A FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT APPROACH

 

Every body is fundamentally different – and that matters for successful physical therapy

Take a moment to imagine a group of three or four people – anybody you like. Perhaps one is tall, another short. One may be a pro-level athlete, another somewhat overweight. One may be a grandmother, another her grandson. Now picture how each sits or walks or stands. Think of how they move compared to each other, and perhaps compared to you. If each were to reach for their toes, would they look the same doing it? Would their hips bend the same way, or their lower backs, their upper backs, their necks? Now picture them doing a few jumping jacks or a few pushups. Do their arms move differently? Their knees? Their feet?

Even though this is all occurring in your imagination, you likely can’t help but see a variety of movement patterns among people doing the very same actions. The point is that every individual person moves differently – with limitless variation – and from a physical therapy standpoint we must have the knowledge and skills to address that variation if we hope to produce the best possible recovery from pain, injury, or functional limitation. Diagnosing the role of the process by which individuals bend forward, lift their arms overhead – truly for any movement they make – is essential for effective physical therapy that produces the best possible results.

Despite the decisive nature of these factors, physical therapy settings too often give only the briefest nod to this critical aspect of effective treatment, and as a result many physical therapy patients find their recovery incomplete, limited, or even non-existent.

Expertise in identifying how and why biomechanics go wrong, and how to effectively restore proper movement

For every movement you make, your body has an ideal movement pattern, that correct combination of muscles, joints, and nervous system input working together to produce ideal forces and angles of movement. This results in each involved part doing its correct share where no single part is overburdened or stressed, and when this ideal combination is present, the result is generally fluid, comfortable, pain-free movement.

However, when certain movement patterns are less than ideal, the result is that some of the involved parts are overburdened or over stressed. This focuses wear and tear on vulnerable joints and muscles, and can eventually lead to tissue damage, joint degeneration, pain, and functional limitations.

The fact is that, for a variety of reasons, our bodies often “forget” their own ideal movement patterns, and the resulting wear and tear sets us up for orthopedic problems. These can be chronic issues like tendonitis or lower back pain, but they can also be acute-onset injuries like an ankle sprain or an ACL tear, which can occur not only during higher-stress activities like climbing a mountain or playing football, but also during activities as mundane as picking up a bag of groceries or walking down a flight of stairs.

You must ease the biomechanical burdens on any stressed or overburdened tissues if you hope to facilitate the best possible recovery

Pain, irritation, and functional limitations are signals that something about your body’s mechanics or movement patterns is overburdening certain joints, tendons or muscles. If you hope to achieve your best possible recovery you must reduce or eliminate these burdens. Simply applying “pain relief” in the form of medications or “modalities” like ultrasound or e-stim may make the irritated tissue “happy” for a while, but it will not reduce the burdens on the tissues. A typical “standard protocol” of general stretching and strengthening is unlikely to provide the best biomechanical improvement for your unique movement patterns.

Put another way, a muscle or tendon may become painful or limited because its “friends” – muscles and other tissues that coordinate with it as part of your movement system – are not doing their part or are restricting proper movement. This does not necessarily mean that all of these “friends” are doing too little or are too inflexible. On the contrary, it is likely that a few of them are doing too much or are too flexible. This is why “standard protocols” that seek to generally strengthen and stretch everything in the surrounding area do not get to the heart of the matter and fail to provide permanent improvement. Strengthening all tissues when some are already too strong and stretching all tissues when some are too loose is almost certain to provide a less-than-satisfactory result. And just providing pain relief to make the overburdened tissues “happy” for a while does little to encourage or teach its “friends” to start doing their proper part.

The knowledge and expertise to address these vitally important movement factors and facilitate better results

What is missing in many “typical” physical therapy settings is the ability to assess human movement at the interaction of individual tissues, as well as the knowledge and skill to correct it when it is going wrong. I have spent years implementing an investigative and problem-solving approach that is superior to the one-size-fits-all methods so common in other settings. Every individual is put together differently and creates movement uniquely. Applying a “standard protocol of treatment” to all patients will rarely deliver the best possible results. Guiding you through the process of retraining your body to use improved movement patterns is critical to completing your recovery. I have pursued specialized knowledge and training from world leaders in the field in order to assess and evaluate the interaction of individual joints and tissues, and I use that knowledge and training for your benefit.

Click the button to request an office or tele-health appointment, or call (301) 452-5408.

You do not need a prescription to be evaluated or treated by a licensed physical therapist in the state of Maryland. However, you may need one from your insurance company if you plan to apply for reimbursement.

headshot Dr. Renee Roth Powers

THE PLACE WHERE PEOPLE GO WHEN “NO ONE ELSE GETS IT”

You deserve proven expertise to achieve your best possible recovery
and get back to the life you want to live

 


 

A Fundamentally
Different Approach

Training and insights that consider
your personal movement factors.

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Undivided
Attention

Every Visit,
The Entire Visit

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Targeted Diagnosis,
Targeted Treatment

Not just the “standard protocol”
for the “standard patient”

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We Address Your
Daily Life

Pain-free living is not just doing some exercises at a clinic

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