the time he met us at the hospital later that evening, the swelling in my leg had reduced so dramatically that he felt I was out of danger. The physician put a cast on my leg and sent me back home on crutches. Once the leg was fitted with the cast the pain was virtually gone, other than riding in the car and over bumps. Like most active children, I was bored out of my gourd. My mother was rather upset when she found me bouncing on our trampoline outside with my cast and crutches.
As an adult, I learned that the original injury was actually a fracture, and fractures of the bone do not like vibration. A common way to locate hidden fractures is by using a tuning fork to apply vibration on a bone. If the pain is intense in any area, it is considered a fracture.
While in my church youth group league, I was able to play basketball, volleyball, and softball through junior and senior high school. I recall having knee pain but feeling that I needed to play through the pain for the sake of victory for my team. (I was typically the tallest on my basketball team, standing 5’9-3/4” and playing center.) Most years, I spent a few weeks on crutches and had medical diagnostic procedures, including one in which a large needle injected dye into my knee to create greater contrast for the image. No cause or cure was ever obvious, so typically rest, ice, and my friend Ibuprofen resolved the symptoms until the next round.
By the time I reached 30 years old, I had been involved in five car accidents, all of which I walked away from, though all required care for back and neck pain. In spite of the trauma, I continued hiking and learned to ride a bike during these years. At one point, I was riding my bike 20 miles a day.
While traveling through valleys of trauma I worked with several physical therapists. Partly, as a result of this interaction, I decided to pursue my master’s and doctoral degrees as a physical therapist. One month after finishing my master’s degree, I was in my 3rd car accident and was required to be off work for three months. I found a physical therapist close to my home and was introduced to a new concept of osteopathy that helped reduce pain. I was stunned when my pain was immediately gone after 30 minutes of this revolutionary treatment. He began by addressing the front of my back, looking for tenderness in my belly. Since my abdomen was horribly bruised from the car accident, I thought my confusion was understandable. Today, I consider this experience a gift. The therapist, Bob, put my bruised body into a strange pretzel-like position and, before long, the pain was gone, even when he pushed on this bruised area. I learned from this experience that the pain was not from the bruise, but something much deeper in the body that was communicating its displeasure when poked, and then its improved disposition when placed in the strange combination of movements. When I stood up after Bob’s treatment was completed, I was shocked at the immediate relief in my pain, as well as the restored range of motion – I could now bend backward compared with 30 minutes earlier when I could not even stand up straight without climbing my hands up my thighs. I thought Bob was the candy man.
After two more car accidents, and moving out of the area without finding another Bob, I ended up with so much back and leg pain that I had back surgery. I was thrilled when the right leg pain and back pain were both completely gone when I awoke from the surgery. I followed the surgeon’s recommendations but became very discouraged when all of the pain returned within one month. I worked with anyone I thought might be able to help me, including chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists. I used medications, heat, and ice, in addition to trying most forms of exercise. Each effort was without benefit. I eventually considered the ways of Bob, the physical therapist who introduced the pretzel moves that seemed to give the best benefit. I started to correlate movements I made with increased or decreased pain, and learned more about the technique to improve alignment of the skeleton that was now causing nerve pain. After using these movement combinations with specialized stretching for prolonged periods I was shocked at how well I could control the back pain.
I began to pay more attention to specific behaviors or activities that I did or did not perform. It became clear that the physics approach was more beneficial and longer-lasting than any medication. I determined that I was a physics failure, rather than a chemical crisis. The benefits were remarkable when I paid attention to how I moved — keeping my nose over my toes, shoulders over my hips, and (especially) holding my pelvic floor muscles tight when transitioning from one posture to another. Another amazing benefit of holding tight my inner core and pelvic floor muscles was increasing the amount of time between bathroom visits. When the pelvic floor muscles are well-exercised, I can sleep through the night and stay in bed up to 12 hours without a single bathroom urge. However, when I get lazy and stop using the pelvic floor, I start waking up during the night.
The knee pain eventually caught up with me and I saw an orthopedic surgeon who said my knee pain was because I was overweight. In hindsight, I should have asked the surgeon how my other knee did not hurt. I often find that, in the medical field, we blame many problems due to obesity and age. As scientists, if those variables are really the cause, we should expect to see that in every case …but we do not. In other words, every fat person should hurt and no skinny people should have that type of pain. All old people should hurt more each day as they age, and no young people should have those symptoms. In reality, I am amazed at how many older folks suddenly look, act, and move like a younger version of themselves once the cause of their symptoms is treated.
The orthopedic surgeon did not feel surgery would help but did recommend that I start taking supplements to help with the knee pain. I took Glucosamine Chondroitin with Sam-E for 3 months. However, after those 3 months, I noted no change in the symptoms and felt frustrated that I was paying this money, taking these pills, and seeing no improvement. Since I was merely producing expensive urine, I stopped taking the pills. Not surprisingly, I noted no change in knee pain when I stopped taking the pills.
Shortly after completing the knee supplement experiment, I was honored by selection to study four weeks in Germany with the world-renowned swelling disorder specialists, Ethyl and Michael Földi. While studying in their clinic, I began to recognize early warning signs of swelling in my own legs. I saw very tiny red dots and spider veins, or telangiectasias, on my legs, indicating that vein damage from the blood clots over 30 years ago was caught up to me. Once I returned home from that studying opportunity, I started wearing compression stockings on my lower legs from my toes to my knees. As a result, my knee pain went away. Each day, I ask myself, “Do you feel like putting on these compression socks?”, and I always answer in the negative. Then I ask, “Do you feel like having knee pain today?” By catching the warning signs of swelling problems, I was able to begin wearing compression socks early and thereby prevent the swelling problem from worsening.
As long as I wore my compression socks daily (and got new ones when the elastic gave out), I did not have knee pain. However, after I had to close my clinic in 2014, I became quite depressed. I stopped wearing my compression stockings and stopped all of the strengthening I was doing for my weak left leg and the pelvic floor exercises. Because of this, I struggle mightily to climb stairs, stand up and can barely get up off of the floor. After getting appropriate treatment for the depression, I am wearing my socks, working with a physical therapist to improve the bony alignment and weakness in my left ankle that is causing left knee pain, and I have resumed focusing on firing my pelvic floor/inner core while transitioning from one position to the next. This habit helps maintain improved skeletal alignment, thus preventing back and neck pain. My left knee pain is significantly improved and I can now climb stairs easier with my right leg. The left leg is improving but after six years of not using it, it is going to take a while to get it back.
I hope to use my experiences for the benefit of others. It is now my pleasure to share these techniques with patients interested in learning how to use physics to control their own symptoms.
Loraine Lovejoy-Evans, DPT