Don’t underestimate the vital role that EMPOWERMENT plays, not only in rehabilitation but also in our lives. Patient empowerment is directly linked to the best outcomes.
A herniated disc with sciatica to the foot has traditionally resulted in weeks of disability and high medical costs. When a patient is provided education on the cause and effect of symptoms, they are then in control. This empowerment reduces fear and anxiety and speeds up recovery because the patient understands the cause of their pain and how to reduce it.
“A herniated disc is simply a cut in the disc similar to a cut on your elbow. When you bend your elbow the cut will open causing bleeding to go further down your arm. Similarly, when you bend in the direction that opens the cut in the disc (usually sitting) there will be more pressure on the nerve causing symptoms to go further down your leg. Changing the position that causes increased pressure on the nerve, such as moving from slouched sitting to walking causing the symptoms to move up from your foot, closer to your back known as centralization.”
The first stage of healing is to apply overpressure or avoid bending your elbow/back for a few days, until scar tissue forms. The next stage is to test the integrity of the scar tissue. If you begin to bend your elbow and it starts to bleed again, then the scar tissue is not yet strong enough. Similarly, if you try to bend your back and your symptoms return then you need to allow more time for healing. It is also vital to stretch the scar tissue as soon as it is stable by regaining full bending flexibility.
A mechanical assessment that determines ‘directional preference’ along with patient education leads to remarkable outcomes as compared to traditional care.
Traditional care starts with a visit to the primary doctor. Medication (anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxer) are usually given along with a prescription for an x-ray. If your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks you may be advised to consult an orthopedic specialist and receive an MRI. The orthopedist will then provide you with a prescription for traditional physical therapy 2-3 times a week for 6 weeks. This process takes on average 12 weeks, costing $4,880.00. (This does not include indirect costs of travel, lost work time, etc).
You do not have to go through this long process and instead you can go directly to a musculoskeletal specialist. Virtual Physical Therapists is an app that allows instant access to only the highest trained clinicians in the mechanical assessment, via a live 2-way video.
2 visits totaling $178.00 and 3 weeks before retiring to full pain-free function.
1. Our clinicians are all Certified in MDT, they are highly specialized in assessing and treating musculoskeletal injuries.
2. Our focus is on patient empowerment so you understand the cause of your pain and can control your symptoms. Not passive care, where you rely on someone or something else to fix you. Healing is an active process, best achieved when you are in the driver’s seat!