Some of you reading this can’t come see me. As a matter of fact, that might be why you’re reading our articles! Whether it’s insurance networks, locations, or work situations that prevent people from coming in, I always want people getting the best care possible! So, if I had to go to a therapy clinic myself, what would I want to see?
1) 1 on 1 sessions are a must. Every session I have with a patient something changes about their program. I might be tweaking repetitions, changing program choice, increasing load, or addressing a new area. As a therapist I absolutely cannot do this if I am physically elsewhere, because I then can’t monitor your symptom response to what is happening! Less face time with you means that I am frankly paying less attention to the evolution of your case, and that is just not going to get anyone anywhere fast.
2) Evidence based practice is vital! Healthcare is a living, breathing beast, and we are literally learning something new every month that can change recovery time, decrease pain, and improve patient safety. If my provider cannot answer the question “where do you stay up to date on research every month?” I know right off the bat that I want a new practitioner. Last year alone we saw 4 of the most common surgeries used in the US have no better effect than a placebo intervention or no intervention at all. If my practitioner knows this, I can avoid an unnecessary or ineffective procedure, decreasing both my risk and my cost!
3) My therapy session should be primarily patient centered and active, not therapist centered and passive! Going along with point 2, we are seeing now that passive therapies like e-stim, ultrasound, and even manual therapy are really only useful as an adjunct to exercise therapy in regards to long term recovery. Obviously there are right exercises and wrong exercises, but pain control techniques just don’t stack up in evidence on their own if they are not paired with exercise therapy as a primary intervention! If I want to get better faster, my therapist should tell me day one that I’m going to be the major player in the game, and that while they will be helping me control my pain, it is my own body and activity that will be working most of the magic here, not their magic hands or machines.
4) Almost everybody on the floor should be doing something different! No two presentations of a condition are the same, and cookie cutter programs show slower results than custom programs made just for the individual case, even after identical surgeries. If everybody is doing the exact same thing, that customization isn’t happening, and my recovery is going to be slower.
Not a long list, right? You’ll also notice that this list does not include an alphabet soup of certifications or proprietary, high cost treatments. While board certified specialists like those in Neuro, Ortho, and Strength and Conditioning can certainly be a great extra bang for your buck in very specific populations, it’s not the flashy marketing tools that count, it’s the time and personalization of care your therapist is offering you that matters most! So, if you’re looking for care like ours and can’t come in here, these are the things that we strive for that I think are the most important to making sure everyone gets the best care possible!