“Toe bone connected to the foot bone
Foot bone connected to the … head bone”. Wait! That’s not right! Or is it?
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) may have been onto something when he wrote the famous spiritual song, “Dem Bones”. First recorded in 1928, the song describes a prophecy of resurrection, but the words beautifully articulate how one region of the body is connected to another. This idea of connectedness is at the very heart of our assessment and treatment philosophy at The Physiotherapy Clinic and has been inspired by the work of Dr Linda Joy (LJ) Lee and her model of ConnectTherapy™ (2014).
In a nutshell, ConnectTherapy™ (Lee 2014), is a robust diagnostic assessment and treatment framework that enables the therapist and patient to understand how multiple regions and systems of the body are connected – or interconnected – how they influence each other and determine how we move and feel. This is a more holistic approach to physiotherapy, whereby assessment considers the whole body and it’s interactions, systematically trying to determine the key causes (or Driver) (Lee & Lee 2011) of dysfunction. Therefore, through application of the Connect Therapy ™ (Lee 2014) model, we aim to treat not only your symptoms, but their cause(s) as well.
The following case study helps to describe how we assess and treat within a ConnectTherapy™ (Lee 2014) framework …
Jane (not her real name) presented to The Physiotherapy Clinic with a history of chronic intermittent lower back pain. She was diagnosed with an lower back disc pathology, confirmed with MRI. Her main symptoms included stiffness and aching in her lower back, buttocks and hips, which tended to be aggravated by sitting and bending activities.
Certainly, Jane’s symptoms aligned well with her diagnosis and traditional physiotherapy techniques targeting her symptomatic areas had previously given her relief. However, relief was only ever temporary despite Jane’s best efforts and diligence performing her home exercises and attending regular pilates classes. Eventually, Jane decided to seek alternative care at The Physiotherapy Clinic.
Assessment at The Physiotherapy Clinic revealed the expected tightness and restriction in Jane’s lumbar spine and hips. However, by considering the whole-body in the physical assessment, Jane’s sacroiliac joint, thoracic spine and right foot were also identified to behave in less desirable ways during performance of the forward-bending task. Via systematic testing, it was found that correcting Jane’s foot posture improved her forward bend and with treatment, she was able to sit without pain and stiffness. More importantly, treatment of her foot resulted in lasting relief of her back, buttock and hip symptoms despite the MRI findings of an lower back disc pathology.
Understanding the mechanisms by which ConnectTherapy ™ (Lee, 2014) works is complex. Dr LJ Lee describes it as a means by which we give the body more options in which to operate. With more options available to it, the body has a greater chance of coping with the demands of a multitude of tasks.
If you would like to see how The Physiotherapy Clinic can help you, please contact us on 9387 1011 for an appointment.