Increasing Quality of Life Through Phoenix Physical Therapy

Mar 31, 2016

Scott Sassaman

by Scott Sassaman
DPT | Arrowhead Location

Foothills Sports Medicine has Phoenix physical therapy clinics across the Valley that are dedicated to providing the highest quality of patient-care to people at all different stages of life with a wide variety of conditions. We strive to develop individualized, hands-on treatment plans to help you heal and improve as quickly as possible. To schedule a free assessment of your needs, make an appointment online today.
Scott Sassaman is a native Arizonan who earned his undergraduate degree in Physiology from the University of Arizona. He decided to pursue a degree in physical therapy after his own sports related injuries while growing up, and went on to earn his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Utah. Scott is here today to share his personal experience with how physical therapy can improve your quality of life.
As I reviewed the intake form of my new patient, I was surprised by the extent of her injuries sustained while playing soccer. She came into our clinic on crutches with a straight leg brace. Her MRI had confirmed tears in 3 major structures of her knee, PCL, MCL and meniscus. An orthopedic surgeon had told her that she needed surgery immediately or she would not be able to play again. She received a second opinion from a physician who suggested she try physical therapy before committing to surgery. As we began to discuss her injury, we talked about the daily tasks she was having difficulty performing. Sitting at work, going up and down her stairs at home and most importantly, doing activities with her 4 year old daughter, such as dancing together, had all become more challenging. The injury was definitely affecting her quality of life in ways she did not expect or plan for.
We discussed the importance of improving the range of motion of her knee, while also increasing the strength and neuromuscular control of her hips to provide the stability needed to return to her previous activities. She was curious, like many patients, as to why we were performing hip exercises when the issue was in her knee, and I was able to educate her on the relationship between hip strength and knee control. This type of patient education is critical because it improves their trust in the recovery process.
She left her first visit with a home exercise program to complement what we had gone over at the clinic. She was very meticulous with the program, which helped speed up her recovery. As time passed, the range of motion and strength improved and she was able to walk and climb stairs without her supportive brace. Although her daily activities were improving, she was still unable to dance with her daughter, which was an emotional subject. She shared with me that her daughter had asked when they would be able to dance again and she was worried about how long it would be, and if her mobility would ever be the same again. Her daughter had come with her to a few visits and the staff took to her immediately. She would perform each of the exercises along with her mom, providing encouragement.
After consistently attending therapy she continued to progress. Once she had demonstrated amazing improvement, we were able to transition her to our FAST, Foothills Acceleration and Sport Training, program where she continued strengthening and progressing to sport specific activities. I was able to keep in touch with her while she attended these sessions and she expressed the joy her and her daughter experienced when they were once again able to dance together. She shared with me how much she appreciated the staff welcoming her and her daughter to the clinic. She was also impressed with the level of attention she received while performing her exercises during therapy to ensure that she completed them with correct technique.
At Foothills Sports Medicine, we strive to provide the best patient experience through hands on therapy and by addressing the psychosocial aspects as well as the physical aspects of injuries. Improving the quality of life for others is our main goal.
For more information about Phoenix physical therapy, check out our blog.

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