By Jessica Sly, Communications Specialist
Vietnam veteran William “Bill” Pedrow struggled for years with physical ailments, specifically a crippling stiffness. Last year, he decided to take action. As a disabled veteran, Bill consulted with a veterans clinic in Alexandria, and they helped him arrange for physical therapy.
“They were going to send me to the Wadena hospital, and we said, ‘Well, geez, we think the Wadena hospital has a clinic right there in Henning, the town I’m right outside of,’” Bill said. “They took care of it all. And it’s a small setting so you felt comfortable coming in.”
Bill went to Henning Physical Therapy Clinic where he saw Tyler Wegscheid, DPT. Tyler determined that Bill suffered from stiffness that severely limited his mobility.
“I couldn’t even get down on the floor and get back up,” Bill said.
“Bill presented with extremely tight muscles and soft tissues throughout his lower extremities,” Tyler explained. “His joint mobility and flexibility in his legs were very limited, which impaired his ability to perform various activities of daily living. He also presented with weakness throughout some of the major muscle groups in his lower extremities. It likely was wear and tear from working construction and possibly from his military experience.”
Tyler created a treatment plan to loosen Bill’s body, starting with his legs and back.
Tyler explained that they performed rigorous stretching techniques on Bill’s muscles and surrounding soft tissues, applying heat in order to help them stretch more efficiently. They alternated stretching with manual therapy techniques for restoring normal range of motion.
Even though winter was in full swing and snow covered the ground, Bill wore his shorts to treatment because he knew he’d have to work hard.
“They’d get me sweating. Tyler would put me on that darn balance ball doing squats,” Bill said, laughing. He was quick to add that he learned how important a physical therapist is for rehabilitation. “But believe me, it’s not going to be easy. You gotta really work.”
Each week, Tyler gave Bill exercises to complete at home to advance his rehab while at appointments.
“He gave me all the tools I needed to really keep myself limber at home. The thing is, he could tell if you were doing them or not,” Bill confessed. “He gave you exercises and he could tell when you came in whether or not you did the stretches just by the improvement that there was.”
Tyler added, “Bill was very motivated to improve his physical health and was compliant with his home exercise program, which were two very important keys to his success.”
After three months, Tyler determined that Bill had improved enough to discontinue treatment.
“When he let me go, he said he was fairly pleased at the amount of improvement, but it took a lot of stretching,” Bill said. “Both my wife and myself really think the world of Tyler. We really think he did a good job for me. When I came in here, I was so stiff. If I got down on the floor, I could not get back up again. I had to have something to get me up. So he got me on the road there.
“The people here are very, very easy to work with,” he continued. “That makes you feel good coming. You don’t like to go to a place where you don’t feel welcome. It always felt good.”