By Michael Basten, PT, DPT
President/CEO of Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

“Good Enough” Means You Won’t Spend Enough Time to Fully Rehabilitate Your Injury

When it comes to physical mobility, are you prepared to settle for a good enough solution? That may work when you are making small decisions, like picking which size band-aid, but when it is your mobility that is on the line you need to have a full recovery focus. This is an extreme example, but the fact remains: if you settle for good enough, you will never do everything you want to do.

When it comes to your physical health and pain-free mobility, full injury recovery should be the target. It is easy to be drawn to the first solution that provides more comfort and functionality than you have today—even if it only offers a marginal improvement. We call this solution good enough. True, this solution will provide basic functionality, but it can also cause doubt and certainly will not help you achieve the best result. When having a full recovery focus you shouldn’t feel:

  • Worried about your recovery
  • Overwhelmed
  • Frustrated
  • Skeptical
  • Stressed (physical, financial, emotional, or mental)

Seeking full recovery is a journey with no shortcuts and no finish line. A journey that will lead to amazing and fulfilling results. At Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy our therapists embrace the journey. We understand that good enough is a dangerous stopping point… to aim for good enough is to end up incredibly mediocre… also keep in mind that good enough is only good enough for so long.

What is a Full Recovery Focus™?

A Foothills therapist will take you, your pain, and your full recovery seriously. We don’t believe a good enough recovery is good enough. In fact, no one deserves just a good enough recovery, no matter what their situation may be, our goal is to do everything we can to help you get your full, healthy life back. Our Full Recovery Focus™ difference is evident from your very first visit. Your enthusiastic and committed therapist takes you, your pain, and your situation seriously as you discuss what full recovery looks like. Together you will map out a hands-on customized plan to get you there. Your therapist will work to prevent unnecessary diagnostics in your recovery that can increase out of pocket costs and impact your long-term well-being. Our therapists can work with your doctor to explore pre-surgery, post-surgery, and no-surgery options for your full recovery.

Pre-Surgery, Post-surgery & No surgery

We know a full recovery starts before your surgery even happens. That’s why we’re with you from the beginning to the end. You can book an appointment without needing a referral from your doctor, and we can work with your doctors to develop a pre-surgery and a post-surgery plan. If it is possible, we will help you avoid surgery altogether. Our goal is always your full recovery.

Locally Trusted & Convenient

No one likes being in pain longer than they have to. With dozens of locations in Phoenix, you can get in to see your therapist quickly. You will never wait longer than 48 hours after booking your appointment. That’s why we’re the physical therapy organization local Arizonans have trusted for over 20 years. We have helped more than 500,000 patients get out of pain and back to doing the things they love. Your recovery sessions will be planned out so that you move through your recovery as soon as possible and get back to feeling like yourself and enjoying your life again.  And you won’t need to worry about insurance. We accept most major insurance carriers, including competitive cash pay options.

Get rid of crippling pain and enjoy full rehabilitation from your injury. 

We don’t give up on our patients once their recovery reaches “acceptable,” whatever that might mean. We make every effort to steer our patients away from a good enough recovery and guide them on their journey to full recovery.

Schedule an appointment today.

Our backs are involved in everything we do and are the foundation for every movement we make.  We cannot sit, stand, walk, or reach without involving our back. And, since approximately 80% of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives, it is crucial that we understand our backs better.

So, how do you know when your back pain really needs professional attention or when it’s okay to just stick-it-out with an ice pack? Here are some guidelines that may help:

 How much does it hurt?

If you are experiencing back pain for the first time, congratulations, you are old.  Not really.  It is common for 1st episodes of back pain to occur in the mid-twenties to early thirties.  They often resolve quickly but may be associated with more trauma since most of us tend to be more active in that age range.  If you have one or two occasions a year when your back hurts, don’t wait for the next one.  This could mean that your spine has some significant mobility issues that need to be addressed.  You don’t want to put off getting your back examined because those one or two episodes could turn into three or four occurrences or one big incidence of back pain that can really leave you immobilized.

