Q: What does seeing a physical therapist do that's more beneficial than seeing another type of medical expert?

A physical therapist is supposed to be trained in a unique way that allows him to be able determine the cause of pain. A physical therapist should be able to identify what symptoms would result if a nerve is irritated, a muscle is strained, or a joint is compromised. The ultimate goal of an evaluation is to determine which tissue is creating the pain signal, thus identifying that a particular tissue is in distress.

A physical therapist is supposed to be uniquely trained to achieve this goal. Right now, the medical system has it backwards. You go to a specialist to identify which tissue is creating the pain signal. So when you go to the neurologist, he look at the MRI-- focusing on the neurological system to see if they can find an abnormality. If you go to an orthopedist, he look at the MRI with the focus on finding a variation to a structural element associated with a joint. Neither of these specialties is adept at identifying a cause that does not fall into their specific knowledge base. Worst of all, specialists seem to give an extreme level of credence to diagnostic tests, which have in recent years been shown to have very little ability to identify a cause of pain.

Mitchell Yass is a licensed Physical Therapist, founder of PT2 Physical Therapy and Personal Training, and author of Overpower Pain: The Strength Training Program that Stops Pain without Drugs or Surgery. His pain resolution program is helping thousands of people avoid unnecessary drugs and surgery, freeing them from pain indefinitely.For more information, visit: http://www.mitchellyass.com/