Our Town: Belo works physical therapy magic

Dr Tom Ferraro

My hour of greatest need came two summers ago. 

I was innocently trying to improve my golf game with some stretching with a club. I unfortunately had neglected to warm up and oops! I herniated two discs.  Let the fun begin.  

I learned what sciatica felt like. Before then the word seemed harmless enough. How bad could some pain in the leg really be? 

Well,  I soon realized that this type of pain could be career threatening since I could no longer spend the bulk of my day sitting quietly in my chair and listening to patients. I simply could not sit in the chair for more than one minute without the pain getting seriously bad.   

My doctor gave me some painkillers. No good. I bought one of those $800 Herman Miller Aeron chairs. No good.  

So in despair and desperation I limped over to Total Performance Physical Therapy which was right across from my office at 2 Hillside Ave. It was there I met my new hero Dr. Anthony Belo.  

Anthony is director of total performance PT at 23 Hillside Ave. right up the street from the railroad tracks.

Dr. Belo has been in practice in Williston Park for three years now. It appears that he is getting busier and busier and before he gets too busy to talk I thought it was time to interview him for my Our Town column.  

He is a young, handsome hardworking guy who went to St. Francis Prep with a straight A average. He went on to get his doctorate in Physical Therapy at New York Institute of Technology along with his twin sister Sandra.  

It’s funny but have you unnoticed that twins are always easy to relate to.  I think it’s because they have great social skills since they have been face to face with another human being since infancy. They are born to talk. 

His typical cases include orthopedic injuries, neurological consultations due to stroke and MS, sciatica and herniated discs (that’s me). He also has a program for fall prevention and balance for the elderly and those with inner ear problems. 

Of course I am an expert of sorts in the treatment of herniated disc. I did work with a pain clinic but my work with Dr.  Belo was a great relief for me. It included massage therapy, stretching, core exercises, heat, electric stimulation, and strength exercises and it helped. 

He told me his fall prevention program included strength training, lower extremity work, core work, stretching and step drills.  I wondered if the Arthur Murray Dance Studio could help with balance and he said maybe but watch out for those spins! 

Like everyone else my age I fight the battle of the bulge and asked him what tips he could give us. 

He said it was no mystery and one must both diet and exercise. As for diet he recommended you get guidance from your family doc and for exercises he told me you must put in some cardio vascular work at least three times per week. 

In other words, my one mile leisurely walk every morning was not going to do the trick. Too bad for me.  

He said you have to work up a sweat  just a little if you want to lose weight and biking may help. He also told me to get new sneakers every year. He added that he does offer some fitness training and that he does take most insurance plans. 

And as for me I am very glad that I can sit in silence and listen to my patients without any pain so thank you very much Dr. Anthony Belo! 

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