What are we missing?
Here is the truth when it comes to rehabilitation: there is no single formula to follow that will guarantee improvements or no pain in few visits or 1 day. With physical therapy and the rehabilitation world emphasizing on research there are many so and so called ‘protocols’ now.
Don’t get me wrong, protocols are great and it has given me results. However, although it may be specific to a diagnosis, protocols are a general way to treat a certain condition. I quote Dr. Andreo Spina when I took his Functional Range Release course (I’ll be taking the Upper Extremity one in January by the way):
“When you treat generally, you get a GENERAL result. If you treat with specific intent, you get a SPECIFIC result.”
This means that protocols are great because it will work majority of the time but countless times I would hit a road block with my patients.
So….. what was lacking?
Personalization. Personalization, to me is usually the missing ingredient. Not this amazing manual therapy technique or a modality. Its the ability to assess a patient, find what the individual needs and base a rehabilitation process out of it. I’ve found that even two people who come to my office with the SAME EXACT diagnosis need vastly different solutions or interventions.
Once the program is individualized, then the manual therapy technique may improve its efficiency by ten fold.
When I stopped assuming how a patient may present with certain diagnosis (i.e.- herniated disc), I started getting much better results. I objectively assessed and treated what I found.
Research, protocols and general treatments are great and I still use them as a guideline because it can give me a pattern to certain diagnosis. However, I don’t want to forget that I’m treating YOU as an individual and not as a diagnosis.
I mean, what patient wouldn’t like an individualized program anyway? The retention rate will probably go up too since they know you specially made it for them:).