“It’s incredible how much better I feel.” - Jude Nosek
Eight years ago, a bicycle accident sidelined Nosek, leaving him in pain and with a limited range of motion. He went head-on into a tree at about 15 miles an hour. Though he had a helmet on, he had very serious injuries and considers himself lucky to still be alive.
Nosek wound up with two compression-fractured vertebrae in his neck, a severe concussion, and a herniated disk which swelled up and was impinging one of the nerves running down his left arm, causing it to become immobile for three or four months.
About a year later, Jude had regained about 70 percent of his normal ability and body function, but had continual headaches, neck pain, and pain in his left arm. He was fairly fit prior to the accident, competing in several triathlons, running frequently and biking 70 to 80 miles a week.
Over the course of the next seven years he tried to find some pain relief from the continual neck stiffness. He couldn’t turn his head from left to right, at least not quickly, so crossing the street, riding a bicycle, or driving a car it was very difficult to scan from left to right quickly.
“If I ever had my head turned to the side and swallowed, I would get these shooting pains down both sides of my neck,” said Nosek. “I still, until very recently, was getting that.”
He was treated for the disk herniation, which was the initial big problem, with steroid injections to reduce the swelling of the disk, his head was immobilized for a period of time, and he had a sling for his arm – all during the first four months, which he can’t really recall due to the concussion.
Nosek’s wife is a pediatric physical therapist, though she didn’t work on him. He went to a sports facility for rehab, which helped him regain his arm function, but they were not able to help him with the headaches and the stiffness and the soreness in his neck, which was constant; nobody was able to help him with his neck and the turning and swallowing at all.
“I tried physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, probably three different physical therapists, three different chiropractors, four different massage therapists, and some of them I would have these little breakthroughs, but it would go from 70 percent well to maybe 75 percent well. I really couldn’t get to where I could turn my head well and swallow or without soreness and stiffness in my neck.”
Body Gears had a clinic in Oak Park, and his wife, who recently had surgery on her elbow had been having treatment at Body Gears and suggested he make an appointment (one of the PTs at his wife’s clinic recommended Body Gears to her).
He’s been going for four or five months now, twice a week for the first two months and then once a week. He sees Dr. Garrett Petry, PT, DPT, on a regular basis and Body Gears President April Oury, PT MS, IOC, CFMT, FAAOMPT has treated him on several occasions as well, in conjunction with Petry.
“People have various traumas just living daily life,” said Petry. “It may be anything ranging from bonking your head on a shelf, to slipping and falling on ice or running into a tree with a bike – Jude’s most recent injury. These traumas may cause soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and fascia) and joints to become either too loose or too tight, affecting body movement in a manner that must be corrected.”
Petry utilized Body Gears treatment approach of Functional Manual Therapy™ to do things like correlate soft tissue and joint restrictions from areas that might seemingly be unrelated, such as the sternum/ribs and fascia of the cranium with the way his neck was moving.
“They are scientifically, systematically peeling the onion of my problem,” said Nosek. “Between the head and brain and the rest of the body is the neck and I had all kinds of problems because of this accident and another accident, and there are just so many different levels of muscle and tissue and spinal issues. Garrett has literally gone through segment by segment on my neck, muscle group by muscle group, it felt like resetting them in a way.”
Petry looked at all of the different ways Nosek’s vertebrae should be able to move (front to back, side to side, and up and down) and followed a Functional Manual Therapy™ principle of exposing the areas that had never been treated by other practitioners, allowing for some of their greatest gains.
“I couldn’t have gotten to where I am without all of the help I received, but it is this technique way beyond any other technique that I’ve been through that has produced results that have been way beyond what I expected,” said Nosek.
They gave him simple exercises to do at home that were neither strenuous nor painful, working on his core persistently and consistently, using different muscle groups that he hadn’t been using because he was protecting or guarding them from the pain associated with those movements.
“There is nothing wrong with the muscles but you’re afraid to use them and just haven’t used them correctly in so long,” said Nosek, “so they are re-teaching my body how to work effectively again.”
“Traditionally, most manual physical therapy is performed in a relaxed position while lying on a table, which is great to start, but the patient’s problems are not always exposed while lying down,” said Petry. “We move. This approach looks at the immensely complex, interdependent system, which is our body, and puts the pieces together in ways that cannot be done lying down.”
Petry added that Body Gears pushes its therapists’ personal and professional understanding and experience, allowing for the development of some of the highest quality manual physical therapists with a unique skill set, able to fit the variety of people who come to them for help.
Today there is very little Nosek can’t do and he doesn’t wake up with the