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How have your PT experiences been?(21 posts)

How have your PT experiences been?Kristin
Dec 16, 2002 7:21 AM
How long did you have PT? For what? And was it effective? Did you get the sense that your PT understood your problem and knew how to correct it?

Last year, when I had ITBS, I found myself caught in an endless schedule of ineffectual PT appointments. I finally quit because I felt that I wasn't recovering, and that I was getting poor advice which was causing re-injury. I also suspected that the office was over scheduling to bilk my insurance. I've had other PT in the past with similar results.

How are PT's trained? Is it a verified science? Are we sure that it works? How many years of schooling do they get?
that meant something different in high schoolDougSloan
Dec 16, 2002 7:35 AM
After blowing out my shoulder and having surgery, I went to a PT once, and learned some things that allowed me to do my own PT. That helped. I saw no reason to go back.

I dated a PT once and never got a thorough massage. I was very dissappointed in learning that that is not what they do. Rather, they torture people into feeling better.

Keep in mind that there are good and bad ones, just like everything else, regardless of training. They can make good money. I think the training or certification requirements vary by state. Here's some info on a California program.
re: How have your PT experiences been?JL
Dec 16, 2002 7:39 AM
I had PT on my shoulder a few years back. It was very effective for me. I spent about 10 weeks visiting and yes they understood my problem and how to correct it.

As for schooling, a "registered" PT goes to multiple years of school. One of my good friends just completed his Masters program for PT. I'll call him before seeing my orthopedist(sp?) for advise any day.
They definitely don't go to the 6 month program at the Catherine Gibb's School of PT. I think, as with anything medical or otherwise, there are just OK PT's and very good PT's who really know their stuff. Too bad your experience wasn't a good one.

Orthopedists, however, have been the mixed bag for me :)

John
Ditto re: orthopedistsj-son
Dec 16, 2002 4:52 PM
I'm currently undergoing a PT regimen for a pretty severe shoulder injury I sustained at work. In a matter of about three weeks with 3 x week PT sessions, I have progressed from about 20% range of motion to almost 60%. I have found my 2 PTs to be well informed and very knowledgable about physiology and anatomy. They are also very receptive to my active lifestyle, ie cycling, mtn biking, running, lifting, swimming etc etc.

My experience with my orthopedist is a very different story. During the course of my treatment, I've seen him for a maximum of ten minutes during the initial exam immediately after I was injured. That's the extent of my contact with him. We spoke very little, he poked and prodded a bit and ordered an MRI. He doesn't seem all that interested in my injury or recovery.

I think my PTs like working with me because I was in very good shape before I wsa injured, and I acutally do my "homework." In fact, they've told me that I have a tendencyy to oder do it, and the problem they generally see is people who refuse to do the routines prescribed as "homework." Most of the patients I see at the PT office are overweight and elderly.

Regards,
Jason
Shoot first then ask questions...JL
Dec 17, 2002 5:56 AM
That was my experience with the one. He's one of the best in my area, but giving a cortisone shot first wouldn't have been my first choice. They (the shots that is) don't necessarily fix the problem and can actually impeed full recovery.

His son, who I like much better, tries to find the real problem first and then move onto fixing the problem. I'm still not thrilled with them though. Now I call my PT buddy first for advice and go from there.

John
re: How have your PT experiences been?PEDDLEFOOT
Dec 16, 2002 7:42 AM
My experince with physical therapy is much like yours.I went to a clinic a few years ago for the same thing and found that after three months of therapy I wasn't getting any better.I did evrything that was prescribed by the therapist and never missed an appointment.

I wouldn't want to say that all physical therapy is ineffective because I have friends that have had great success with it.My feelings are more that either the ailment I had was either very hard to rehab or that the clinic I went to wasn't the best.I don't know.

As for training I believe that you need a 4year degree in that field before you can take the exam for your license.At least thats what the Illinois standard is.

I would be interested in anyone else with more info to join in and let us know.It seems to be something we all have been through or may go through in the future.
re: How have your PT experiences been?FTMD
Dec 16, 2002 8:22 AM
I did PT for about 5 months for maltracking issues/chrondomalicia. It was terribly ineffective. I got the sense that my PT was at a loss, and he eventually said, quote, "I don't think I can do anything else for you." I had been reading everything I could on the issue and put myself on my own program which has worked wonders.

