Phone and Fax (530) 223-6288
introduction of David Toivainen, Physical Therapist in Redding, CA, specialized in low back pain
David Toivainen
Physical Therapist, Redding, CA

David Toivainen's Therapy Approach

Treatments are temporary, learning lasts a lifetime

My Approach vs. Your Previous Physical Therapy Experiences

I will immediately start teaching you why you hurt and how you can gain control. Many of my patients were discouraged by their previous experiences. When Dr. McCaffrey (see testimonial) speaks of “patients who had failed physical therapy,” she really means that previously, physical therapy had failed her patients. Past comments from patients that reinforced my therapy choices include:

  • Previous physical therapy helped, but now I understand why I hurt and what to do about it.
  • Previous physical therapy was the least effective treatment I had. I’m glad I came to see you.
  • Previous physical therapy made me worse. Your techniques work.
  • I can’t believe how easy it is. Why didn’t someone show me this before?
  • This is not run-of-the-mill physical therapy!
To clarify, ‘treatments’ will often help you feel better but, because they do not change the underlying cause, they are not the best use of our time together.

My Approach vs. Medications

By teaching you how to move correctly, you will gain the ability to immediately “unload” your overloaded injured tissues (muscles, tendons, ligament, nerves, etc.). Pain medications mask the pain and give false hope that you are better, when in reality no healing has yet occurred. Use of anti-inflammatory medications is controversial and not universally encouraged by physicians and medical researchers. Most of my patients discover that they can soon decrease or end their dependence on medications. (see testimonials).

My Approach vs. Chiropractic Care

My approach is an ideal supplement to chiropractic care. Chiropractors who refer patients to me know that I will take the time to teach their patients how to control joint instability when their adjustments or manipulations don’t last. Likewise, I will refer my patients to a chiropractor when self-mobilizations, postural corrections and proper positioning do not work effectively to attain or maintain joint alignment.

My Approach vs. Massage

I encourage patients to get all the massages they can afford! Without changing the underlying problems, however, you may never be able to afford all the massages you need or want.

My Approach vs. Surgery

I often tell my patients, “When you truly need surgery, nothing else will suffice.” The question that too often remains unanswered is, “Have you really exhausted all your conservative options?” Listen to my previous patients:
  • “With surgery scheduled that week I tried David Toivainen. He found immediately what surgeons and doctors had missed for years and taught me how to manage it. (Patient cancelled surgery.)
  • “My upcoming surgery was cancelled because of my progress and apparent healing. I credit David Toivainen with my new prognosis. (Surgeon canceled surgery minutes before anesthesia was due to administered.)
  • “…two failed surgeries. In just a short time with David I have noticed a positive change in how I feel.”
  • “I just wish I had met you after my first surgery. I probably wouldn’t have had such difficulty with the others or not even needed them.”
  • “I no longer consider surgery, pain shots, or traditional PT as an option.”

Your top priority is efficient movement

The primary factor in your recovery will be your improved ability to move properly, efficiently. As soon as you begin to learn how to control the distribution of forces (gravity, body weight, etc.) through your injured tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints) you will feel less pain.

All movements require learning skills, correcting mistakes and practicing, whether you are learning (or re-learning) to walk, type, write or draw, perform work tasks, activities or sports. I will evaluate how you move and teach you how to move efficiently, with less or no pain.

The initial cause of your problem, your specific diagnoses, which tissues are damaged (identified on x-rays, MRIs or CT scans) are less important pieces of information because they relate to the past rather than your future potential. Success comes from focusing on things you can control or change.

Joint instability is probably inevitable

Wherever two bones touch, the boney surfaces are covered with slippery cartilage that protects bone from rubbing against bone. Ligaments act as the primary support keeping those two surfaces gently touching while joints move through their range of motion. As we age or become less active, ligaments weaken, stretch like old elastic bands or are torn by injury. Ligaments that can no longer function well cause muscles to react with higher tone (excessive muscle activation when at rest) or muscle spasm, which both place excessive, damaging compression on the cartilage.

Learn how to control your muscles to compensate joint instability

One of the most exciting new concepts about muscles is the idea of “global” vs. “local” muscles. Global muscles are all the larger muscles, found closer to the skin, that move bones and create the joint motion essential to life. Local muscles are all the smaller muscles, found closer to the joints, responsible for maintaining proper joint-surface pressure and keeping bones from shifting excessively (instability) during movement.

Each muscle performs a specific job. When injured, the body initially responds by “guarding” the injured site through increased tone or spasm of the global muscles and inhibition (decreased or delayed activation) of the local muscles. The most effective way to reduce high tone and spasm in the global muscles is to retrain the local muscles to control joint instability. To do this efficiently, the exercises prescribed must be specific to each patient’s inefficient movement patterns. When you move with more control your joints will be more stable, you will feel less pain and you will heal faster and more completely. I can teach you how.

My exercises are relatively easy and not painful

At first, usually due to inflammation, you may have a baseline/background level of pain or discomfort. Nothing I recommend should increase your symptoms. My rule of thumb is, “If pain, NO GAIN!” When the techniques relieve your symptoms in the clinic they will relieve your symptoms elsewhere – if you are doing them correctly. Remember, this is a learning process and mistakes, when followed by correction, equal learning.

You can minimize or prevent pain in the future

I will teach you what you need to know. If you practice consistently you will be confident and competent to continue independently within six-to-twelve weekly visits. As you consistently practice on your own, you will continue to improve.Your movement habits will change and bring lasting relief through natural healing processes. Tune-Ups are always available.

Treatments are temporary, learning lasts a lifetime