Gianna Pino and Optima Sports Therapy Joined at the Hip

She had a few “choice words” for Optima Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation’s physical therapy assistant Ron Fuller, when he started her on water therapy shortly after hip surgery. Fortunately, those “choice words” quickly turned to “thank you,” when she saw how tremendously helpful the resistance therapy in the water was to her overall recovery.

Twenty-four-year-old Gianna Pino of Methuen, Massachusetts, is not saying the pool therapy combined with traditional therapy was easy, however; far from it, but having Ron help her through it made all the difference. “He kept reminding me to think of the end goal and what I’m trying to accomplish,” said Gianna.

“The water is such a great medium for rehabilitation. It supports and resists just enough to allow patients to be successful in their healing process,” said Ron. “Gianna was able to utilize the physical properties of water to her benefit. She put her heart and soul into getting better. It just goes to show you that if you add water to your rehab, anything is possible.” 

Gianna was born with hip dysplasia. It never healed correctly, but she just pressed through it, never realizing that her genetic condition would leave her, in her own words, “with a hip deteriorating like a 90-year-old.” At age 17, she was told she would eventually need a hip replacement, probably in her 40s. Since then she has had three surgeries for a torn labrum in her hip. A labrum is a rim of soft cartilage that surrounds the hip socket.

It was after her second surgery that Gianna turned to Optima Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation in Salem, where she worked with Ron and physical therapist Jeffrey Kamuda for nine months on maintaining her hip health to the extent possible until it makes sense to have a hip replacement. She had been referred to the practice by an athletic director, but did her own research, recognizing the importance of being comfortable with the providers as well as having faith in their knowledge and expertise.

“Jeff explained everything to me. He asked a lot of questions, answered all my questions, and he and Ron put in place a program for me of strength training, pool therapy and exercises to take stress off the joint,” said Gianna. They provided her with exercises for home that she follows, stretching every day. She goes to the gym each morning and walks with her three dogs. She lifts weights and does yoga and Pilates.

“Gianna’s recovery came from two equally-sided aspects of therapy, land and water. Land was great for soft tissue management and carrying on the strengthening that was initiated in the water, but most importantly, Gianna’s hard work and positive attitude made the difference,” said Jeff.

Gianna, however, gives much of the credit to Optima Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation. “I would not be where I am physically today were it not for them. I owe them my first-born child. That’s how much they did for me,” she said.

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