Why physical therapy?
I come from a long line of health care providers and teachers. My father was an emergency room physician and others in my family are physicians, nurses, therapists, etc. On the other hand, many in my family have been involved in education. My grandparents were school principles and I can recall many aunts and uncles working in higher education. As a result, the values and influences that I was raised under center on helping others and teaching and learning. It seems from the crib that I was predestined to be a physician. But, along my educational journey I learned about physical therapy and quickly realized that this profession was the perfect fit for me because the benefits of physical therapy really aligned with my philosophies on health and education. The main tenant of physical therapy is to help people rehabilitate or improve their health through physical means and patient education.
Physical therapy and the medical model
Modern medicine is a marvel that I appreciate and value. That said, I have learned through my clinical experiences and work in higher education that the medical model doesn’t work for everything. Many of the aches and pains that we suffer from arise from mechanical or “physical” factors. Under the medical model these dysfunctions are often times treated like “diseases” and the intervention tends to fall to drugs and/or surgery. Don’t get me wrong; there are many circumstances when medication and surgical intervention is necessary. However, there are many of these situations where treatment through physical means is the most beneficial and effective.
Our bodies do function mechanically and can be viewed as wonderful, but incredibly complex machines. But, for us to function efficiently and pain free the parts must work well together. If the alignment in your car is off there will likely be uneven demand that is placed on the car. The treads on one of the tires may wear down to the point where you “blow a tire”. Now, you can replace the tire but if the mechanical alignment is not addressed the new tire will eventually blow as well.
Our bodies are not so different. In the presence of muscular imbalance, weakness, inflexibility, stiff joints, or even leg length inequality; asymmetrical forces may be present that leads to pain in your low back, hip, knee, or foot. Under the medical model, one might be treated for these aches and pains with medication and/or surgery. The concern is that while these interventions may temporarily alleviate the pain or symptoms, they may not correct the problem. The philosophy of physical therapy is to treat these issues through physical means. We aim to normalize the forces acting on your body by strengthening and stretching the appropriate muscles, or through hands on manual therapy that includes massage, mobilization, and manipulation.
Why I founded Orion
More than 20 years ago I was a new practicing clinician who was eager to use my newly learned physical therapy knowledge and skills to help people. I worked in a few different clinics where we did good work for the benefit of our patients. However, I found it increasingly difficult to treat patients in the manner that I believed was in their best interest. The world of physical therapy was becoming very production oriented and I found it challenging for me to be able to use my hands and spend time with my patients one-on-one. Also, it was clear to me that most physical therapists I worked with were generalists. In other words, they had very good general knowledge about a wide array of practice areas but they knew just as much about the knee as they did about the neck.
My vision was clear. I needed to start a practice that allowed the physical therapist the opportunity to spend the appropriate amount of hands on, one-on-one treatment time with their patient. Also, I wanted to have a clinic where the therapists were not only excellent general practitioners; but, who were also specialists that were experts in the areas that they were passionate about.
Our mission is to be leaders in offering exceptional hands on physical therapy, sports medicine, and health & wellness services to the community. We are dedicated to serving clients through high quality, effective, and efficient individualized care and education. Through the integration of clinical expertise and evidence-based practice, we believe in:
- Treating the Whole Person. We believe that each one of us is unique in mind, body, and spirit with individual goals.
- Evidence-Based Practice. We integrate caring clinical knowledge and expertise with the best available evidence from systematic research.
- Quality Care. We utilize a primary therapist model where licensed physical therapist performs all evaluations and treatment interventions in order to provide the highest level of care possible.
- Teaching and Learning. Our doctoral trained, and specialty certified therapists believe in educating their patients and the community through their educational experiences and their own continued pursuit of knowledge.
- Teamwork. We provide evidence-based resources to clients, physicians and third party payers and communicate using concise data driven reports. We use a team-approach by collaborating with physicians and other healthcare workers to reach optimal patient outcomes.
- Hands-on care. We acknowledge the mounting evidence that supports the efficacy of manual therapy and a hands on, multimodal approach in treating both spine and extremity disorders.
- Leadership. Our duty to the profession and the community is the constant pursuit of excellence and improvement through personal development, education, mentorship, and research.
I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to offer our practice and serve the community for their health, wellness, and fitness needs. I am grateful for the amazing people that I have the ability to work with and we all are honored by your consideration in allowing us to work with you to achieve your goals.