Terry Rehabilitation & Testing
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Steve Kerr: What We Know, and What We Don’t

Steve Kerr’s situation has been the talk of the basketball and orthopedic world. How much do we really know? What can we learn from his situation? (more…)

31 Year-Old IT Worker with Severe Low Back Pain

After having a month of severe right-sided low back pain – so bad that he had trouble getting out of bed and dressed in the morning – he was referred for physical therapy. It came on out of the blue when he got out of bed one morning. After a steroid pack he was minimally better. He was unable to sit for longer than about an hour, unable to work out, and unable to ride his bike. Unilateral (one-sided) low back pain with rapid onset (starts suddenly) is a common problem. Rapid-onset low back pain many times can be rapidly eliminated as well. (more…)

83 year-old with Chronic Back Pain

Her back pain started about 4 years ago with slowly worsening symptoms since then, and started to have numbness and tingling down her left arm about 6 months before starting therapy. She had a previous corticosteroid injection and physical therapy – massage and light general exercise – which was minimally helpful. Her physician asked her to try again at a new clinic. (more…)

50 year old Consultant with Sciatica

Sciatica that is along the top and/or inside of the thigh is relatively rare, and normally originates from the upper lumbar spine. Care has to be taken to rule out hip arthritis, which can cause pain along the same area. Basic management includes obtaining a baseline of strength and sensation for areas affected by the involved nerve roots. Generally, sciatica of a longer duration, with symptoms that are further from the back, or with more severe signs – weakness, reflex loss, or numbness – is tougher to treat and has a lower chance of resolving with therapy. (more…)

Don’t I Need an MRI?

Patients will hear me say over and over “MRI is really only for surgical planning. If you’re ready for surgery, then you need an MRI.” It doesn’t tell you “what’s wrong” or tell us if you need surgery or not. I ran into a research study today that demonstrates my point. (more…)

Physician with Chronic Low Back Pain

After treating her mother for chronic low back pain, she decided to tackle her own long-standing back pain that had prevented her from participating in long walks, car travel, or heavy activities. She underwent back surgery about 6 years ago, with return of her pain on and off since then. (more…)

Male with Chronic Recurrent Low Back Pain

In this case, the back pain was chronic/intermittent, meaning that he has experienced severe pain on and off for decades. This episode was not clearing up like it normally does, and each episode was becoming more painful and lasting longer. (more…)

It Must Be More Complicated Than THAT

This is something that goes unsaid in my office, but I can read it on the faces of patients. Today’s patient had suffered 6 months of nagging headaches and neck pain. After a few visits to the doctor for NSAIDs and muscle relaxants, he was referred to a neurosurgeon and pain management physician, an MRI was ordered, and his neurosurgeon referred him to see me. (more…)

Chasing "The Latest Thing"

I recently received a voicemail message from a former patient (whose son I had also treated) asking if I practice a specific proprietary, trademarked, and well-publicized technique. I responded via email, and then realized that this response could have been written a dozen or so times over my previous 17 years as a therapist, so I ought to just make a generic letter regarding all such techniques: (more…)

Fear, Avoidance, and Beliefs

Fear, Avoidance, and Beliefs negatively impact patient care on a daily basis, however, they can be helpful in recovery when properly oriented an placed in perspective. (more…)