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Three Pillars of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

The American Physical Therapy Association advocates for three pillars in true evidence based practice. These three pillars include – available evidence, clinical knowledge, and patient preferences.

1. Best Available Evidence – The Physical Therapy profession has exploded with research in the past 16 years since I’ve been practicing. The good news is that there is more information available to validate the treatments we offer as PT’s. However, each therapist needs to be skilled in evaluating the evidence to truly decide if this new evidence should be implemented into their practice. For example, I remember being on the elliptical at the gym one day when I was reading a journal article about use of the Epley maneuver to treat BPPV (dizziness). I almost fell off said elliptical when I read the Epley maneuver had proved ineffective for the 22 patients in the study. WHAT?!? I have effectively treated patients for 16 years with the Epley maneuver! I was forced to do some soul searching as to what the best treatment options were for my patients with dizziness which leads to pillar #2.

2. Clinical Knowledge – In the Physical Therapy profession, experience counts a great deal. It’s like a car mechanic with years of experience who can diagnose what is going on with my car just by the sounds I make over the phone! When you have “been there and done that” you have a wealth of experience with similar conditions to decide what the problem is with each patient and if your treatment plan is working. Newer clinicians often operate under a mentor who they can discuss cases with and decide on the best treatment options for each patient.

3. Patient Preference – Each patient comes into the clinic with their own life experiences and values. They may have received Physical Therapy services before and have clear expectations of what works for them (or doesn’t work for them!). I once had a patient who wrote a letter to my boss because I was unable to perform ultrasound on her because my clinic did not have an ultrasound machine. She was frustrated when I tried to refer her to a clinic (without charging her for the evaluation) that would be better suited to meet her needs. Instead, my bosses sent me the one ultrasound machine in the company and I used it on her until she realized that it was not improving her treatment. Then the ultrasound machine went back into storage! Patient preference includes knowing what each patient’s goals for treatment are and this should be discussed at the initial evaluation. There is actually some research to support this as I wrote my PhD dissertation on goal setting with patients at the initial evaluation.

These three pillars are at the core of Physical Therapy for everyBODY. I am dedicated to keeping up on current research to improve each patient’s capacity to return to their desired activity level.

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
Dr. Amy Konvalin

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