Saturday April 9, 2011

New Life Provides Physical Therapy Treatment for a Variety of Conditions

Patients and clients come to New Life clinics with many different diagnoses, either requesting, or have a referral for physical therapy treatment. A diagnosis is the art or act of identifying a disease from its signs and symptoms. Usually, the diagnosis is an attempt to identify the suspected “pain-generator” that is causing limitations of the patient’s daily activities.

Only one-third of physical therapy referrals have a specific pathology diagnosis or are anatomically specific (reference). A diagnosis, in most cases, does not direct physical therapy treatment. That may sound absurd, but think about it this way: you have a diagnosis of a bulging disc confirmed by MRI. However, there is poor correlation between MRI findings and cause of low back pain. If physical therapists are relying on X-Rays or MRIs to direct treatment, the treatment will likely be ineffective.
Physical therapists make a physical therapy diagnosis based on the suspected pathology in addition to physical limitations and impairments. As experts in human motion, physical therapist should develop a reason why (hypothesis) you developed low back pain. If that bulging disc is truly the pain-generator, then why did it happen? An absence of ibuprofen or Tylenol in your diet is probably not the reason! There is likely a combination of your posture, activities, or how you move, that caused the excessive strain on the disc.
Below is an example list of diagnosis of patients we have helped at New Life. There will be more to come in future blogs regarding the New Life approach to common medical diagnoses, including how we determine “Why” the body part is damaged or irritated and how you can manage it.
· Low Back Region:
o Lumbar Strain, and Low Back Pain (“lumbago”)
o Lumbar Radiculopathy, Radiculitis, or Sciatica
o Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction/Pain.
· Hip Region:
o Hip Pain.
o Tendonitis.
· Knee:
o Knee Pain.
o Knee Osteoarthritis.
o Condromalacia.
o Ligament Strain/Tear.
o Meniscus Tear.
· Neck:
o Neck pain.
o Stenosis.
o Thoracic outlet syndrome.
o Arthritis.
o Facet Arthropathy.
o Cervicogenic Headaches.
o “Trapeziuis” Strain.
· Shoulder:
o Shoulder pain
o Bursitis
· Elbow:
o Lateral Epicondylitis (“Tennis Elbow”).
o Medial Epicondylitis (“Golpher’s Elbow”).
· Wrist/Hand:
o Thumb arthritis
o “Trigger Finger.”