Team Work: Programmed to Provide Better Outcomes

by Anne Bierman, PT, DPT, SCS | Leave a Comment

Through specialized practice, Athletico is able to better serve our industrial customers and patients. This is because Athletico offers a variety of clinical programs to support therapists and athletic trainers who have profound interest and passion in niche specialty practice. Within each program are clinical pathways for professional development that include and are not limited to mentoring opportunities, internal/external coursework for skill development, relationship building via physician observation, community outreach events and marketing support in order to develop a skillset from entry-level to master clinician.

Why are These Programs Important?

Athletico therapists and athletic trainers have the opportunity to join any clinical program. The programs offer on-site advanced education, online didactic training, journal club events with industry leading physicians, mentoring and pathways for growth.

Each clinical program has established best practices in order to create a consistent delivery of services to our customers and patients. Therapists in these programs have gone through advanced training regarding manual therapy skills, appropriate exercise prescription and communication with their entire health care team.

Programs and specialty techniques offered to Athletico clinicians include:

• Endurance • Gymnastics/Cheerleading
• Men’s/Women’s Health • Pediatrics
• Spine • Movement Performance Project
• Vestibular/Concussion • Active Release Technique
• Headache/Temperomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) • Dry Needling
• Performing Arts • Astym
• ACL 3P • Graston
• Hip Preservation • Lymphedema
• Overhead Athlete

By participating in these programs, therapists and athletic trainers receive advanced education and truly take patient care to the next level. Improving outcomes and patient satisfaction is a goal of each clinical program, which can be seen in the following case studies:

1. A Collaborative Treatment Plan for Low Back Pain

A picker injured his back on the job while lifting a crate of vegetables. The local clinician has helped centralize his symptoms, but he still reports severe low back pain with prolonged static positions. The local clinician reaches out to a certified manual therapist in the spine specialty program to co-treat this individual, attempting to avoid surgery. The spine clinician offers several additional manual therapy techniques in addition to dry needling. Together, they also work on posture, lifting mechanics and functional return to work activities to minimize this patient’s pain, avoid surgical intervention and get him back to work!

2. Getting Back to Work After a Torn ACL

A firefighter tore his ACL on the job. He underwent reconstructive surgery and was referred to an Athletico ACL 3P clinician for his course of rehabilitation as an Industrial Athlete. Around the five month mark, the referring physician recommends doing a performance evaluation prior to an FCE due to the high level of dynamic function that is required to perform his job as a firefighter. An Athletico ACL 3P clinician carries out a performance evaluation on the firefighter, objectively analyzing dynamic hip stability via Y balance test and limb symmetry index via hop testing. The ACL 3P clinician then communicates with the industrial specialist to incorporate work-specific activities into their work conditioning program that address deficits found with testing. The patient successfully returns to work at the seven month post-op mark.

3. Teaming Up to Treat Multiple Injuries

A warehouse employee was crawling underneath a pallet when it collapsed on top of her. She suffered a broken wrist, broken jaw and concussion. After bony healing, she started Occupational Therapy with a certified hand therapist and successfully regained all motion and strength in her wrist. She also started physical therapy at the same clinic for neck pain and headaches. She was progressing objectively with improved cervical range of motion, postural awareness, and scapular stability, but she continued to have headaches and jaw pain. The physical therapist reached out to the program manager of the Headache/TMD team, and the patient transferred to a nearby clinic with a clinician actively participating in both the headache/TMD program and the vestibular/concussion program. This clinician utilized advanced manual techniques, proprioceptive training, and neuromuscular re-education techniques to help eliminate this patient’s pain and return the patient to work.

Improving Outcomes

All of the aforementioned outcomes are the results of individualized treatment plans that were put together based on the patient’s unique set of circumstances. As you can see, the advanced education offered through Athletico’s clinical programs helps our teams improve outcomes and patient satisfaction. If you would like more information, call 888-8-WORK4U or reach out to Athletico’s Work Comp team at Work4U@athletico.com.

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