Electrocuting My Physical Therapist

I was stretching my knee and did something Very Bad Indeed. Not Horrendously Bad, but not good. It’s my ACL knee, and it’s still healing and sensitive. So when I next went to the physical therapist, I mentioned the pain.

My current PT is in India for a month lecturing, and so I had his colleague, a young, perky woman. She speaks German, French and decent English. She took a look at my knee, told me it was swollen, and then brought over an exciting looking wooden box filled with metal, electrical wires and rubber gloves. Sweet things were going to happen.

She had me lie on the table and handed me a metal rod, which I took to be some grounding device. She then connected a wire to her foot, put on the rubber gloves and started massaging my knee. A pleasant vibration emitted from her hands. She explained that the electricity went from the large battery in the box to the gloves. She also told me that we couldn’t touch, as this would give her a shock.

“Has it ever happened?”

“Once.” She kicked her leg back and bounced her body into the air with a smile.

Ahh, I said. I put my head onto the table and relaxed into the massage.

I got so relaxed that I sat up and without thinking brought my hand to my knee to show her the area that was in the most pain. Well, my hand must have grazed her exposed arm. Her entire body launched backward and her left leg kicked back in a violent reverse Rockettes motion. No smile on her face this time.

I quickly realized I had electrocuted my substitute physical therapist.

I apologized profusely and after she stopped jiggling, she told me “no problem.” I wonder, though, if I will ever again see that magic box of metal cylinders, wire, and rubber.

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  • Laurel Lee  On January 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Man, am I glad that I’m not your PT!!!! Nice work!

  • Sura Kaltner  On January 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Jonathan and I laughed out loud on the train when reading your post, much to the chagrin of those in the newly pronounced “quiet car” on the train. We love hearing of your adventures and Jonathan also mentioned that such a device is likely not approved for use by the FDA in the US.

  • Sura Kaltner  On January 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Also, just noticed that Google posted an ad at the bottom of your article with a link to “Electrocution Attorneys” – LOVE IT!

  • Ken Wilan  On January 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Well, I hope my PT is not reading the blog, then. Ah Google, so smart, and so dumb.

  • pop pop harry  On January 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Sounds like an electrifying experience. Glad that you are o.k.

  • Naomi  On January 7, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Oh no!

    BTW, do you have a TENS machine? Sounds like similar but smaller shock waves.

  • Ken Wilan  On January 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Oh yes! But she survived. I don’t have a home TENS machine, but have used one during PT in the US. I like to dial it up to just barely tolerable.

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