Nick Seminoff – February 2018
3 Dimensional Physical Therapy would like to congratulate Nick Seminoff on being named Patient of the Month! Nick is an avid rock climber who came to PT with multiple upper body injuries. Nick had an open mind from his first visit and was willing to do whatever it was going to take to return to climbing. Read below for more on Nick’s story.
3DPT: Tell us about the injury that brought you to physical therapy.
NS: I had two injuries going into PT. First was pain on the outside of my bicep that prevented me from doing any pulling motion without pain/discomfort. Because rock climbing involves lots of pulling using your arms, I was in constant discomfort and my mental and physical performance took a big hit. The second injury was manifesting itself as pain in my inner elbow. It didn’t really hurt while climbing, but after climbing it would be very tender and I started noticing it affecting daily activities, like cutting vegetables with a knife and opening doors.
3DPT: What was the hardest part/biggest obstacle of your physical therapy?
NS: When I went into PT, I was frustrated with my injuries. I had looked online and tried to self-diagnose myself and tried some exercises based on information I found, but I was clearly not getting better (I was getting worse!). Josh worked closely with me and quickly found that my shoulder stability was not the best. A lot of my PT then focused on building shoulder stability and training my mind to automatically put my shoulder in the correct position while climbing.
The hardest part of PT was learning correct shoulder placement and being persistent in the PT exercises and stretches that Josh gave me, even though they were hard in the beginning. Ironically, this would later become my favorite part of PT because I saw that the longer I stuck with an exercise, the better I got at it, and my pain started going away.
3DPT: What was your favorite part of physical therapy?
NS: My favorite part of PT is the rehabilitation exercises and learning not only how to do them, but most importantly, why I was doing them. Josh gave me exercises and then showed me why they would benefit me anatomically. This was very encouraging; to know that I was on the path to recovery. The best feeling was when the pain started to subside and I felt my shoulders getting stronger and more sure in their movements. This gave me even more motivation to continue with the exercises and push for a full recovery.
3DPT: What is something important that you’ve learned during your time in PT?
NS: The body is very mechanical. The exercises and stretches really made sense to me when Josh showed me how the pain my bicep and elbow was likely caused by instability in the shoulder. Before PT, I never would have thought that proper shoulder use during climbing would relieve strain and overuse of the bicep and elbow. Everything is connected and so pain in one area could be relieved by working on the neighboring supporting structures.
3DPT: What advice would you give to anyone faced with an injury, or working their way through physical therapy?
NS: Set a goal that you truly care about and work towards that goal. For me, my passion for climbing and training motivated me to get better. That made it a simple equation: if I want to climb I need to do these exercises and stretches to get better. You get out of PT what you put in. Also, find a way to work it into your daily routine. For me, I incorporated the exercises and stretches into my climbing warm up and workout.
3DPT: How did you get into the sport? How long have you been climbing? What is your dream climb?
NS: I was introduced to climbing when I was young, but never took it seriously. A few years ago I joined a climbing gym with some friends as a fun way to hang out and have fun. After climbing for a few months, I realized that the sport had an amazing depth I was completely unaware of. There is so much technique, philosophy, training and mental effort that goes into climbing well that I became addicted. My dream climb is Timewave Zero in El Petrero Chico. It takes about 8 hours to complete (if you’re good) and involves a ton of endurance, and mountaineering knowledge, and has some really hard movements very high up. Until then, I love every climb that flows together with good movement and has pretty scenery.
3DPT: What do you like to do for fun, besides climbing?
NS: I’m a nerd. I like books and audiobooks, video games and dabbling in music production. I like cooking, too!
3DPT: What is your favorite movie and why?
NS: This is tough, but I’m going to say The Matrix. The first one (of course…). I love it because there’s both great action and it really made me think about the world, society, and the power of the human mind. It’s a great underdog story with great special effects and a lot of great quotes. Plus it has Laurence Fishburne. He’s awesome.