Where is the pain located?

If your pain is localized to a small area of your low back it is likely that your injury is not as severe.  If, on the other hand, your pain travels down into your buttocks and into the back of your thigh or leg, then you should consult a healthcare professional.

Is your back irritable?

You can often tell something about the severity of a back pain by how irritable it is.  If you find that every movement bothers your low back then it is definitely more severe than someone who only has pain when they bend to one direction.  Try to pay attention to which movements trigger your pain because it can help your doctor and physical therapist determine the problem.

Snap, crackle, pop!

Some back pain episodes are precipitated by a pop or significant pain.  Next, the pain goes away only to come back intensely the next morning.  This often suggests that chemical irritation (which takes time to develop) has occurred and a significant inflammatory process is occurring.  This is a good instance where you should see a healthcare professional.  They need to determine the extent of the damage and possibly control the inflammation.

 Is it getting better?

If you notice steady improvements day by day then your body is naturally healing.  Try to be careful though, you don’t want to justify mild improvements.  If you haven’t seen a total recovery in one week then you should consult a professional just to be sure.  If you are noticing a regression then, obviously, your back does need some help

We need to be vigilant about taking care of our backs now. Let’s face it; we only have one spine and a long life to live with it. Be proactive and consult your physician or a physical therapist on what you can do to avoid back pain.  There are many facilities that offer core conditioning classes that will strengthen and develop your trunk muscles which may help curb pain and/or prevent back injury.

The ASTYM System

We are pleased to announce that Foothills Sports Medicine has several ASTYM certified physical therapists throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan area.  The ASTYM system has been used in clinical settings by certified health professionals since 1996. But many of you may not know what ASTYM is really all about and how it can help you with chronic and acute injuries.

What is ASTYM?

ASTYM is a soft tissue mobilization technique that is designed to effectively treat scarring, fibrosis, and degeneration that can occur in soft tissues. This technique uses ergonomically designed instruments and can be very effective on both new injuries as well as chronic, nagging conditions. The ASTYM instruments are used along the surface of the skin to identify abnormal soft tissue areas and begin the body’s healing process. This healing response or inflammatory process results in the resorption and remodeling of scar tissue and/or abnormal tissue and helps to regenerate degenerative tendons.

ASTYM has been proven to be effective with a number of common orthopedic injuries including IT band syndrome, hip bursitis, shin splints, patellofemoral syndrome, medial and lateral epicondylitis (golfer’s and tennis elbow).

ASTYM has many advantages over conservative PT treatments. ASTYM often allows patients to remain active or continue to work while undergoing treatment. It also has an 88% success rate with patients, achieving improved function and decreased pain, even if the condition is chronic or previous treatment was not successful. It can reduce the need for surgical intervention and achieve maximum results with minimal treatments. Finally this technique has been supported by an extensive outcomes database, clinical experience, and most importantly, by scientific research.

The ASTYM technique may be mildly uncomfortable with some patients. ASTYM is applied to not only the affected or painful areas but to the areas above and below the injury that may be contributing to your condition. During the treatment, you may feel areas of “roughness”, which are the problem areas that will be addressed. As these areas become less rough or smooth over, the pain begins to decrease and improved function also occurs. It is not unusual to have some mild bruising or tenderness over the abnormal or “rough” areas; this is the first indication that the new healing response has started. A comprehensive stretching and strengthening program will also be introduced to help guide the healing process, rebuild healthy tissue, and ultimately, get you back to your desired activities without any pain or limitation.

In my first year of using ASTYM, I have had great personal success with my patients having chronic tendon injuries, plantar fasciitis, and other painful conditions. This technique is used to complement our manual and hands-on techniques, not replace them.

We have several clinics offering ASTYM treatment: Ahwatukee, South Chandler, South Gilbert, Old Town Scottsdale, Surprise, Arrowhead, Litchfield Park. Please click on a location near you to schedule a Rapid Recovery FREE assesment to see if ASTYM is right for you.