I was really put out one day. Another PT in the clinic, who was with a shoulder patient at the time, looked at my PT and said, "these shoulders are too much work, I wish I had a knee patient right now so I could just tell them to go to the corner and stretch." Very unprofessional.

I think you are right. They schedule 5 or 6 patients at a time and the PT winds up giving no one patient the time they deserve. All about the insurance dollars.
My 2 centsPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Dec 16, 2002 8:24 AM
Unless you have a very severe injury that makes it so your unable to walk (lets hope noone here has that happen) I think PT's are overrated. Sure they have all the machines but unless its really severe if your capable of doing a workout on your own then maybe go a couple times... get the excercises and icing schedule and do it on your own.

PT's have on average 6 years of school with a kines degree here in Canada. But they also are a business and weekly or bi-weekly clients means money in the pocket for them.

Nick
PodiumBound.ca
re: How have your PT experiences been?netso
Dec 16, 2002 8:31 AM
PT's have done very little for me. However, you can have bad MD's, chiropractors etc. That does not mean we should condemn them all.
Did I condemn anyone? nmKristin
Dec 16, 2002 8:36 AM
nope...n/mToothpick
Dec 16, 2002 8:49 AM
perhaps you need some other kind of therapist. relax a little NMFrith
Dec 16, 2002 10:57 AM
Only good experienceseyebob
Dec 16, 2002 8:58 AM
I met a good PT when I worked at a hospital for the Public Health Service and as a previous poster noted, they do put you through quite a work-out (pain) when necessary. I had my R ACL reconstructed and was given some PT to do which I found very beneficial. In general my experiences have been good. Sound like you need to keep looking. Ask around. If you're PCP sent you there ask for others, or maybe suggestions from a different PCP. Do you know whether your problem could be alleviated by acupuncture.

BT

Good luck.
re: PT worked for mebrurider
Dec 16, 2002 9:08 AM
I had PT for a torn rotator cup, then later on after having orthroscopic surgery on my knee cartildege. BOth times the providers were very professional. I actually enjoyed going and getting the one on one help. However, FWIW, the PT assistants provided most of the support under the guidance of the PT after the PT did the initial evaluation. One thing I liked about getting the one on one, versus the home remedies, these people are supposed to know what they are doing and can assist you in making sure you are actually doing your stretching and strength building exercises the proper way.I would recommend it, but as others have said, find a good one.
re: How have your PT experiences been?DINOSAUR
Dec 16, 2002 9:47 AM
I had to scroll through a couple of post to find out what the heck a "PT" was (part time job?)....

I have not had very good luck. I had achilles tendon problems way back in the middle 80's and my Dr sent me to a PT. She recommended that I just stop running, which I did, and took up swimming, which balanced with my Mr Mom duties at the time (not enough time for cycling at that time of my life). Swimming was great exercise and I loved it, but it made me pack weight on like Andy Rooney eating chocolate chipped cookies (private joke there).

My second encounter is when I broke my right in 1995 and was sent to a PT. My hand never fully recovered and I still have problems typing fast and have to force myself to go slow to avoid typos. I have about 90% use of my right hand. My option at this time is surgery (no thanks). I can do just about anything accept hit someone with a closed fist (which is how I broke it in the first place). So if I got into a fight with someone I would have to slap him to death (or hit him with my purse).

But I imagine that anything else it depends on the PT and your injury. Some things will never be the same again no matter what...
some good, some not so..dotkaye
Dec 16, 2002 10:02 AM
had PT for ITB many years ago, got the feeling the PT knew less about the problem than I did.. not very helpful.
Also had PT for a lower back problem last year, insurance only paid for 12 visits, but they were excellent. Knew what to do, fixed the problem, told me what to do for maintenance. So if your PT isn't working, try a different one. Just like doctors, there are PTs that understand athletes, and those that don't.

