Imagine that you are walking through a museum and you stumble across a particular painting that you love. Do you attribute this work of art to the painter that worked to create it, or the paintbrush that he or she used?
This is very much the same in health field. It is the clinician, not the technique that a physical therapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, etc. uses that dictates patient outcomes. Manual techniques such as Dry Needling, Active Release Techniques, Myofascial Release, etc. are all incredible tools when used properly. However they are just that…tools.
A handyman knows when a wrench needs to be used versus a screwdriver, much like a qualified clinician must know if or when an aggressive manual therapy technique is most appropriate.
For this reason, a quality clinician must constantly be assessing and re-assessing his/her patient. This provides the information necessary to determine the tool best used for the job. This also holds true for exercise, as an exercise can be appropriate, thus help address a patient’s pain and contributing/resulting dysfunctions, or be inappropriate and make things worse.
Be skeptical of a clinician that swears by a particular technique. He/she will often justify that “tool” working for his/her patient regardless of the “fit.” You wouldn’t use a screwdriver to drive in a nail would you?
A comprehensive thought process and plan of attack to address the source and true cause of your pain is most essential. I make sure to fully explain the true cause of pain for every patient I see here at Cohen Health and Performance, as well as elaborate on what is going to be done to address it.
It is very difficult to know if you are getting the best care possible. However, you can be confident in your clinician when he/she has a comprehensive plan to address not only the source, but the cause of your pain. This way treatment is a permanent solution, rather than a series of band-aids only addressing the symptoms that result.
When in doubt remember that it is about the painter and not the brush!