2 Replies to “Why Physical Therapy is the Answer for Neck Pain”

  1. Eric:

    This is a good video clip – thanks for posting. However, I will throw a couple of ideas out there to consider.

    The video reports "eight treatment visits is standard". I would challenge the assertion that neck pain requires that many visits as "standard" (for most cases).

    Another thought: if a patient has the tools to perform the same movements that decrease or abolish symptoms and improve/restore function (under their own volition), then should we continue to provide "manual physical therapy"?

    Much of this speaks to the self-perceived role of the physical therapist in the care of the patient. Many want to be "fixers", others want to be "facilitators" or "educators". There is a subtle (but important) difference when it comes down to the patient's understanding of cause and effect and their "learning experience" with PT. As but one example, there are tremendous similarities between manual therapy and the McKenzie method … yet the former opts for "therapist-generated forces" first, whereas the latter opts for "patient-generated forces" first. I would suggest there may be an elemental difference in how the patient perceives these roles.

    I think this is not only an issue of cost/efficacy. It's also an issue of "prevention". Based on the statistics, people who have neck and back pain typically have recurrent episodes. The patient must have the capacity to apply self-treatment procedures without a PTs intervention should there be a recurrence. Then I think we'll be looking at real changes in both long-term outcome and cost of care.

  2. Thanks for this, Eric. Brief and positive and appropriately representative of our profession. (Rare in the media in my opinion.) I will find a way to share this on my blog (no longer on your blogroll, but perhaps you are elitely orthopedic adult oriented?) Speaking of which, part of my blog-mission is to bring more attention to preserving the orthopedic status of children who are neurally/developmentally slow (or altered). We have a long history of separating promoting motor development from the orthopedic consequences of slow development (atrophy and osteopenia).

    I also appreciate abesselink's comment. For those who promote "patient-generated (and initiated?) forces" I recommend the book by Lisa Morrone, PT.

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