I recently had a student from a local university begin his first of 4 clinical rotations. For the first time, as a clinical educucator, I had a long list of ideas and thoughts to expose the student to. His responsibilities already include approximately 2 hours of paperwork at night, so if the reading seems light in ‘volume’, that is why.
First off, my objective was to introduce him to the importance of his consideration of the rapport that he develops with each patient in developing a fruitful therapeutic alliance.
August 25 – One Hand Clapping: Physical Therapy in the 21st Century by Barrett Dorko
August 26 – In The Service of Life by Rachel Naomi Remen
August 27 – Therapist as operator or interactor? Moving beyond the technique, by Diane Jacobs and Jason Silvernail
August 28 – Patient-centered communication is associated with positive therapeutic alliance: a systematic review. by Pinto et al
August 29 – Motivating People to Make Changes (Pt 1) by Bronnie Thompson
At this point, we had begun to explain how patients benefit from a positive therapeutic alliance, how they are more likely to make lifestyle changes, participate in exercises at home and feel better about their prognosis…all a result of patient interaction. It was now time to provide him with a model that helped to explain why:
September 3 – Evidence for a direct relationship between normalisation of pain cognitions and improvement in physical performance in people with chronic low back pain after intensive education by Lorimer Moseley -and- The Popping Spinal Column, another (this time brief) youtube clip of Lorimer Moseley
The reading took a little bit of a turn here. I had seen a patient the previous weekend while covering for another patient and he would be returning to my schedule for the next 2 days prior to being discharged to an outpatient clinic. The patient was a 55-year-old male status post left total knee replacement. His knee had not been responding well: he had ‘more pain than usual’ and his motion was limited to 60 degrees of flexion. My student has been an aide in therapy clinics before and has a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science; I asked him what he has usually seen done in the clinic when a patient presents similarly. I wanted him to understand why I would not be ‘cranking’ on this man’s knee.
September 4 – The Effects of Manual Therapy on Connective Tissue by A Joseph Threlkeld
September 5 – Day off for student’s birthday
September 6 – An Introduction to evolutionary reasoning: diets, discs, fevers and the placebo by Louis Gifford
September 9 – Centralisation, Part 1: Mechanical pain, mechanical diagnosis and the Wrasse bite, a blog posting by Louis Gifford
September 10 – Student was buying a car – knew he wouldn’t have time.
So…the student has read about the importance of establishing a positive relationship with the patient. He has also been exposed to a general framework of why that is (the patient is a fuzz ball). Now it is time to start to read about HOW to develop that rapport with the patient and how to communicate with them.
September 13 – An Overview of Motivational Interviewing
He has been with me for a few weeks now and I continue to hear language that is not always patient centered and thoughtful. He will sometimes say that he is ‘sorry’ when hearing an unfortunate tale from a patient. He will always ask the patient to do something ‘for him’ – my personal pet peeve. I intend to start to nit-pick not only what does with the patient (he is doing an admittedly good job in this domain) but also what he says and the words he chooses when working with patients. Again, to his credit, he relates well to patients and they are appreciative of his efforts, but it is important to learn that we are NEVER good enough at patient communication.
For some quality listening while commuting to and from work, I put this interview of Jason Silvernail by Bret Contreras on CD for him too.
He was sick on September 17th and 18th – no reading assignments for those suffering migraine headaches.
After much discussion throughout the following Monday regarding the interview of Jason Silvernail by Bret Contreras, my student was surprised by the assertion made by Dr Silvernail that depression is (and I paraphrase) more likely to correlate with low back pain than a positive finding on an MRI. He was wondering where this data came from. Of course, this answer had been answered on SomaSimple a few days earlier by Matthew Rupiper and I was able to point him in the right direction:
September 21 – (Sorry, copyrighted materials – abstracts only) Discographic, MRI and psychosocial determinants of low back pain disability and remission: a prospective study in subjects with benign persistent back pain and Three-year incidence of low back pain in an initially asymptomatic cohort: clinical and imaging risk factors.
By now, he has received a significant amount of exposure to the complexity of pain and the importance of establishing a therapeutic alliance with the patient. A few weeks earlier, I had recommended that he read The Patient’s Brain by Fabrizio Benedetti after he graduates and before he starts working with patients to begin to understand how neuroscience accounts for what we really ‘do’ as physical therapists. Of course, to my delight, a recent paper by the same author began circulating online. It was 33 pages, but was a wonderful summary of his book. I broke it up into 3 sections, delivering one section to him daily by email (he received a one day respite on the 24th; he had to document 2 evaluations in that night.)
September 22-25 – Placebo and the New Physiology of the Doctor-Patient Relationship by Fabrizio Benedetti
On Monday, we had conversations regarding what he has been taught as ‘Nerve Tension Tests’. He was confused by my use of the term ‘Neurodynamic Testing’. Additionally, he found it implausible that someone could feel a relief of distal symptoms in the lower leg that had been provoked by seated knee extension (muscle testing) by increasing cervical flexion. This struck him as counter-intuitive. I dug up an old article/paper from 1995 from Michael Shacklock that helped address some of his questions.
