Ann Arbor Physical Therapy

Why TYPICAL Physical Therapy Didn't Help Your Pain

If you’ve ever trusted a physical therapist, chiropractor, or any healthcare provider but are still in pain….we are sorry!

We understand making a decision takes a lot of courage.

You open up about your pain and give your hopes for a brighter future to an individual who is there to support you. It can be a vulnerable process.

But unfortunately, there is always a chance for disappointment.

You may still be in pain, you may regret wasting your time doing exercises that didn’t help, you may resent that you spend so much energy into something that failed.

But I urge you, please do not give up. And I give this example to give you clarity.

If you needed a roof fixed on your house and you talked to one company, how do you know there is not a more qualified service out there?

The same goes for pain.

Just like any industry, there are specialists who are just poor at what they do….

Many are mediocre.

Only a few are exceptional at what they do!

Set high standards, and make sure you never tolerate anything but the best for your recovery. Your health and future are way too important!

For this reason, we have designed a FREE Discovery visit to On Track Physio to meet us before ever making a commitment. It’s our way of showing you the difference and expertise we have in this field!

Injuries vs. "Wobby Jobber"

This is a quote which really resonates with me as it relates to injuries:

“You have to listen when it whispers as opposed to waiting for it to yell!”

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The idea is simple: if you ignore minor aches and pains, they rarely just magically disappear.

Instead, they start to amplify by volume or intensity. Causing you to reach a painful threshold where a TRUE injury happens and more extensive intervention is required. The research actually supports this concept - but only if you know how to dig a bit deeper.

One study in particular is this Scandinavian study of patellar tendinopathy in junior basketball players. This study had 134 teenagers (268 total knees examined) and found that only 19 tendons presented clinically with symptoms.

However, under ultrasound diagnostic examination, 22% of the remainder of the group who had no pain, could be diagnosed with tendinopathy. In other words, "ultrasound tendon abnormality is 3 times as common as clinical symptoms or being in pain."

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This study just looked at teenagers, who are markedly less likely to have tendinopathy than older individuals.

What if they did this study on middle-aged men playing hoops at the local YMCA. The point is that whether you have symptoms or not, you likely have some changes in your tissues.

Now to be honest, this study isn't particularly shocking to anyone who's looked at MRIs of asymptomatic (not in pain) individuals.

I’ve seen loads of x-rays, MRIs, and Diagnostic Ultrasounds in non painful people but according to their diagnostic image they have a rotator cuff tears or spondylolysis (stress fractures) or torn labrums or herniated discs. This list goes on and on…

The point I am making is that if we just treat a person’s image we are missing the boat.

It’s also a reminder that we often have several issues that might just be waiting to reach a painful threshold if we aren't cognizant of our training volume and intensity - and our movement quality.

The country background in me refers to these slight movement problems as a bit "wobby jobbered". In other words, something is a bit “off” and not necessarily a problem currently but could be a contributing factor to something down the road.

Maybe it's that cranky knee first thing in the morning, but feels good after you warm it up. Or, it's that stiff neck you get after a few hours of working at the computer, but feels better after your spouse massages your neck (ha yea right!). Or maybe its a shoulder that bugs you only when you bench press, but feels pretty good when you do rows instead.

Maybe it's seeking out some extra manual therapy in a specific area that we provide at On Track Physio. Maybe it’s a more individualized home program or warm-up to address movement issues. It might even be that you strategically drop particular exercises from your program at various points during the year.

If nothing more, understand that good training and movement teaches your body how to spread stress over multiple joints. Instead of that cranky knee taking on 90% of the load, we work on hip and ankle mobility and strength so that it might only have to be 30%. Spreading out the stress ensures that one area is less likely to feel “wobby jobbered”.

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Distribute stress requires you understand what quality movement actually looks like, and that's unfortunately where a lot of healthcare professionals fall short. Which is why we offer a Free Discovery Session to all new clients in order to experience the difference at On Track Physio!

4 Biggest Mistakes To Avoid When Recovering From Injury

Ann Arbor, Mi

To many people fall to these 4 common mistakes when getting out of pain. Ultimately leading to longer recovery times, frustrations, and unnecessary dollars spent at the doctors office.

When you get these 4 things right, often times you get back to the things you enjoy most in life much sooner!

#1) Don’t treat the symptoms….Treat the cause

This may sound counter intuitive, but stick with me here. Treating the symptoms may momentarily help your pain. But more than likely it does not solve the root problem which put you in this situation. Solving the root problem is the key to never having to deal with the issue again. While we do things at On Track Physio to help ease your pain. We also always talk about solving the root problem, and we are always testing movements out to make sure this is actually what we are accomplishing.

#2) Jumping the gun

Reach for some medication, go to your primary care physician who prescribed the medication. You go to a surgeon who recommends surgery. Is surgery and reliance on medication what you really want? Broaden your horizon to other options that are out there which can solve your problems. People spend more time searching for hotels on vacation then they do a healthcare provider. Do your due diligence, don’t assume, and trust the person giving you medical advice.

#3) Settling

“Everybody deals with it”….. “Your getting older”…. “That’s just the way it is.”

Media, our family and friends, facebook, etc they all give us preconceived notions which aren’t always true. A lot of times healthcare providers and people in general will be searching for just one problem. When in reality, our bodies are much more complex than that. Focusing in on one things is doing your body an injustice. Focus on treating the human body as a whole and you will get a much better outcome.

#4) Focus on the wrong things

Focus on the cost??

How long will it take??

Will my insurance cover it??

But let me ask you this…..What is you pain costing you right now?

What are you currently missing out on right now because of your pain? What relationships is it affecting? What activity with friends and family can you not do because of the limitation? What is that costing your right now???

What is the cost of not taking action?

The cost of not taking action will be exponentially worse than the little things you are focused on right now.

Again, go back to #3. Do your due diligence and find someone you trust to give you the outcome you desire.

Then take action!

If you’d like to see how On Track Physio can help you, we make it as easy as possible to remove barriers. Our goal is for you to start taking action. We provide a FREE Discovery visit to give you clarity on what the problem is, so that you can take action (whether that’s with us or someone else). Our goal is simple, give you clarity on the steps necessary to improve and start taking action.

Back and Shoulder Pain Recovery Story (“More Improvement in 6 Treatments than 30 Session Experienced Elsewhere”)

Matt - Back/Shoulder Pain, Ann Arbor

Injury: Limiting his exercise routine, impacting life at work and home.

Matt initially came to On Track Physio for a lingering shoulder issue which did not resolve with other rehabilitation methods. He had actually accumulated ~30 visits with another provider before finding us!

Looking for an alternative option, Matt found us online and we started with a Free Discovery Session.

We sat down and discussed how his shoulder was limiting him and what life would look like once the shoulder pain resolved. Then we mapped out our plan of attack to get him where he felt fully confident in his shoulder again.

Over the course of 6 treatments Matt noticed significant progress and was kind enough to write us this google review:

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Unfortunately, about 3 months later he experienced an unrelated injury. A flare up of a previous low back disc herniation.

Being familiar with our process and having success in the past, Matt set up another appointment with us to address his current low back issue.

After 5 visits his back was feeling much better and no longer dealing with frequent discomfort at work or bending forward. The ability to see us so soon after the injury was very helpful to get him recovered FASTER!

Matt’s story is very similar to many of the clients we treat here at On Track Physio. Starting with Free Discovery Session, then feeling positive and noticeable improvements within 6 session….Even if failing other treatment options (Remember, Matt received 30 visits of treatment prior to starting with On Track Physio).