"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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"All In" for Physical Therapy!

Armin Lodges, PT has created the Florida Physical Therapists in Private Practice (FLPTPP) group to organize and collaborate for physical therapists' future in Florida.

Armin has scheduled a meeting at his clinic in Tampa on November 3rd to discuss strategy.

Armin has created these two "Prezi Slideshows" to get out the message. All interested Florida PTs should contact Armin at armin@restoretherapies.com or call 1.888.675.4331

Small practice therapists are at the mercy of large insurance companies and large hospitals and the recent healthcare reforms have further skewed the environment towards large, "vertically integrated" providers.

Let's all join Armin and fight for our livelihoods and for what we believe to be a better vision of healthcare for Americans.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

On the benefits of Seeing a Physiatrist

Not many people are familiar with the term “physiatrist”; while they know what a physical therapist does and they’re no strangers to doctors, they are not aware that a physiatrist is a physician and a physical therapist rolled into one.

Simply put, a physiatrist is the person who cares for people with physical impairments and disabilities and pain caused by acute and chronic conditions. They’re medical doctors who specialize in restoring optimal function to injured and damaged muscles, bones, tissues and the nervous system.

If you suffer from acute and chronic diseases that affect the quality of your life, cause you severe and debilitating pain, and prevent you from moving well or using your limbs and joints optimally, here’s why you would benefit from seeing a physiatrist:
  • You eliminate the need for surgery: some doctors may tell you that conditions like a slipped or prolapsed disc could require that you undergo a painful and stressful surgery – you not only have to go through the complicated procedure but also spend a lot of time in bed recuperating from the operating.
  • However, when you consult a physiatrist, you may find that there’s no need for a corrective surgery and that exercises and physical therapy alone are enough to improve the quality of your life, enable you to move freely, and eliminate the constant pain.

  • Treatment is customized for your condition: In physiatry, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment – your doctor is qualified to examine you thoroughly, analyze your condition, and suggest a holistic treatment that is designed to eliminate pain and enable fluid movement. Every patient is treated differently, based on their condition (chronic or temporary), pain level, ability to move, and difficulty in leading a normal life.

  • You boost the quality of your life: Even if your condition is not completely curable, your physiatrist will suggest ways to improve the quality of your life through moving aids and implements, teach you exercises that prevent loss of muscle mass and keep you active and flexible even though your mobility is limited, and continue to monitor your condition and change treatment based on your response and improvement.
Unlike chiropractors and massage therapists, a physiatrist is a fully qualified doctor with over 8 years of academic study and many years of experience.

A physiatrist can help you treat mobility issues and pain caused by various conditions including strokes, spinal cord injuries, sports-related injuries, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular disorders, cancer, brain injuries caused by trauma, lung conditions, back, knee and shoulder problems and other musculoskeletal disorders, accidental injuries, amputations, arthritis and other debilitating conditions, and other movement-related disorders that affect the quality of your life.

It takes patience and perseverance to improve the quality of your life and eliminate pain, so stick with your therapy, and see how much you stand to gain from physiatry.

By-line: This guest post is contributed by Paul Hench, he writes on the topic of masters in public health. He welcomes your comments at his email: paul.23hench@gmail.com

Paul decided to start a website to help students find online programs in Public Health. So he listed all the schools and Universities offering public health degree programs. He created the site MastersInPublicHealth.net and now he is providing his full efforts to bring this to the front.

He is trying to become the first unbiased resource that students can use to research every single accredited Public Health program offered by a college or university in the US.

Paul has a passion for writing articles on Health, Education and masters in public health programs. He and his wife Mary resides in Texas, USA and Mary is now continuing her online Masters in Public Health.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Treatment Trap

Author Rosemary Gibson, MD details the ills of the US healthcare system in her new book The Treatment Trap:

She spoke July 26th, 2010 at St. Peter's Healthcare System which was aired on C-Span 2 on September 5th, 2010 at 10:30am EST.

Here are some of her discussion points from her book:
  • Those who speak out against medical over-treatment risk being labelled, in this current political climate, as "rationing". Dr. Gibson speaks of over-treatment from a quality perspective, however, not from a financial perspective.
  • High-technology may not be the solution. Even Electronic Medical Records (EMR), the "savior" of modern healthcare, may not always deliver what it promises.
  • Obama's failure to implement tort reform with healthcare reform saddles doctors with a "fear factor" which drives wasteful medical spending.
  • The "fear factor" produces a "wall of silence" among doctors that perpetuate medical errors and prevents learning.
  • Palliative care produces better outcomes than expensive, high-risk, end-of-life care that often leaves the patient worse off.
This book is targeted to patients as well as non-policymaking practitioners. Dr Gibson presents "Twenty Ways to Protect Yourself" as practical advice for patients trying to negotiate American healthcare.

Perhaps one of her statements made in front of the TV camera provided me with the most compelling reason to order this book:
"Health insurance used to be about giving patients access to providers.
Now, it's about giving providers access to patients".

Friday, September 3, 2010

Empathy and Physical Therapy

Author and advisor to world leaders Jeremy Rifkin talks about Mirror Neurons (and more) that may explain how humans relate to each other.

His presentation begs the question:

If babies cry because other babies are crying, not because they are hurting or hungry, and their behavior is due to their "mirror neurons" that what implication does that have for our chronic pain patients in physical therapy.

How much chronic pain behavior is learned behavior, not mechanical?

Foe example, if I am treating a chronic pain patient who is anxious and depressed and I respond to him with empathy, optimism and encouragement will his mirror neurons cause his mental status to improve?

Can we measure his improvement clinically (without an MRI)?

Dr. Rifkin goes on to draw many other conclusions from his data on mirror neurons and the video is worth watching for his compelling arguments, scientific data and the interesting animations.

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 .

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