We are seeing more and more people who come into therapy having done some for a fair amount of research on their conditions. We applaud this and strongly encourage our patients to be as educated as possible about their condition and how to resolve it.
However, one of the major pitfalls that we frequently see is when someone comes in believing a certain exercise or approach will guarantee them success. Unfortunately, every person’s situation is unique. Often, these “cookie-cutter” approaches are a convenient way to pacify or imply a quick fix to your problem.
As physical therapists, we believe that a program customized to your specific, individual condition will yield the best and most efficient results for your rehabilitation, which might look different than that of another person struggling with pain in the same body area. We want to use a laser-focused approach rather than a scattered, catch-all approach. Tailoring the program to meet your specific needs will focus your intention on your specific goals and deficiencies rather than being overwhelmed by too much information in an inefficient program. Not only is this more efficient, it is also safer and more likely to be effective since we identify the cause of the problem in your evaluation.
For example, back pain could be caused by arthritis, a disc bulge, inflammation, or something completely different. Although these may manifest in a similar back pain, the treatments for these different causes would look completely different.
The Internet provides a vast amount of information, some good, some bad. You can learn a lot about your condition and potential treatment options by doing a little research. Try to look at things from all points of view – not only as a patient, but also as a physician, or even a physical therapist! Typically, there is not a “magic cure” that guarantees complete healing to a particular body part, but knowing your treatment options is a powerful tool in helping you decide which course of action to take.
By: Steve Bartz, PT
Steve Bartz, PT