“Finding your painful area is the easy part of an evaluation; finding out ‘why’ that area is painful is the hard part.”
At Life’s Work Physical Therapy (LWPT), our goal is not just to rehabilitate our patients back to full functional capacity. We also look to decrease future recurrence of disability through a detailed evaluation process aimed at learning the ‘whole’ person, providing in-depth patient education, building individualized home-programs for long-term self-management, and developing relationships with patients so they have confidence in us as their primary care providers for musculoskeletal disorders. At LWPT, our initial evaluations, and subsequent follow-up visits, aim to identify the area(s) that are producing our patient’s pain, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. By finding the pain, it still does not answer the following questions:
- Why did this pain come on in the first place?
- Why is one side the painful side, and not the other side?
- Why has the pain not improved over ‘X’ amount of time, even though supposed best-practice known to promote optimal healing has occurred?
Regional Interdependence is defined as the concept that seemingly unrelated impairments in a remote anatomical region may contribute to, or be associated with, the patient’s primary complaint. When musculoskeletal pain comes on for no apparent reason, it makes sense to ask the question ‘why’. For example, why would a 30 year-old regular treadmill runner begin developing right-sided medial knee pain, which now prevents her from running, when she did not have an acute injury and has no prior history of knee pain? This is a common scenario observed at LWPT, and we feel this type of case example would warrant a thorough subjective and objective evaluation to find out a larger history from the patient, and evaluate the areas around the knee to see if there is contributing factors which led to the onset of her knee pain. Past history or biomechanical changes to the ankle or foot, hip, pelvis and lumbar spine can all affect the knee. Rehabilitation through regional interdependence looks for these causative factors and addresses them with the thought that treating them will directly improve the ability for the patient’s pain to improve while also addressing the patient’s actual injured tissue.
This treatment philosophy of regional interdependence begins to look at more than just pain. On most occasions, a patient’s pain improves well before he/she is appropriate for discharge from physical therapy. Pain is only a small piece of the equation, as a main goal of physical therapy at LWPT is also to prevent recurrence of a patient’s problem. Unless those other causative factors are addressed and improved, the likelihood of the patient’s pain returning is high. Therapists at LWPT are trained at understanding the relationships of various areas of the body and how they influence the rest of the body during activity. We educate our patients from the get-go so they fully understand ‘what’ structure in the body we feel is injured, and ‘why’ we feel the pain has not improved and ‘what’ else we feel is influencing their pain.
If you are experiencing pain that is affecting your ability to normally function, call LWPT today. You will experience a 60-minute, one-on-one, evaluation from your skilled physical therapist. Our outcomes, which are tracked quarterly, routinely rises above the rest of the profession. Each patient is treated with an individualized care plan designed to treat the functional impairments identified by their therapist. We do not employ physical therapy assistants or aides, allowing your physical therapist to be your therapist through the entire process at LWPT (from evaluation through discharge). Our ability to follow a patient from start to finish, while understanding how various areas of the body can affect other regions, makes us unique in the profession. The staff at Life’s Work Physical Therapy is excited to hear from you, to help get you back on the track towards recovery!