Why You Should Go See Your Physical Therapist Instead of Going to “Physical Therapy”

This week, we had a patient tag our clinic on a comment thread on Facebook where individuals were talking about their experiences at “physical therapy”. One woman was complaining that she had “graduated from physical therapy three times for the same problem” and mentioned that she never saw the same therapist, only saw a therapist for a couple minutes, and that she was frustrated because her body felt like a car because it always needed to go to the “shop”.

Does this sound familiar? Are you struggling with not seeing results at physical therapy?

Or do you always feel tight, or like you always have a nagging injury? If so, you are not alone, and we hear this all of the time! It’s actually the reason many of our clients come to see us.

Many of these clients were hesitant to come see us because they thought that physical therapy wouldn’t work for them because it had not worked in the past. That is a big problem, because not all physical therapy is the same. That would be the same as you saying, “I ate at ‘restaurant’ before, and I didn’t like it, so I’m never eating at ‘restaurant’ again.”

Here at LeBauer Physical Therapy, we do things differently.

We believe that spending 10-15 minutes with patients is not enough time, and we don’t think that switching your therapist every session, or just watching you workout, is enough. The reason some people don’t see results is because the clinic that they were going to did not have the time to find the true cause of the problem, or did not have time to realize you weren’t progressing, and change the treatment plan when you stopped progressing.

This can also be the reason why you always feel like you are injured, or that your injury keeps coming back. If no one found the true cause of your pain, then all of that time was spent treating symptoms, but not fixing the problem. Often, we find that the problem is NOT where the pain is. Here at LeBauer Physical Therapy, we not only look at where your pain is, we look at the whole body, because sometimes it is a joint above or below, or even further away, that is causing your problem.

I once had a patient who had hip pain when she tried to deadlift over 300 pounds, but it wasn’t her hip that was the problem. It was her upper back, because as she would try deadlift, she wasn’t extending, which asked her hip to work harder. She was hurting in a place that was strong and overworking. She just had another area that didn’t know how to move anymore.  I don’t know why it happened; it could have been an injury, tightness, a protective mechanism. So, we got her upper back moving and then she was deadlifting 350 pounds, that’s a lot of weight!

I also have people who come in, and they have knee pain with running or knee pain with walking up and down stairs, but it’s not their knee that’s the problem. Even if they do have arthritis on an X-ray, the problem is that their hips or ankles are not moving, so now their knee has to do more work.

The muscles around the knee have to do more work to stabilize and where do they attach? They attach at your knee, but really it’s a muscle that’s trying to stabilize your hip, but it pulls at your knee and your knee hurts. You go in to see your primary care MD, or a specialist, or a surgeon, or someone else, and they don’t look at the whole body. They look where the pain is and they say, “Oh, you’ve got a knee problem. Let’s rest it. Let’s give you some medicine that’s injected. See if that works. You know what? You got Arthritis on the x-ray. We should replace it or do it a scope.” What’s really the problem? It’s up in their hip, their hips are unstable or their ankle doesn’t move because they sprained it a lot when they were younger. Not enough people are looking at the whole body.

Here at LeBauer PT we look at the whole body starting on your first visit here during a total body diagnostic visit.

Each client here at LeBauer PT has one therapist that they see for one-on-one care for their treatment plan. During each visit, we assess you and progress your treatment plan or modify it so that you continue to see progress. We also don’t see you three times a week for twelve weeks then say “bye, see you later”. Towards the end of your treatment plan, we start to spread your visits out, that way you can make sure that your results are lasting and long term.

You shouldn’t always feel like you are tight, injured, or like you need to be in physical therapy.

However, your body and movement are essential to your health, and you should treat it that way! Just like you go to your primary care doctor regularly for a check up, and just like you go to the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, you should also check in with your physical therapist regularly. This is why it is important that you go see your physical therapist, and not just go to “physical therapy”. You should know your physical therapist’s name, and have an established relationship with them. They should know your medical history and your injury history to help you solve your problems. It is also important to see your physical therapist regularly to know what problems or weaknesses your body has that you should be working on to help prevent pain and injury.

If physical therapy hasn’t worked for you, or if you are looking to find the root cause of your pain, or if you are looking to prevent future pain and injury, a total body diagnostic is the place to start.

During a total body diagnostic, one of our physical therapists will look at how your whole body moves, and then focus on finding the root cause of your issue. They will also give you a plan to help you solve your problem and reach your goals. The best part is that we are currently offering these total body diagnosis visits for free!

Click here to apply, or give us a call at 336-271-6677 to learn more and see if you qualify!

About The Author

Dr. Kaitlin Herzog

Dr. Herzog attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. She went on to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Wheeling Jesuit University. Kaitlin has been an athlete for most of her life and was introduced to physical therapy when she had several sports-related injuries. She decided to become a physical therapist to help others maintain an active lifestyle while staying pain free. Kaitlin uses a hands-on approach to help people of all backgrounds optimize their movement and performance. Dr. Herzog is a record-holding competitive powerlifter, and you can find her training or competing in her spare time. She also enjoys Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, yoga, sports, hiking, baking, crafts, traveling, and exploring Greensboro with friends.​

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