Manual Therapy: How Do You Measure It?

The title of this blog was inspired by a slide I found on Twitter, by Dr. Chad Cook PT (@chadcookpt) during his lecture at the 2017 New Zealand Manipulative Physiotherapists Association Conference. Dr. Cook’s slide offered five points on manual therapy; this blog will focus on the fourth point.

Manual therapy is a better choice for pain modulation than…

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O Body Part, Where Art Thou? (Says the Brain) – Part III: Making Patients Think

The final blog in this 3-part series introduces Graded Motor Imagery (GMI) and its role in treating pain and movement dysfunctions.  The introduction is used to help create a focus on a key principle of GMI: making patients think. Engaging a patient’s mind during daily clinical practice can be challenging, but in doing so there may be a…

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O Body Part, Where Art Thou? (Says the Brain) – Part II

Part I (here) of this blog series considered neuroplastic cortical changes known as brain map smudging. Primary somatosensory cortex (S1- homunculus) smudging is a potential biological and physiological change that can occur with any injury or bout of pain. Simply stated, the brain’s sensory cortex develops an altered appreciation of the location and awareness of a represented body part…

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The Dark Side of Focus

Highly successful achievements often require a time of singular focus. Singular focus has positive characteristics that help to shift our mindset for accomplishment. Having adequate resources, a clear vision, commitment, and dedication to the task all enhance the ability to achieve. Consider your own personal and professional victories. Many have arrived on the heels of possessing a combination of these…

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Pain Neuroscience Wisdom from a 19th Century Electrical Engineer

History is full of stories that teach timeless wisdom. Sometimes these stories provide a glimpse into the problem solving prowess of a genius that can remind us to imitate the same approach. One of my favorites is the below story of Charles Steinmetz’s interaction with Henry Ford.
Charles Proteus Steinmetz, the Wizard of Schenectady
(adapted from Smithsonian Magazine 8…

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Facing Fear and Finding Safety

For far too long I have undervalued the importance of acknowledging fear in the lives of patients with pain. I have always given fear the token head nod, acknowledging its presence; but my lack of deeper understanding has caused many missed opportunities for treatment. Facing fear is to embrace fear with the intention to disrupt it. This blog considers two…

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Finding Fear

Another Halloween has come and gone. Thousands of people paid for the experience to find fear. Frightening movies, haunted houses, and spooky trails are designed to create a sense of terror. The sound of a chain saw in the shadows of a dimly lit haunted forest stimulates the brain’s fear center, but in the end it is remembered as…

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