Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Great Debate

I recently listened to a spirited debate on the PT Journal Podcast regarding two approaches to classification and manipulation for LBP. I strongly encourage you to download the file or subscribe to the podcast and listen for yourself. The debaters Timothy Flynn, PT PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT, and Christopher Maher, PT, PhD brought out some very salient points regarding the assessment and treatment of mechanical low back pain.

To be honest, I had to listen to the debate multiple times to pick out some of the really strong take-home messages that emerged from the discussion. While the debate was focused on the assessment and management of LBP, it had me thinking more rigorously about how these themes could apply to other aspect to our practice. In no particular order of importance:

  • The widespread use of the term "nonspecific" low back pain is inadequate and misleading. It would be analogous to our medical colleagues using the words "nonspecific" abdominal pain and contributes to further confusion regarding accurate diagnosis and management.

  • There is a need to develop standardized clinical practice patterns and a unified language with respect to the dosage and modes of manual therapy we deliver to our patients.

  • There is still considerable variation between highly trained individuals regarding the classification, assessment, and management of mechanical low-back pain.

You can download the link by right-clicking here and saving to your hard drive.

I hope you will download this debate and continue to reevaluate your methodology with respect to evaluation and management of not only low back pain, but other complex conditions as well. Our aim as orthopedic therapists should be to continually elevate our standards of practice. Take care and talk to you soon!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Well folks, I never thought I would actually do something like this, but I've finally decided to venture into the blogosphere.

I currently practice as a facility director of an outpatient clinic near Houston, TX. I began my career in exercise science, but was gradually drawn into physical therapy. I completed my training at UTMB in 2002 and have been practicing in outpatient orthopedics from day one. I've particularly enjoyed integrating the principles of exercise and training to my practice, and have discovered a renewed passion for orthopedic manual therapy through the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine.

Over the last two years, I have done quite a bit of soul-searching trying to outline the impact I would like to have on this profession. I enjoy treating orthopedic cases, teaching students in a clinical setting, and now I hope to continue giving to the profession that has added so much to my life.

My reasons for jumping into the fray are several. Firstly, I'd like to contribute to the exciting and every-growing body of knowledge in orthopedic physical therapy. So many exciting things are occurring within our profession in terms of research, clinical practice, and professional development. I think if we are able to bring our professional standing within the health care community on par with our body of knowledge, we will continue to set the standard for orthopedic rehabilitation for years to come.

I hope to make consistent additions to this blog. As this is my first attempt at blogging, please allow me to gradually refine and define the theme, topics, and general tone. My intuition tells me you will be reading quite a bit of gathered information in the form of literature reviews, clinical updates, professional issues, and sometimes just personal thoughts. Stick around and hopefully we'll all keep defining our mark on this profession.