"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sahrmann wrote the book on diagnosis

Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement System Impairments by Shirley Sahrmann, PhD, PT, FAPTA came out in 2002 and I bought the book, I read the book and I changed how I practiced because of the book.

Now, in 2008, I am slowly re-reading the book.

I am going out of order, chapter by chapter. I read chapter 4 (the hip) first and now I'm back to the Introduction.

Tonight, I've come across a passage that, even though I don't remember hi-lighting in 2002, tremendously changed my life.

If you'll permit, I'll share it with you now...

"A standardized examination format is used to identify the Directional Susceptibility to Movement (DSM) and the factors that contribute to the presence of a dysfunction" (p.4)

When I took her physical therapy continuing education course in 2003 I saw her use her standardized examination format.

Dr. Sahrmann's tests are easy to learn, reproducible and reliable.

My only concern with her approach is that she assesses pain.

Dr. Sahrmann states the following:

"The (Movement Impairment) syndromes are named for the alignment, stress or movement direction that most consistently produces pain." (p. 74)

I wonder if physical therapy can move forward if we continue to assess pain?

Dr. Sahrmann influenced my career because I went on to develop a standardized assessment system that uses repetitive, corrective exercises to influence and improve 'regional musculoskeletal disorders'.

I've detailed the standardized approach at Physical-Therapy-Videos.com .

Nevertheless, Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement System Impairments by Shirley Sahrmann brought me a watershed moment in my career and my professional growth.

I encourage every physical therapist and physical therapist assistant to buy and read a copy of Dr. Sahrmann's book.

Take her course and watch her diagnose her patient right in front of you.

Nothing will give you greater confidence in pursuing physical therapy diagnosis than watching the one who wrote the book.

Free Tutorial

Get free stuff at BulletproofPT.com

Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
No reproduction without authorization.

Share PTD with your Peers!

American Physical Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association
Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.