I started physical therapy about a month ago and found someone I really like (in constrast to a traumatizing former experience). If you're looking for a good physical therapist in Seattle, definitely go to Sarah Meeker (in Wallingford).
What she does that I like so much is 1) pay attention to me and all the problems I tell her about (and think carefully about them too) 2) look at body mechanics to determine what types of movements I'm doing in my everyday life to cause these problems and 3) help me change those movements so that my body can heal and won't get reinjured.
Also, she doesn't blame ME for my injuries (blaming instead my body mechanics, which she insists is all genetic and totally not my fault), which is a really nice thing to hear after a big injury.
So it turns out that I hurt my back because my hips are tight, and I hurt my knee because my ankle is stiff. She's working on getting more flexibility to these parts and teaching me not to bend my back and knee in ways that hurt them (they are TOO flexible). Also she's helping me strengthen my weak spots and lengthen all my tight spots. I'm doing squats and leg lifts and hip stretches and upper back stretches and all sorts of things that take up a lot of time, but my back is definitely feeling better.
Last night, the Studly Hubby snapped a picture of me doing one of my physical therapy exercises in my pajama pants.
It's still a slow process and physical therapy like anything isn't an all-encompassing solution. Another thing I like about my physical therapist is that she's not against chiropractic, message therapy, or anything else that might work, and she talks to me about what to try and when I need it. I've found some alternative anti-inflammatories (fish oil, and an herbal mix called Zyflamend) that I would recommend.
So, I'm finally getting better. And with the Big Bike Ride next weekend, it was just in time!