How is your PT going right now? Are you making progress? Are you meeting your goals? Do you feel supported? Are you on target to return back to your sport?
We believe that every Physical Therapist is unique in their treatment style and brings value to their patients and clients in some way. We also believe however, that it is important that you are working with a PT who has experience and strengths with patients similar to your injury. Unfortunately, what often happens is your MD/Ortho may have certain PTs that he/she refer to that may not have the skills and additional expertise to work with you as an athlete.
But there is Hope…..
You can CHOOSE wherever you want to go for Physical Therapy AND you don't need a referral from an MD to go there. Did you know this? Right here in sunny CA we have a thing called Direct Access- which means you have direct access to your very own super-hero PT without seeing your medical doctor first.
Why is this important?
First ….NOT ALL PHYSICAL THERAPISTS ARE TRAINED TO WORK WITH ATHLETES
In school we learn the basics. When we get out and start practicing, we specialize in the are we choose to work in and we build our experience and add to it by taking additional classes and training. For example, a sports PT will be a Physical Therapist, but well also have additional certs such as CSCS(Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist) , CFSC(Certified Functional Strength Coach) , FRC(functional range conditioning), KinesioTaping, NASM or personal training certificates, work with teams, take classes regularly to support the sports and athlete they work with, and are or have been involved with sports throughout their lives. This additional training supports the knowledge needed to take an athlete from rehabilitation to return to sport.
Second….ALL THERAPISTS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL.
I wear a Red Cape but Dr. P wears a Blue one (specifically teal). j/k. Choosing someone who "speaks your language" will ultimately be your best bet for success. Often times we see better success with a patient who has a PT that knows their sport. For example a weight lifter may have more success with a PT who lifts weights, a soccer player will have more success with a PT who played or understands the demands of soccer. This does not mean that the PT you work with has to know all sports and activities. However, they do need to be willing to learn it through the rehabilitation process and build sports specific concepts into the return to sport process.
Third….NOT ALL PATIENTS GET THE SAME AMOUNT QUALITY TIME & TREATMENT WITH THEIR PT.
There are many clinics out there that are what we call "mills". They see multiple patients per hour and tend to focus on passive modalities such as E-stim, ultrasound and ice. This style of treatment affects the therapist being able to provide quality care for each patient and it will ultimately affect the quality of care and attention of the patient (you!) will receive. Unfortunately, they're focus becomes how many patients they can treat versus how many successful outcomes they can have. When a PT can not give a patient quality time, they can not give them quality treatment. Many clinics run like this.
And Lastly….YOU NEED TO GO BACK STRONGER THAN YOU WERE BEFORE YOUR INJURY
If you got injured in your sport it could have been a fluke. All injuries can not be avoided. But likely, you had some weakness, imbalance or movement dysfunction in your body that was present prior to the injury. The goal of a Sports Physical Therapy clinic is to send you back stronger and a better athlete than you were prior to the injury. Sports PT’s use their additional training and skills to not just rehabilitate your injury, but also get you stronger than you were prior to your injury to reduce your risk of reinjury and help you be an even better athlete.
Once again there is HOPE….
A NEW WAVE OF PT IS ON THE HORIZON.
It is focused on specialization. 1 on 1 time with patients. Quality Care. Continued Support. Knowledge of sport. Ongoing education.
PT clinics like this, LIKE US, are out there. We want the BEST for you. You want to BEST for you. So find the BEST out there to help you get FULLY back to your sport. YOU deserve the BEST care and the opportunity to be the BEST athlete on the field.
Yours in strength,
Dr. Brown & Dr.P