What is it? How can it benefit me as a physical therapy patient? At Water & Sports Physical Therapy, we are strong believers of treatment using the regional interdependence therapy approach. The term regional interdependence is found in multiple areas of literature provided by the American Physical Therapy Association. It is the idea that seemingly unrelated body parts may be affecting the body part that currently exhibits painful symptoms. An example of this model is the fact that when a patient experiences pain in their knee such as a patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain in the front of their knee), there may be certain abnormal biomechanics of the foot/ankle and hip that could be causing abnormal stresses to be placed on the knee.
There are many wonderful physical therapy researchers that are generating great studies which are analyzing the effects of certain body parts on others. This leads credence to the fact that physical therapists are becoming strong, evidenced based medical professionals that can treat multiple areas of the body with ease. One great physical therapy researcher is Dr. Christopher Powers PhD, PT who is currently researching the effects of the gluteus medius muscle in the pelvis on lower extremity alignment. His research has found that not only can strengthening is extremely important muscle can reduce or eliminate hip pain, but also knee and ankle/foot pain. This further demonstrates that the way of the future of treating musculoskeletal or orthopedic conditions is regional interdependence.
Water & Sports Physical Therapy incorporates many different treatment philosophies when assessing your physical condition and how we can reduce and then eliminate your pain. Some of these philosophies are the Selective Functional Movement Assessment, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, and the Postural Restoration Institute. The string that connects all three of these different approaches: regional interdependence. All of these highly successful treatment and diagnostic techniques rely on assessing and treating multisegmental motion. It is imperative for patients and the medical community to understand the importance of treating multiple areas to reduce stresses and pain in the body, and these treatment philosophies are helping lead the way.
When treating with the regional interdependence model, patients get better and they get better faster. Studies have shown that therapeutic exercise can reduce pain. Studies have also shown that hands on manual therapy can reduce pain. However, the most powerful studies look at the combination of manual therapy and therapeutic exercise treating under regional interdependence. The treatments get you better and they get you better faster. This can reduce medical expenses as you can return to your life with greater speed. The research does not lie, regional interdependence is the wave of the future and Water & Sports Physical Therapy is carrying that banner into 2016.