Manual Therapy and Therapeutic Exercise in the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain

Arizona Core Ambassador, Daniel Strauss, conducted a riveting presentation. It explored how manual therapy in conjunction with therapeutic exercise could benefit those patients diagnosed with chronic neck pain. Neck pain can be very complicated and often has many contributing factors.

Most interestingly, his presentation found different outcomes for short-term and long-term benefits for a treatment protocol using both manual therapy and therapeutic exercise. This is an interesting concept; it does play into potential outside factors contributing to neck pain. It raises an interesting question, one I which I hope can be answered in the future.

Why does manual therapy in conjunction with therapeutic exercise in the long-term have the same treatment outcomes as therapeutic exercise alone, but are different in the short-term?

Manual Therapy and Therapeutic Exercise in the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain

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Pedaling for Parkinson’s

Mikaila Foster, working with other student physical therapists, came up with a very unique way to treat a patient. Hint: it involved pedaling.

I began cycling while I lived with my previous college roommate. He was a member of the NAU triathlon team for a period of time, and has ran multiple marathons. Because of him I really started to appreciate what cycling could offer to my own health. A very close friend of mine actually took time to help me build a bike from the ground up. It is one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had.

I do not claim to be an expert by any means, but I do feel that I have some knowledge on the subject. My knowledge of cycling and my genuine passion for it predispose me to seek out research and treatment practices that pertain to it.

Enter: Pedaling for Parkinson’s.

The reason this is great, similar to therapeutic climbing and some other posts coming up, this type of therapy is fairly new and exciting! In essence, the project is centered around the idea that repetitive motions, such as pedaling, can generate the amount of repetitions  necessary for neural adaptation. It goes without saying that the current amount of repetitions are vastly lower than what should and could be offered. Unfortunately, our healthcare system is not efficient enough to offer patients the most beneficial practices all of the time.

What Mikaila and the other SPTs did was just short of extraordinary. She is proposing a new and unique exercise treatment for individuals with Parksinson’s. It’s an aspect of therapy that many have not considered as a viable option. I love what they did and I know I will consider it as a treatment option, especially because of my own positive experiences with cycling.
Pedaling for Parkinson’s

Interventions in Treating Patients with Low Back Pain

Sara Patterson, a second year classmate of mine, presented on the effectiveness of traction versus manipulation as a treatment for low back pain (LBP).

This hatches an interesting debate. I personally would love to see more evidence comparing the two as Sara emphasizes in her presentation.

Interventions in Treating Patients with Low Back Pain

Therapeutic Climbing for LBP

Tori Orlowski, a second year in my class presented on the therapeutic effects that climbing could have for people diagnosed with Low Back Pain (LBP). 

The theorized traction and postural muscle strengthening has very possibly real effects. I think it creates a new and exciting experience for our patients within a controlled environment. 

What makes climbing more interesting as a possible treatment, is that it can create a culture of competition. What patient doesn’t want to improve? When Tori was asked about the cost of a climbing system, she said it would be relatively cheap. The most expensive thing would be the hand holds. 

Tori did a great job introducing and selling a new possible treatment technique to me; I hope you all take the time to decide for yourself!

Therapeutic Climbing for LBP

Providing Care with a Language Barrier

One of my classmates, Sarah Bade, gave a wonderful presentation about working with a patient when a language barrier is present.

Before you read the presentation, I will emphasize that this was done well. Sarah explored a topic that most people inherently know, but often do not have the resources or knowledge to do anything about. It is simple: when treating a patient who speaks a different primary language than yourself, it is better to have another healthcare professional as a translator. I failed to realize that it truly affects treatment.Incorporating more bilingual providers into the system may seem like a daunting task, but this could change the shape of not only our profession, but of healthcare as a whole.

Personally, I have worked with this patient intermittently throughout the last year. As a person of Hispanic decent with very little knowledge of Spanish,  I can confidently say that communication was strained without my Spanish-speaking classmates present. I agree with Sarah and her conclusion. I think we as practitioners should strive to provide the best care for the people we are serving, any way we can.

Lastly, although this entire presentation is about a language barrier, I want to stress the capabilities we all have. As physical therapists we often have the skills necessary to interact, communicate, and even motivate people psychologically. I think these skills, often ignored or forgotten, are still our biggest assets. I want to say that although  language barriers can be present, we can still have a relationship with our patient that fosters the same genuine care for them and their diagnoses.

Providing Care with a Language Barrier

What is the value in attending the Arizona Physical Therapy Association’s Conference?

Need a little push to attend? Why not read about the VALUE?

Date: Friday, October 14th-15th

Location: A.T. Still University, 5850 E. Still Circle, Mesa, Arizona  85206

Time: 8:00 AM

Facebook: Moving the Profession Forward! PT Pub Night

What is the value in attending the Arizona Physical Therapy Association Conference?

The 2016 Moving the Profession Forward- AzPTA Fall Conference is something you won’t want to miss. There will be subject matter for everyone in physical therapy. Topics relate to all patient populations: Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Orthopedics, Neurology, Women’s Health, Sports, and Nutrition.  There will be interactive symposiums on Education, Legislation, and Association where you can help shape the future of your profession. PT Pub Night is happening Friday evening, which is always a fun social event for all to enjoy. This is the place to be for all Arizona Physical Therapists, assistants, and students.

The VALUE of attending a conference of this nature is simple: information. Not everyone wants to be “involved.” Some individuals do not want to be responsible for going to capitol hill and advocating for physical therapy. They don’t feel drawn to volunteer time outside of class or work, or do anything besides learn or practice patient care. It is important to mention that most of us, if not all, entered this great profession to help people. Being “involved” is very different than being “informed.” It is our professional duty to be as informed as possible about the current issues within physical therapy, the best treatments, and even networking! Attendance at a statewide conference is just that; part of our professional duty to be informed. It offers an avenue to gain insights of best practice from experts in the field. It opens lines of communication to people who are conducting research and progressing our field. Lastly, it gives you a composed outlook on the profession of physical therapy; a balance of its issues and benefits.

The APTA has created a list of core values that all individuals in the profession should exemplify. The list of core values, with the fun little acronym ACE SAID, includes: Accountability, Altruism, Compassion, Excellence, Integrity, Professional Duty,  and Social Responsibility. Attending meetings, such as the AZ Chapter Fall conference, helps a professional to: continue to progress the quality of patient care, become more aware of the needs of the community/state one lives in, advocate for the health and wellness of your patients as well as the profession. This is a home-run hit on all the bases of the APTA Core values. If that is not convincing enough, attending a conference leaves you with so much new information, new knowledge on how to grow as a clinician, better connections with the community, new tools to market yourself and connect within the PT world, and overall feeling called “conference euphoria.” What could be better?

Renewed vigor is not easy to come by. Many professionals strain and force their professional involvement. Perhaps not surprising is that we lose the initial vigor we had as energized students. As students, we have innate passion about this profession. It’s evident by our interactions with one other in class, discussions on social media, and attendance at national conferences. It is our professional duty to attend conferences of this magnitude, but value comes from what you bring. I mean this: as students, we have the uncanny ability to speaks our minds, question our predecessors, and push the envelope to innovate ideas within the field. This conference creates a platform to do just that; and of course, keep us informed! Let’s help each other renew our vigor by demonstrating our passion for this field, and creating an environment of energy and change at the State Meeting.

Also, a quick shout out to Jennifer Howe (@jenniferhowept on Twitter) who was a major contributor to this post and as well some others that will be coming out!