The Benefits Of One-On-One Physical Therapy

Solo sessions allow undivided attention on patient, proper exercise form, better outcomes.

Barbara Crittenden wore a lot of hats during a long and rewarding career.

Barbara Crittenden

“I was a surgical nurse; I worked in advertising; and I was the manager for a weekly newspaper,” the 84-year-old details. “I also had a real estate license at one time.

“I enjoyed working and loved every job I had. I mostly loved working in the medical field. It was very interesting assisting with surgery. I scrubbed for all types of surgery, except heart surgery. There were too many people in the operating room for that.

“The only drawback is that there’s no talking when you’re in surgery, and I love to talk. That’s part of what made me very good at sales. I did a lot of sales during my career and really enjoyed that, too.”

In 2003, Barbara moved from New Jersey to Florida to take care of her aunt, who suffered a bad fall and had no one nearby to help. After that, Barbara took on the care of her mother, who had serious leg problems and ended up using a wheelchair.

Several years ago, Barbara began experiencing difficulty with her own legs, especially her knees. The problem started in her right knee but ultimately affected her left knee as well. It caused Barbara severe anxiety as well as pain.

“I felt pain, but it wasn’t as bad as some people experience, maybe an eight on a scale of one to 10,” she describes. “The worst part for me was that my legs would just give out, and I’d go down.

“Once, I needed help to get up again. I never knew when my legs were going to give out. That was very, very scary for me. The problem was that the cartilage was missing on one side on both knees. It wasn’t totally bone on bone, but it was close.

“I made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor, who took x-rays and said, You’re going to need surgery. In the meantime, I started getting injections into my right knee. But I continued to experience pain in my knee, and my legs kept giving out.”

Barbara eventually underwent a total right knee replacement in September 2020. She had surgery on her left knee as well in October 2021. After both procedures, she was treated at Barr & Associates Physical Therapy, the Ormond Beach practice of Jacob Barr, PT, DPT, MTC, CEAS, CHT.

“While I was visiting my orthopedic doctor, I picked up a copy of Volusia Health Care News and started reading the article on physical therapy at Barr & Associates,” Barbara remembers.

“I was going to physical therapy before surgery, but the therapist worked with two people at the same time, so I wasn’t getting the therapist’s full-time attention. I decided to call Barr & Associates after my surgery.”

Tailored Protocols

Since the practice opened in 2008, Dr. Barr’s philosophy has been to provide one-on-one therapy. He believes that approach produces a better overall outcome for the patient.

“We don’t work with two or three patients at the same time,” he confirms. “Some of our patients come from clinics that do that, and they tell us they didn’t think they were getting the most out of their therapy. Without close supervision, they didn’t know if they were doing the exercises correctly.

“When patients come to our clinic, they receive undivided, one-on-one attention for the full treatment hour. We keep an eye on them the whole time and ensure they are doing everything correctly.

“Our approach also leads to better patient compliance in terms of actually showing up for their therapy sessions. Because they know they are going to get that one-on-one attention, they’re more willing to attend each session.”

The Barr & Associates staff began working with Barbara in March 2021, when she still could not walk independently and required the use of a rollator (walker with wheels).

“We immediately started manual therapy, hands-on techniques such as soft tissue mobilization and passive range of motion on her right knee,” Dr. Barr details. “She then progressed to active range of motion exercises as well as strengthening exercises, and balance and gait training.”

Therapy protocols for knee replacements are tailored to each patient situation and needs and can include laser therapy, soft tissue massage, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and therapeutic taping.

“Our knee replacement patients can also benefit from using one of our bikes,” Dr. Barr observes. “We have a recumbent bike and regular stationary bikes that patients can use to build strength. Our AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is beneficial for them as well.”

Following three months of therapy, Dr. Barr discharged Barbara in June 2021.

Four months later, Barbara had her left knee replaced. She returned to Barr & Associates for therapy two months after the surgery.

“In treating Barbara’s left knee, we essentially repeated the same treatment that we provided for her right knee,” Dr. Barr reports. “When the rehabilitation was completed in May, she was able to walk independently. Now, she no longer needs a rollator, cane or other assistive device to get around. She made quite a recovery.”

Fear Eliminated

The protocol included intense physical therapy and laser treatments. Barbara was also instructed to perform exercises at home to further strengthen her knees. She is very glad she decided to have her knees replaced and chose Barr & Associates Physical Therapy for follow-up care.

“People shouldn’t be afraid and put off the surgery, but the physical therapy afterward is the most important part,” Barbara enthuses. “You’ve got to be able to walk without pain because sitting in a wheelchair is no fun, and that’s what happens if you can’t walk. I was lucky; I didn’t have that much pain, just that fear that my legs were going to give out.

“I enjoyed all my time spent at Barr & Associates. Going there was one of the best decisions I ever made.” – Barbara

“Thanks to physical therapy, I can walk without that fear, and I don’t have to use a walker. Now, I’m going to celebrate. I love to travel so I’m going on a jazz cruise. Because I went through the surgeries and physical therapy, I’ll be able to run around the ship from venue to venue and listen to the various musicians.”

Barbara has high praise for the staff at Barr & Associates Physical Therapy.

“At Barr & Associates, you work one-on-one with your therapist for the full hour. And I had the same therapist for both knees,” she enthuses.

“Dr. Barr works with you in addition to your assigned therapist. He helped me with my balance.

“The staff is professional and knowledgeable. They established a trust in me for my recovery. They’re a very caring group. I rate them a 10-plus because they helped me to be independent. I’ve recommended them to a lot of people already.

“I enjoyed all my time spent at Barr & Associates. Going there was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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