Pain and dysfunction in the spine is one of the most common complaints seen in the field of physical therapy. Over 80% of people will experience low back pain over their lifetime and two-thirds will experience neck pain. The staff and facilities of Agape Physical Therapy are well equipped to diagnose and treat all types of spine pain that may be preventing a patient’s ability to work or carry out daily activities. Our physical therapists are well versed in using numerous evidenced-based treatment approaches and modalities to enhance the rehabilitation experience for our patients.
Treatment Approaches, Modalities, and Alternative Techniques
Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment (MDT) - More widely known as the McKenzie Method, this approach emphasizes the usage of repeated end-range movements to both diagnose and treat spine limitations. Using this method, a physical therapist will be able to effectively which structures are causing pain and which directional pattern will assist in the rehabilitation process of the spine.
Repex Table - Each of our clinics are equipped with a Repex table (short for repeated extension table). This table is an extension of the McKenzie method approach to the spine. This machine will be beneficial to the patient who responds well to extension based movement allowing for high repetitions in a short period of time. Our physical therapists are trained to implement this device as not only a method of treatment, but also for evaluating a patient to ensure a comprehensive approach to their care.
Neurodynamic Examination - The neurodynamic examination is key when evaluating the spine to determine if neural structures are contributing to symptoms, as the variety of structures involved in a spine condition can be extensive. Through screening neural tension, reflex response, sensation and specific muscle testing, a physical therapist will be able to properly evaluate and identify whether the neurological system is a contributing factor to a patient's condition.
Excellus Spine Pathway Training - As an organization we have participated with Excellus to complete the Spine Pathway Training course which educates spine healthcare providers on the Clinical Reasoning in Spine Pain (CRISP) Protocols. The training is meant to empower clinicians to be Primary Spine Providers, meaning that patients can seek out the care of a physical therapist without the need for a physician referral and rely on the physical therapist to direct and manage their spine care. Research has shown that this approach to spine care is not only effective but comes with a significant overall decrease in the cost of care.
Mechanical Spinal Traction - Mechanical traction is a widely used technique that assists in providing relief for numerous spine diagnoses. Through the use of a harness system to comfortably position a patient for either cervical or lumbar traction, the table and machine work in conjunction to exert a distraction force that causes symptoms relief and soft tissue remodeling to occur.
Aquatic Therapy - The benefit of implementing aquatic therapy in treating spine can be significant due to the unweighting properties of water. Whether it is our HydroTrack underwater treadmill in Gates, our AquaFit underwater treadmill in Webster, or our large rehabilitation pool in Brockport, we have numerous options to provide the benefits of aquatic therapy.
Manual Therapy/Modalities - To assist in relieving pain and improving function, our physical therapists may integrate several different modalities into a patient's plan of care. These modalities include electric stimulation (small amplitude electrical pulses to the body to assist in pain relief), hot or cold packs, cup therapy, manual joint mobilization/manipulation and massage. After a comprehensive spine evaluation by a Physical Therapist, they will decide whether one or more of these modalities will be an integral part of a patient's rehabilitation.
• Dan’s directions are clear. I almost always know what he wants me to do. When I don’t, he is aware of that and tells me in another way.
• Dan explains the impact on my body of what he asks me to do. I don’t remember anyone doing that before. His explanations help me understand what we are doing and that helps me follow his directions.
• Dan has a subtle but effective way of correcting me. What seems like an off-hand comment as he walks by reminds me what I should be doing. I don’t feel like I have been told I am doing something wrong.
• Dan is concerned that I feel successful. He will modify something he has asked me to do, explaining what to do when I feel I am being pushed too far. That is valuable when I am doing exercises at home. I know how to adjust what I am doing depending on how I feel (see the second bullet).
• Nice guy. I enjoy coming in to see him.
• Agape. The atmosphere is relaxed but professional. And respectful of the clients.
• I enjoy the Virtual Reality Treadmill and will miss the fun when I am discharged.