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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The Mind Has It

I went to PT school way back in the Dark Ages, when everything was extremely heavily pathoanatomically based and while we talked about the biopsychosocial model, no one was particularly clear on how to implement it. However, I think most of us are well aware of the advances we have seen in pain sciences and the impact of the –psycho…

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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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Communication is Everything

One of the things I have been thinking about a lot recently is how vital it is that we communicate well with our patients. We are given the unique privilege and challenge of meeting someone, listening empathetically to their story, and trying to gain their confidence and trust enough for them to be comfortable with us touching them in intimate…

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You Are What You Drink

There is a question that I now ask almost every patient during their initial appointment; it’s one that I never would have predicted would become such a common part of my repertoire and yet the answers that I get to it are often enlightening. No, it’s not the “do you have pain with sex?” question (though I do…

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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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Function – It’s Different for Everyone. How Are You Measuring It?

Function. A small word that has made a huge leap in healthcare vocabulary, especially over the past few years. With increased thoughts on “function” comes increases in research and attempts at “defining” what exactly functional measurements are. What is functional range of motion of the wrist, or shoulder, or finger? How can we measure function with a questionnaire? What can…

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