The Patient/ PT Team #4

By Rebecca Lowe August 13, 2015

Zander's BikeZander and I as a team, are a great example of how the patient/ PT team can work together.  Most of my patients are actually great examples.

But, in this example with Zander, I want to highlight 3 very important things that happened that could have resulted in a very different story had it not been for each of us playing our part in the team.  Also, see his responses to a few questions below for his perspective.

Zander had been hit by a car while riding his bicycle on the way home from work.  Afterward, he was having fairly significant heel pain, but walked a lot on it the weekend after and then was having knee pain.  Zander is VERY active – with many activities – cycling, running, yoga 5 days a week, and tennis.  The first day that I saw him he was, in a very manly way, starting to freak out because he was not sure what was happening with his leg and heel and he was afraid that he was going to lose his active lifestyle.

Here is what was so great about our team:

1.  I was able to pinpoint the exact source of his heel and knee pain and found that there was a large component of inflammation in both his posterior talo-calcaneal joint and his knee.  Treatment then focused on reducing the inflammation and clearing the spine, hip, knee, and ankle/foot for mechanical problems after the inflammation subsided.  Treating specifically and appropriately is one way to keep an acute problem from turning into a chronic one.  Okay, this is not so different than any other treatment, right?

But, here are the two things that Zander did EXTREMELY well:

2.  His anxiety went down IMMEDIATELY when he knew what was going on and that he was getting the treatment that he needed.  As we know from current pain research, our emotional state toward our injury can sometimes be more of a problem than the injury itself.  Anxiety and fear are one of the main contributors to acute pain turning into chronic pain.  So, this was huge.

3.  And, on his part again, he did everything at home for his own care.  There were some active self-treatment aspects of his care, but for him the biggest thing was that he was able to hold off on all aggravating activities.  It allowed his body to go through the inflammation process.  This is very difficult to do if it is a big part of who you are and your lifestyle.  Patients don’t always need to stop their activities while in treatment, but when it is a condition with inflammation as the main component vs. mechanical dysfunction, then it is very important.


Zander has agreed to share his perspective on his experience with Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT.)



What do you think other people who are considering OMPT vs general physical therapy would like to know about an OMPT experience, and in particular, your experience at Manual Therapy of Nashville?

First, I think people would benefit from knowing that it’s an option. I didn’t know that this area of medicine existed until I heard about it from my friend Nicki. To find a non-invasive approach that pulled together so many other disciplines was really exciting for me. Second, I think the focus on self-treatment and a “permanent” solution after a handful of visits is an incredible difference from most people’s experiences with chiropractors and physical therapists. In many cases, I think the need to constantly return for further treatment (even if it feels good) scares people off from even visiting a specialist in the first place.

Did you feel like you were part of the team for your treatment?


I absolutely felt like I was a part of a team for my treatment. You (Rebecca) were very open about the thought process running through your head and bouncing assumptions about what I may be feeling off of me. This gave me tremendous insight into what may/may not be wrong, helped to ease my anxiety over my injury, and allowed us to accurately identify the injured areas. Additionally, I was given exercises to continue with at home that not only helped further my treatment and healing, but also felt good in the meantime!



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