David's Specialized Back Pain Clinic in Redding, CA
Growth of a Concept
The basics of therapy learned at Physical Therapy School
Physical therapy school was thorough – a strong foundation in anatomy, physiology, disease processes and evidence-based treatments. The most powerful tool they instilled, however, was a foundation for critical thinking skills… along with a few choice pearls of wisdom:
- “You are the movement specialists. No one studies this more than you just did.”
- “After the initial evaluation, every session is a re-evaluation.”
- “All the medical terminology you just learned… you can’t use it with patients!”
The harsh reality of working in different clinics
Going into the clinics was a hint of success, a taste of freedom. My early clinical rotations were low key, with opportunities to learn from experienced clinicians and physicians in a variety of settings – hospitals, long-term care facilities and outpatient facilities. The later clinical rotations were trial by fire, out of the frying pan into the fire, moving like pants-on-fire. My presence in the clinic progressed rapidly from a continuation of my educational process to hard lessons in economic realities:
- “Insurance reimbursement rates limit your time with patients.”
- “Once you develop your plan of care, turn that patient over to an assistant or an aide.”
- ‘Bragging rights’ begin when you see more than 20 patients a day.
- Use of modalities (heat, cold, ultrasound, electrical stimulation) is financially necessary.
My own clinic was going to be different
As an idealist, I hold myself accountable to my own standard: quality is more important than quantity. As a carpenter I developed competence and efficiency to stay competitive; I vowed do the same with physical therapy. With ever-increasing overhead and ever-falling reimbursement rates it was an uphill battle. To keep my first clinic financially successful, I developed an unhealthy workaholic lifestyle. Gradually, from my patients, I learned:
- Neither patients nor their injuries are generic, so generic treatments are a poor choice.
- ‘Treatments’ give temporary relief; the relief from 2-3 treatments a week is still temporary.
- A lesson learned, a habit changed, brings lasting relief through natural healing.
- To practice up to my ideals, I needed to dramatically lower my overhead.
Start of my specialty back pain clinic in Redding, CA
When my wife received a job offer we couldn’t refuse in Redding, I found the opportunity I thought I had lost. I now had another chance to set up a small scale low back pain specialty clinic that would be successful for me and my patients. This new clinic has many advantages for patients:
- By specializing in low back pain I can pass on years of knowledge and experience to my patients.
- By teaching my patients how to move efficiently, they minimize or prevent future back pain.
(read more about my therapy approach )
- By keeping my overhead low, I can spend more quality time teaching my patients.
- I do not feel financially pressured to do unnecessary, temporary ‘treatments.’
- I can give my patients the best care they deserve!
A low back specialty practice that maximizes my patient’s success