PTs are required to have a master's degree, as of this year. See http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos080.htm

It's science-based, unlike chiropractics.
some good, some not so..S-U-B
Dec 16, 2002 8:31 PM
Dotkaye... chiropractic is not science based? I think you need to check you facts. Yes I am a chiropractor, and what I do is very scientific. But, just like any other profession, there are good and bad. There are piles of studies that back up everything that chiropractors believe and do. The best thing about all this research, is that the MD's do it all for us, and then try to claim that chiropractic doesn't work! so we shut them up with their own research. I will go toe to toe with any MD anytime, any place in a debate about any health related topic and they will walk away with their tail between their legs. You know why I know this? It's called science. do some reading. As far as PT goes, I believe it has it's place but they are not a primary care provider, atleast in my state. This means that you must be referred to them by a doctor, and that includes a chiropractor. I think it's funny sometimes when a patient comes to me with a scoliosis after having been sent to a PT by an MD when they both have no knowledge, or ability to correct this problem, outside of tearing your body open and installing a steel rod. They do like to hand out generic excersises for alot of problems though. sorry for the long post, I wasn't going to respond until I saw the usual uninformed knock on chiropractic.
chiropractic sciencedotkaye
Dec 17, 2002 3:55 PM
can you provide me with a reference to an independent peer-reviewed reproducible study that provides evidence for the existence and effects of subluxations ? I've never been able to find one.

The chiropractic practices that are science-based are effectively equivalent to physical therapy or physiatry. But the defining characteristics of chiropractic theory appear to be faith-based and metaphysical - they certainly were when Daniel David Palmer first developed the theory. There's lots of evidence that faith healing works, even modern medicine acknowledges the placebo effect. But chiropractic cannot claim scientific basis without doing the things that science requires: collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. Chiropractic has never been able to present any data in support of the subluxation hypothesis.
chiropractic scienceS-U-B
Dec 17, 2002 9:37 PM
First of all, I'm not trying to start an arguement. That being said, there are many studies in independent peer-reviewed journals that do provide proof of the existence and effects of subluxations. The medical field does 99 percent of the research on this and thus does not use the term "Subluxation." If you have read enough studies then you should understand that things are given many different names. to turn this around, do you realize that 85 percent of medical procedures have been put to use with absolutely no scientific studies or proof of there efficacy(sp?). That is quoted from a study by Harvard Medical School in (Gasp!) JAMA, also known as The Journal of the American Medical Association. You see, this is what I mean by killing them with their own research. I can tear down the Medical Society just as easy if not easier than someone can question chiropractic. I agree that there are some weird things happening in chiropractic, but chiropractic principle and practice as a whole is very scientific. I would love to post some specific articles for you, but that's more work than I'm up to at the moment. Now, if you want to put a little money on it and make it worth my time...
re: How have your PT experiences been?dg73
Dec 16, 2002 3:47 PM
All PT's in the U.S. are now graduating with a 3 yr. master's degree in physical therapy. All 50 states license PTs with varying requirements about needing a prescription, performance standards etc.

Like all medical professionals there are good PTs and bad PTs. A good PT will refer you to another provider if they find that their treatment is not working for you.
Physical Therapist's point of veiwrrbfun
Dec 16, 2002 3:54 PM
I have a Masters degree. You will find most have a Bachelors because most schools went to Masters programs 10-12 yrs ago. Now the trend is PhD programs. It does matter on their degree it matters on if they know what they are doing. Just like many other posts have said there are good and bad ones. If the PT can not accurately explain what is wrong and how they are going to help you find some one else. Avoid clinics that run you through like cattle. I have a full hour to evaluate my new patient's and 30 minutes for return patients and do not double book. We have one assistant for four therapists in my office. If the office rely's heavily on assistants avoid it. If it is a cycling specific injury make sure the therapists is at least a cyclist or find someone who specilizes in it. Talk to your cycling freinds or look in your local bike paper for a good therapist. We are not all in it for the money, we got into it to help people but many of us have become buisness men/women which I never wanted or want to become. You will be happy when you find the right one. My two cents on ITBS which a lot of people over look is the foot so look there first and work your way up to the knee and hip. Hope this helps.