The pain is inescapable and unrelenting. It weakens and debilitates your body. It seeps into your subconscious mind, causing anxiety and despair. It robs you of the joy you used to derive from doing simple things like taking a walk or playing with your kids.
In reality, the cost of chronic pain is incalculable, especially for those in the grip of pain that never takes a day off. While research into chronic pain treatment methods has shown great promise over the past 10 or 20 years, many of the options carry with them their own side effects and risks. Even taking an excess of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil or Aleve can pose a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, and taking narcotic pain relievers like Oxycontin and Vicodin can lead to addiction.
Physical therapy is the preferred treatment route for many chronic pain sufferers looking to rise above the pain by utilizing exercises, such as walking, weight training, stretching and core strengthening movements.
The physical therapists at Legend Physical Therapy in Clear Lake have been helping Bay Area Houston pain sufferers regain their freedom of movement and return to a productive life through the use of unique, cutting edge techniques and proprietary equipment for nearly two years. Located at 1117 Clear Lake City Blvd., Legend PT specializes in providing effective, long term solutions to chronic pain, with an added emphasis on relieving spine pain.
“The majority of our patients are treated for chronic pain,” said Legend PT Business Development Director Rebecca Renegar. “It’s usually something that people have developed over time and have learned to live with, but has come to the point where the only option may be surgery and they’re trying to avoid that at all costs. Many patients come to us as a last resort and say, ‘Please help me.’ Our patients who have tried other forms of treatment, including traditional PT, have told us they have never experienced anything like the care they receive here.”
While Legend PT specializes in treating chronic back pain, patients suffering from sports related injuries, the after effects of automobile or other accidents and post-surgical difficulties also seek to benefit from the expertise of Legend PT physical therapist Eric Santiago, who received a master’s of science in physical therapy from the University of Hartford in Connecticut.
“Utilizing our technologies, Legend PT is able to facilitate recoveries for most orthopedic surgeries in half the time of traditional therapy methods and help our patients recover faster from musculoskeletal injuries,” Santiago said.
Santiago has several years experience in advanced manual therapy and exercise prescription and performance and injury prevention, and is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He is certified in spinal manipulative therapy through the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy and says Legend PT’s proprietary PrimeTrac ® Recovery System uses innovative equipment and procedures to help get patients back to living healthy and productive lives.
“After performing an orthopedic evaluation and utilizing diagnostic tools such as X-ray and MRI when necessary, we are able to target the area of mechanical dysfunction in the spine and other areas of the body,” Santiago says. “When dealing with chronic back pain, you are fighting a continual time clock in trying to shut off the constant cycle of inflammation in the body. Each successive treatment aims to make gentle biomechanical and physiological changes in the spine in order to restore it to normal function and shut down the chronic pain cycle.”
Renegar says the PrimeTrac® treatment regimen is patient driven and focuses on resolving the causes of pain, not simply treating the symptoms that drive patients to seek help. The key to the program’s success is that treatment options are not prescribed in a one-size-fits-all manner and are developed with the particular needs of each patient in mind.
“For example, we had a gentleman, one of our first patients, who came to us with hip pain and orders from his doctor to give him exercises to perform, but when we looked at the X-rays we realized he had a problem with his lower back. By treating the lower back, the radiating pain going down his hip was relieved. If we had treated him through traditional physical therapy, he would have been prescribed exercises for the hip, including strengthening and conditioning movements, which would have relieved the pain temporarily, but because we didn’t treat the source of the pain, it never would have gone away for good,” Renegar says.
In addition to using the personalized diagnosis and treatment protocol, Legend PT also employs a range of innovative equipment and modalities that have proven to be extremely successful in treating not only chronic back pain, but other conditions such as arthritis, sports injuries and physical limitations that arise in post-surgical situations. Legend PT further separates itself from traditional physical training facilities through its use of the body weight support treadmill instead of aquatic therapy. Renegar says aquatic therapy can offer only up to 30 percent in weight reduction, but thanks to the precision of the treadmill, up to 100 percent weight reduction is achieved in one-pound increments.
“Our new technologies include multi-planar traction tables with vibration for the spine to specifically target and eliminate the mechanical source of pain and to facilitate the healing process,” Santiago. “We use seated traction and mechanically assisted neuromuscular recruitment chairs to facilitate the proper utilization of the core muscles, which support the back, along with body weight support and traction treadmills, which allow for pain free walking and helps restore strength and endurance. With these technologies, we are able to tailor and direct each patient’s treatment at the source of the pain.”
Renegar adds that the use of vibration treatment plays a large role in the PrimeTrac® program because it helps to relax the muscles, making it easier to manipulate the areas of the body being treated.
“The vibration therapy relaxes every muscle in the body and by doing that, the adjustments of the physical therapist can take hold because (the patient) is not fighting what the therapist is trying to do,” Renegar said. “Think about it. If your leg is hurt, you adjust to that by not putting all your weight on that leg. Vibration brings complete relaxation, so you’re not fighting the work of the therapist. Plus, vibration also stimulates blood flow, which reduces swelling and inflammation.”
Because Legend PT, which opened its San Antonio facility in January of this year, utilizes the PrimeTrac® method, its physical therapists undergo extensive training in the program. That training includes instruction in bio-mechanical analysis to determine the root causes of pain and study of innovative new treatments such as the Graston Technique, a patented form of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables therapists to break down scar tissue and relieve facial restrictions.
“One of the biggest changes in the physical therapy field over the last decade is the increased educational requirements needed to become a therapist. You now need a doctorate in physical therapy from an accredited university. The added curriculum includes course work in differential diagnosis, which gives you the ability to assess when the patient’s symptoms are outside the musculoskeletal system. Legend Physical Therapy fully embraces the American Physical Therapy Association’s ‘Vision 2020,’ which strives to create a system where all physical therapists practice in a doctoring profession by the year 2020,” Santiago says.
“We treat our patients just like family,” Renegar says. “From our private treatment rooms to the one-on-one direct care they receive from their physical therapist, we take ownership of our patients’ health.”
For more information about Legend Physical Therapy, the PrimeTrac® program or to see what Legend’s patients think of their results, visit Legendpt.com.