September 30 – Neurodynamics by Michael Shacklock
He is beginning to feel increasingly uncertain, yet I continue to ask for more specificity in his testing and deeper thought in his assessment. I thought the time was right to slow things down for a night and remind him that he is not alone.
October 1 – Lost by Barrett Dorko
My metaphors were probably getting old, so I decided to start sharing some of my other favorites. Of course, before I got to one of my favorites (it can wait a day), a newsletter featuring Louis Gifford landed in my inbox. I had to forward it to him.
I also had him contrast everything that he we had covered to date with what his patient’s would likely hear before they met him. To illustrate the disparity, I sampled a thread from a fantasy football message board where a 31-year-old is asking for advice for his chronic low back pain.
October 2 – How do you educate people about their pain and NOT make them think it’s in their head? by Louis Gifford – and – a thread titled Chronic Low Back Pain from Footballguys.com
Over the weekend, he would have plenty of time to digest this GREAT series of postings from Diane Jacobs:
On October 7, we evaluated a woman who had visited a therapist prior to receiving a total knee replacement. That particular therapist told her something that (frankly) irritated the hell out of me. That ittitation led me to create a blog posting which prompted an i-quaintance to post a relevant article, both of which I shared with my student:
October 8 – Just Zip It (my own posting) and Linear and Curvilinear Relationship between Knee Range of Motion and Physical Functioning in People with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Cross-Sectional Study by Hoogeboom et al.
From this point forward, the student was carrying an expanding caseload with a large burden of written work to complete ‘after hours’. Additionally, he began having some ‘family issues’ that was preventing him from completing his written assignments on time, so I knew that additional reading was out of the question.
So with that in mind, I gave him his last reading assignment…one that I knew he might never finish:
October 10 – Diane Jacobs ambitious and wondefully exhaustive review of Melzack & Katz’ article, simply titled ‘Pain‘. She began her journey on May 14; it concluded on August 4. It is nothing short of amazing.
- Part 1 First two sentences
- Part 2 Pain is personal
- (Also Pain is Personal addendum., Neurotags! Pain is Personal, Always.)
- Part 3 –
- Part 4: Pain is a multidimensional experience across time
- Part 5: Pain and purpose
- Part 6- History of Pain Science
- Part 6a: Descartes and his era
- Part 6b: History of pain – what’s in “Ref 4”?
- Part 6c: History of pain, Ref 4, cont.. : There is no pain matrix, only a neuromatrix
- Part 6d: History of Pain: Final takedown
- Part 6e: Pattern theories in the history of pain
- Part 6f: Evaluation of pain theories
- Part 6g: History of Pain, the cautionary tale.
- Part 6h: Gate Control Theory.
- Part 7 – Gate control theory
- Part 8 – Beyond the gate
- Part 9 – Phantom Pain
- Part 10 – “We don’t need a body to feel a body.”
- Part 10: “We don’t need a body to feel a body.”
- Part 10b: Conclusion1: The brain generates its own experience of being in a body
- Part 10c: Conclusion 2: Your brain, not your body, tells you what you’re feeling
- Part 10d: Conclusion 3: The brain’s sense of “Self” can INclude missing parts, or EXclude actual parts, of the biological body
- Part 10e: The neural network that both comprises and moves “Self” is (only)modified by sensory experience
- Part 11 – A new conceptual brain model
- Part 12 – Action Patterns
- Part 13 – Neuroplasticity
- Part 14 –
- Part 14: Side trip out to the periphery!
- Part 14b: Prevention of pain neurotags is WAY easier than cure
- Part 14c: PW Nathan was an interesting pain researcher
- Part 14d: Brain glia are from neuroectoderm and PNS glia are from neural crest
- Part 14e: The stars in our heads
- Part 14f: Gleeful about glia
- Part 14g: ERKs and MAPKs and pain
- Part 14h: Glia-fication of nociceptive input
- Part 14i: Molecular mediators large and small
- Part 14j: Neurons, calling glia (over, do you read?)
- Part 14k: Glia calling glia, over. Do you read?
- Part 14l: Satellite cell and neuron cell body interactions, and we’re outta here!
- Part 15: Prevention of neurobiological hoarding behaviour by dorsal horn and DRG glia is easier than clutter-busting after the fact
- Part 16: Apples are to fruit as cows are to animals as nociceptive input is to pain
- Pain and Stress
- Part 17: The stress of it all
- Part 17b: Stress and adrenals
- Part 17c: Women, pain, and stress
- Part 17d: Stress, aging, and pain
- Part 17e: Stress and aging, keeping hippocampal dendrites fluffed up
- Part 17f: Chrousos and Gold and stress
- Part 17g: Stress conceptualization through the ages
- Part 17h: Phenomenology and physiology of stress
- Part 17i: Pathophysiology of stress
- Part 17j: Cortisol, good or bad? Sensitivity to pain traumatization.
And then it was over. His 8 weeks were complete. Some things he read, some he ‘glanced over’, some I am pretty sure he didn’t read at all. Regardless, the opportunity was there to learn something; I can only hope that he did.