I was recently evaluating a patient for low back pain who within the last 6 months had PT at another location for same condition. I asked him what type of procedures were performed to assist in his recovery. I tend to do this in general to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t work so I am not performing same treatment hoping for a different result (as it didn’t work for pain relief or function at previous clinic).
I noted what he said in bullet form verbatim:
- “Get on bike and pedal”
“pull rubber bands”
“band pull machine”
“leg presses with total gym”
“knees to chest lying on back”
“rolling ball on one side of table to the other”
“put heat and electrical on back”
If this patient was telling a friend, family member or even healthcare professional…what would they THINK we do as a physical therapy profession?
I can tell you: A bunch of rolling around exercises with a ball and massages to the low back with heat.
Get real guys. Patients need and want more than this.
As much as some people will bash mobilizations/manipulations/dry needling or that we do not need specific directional exercise training, these procedures carry weight in what patients remember and pass on to others about what we DO as a profession. Specialization is in our future as patients will need to seek it out.
Results carry weight too. My experience and anyone else who treats back pain in the clinic everyday will tell you that the rubber bandy pulls do not get results. Lack of results do not progress our profession. Patients continue to seek services elsewhere.