The Progress Physical Therapy Difference
The Progress Physical Therapy experience is different from most physical therapy experiences. Patients quickly learn that what we offer is more than just managing your symptoms and treating the site of your pain or injury. Instead, we offer a whole body, whole person approach to rehabilitation that focuses on the driver of your dysfunction. This allows patients to return to efficient and healthy movement patterns in the activities they enjoy.
The first thing you will notice is that the time and attention you receive at Progress PT is significantly more than at a traditional physical therapy practice. Progress PT is a sole practitioner practice established in 2002 by Lori von Alten, PT, DPT, AT-Ret. Dr. von Alten, or Lori as her patients refer to her, schedules all new patients for an initial 75 minute evaluation. Subsequent appointments are for 60 minutes. Your entire appointment will be one-on-one time with Lori. You will never be handed off to an assistant and there will never be another patient that overlaps with your appointment.
You will also notice that Lori’s approach is unique among Triangle Area physical therapists. Before beginning any treatment, she will listen to your story to get the context for why you are experiencing pain and dysfunction in your body. Then, whether you have come in presenting with headaches or ankle pain (or any pain in between), she will begin with a head to toe evaluation of your body and observe your movement patterns, focusing on what tasks are meaningful to you on a daily basis. Lori will be taking copious notes both while you are talking and while she is performing the evaluation. These notes are essential to the process of mapping the areas of dysfunction in your body and efficiently narrowing in on the “driver” (the source) of your pain and/or movement dysfunction. For hip pain, the driver could actually be in your thorax or neck. For knee pain, the driver could be your ankle, hip, thorax or shoulder. This process provides Lori with the information needed to devise a treatment plan that will create the biggest change in your body and provide you with the tools to maintain your more efficient movement patterns and alignment. This way, you don’t waste time on a treatment that will not create lasting change.
Many of the strategies Lori uses to help her patients come from training she has received from some of the most renowned physical therapists in the world. These include:
- Diane Lee, BSR, FCAMPT, CGIMS, RYT200 who co-developed the Integrated Systems Model for Disability and Pain with Dr. a-Joy Lee and now teaches solely under the abbreviated title, “The Integrated Systems Model”. Diane has been integral in Lori’s ability to look beyond the pelvic floor for restoration of pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Gregg Johnson, PT, FFMT, FAAOMPT and Vicky Saliba Johnson, PT, FFMT, FAAOMPT, both with The Institute of Physical Art in Steamboat Springs, CO. Gregg and Vicky have been integral to Lori’s practice in helping her with movement re-education and exercise training, as well as pain management and functional rehab.
- Dr. Linda-Joy Lee (Education: PhD, BSc(PT), BSc(Chem), Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT), Intramuscular Stimulation (CGIMS)/Dry Needling, MCPA, MAPA, Clinical Pilates, Pelvic Health Therapist, Sports Injuries and Performance Consultant) of the Institute for Physiotherapy & Movement in Vancouver Canada. Dr. Lee’s research has led her to develop unique approaches to physical therapy that include the Circles of Influence™, ConnectTherapy™ and the Thoracic Ring Approach™. Dr. Lee’s approach has been a game changer in Lori’s practice.
Our strategies optimize your treatment.
focuses on a whole person approach to helping patients. It acknowledges the many influences your body is dealing with. For example, old injuries, recent illnesses, and emotional stress can all influence how your body functions. The robust clinical reasoning process defined by ConnectTherapy™ allows Lori to evaluate all of these aspects of your health to determine what is driving your pain or dysfunction. Then, for example, if Lori determines that your back pain is actually being driven by issues with your ankle, Lori can create the proper treatment plan to resolve your back pain. Learn more
The ConnectTherapy™ Circles of Influence™
is a visual representation that illustrates the many factors that influence how you move and how you feel. The human body is made up of many complex systems that all work together, so pinpointing problems in your respiratory, cardiovascular, muscular, and skeletal systems provide input into why you are moving and feeling like you are. And, by additionally identifying potential barriers such as nutrition, stress, environmental factors, emotions, and ingrained beliefs about your body, Lori can address your whole body as a system, not just your sore back, your migraine headaches, or your incontinence. Learn more
The Thoracic Ring Approach™
can be a game changer for many people. This innovative approach assesses and treats the thoracic spine and ribs as a 3-D “Thoracic Ring” instead of individually, as is the case in traditional physical therapy. Most practitioners don’t examine the function of the thoracic region if a patient is not complaining of pain in their thorax, but if the thorax is not functioning optimally, it can be the cause of pain in many other parts of the body.
Once the driver and necessary adjustments are identified, Lori helps you maintain the correction by training your body in new patterns of neuromuscular control while building endurance and strength and showing you how to integrate all of this into your whole body movement.
The benefit of all of these diagnostic tools is that you won’t be treated with a “trial and error” approach. By identifying the driver of your pain or issues before beginning treatment, you won’t waste time with manual therapy that only provides temporary relief or spend hours doing exercises that won’t resolve your issues.
“The ability to incorporate the expertise/approach of all these mentors has been a blessing!”
“When your body experiences pain due to dysfunctional and inefficient movement patterns or injury, skillful intervention and a comprehensive personal approach is essential to your recovery. At Progress Physical Therapy, each client’s progress toward restoring balance and harmony in the whole body is the goal.” Lori von Alten, PT, DPT, AT-Ret.