Ada’s way

Ada Lubin

There are few of us who reach a ‘certain age’ without once visiting a physiotherapist. Ada Lubin is one of the lucky ones.

Ada’s first-ever physiotherapy appointment at Melbourne Physio Group (MPPFG) in 2020 was for a bursitis condition. Since then, she jokes: ’I haven’t stopped!’

Unfortunately in 2022, Ada started noticing unrelated back issues.

‘There was an issue in my thoracic spine and general ageing issues,’ Ada explains.

‘I’ve also got a bit of osteoarthritis.’

While her back pain wasn’t completely debilitating, sleep was difficult, as was sitting and standing for long periods. 

‘I could still do most things,’ Ada says. ‘But it was impeding my life in that I had to be very careful.

‘I wanted to build my strength for everyday activities like carrying the shopping and manoeuvring around.’

MPPFG Director Chris Constantinou suggested she consider the getback program to improve her back strength and mobility.

But after facing multiple issues and various interventions, Ada says she was ‘a bit sceptical’.

‘I understood the getback concept, but I was thinking “another thing, will it work?”’

‘I was a little bit hesitant.’

Ada decided to seek advice from her long-term GP.

‘I spoke to my GP and said that I wasn’t sure about it [the getback program].’ 

‘And he said to me, “Just try it”. 

Blue lines show the improvements in Ada’s Mobility and Strength over 12 weeks in the getback program.

Initial measurements on the getback devices showed that some aspects of Ada’s Lumbar/Thoracic mobility and Lumbar/Thoracic and Cervical strength were below average for her age and gender reference group (see black lines on graph). 

A personalised treatment plan to address those areas of weakness and limited mobility was then created by the MPPFG team.

Ada’s confidence about moving into device based movement therapy was boosted by the level of supervision during her program. 

’As you get older you have challenges to face with your body, but the program is well monitored,’ she says. 

‘They ask you as you’re going along, “is that okay? Are you feeling comfortable?”

‘Within two or three weeks, I started to feel the difference.’

Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist Brooke Bakaric supervised most of Ada’s program, which also provided continuity. 

‘It’s been good because Brooke also deals with me on occasion in the gym, so she’s quite familiar with everything I’m doing.’

After two getback sessions a week for three months, Ada’s mobility and strength was assessed again on the devices. She was pleased when the MPPFG team confirmed she had reached her program goals.

Ada with Exercise Physiologist Nathan Dulics from the MPPFG team.

‘The difference in flexibility has just been phenomenal (see blue lines on graph)’, Ada says. 

‘I could feel myself be able to turn sideways, my whole torso.’

Reports were also sent to Ada’s GP to monitor her progress along the way. 

‘He wanted to know exactly what I’m doing and how I’m coming along, which is important,’ she says.

While officially ‘discharged’ from the program after reaching her goals, Ada continues to do a getback maintenance session once a month ‘to keep in touch.’

‘They said to me, you don’t have to, you’ve completed the program and you haven’t gone backwards. There’s no hard sell.’

She also does twice weekly classes with an exercise physiologist to maintain her strength and flexibility.

‘I believe the combination of the two has made a difference. Both of them complement each other.’

Ada says now that while she ‘still has some issues’, she is ‘in a far better place than I was before.’

getback was extremely beneficial for me. I realise that not everyone is suitable for it, it’s quite lengthy and there’s cost factors as well. 

‘But when you’re actually looking at your health, I think it’s a good investment.

‘I think you have to look at it that way.’

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