Does the weather make pain worse?

People say it all the time: “Oh, it’s gonna rain, I can tell in my knee” or “My knees really hurt over the weekend… they do that with bad weather.” What is it with these magical knees? From my personal vantage point, there is no logic to this… it’s simply psychological mis-attribution of causes… but it is heard so often, is there something to it?

Well, I asked on Twitter and fully enjoyed the convos that occurred…

Matt Dancigers Twitter convo weather

So here is a summary of what was shared: Continue reading

It’s not All about you…

I forget frequently of how often it is not about me… and by extension, it is not about you either.  As is human nature we take all interactions personally with a strange self-importance to their substance.  But it is rarely about us.

We forget the 8 things that the patient did over the weekend that could have affected their outcome, and only lay importance on the TherEx we gave or the joint mob we did on Friday afternoon. We rarely consider the random activity the patient did, the medication effects, the visit from the favorite sister, the mother-in-law that just moved out of their home… no, it was us that had the most impact on them.

And the patient believes it too.  Because we mention Continue reading

Tell me a story: A metaphor for understanding analogies

Start here, with this TEDtalk-

I like to use a story or analogy to explain things to patients.  It helps me come into their world and attempt to contact them on their own turf.

It’s not that patient’s are dumb, and can’t understand concepts or facts and figures. Stories are just a great way of conveying information. Adriaan Louw points out that when we are little children we have stories read to us (Aesop’s Fables and the like) that illustrate points, morals and teach concepts. You listened to the story and you got the point to that story, so it starts very young.

When you are on a cruise or on a bus or meeting people for the first time at a restaurant, why do you tell stories? Continue reading

Therapy vs. Therapeutic

If you are grappling with concepts of treatment effects and how a technique works or if something is effective and what role it plays in your patient’s recovery… then this post is for you!

A few classmates and I recently attended a lecture on Music Therapy from Tracy Bowdish, MM, NMT Fellow, MT-BC.  We discussed some fascinating music therapy concepts in treating movement disorders, but  while discussing research paradigms she posed the question about Therapy vs. Therapeutic and I have been thinking about it since. Many answers lie in answering the question: Is this therapy, or is this therapeutic? Continue reading

What kind of doctor are you?

Personally, I don’t prefer to be called one thing or another by the patients I treat. Maybe that’s because I’m still a student and not yet a doctor of physical therapy, but I do know (for certain) the reality of the doctorate level work that is being required of me at my current institution. It’s real, and intensive, and when I finish…I will have earned a doctoral degree.

Many arguments have been made about who should be called doctor. Should we (as PTs) be called doctor? Should we refer to ourselves as doctor? Often, physicians (or their attorney advocates) attack physical therapists for using the terminology to describe themselves, Continue reading