The physical therapy community is mourning the passing of a great physiotherapist. Robin McKenzie, founder of the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, died peacefully yesterday at age 82.
Robin was the founder of the McKenzie Method, a system of evaluation and treatment of the spine and extremities that involves repeated end range motions and positions to help classify a patient into treatment categories. This classification system helps to guide patients in treating their problem. The hallmark of the McKenzie Method is active patient involvement and teaching the patient to engage in self-care exercises and positions.
Robin was often quoted as saying, "My patients taught me all know." He believed that each patient held the answer to their own problem, and each patient's problem could be sorted out by listening and by applying specific motions and positions to the body.
For over 50 years, the McKenzie Method has been used to help patient move better, feel better, and gain experiential knowledge of their musculoskeletal conditions. If you have a movement dysfunction, perhaps a McKenzie trained therapist is the right clinician for you. You can find one at the McKenzie Method website. There you can also read Robin's obituary and post a tribute in honor of this great therapist.
Rest in peace, Mac.
Last week I wrote a blog post about a new law in Indiana that would allow direct access to physical therapy for patients in that state. Indiana is now the 50th state in the US that allows some form of direct access to our services.
Now, I think it's time for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to get the word out.
So often, patients call me with musculoskeletal problems and ask to make an appointment with me. They often ask if they should call their physician so a prescription can be faxed on over. I tell them that they are able to access my services directly. (In my state, there is limited direct access. A patient who self-refers to physical therapy can be seen for 10 visits of 30 days, and then he or she must see their physician to continue PT if necessary.)
Last week I had a previous patient who came in for an evaluation for a minor calf strain. I asked him if he went to his family doctor first before coming to therapy. "Why?" he answered. "My doctor would poke my calf once and then send me to you anyway." My patient knew that I would take the time to offer treatments to help his calf strain and solutions to prevent future problems with it.
When a patient is finished with a course of physical therapy in my clinic, I tell the patient to call me first with any future problems. I explain that they can self-refer to physical therapy if they wanted to.
So the APTA should be on a mission to tell everyone about direct access to physical therapy services. We need catchy slogans like "Physical Therapy First." Perhaps we need a commercial during the Super Bowl to tell the world that direct access to a physical therapist is safe, can save money, and can help get you on the road to recovery faster. Let's spend the money now and reap the benefits for years to come.
Twisted ankle: physical therapy first. Woke up with low back pain: physical therapy first. Knee pain after running that 5k this weekend: physical therapy first.
Sure, we don't solve all problems. But a reasonable and safe first step for many people with pain and movement dysfunction is an assessment from a physical therapist.
If you are having pain or a problem with functional mobility, find a physical therapist and have your condition evaluated. You may learn that physical therapy first is a great way to quickly get on the road to recovery.
On April 30th, 2013, the governor of Indiana signed into law HB1034 which allows that state's residents direct access to physical therapists. This is a landmark law, as all 50 states and the District of Columbia now offer some form of direct access to physical therapy services.
The new law would allow patients to self-refer to Indiana physical therapists for evaluation and treatment. Treatments that incude sharp wound debridement and spinal manipulation will still require Read More...
Today was lobby day for the New York Physical Therapy Association in my home state. Over 300 physical therapists met with our state's lawmakers in Albany to discuss the impact of several proposed bills on our profession and our patients.
One bill (S.2319 Defransisco/A.1666 Cahill) addresses the need to control high copays that patients may be required to pay while attending physical therapy. Many insurance companies designate physical therapists as "specialists" and require patients to pay a higher "specialist" copay for each office visit. High out-of-pocket costs may lead patients to elect to not seek physical therapy care as a result. The bill would end the practice of designiating physical therapists as specialists.
What do you think? Are copays too high? Should physical therapists be considered specialists so their patients pay the higher copay rate?