There are many factors to consider when looking for the best physical therapy in Visalia or Hanford. Here are four reasons why we feel our physical therapists are some of the best in the Central Valley.
- One way to judge a practice and its clinicians is by their online reputation – we have a great reputation on Google
- Another is how long the practice has been in business – we’ve been here for almost 40 year.
- A third is their academic credentials – our staff have earned doctoral degrees in physical therapy.
Then There’s Another Way and Here’s a Great Example…
Another way to judge the quality of a practice is to ask if they are up-to-date on the latest clinical research. This means considering new information about physical therapy treatment and how to educate our patients based on the new data, so we can continue to deliver the best care possible.
For this post, we are sharing information from a recent research study that challenges social thoughts on the prevention of lower back pain. Here’s a question that a recent scientist asked:
What if lifting with what has been considered ‘improper form’ isn’t as bad for the back as most people think?
From the first time you’ve ever had to lift anything of substantial weight and been in the presence of someone else with more experience in the field of lifting, you’ve probably been instructed to use “good form” so you don’t “throw out your back,” or something of the sort. By now, there’s actually a good chance that you have provided the same advice to others as well, so that they may also benefit from the ideal lifting posture and save themselves from back pain. But a recently published study has investigated the safety of back posture and found that while most people seem to believe in its importance, the evidence to support it as the best approach to lifting is not that strong.
To review, the “good lifting posture” that most of us are taught and try to practice usually consists of the following:
- Bending from the knees instead of the waist
- Lifting primarily with the power of the legs
- Keeping your back straight and avoiding a “rounded” back
- Always facing towards the object you intend to lift
- Keeping the shoulders and hips square
There may be some slight variations to this technique, but most lifting guidelines drill the importance of keeping the back straight and lifting with the legs rather than the back to prevent strain. Knowing this, a team of researchers conducted a study to investigate how deeply ingrained these beliefs on lifting posture were in the average person and what the research had to say about it all.
To perform the study, researchers recruited individuals who did not have any episodes of low back pain (LBP) in the past year. This search led to 67 participants being included, 11 of which had experienced LBP at least once in their lives, and the rest of which had no history of it. These participants were then instructed to complete a series of tests and questionnaires that were designed to gain insight into their thought process regarding lifting posture and safety.
Most participants think lifting with a rounded back is dangerous, but it’s not clear if this is accurate
The results showed that most participants displayed an implicit—or automatic—bias towards thinking that bending and lifting with a “round back” were dangerous behaviors. This suggests that these individuals had pre-existing beliefs regarding how a person lifts and that it was likely to have a negative impact on them. Additional analysis found that the beliefs of bad lifting posture being dangerous were also represented explicitly, meaning that participants were aware of this position and held it intentionally, too.
The concept that lifting with a straight back is good and a rounded back is bad comes from prior studies on the topic that eventually became common practice. But when researchers reviewed this evidence, they found that it was not as strong as might be expected. The author of one of the original studies later stated that the differences between a straight back and rounded back postures were only minor, while other studies have found no significant difference between the two lifting techniques. In addition, several other studies have been unable to find a connection between lifting and the development of LBP.
This does not necessarily mean that lifting with either a rounded or straight back is better than the other, but it does suggest that the beliefs most of us have on “proper lifting posture” may not be based a great deal of evidence. Additional studies on the topic will help us to better understand if there is a connection between lifting and LBP, and if the guidelines on how to lift should be changed. In the meantime, if you are experiencing LBP or any other type of pain right now, the best choice you can make is to see a physical therapist first and fast. Doing so will address your issue and get you back to being yourself without pain in no time.
To Recap, to be considered one of the Best Physical Therapy Clinics in Visalia, You Need Stay Up-To-Date
This is why we are always asking questions about how we treat and educate our patients as well as look for new treatments like our laser therapy as an example.
If you are looking for exceptional care in a family-friendly environment, consider seeing one of our physical therapists. We bet you’ll have a great experience and hope you will be our next success story.
Click here for to learn more about how to contact us to set up an appointment.