What to Expect
What to Expect at Your First Visit
If you’ve had physical therapy in the past,
you will discover your experience at SPINE PT to be refreshingly different.
Before your visit
Someone from our office will email you a new patient intake form to be filled out online. It should only take 5-8 min to complete. If you prefer, you could also arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment and one of our administrative assistants can assist you.
You will not need to change into a gown for the evaluation, but you will need to wear some comfortable and modest clothing that will allow you to move into various positions on the treatment table.
A good portion of the examination will be spent learning about your prior medical history, current condition, and things that influence your pain. You will be asked to demonstrate how much movement you have in the injured area and related joints (only moving as much as feels comfortable for you) to see where you are restricted and which positions are the best for you. The muscles and tissues will be assessed by gently pressing on them to see how they respond. This will help to identify the exact structures and tissues that are involved.
Pain in the spine can be caused by problems in other parts of the body so the evaluation may also assess other areas than where you are hurting. It is not uncommon to find a knee or foot issue that has caused the back problem. Once the tissues involved have been identified, treatment will begin.
The initial treatment usually starts with a new technique that many patients have referred to as “something out of Star Wars.” This technique is referred to as the “Primal Reflex Release Technique,” or PRRT. You can learn more about PRRT by visiting www.thePRRT.com . John Iams, the physical therapist who discovered the connection between our reflexes and pain and who created this technique, has many videos that explain the technique on his website.
PRRT sends gentle inputs to the central nervous system to help the muscles quickly calm down and relax. More of our pain is directly linked to the central nervous system’s involvement than we previously realized.
While many patients receive significant and rapid pain relief from this approach, PRRT does not fix every condition. Unfortunately, there is not one technique that fixes every condition. This is because there are three main causes of pain that I discuss in my e book, “Understanding Your Pain,” and PRRT only treats one of the three. I start with PRRT first because it is quick, easy on my patients, and helps a lot of people.
If PRRT doesn’t help reduce your pain, it means your pain is related more to a chemical and or structural related issue(s) that need to be addressed. A good example of a chemical and structural problem is a sprained ankle. There is swelling (inflammation is a chemical reaction) and damaged tissue with restricted movement (structural issues). Pain from a sprained ankle is coming from swelling, tissue damage, and restricted movement of the joints and tissues. This type of injury takes time to heal.
The time needed to heal chemical and structural issues can be drastically shortened by consistently providing the right input to the body. A skilled therapist can help a sprained ankle to heal in weeks, instead of months or years.
Chemical and structural issues of the spine are no different. There is no “quick fix” when dealing with structural issues but a skilled therapist can significantly shorten the healing time. The goal of each treatment is to gradually reduce the pain and restore mobility of the joints and tissues. SPINE PT helps people heal rapidly in weeks, instead of months and years.
Download a Free copy of my E-book “Understanding Your Pain,”
to better understand how your nervous system affects your pain.
Understanding Your Pain
How many visits will you need?
It’s difficult to know the exact number of visits you will need as everyone’s symptoms are unique. Typical patients are seen once a week for 6 visits. If you have experienced pain for over a year, the amount of inflammation and muscle guarding may sometimes require 8-12 visits to get under control. A more precise estimate can be given at your first visit after completing a comprehensive physical exam.
The Key to Rapid Pain Relief
We have great success in getting people out of pain fast because or our 3 Step Neuro Reset Program. This program quickly quiets down the nervous systems which allows us to make the soft tissue changes that are needed to treat the root cause of your pain. Here are the 3 steps:
- The first step is spending one-on-one time with our patients for an hour, using multiple manual therapy techniques that specifically target the tissues and structures involved in your pain.
- The second step is teaching our patients all the little things they are doing that are preventing the tissues from healing. Sitting and sleeping incorrectly are at the top of the list of activities that keep injuries from fully healing. Many people also have work duties or activities around their home which continue to exacerbate their pain. We help our patients understand the root cause of their pain so they can visualize which movements are causing their pain, and then teach them new, better ways of performing those activities in ways that are not only more comfortable, but will help them heal fast.
- The third step is giving our patients a 3 min home program. Only 3 minutes? YES! You don’t need a page of 8-10 exercises, that would take you 45 minutes to complete, like most PT clinics will give you. That’s a waste of time. You only need a few quick stretches and exercises that are specific to your condition. These are designed to reinforce the changes that were made during your visit to our clinic.
By teaching our patients exactly what the root cause of their pain is, and then teaching them some simple, quick stretches and exercises, they learn how to treat themselves if they ever hurt themselves again in the future. Early self treatment will help you to heal faster and most likely not need to return to the clinic.
How long will each session be?
The initial evaluation and first treatment will last for approximately 90 minutes. Follow up treatments are usually 45-60 minutes.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable and modest clothing that will allow you to move into various positions on the treatment table.
Uncertain if you are ready for an evaluation?
There are some that need a little more information before they feel ready to schedule their first appointment. I get it. I was in your shoes many years ago before I became a physical therapist. I didn’t know where to turn. Pain in the spine is very exhausting mentally and physically but so was searching out the many treatment options.
Schedule a free 20 min phone consult to see if we can help you.