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Hello to all! We have had a few good days of warm and sunny weather this May, and for that we are thankful!
This month has been remarkable! Three of our physical therapy staff made independent decisions that helped two families in their own way. While sometimes it may seem that people in the medical community don't care, please don't give up on the thought that there are medical practices that do care.
One of our physical therapy assistants, Tara, had observed a developmentally disabled patient in his 30's getting weaker each visit. After two visits, she was concerned. She called the physician and was told not to worry. She shared this case with another member of our team, who mentioned the possibility of Multiple Sclerosis. She then asked the patient and his Mom to get an appointment with a neurologist. They called the neurologist immediately from our office but could not get an appointment for 2 months! This was not acceptable. We rarely, unless it's an emergency, suggest to a patient to go to the emergency room. However, we were convinced this patient was weakening at too fast a speed to wait.
They went to the emergency room. He was examined and diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. As sad as this news was, this enabled him to begin treatment sooner than later. This is the kind of patient advocacy we preach and live daily in our clinic. Thank God, our Tara cared enough to listen to her intuitive sense that something more was going on with this patient's weakness.
The second case brings out the genuine love and care a physical therapy team member showed for a previous patient that was in excruciating pain. A former patient called Pam, to complain about terrible back pain. He informed her that his company had changed his insurance and we were no longer in their plan. He also said he had called a few physical therapy clinics in his plan and would not be able to get in for 3 weeks! He had no idea what to do, but he needed relief ASAP!
Pam spoke with a physical therapist in our clinic and asked if they could see this patient that day. He agreed, and we got this patient in within 2 hours. He was so appreciative, and we were able to decrease the intensity of the pain, making it bearable. We didn't care about the insurance, in this case, because we had seen him in the past and knew of his condition. We just wanted to help him get some relief as fast as possible.
I share these two stories to give hope to all those out there who think medical providers only care about money, that they have automated phone systems to save themselves from listening, and that they don't care about the good of the patient. This is not completely true. There are providers out there that still believe patient care is their calling; that seeing a person improve, and be able to walk better, stand straighter and carry their child or grandchild around without pain, brings joy to their lives.
As one of the few private practices left in our area, we do want you to know, that we do care about everyone who walks into our clinic. We also care about our community. So, if you are having difficulty finding direction with your back, neck, hip, knee, shoulder, or ankle pain please call. We will be glad to examine you and treat you or direct you to another medical professional who will assist us in helping you heal and getting you back to being stronger every day.

Health Information

4 Ways Physical Therapists Manage Pain

Physical therapy is among the safe and effective alternatives to opioids  recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the management of most non-caner related pain. Whereas opioids only mask the sensation of pain, physical therapists treat pain through movement, hands-on care, exercise, and patient education.
Here's how physical therapists manage pain:
1. Exercise. A study following 20,000 people over 11 years found that those who exercised on a regular basis, experienced less pain. And among those who exercised more than 3 times per week, chronic widespread pain was 28% less common. Physical therapists can prescribe exercise specific to your goals and needs.
2. Manual Therapy. Research supports a hands-on approach to treating pain. From carpal tunnel syndrometo low back pain 3, this type of care can effectively reduce your pain and improve your movement. Physical therapists may use manipulation, joint and soft tissue mobilizations, and dry needling, as well as other strategies in your care.
3. Education. A large study conducted with military personnel demonstrated that those with back pain who received a 45 minute educational session about pain, were less likely to seek treatment than their peers who didn't receive education about pain. Physical therapists will talk with you to make sure they understand your pain history, and help set realistic expectations about your treatment.
4 . Teamwork. Recent studies have shown that developing a positive relationship with your physical therapist and being an active participant in your own recovery can impact your success. This is likely because physical therapists are able to directly work with you and assess how your pain responds to treatment.

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