So, who are we and what is this site about? If you want to picture a panel of 30-year veterans of orthopedic medicine toiling tirelessly to bring you the latest innovations in assistive devices from their secret laboratory, we won’t stop you. The truth, however less intimidating, may surprise you. Full transparency: This website has been developed by a licensed, currently practicing physical therapy professional with just under 10 years of experience.
WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT ASSISTIVE DEVICES OR THIS SITE?
To answer, I will bring you along on a short aside. We in physical therapy are required, like 90% of other people who provide services, to bill for our time. If I show you some exercises and perform some manual techniques on you, for example, both of these services are billed for. Would you like to know how much has been billed to insurance companies by not just myself, but thousands of other therapists around the world, for adjusting assistive devices and erasing the misconceptions held by those who use them? Let’s just say it is a very, very large number. Anyway, the point is, I want to teach you how to walk and give you the strength to return to full function, not fiddle with your ill-fitted assistive devices! Help me help you help everyone’s wallet!
CAN’T I JUST “WING IT” WITH MY ASSISTIVE DEVICE?
Don’t get me wrong – improvisation is a useful skill. It’s not entirely fruitful, however, as it concerns the use of canes, crutches, and walkers. Often times, when people using assistive devices for the first time try to develop their own movement patterns, it can worsen their condition. This is because when your knee is damaged and trying to heal, for example, your brain develops compensation patterns. In this example of the knee surgery patient who obviously cannot bend or straighten the knee very well, we can see a hip hike and/or “waddle” develop in the gait pattern. After a few thousand hip hikes, you are in serious back pain territory. This can then lead to a slew of other issues, slowing your healing time.
If you just take a few minutes to review some resources and practice the proper gait patterns, relying on your assistive device and not on harmful compensations, you will maximize your healing potential and minimize complications.
WHY ALL ASSISTIVE DEVICES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
Is it really that involved? Can’t I just get a cheap corner store cane and be done with it? Of course you can. And honestly, it may work out just fine for more minor injuries among higher level patients. But for every other scenario, we ask you, do you really want to buy twice? The truth is, most people have no idea if they are using the proper size or even type of assistive device. They don’t know the difference between a quad cane and a single point, making smart selection a challege. And why would they? I have no idea what a catalytic converter does. But I know who I can talk to should mine need repair or replaced. Point delivered? Good.
Now for an informed guide to researching, buying and using canes, crutches, walkers, and other assistive devices, inquire within. Whatever your challenge is, we are honored to help.