Are You Getting Enough Time with Your Healthcare Provider?

Who can relate to this? You’ve been dealing with pain, sickness, or some health scare for some time now, and you’ve finally decided it’s past the time of hoping it will spontaneously resolve. You decide it’s time to have this thing looked at by a pro. You line up all of your questions, book an appointment at their earliest opening (4 months from now!) and eagerly await answers and direction on what you need to do in order to address this nagging problem. The day of your appointment comes and you show up early. Then have to wait 45 minutes past your scheduled appointment time to get pulled back into the evaluation room. Lest not forget, you were lucky to only have to wait 45 minutes, because your cousin had to wait 2 hours at this very same office just 3 weeks ago. Then, your provider comes in, asks you what’s going on, listens to MOST of your story, then hurries the rest of the conversation along. After all, they have 8 other patients waiting in their respective rooms, or out in the lobby. It’s lunch time, and that provider has already seen 17 patients. You get your prescription for some medication and possibly some tests or imaging ordered, and you’re on your way – not much more certain of what’s going on than you were before that appointment.

Let us be clear, this is NOT good. You deserve more time with someone who knows how to help you. You deserve a thorough explanation of what the likely issue is (which requires a deep dive into your diagnosis – which takes TIME!).

Let’s be clear on this as well – this is very likely NOT your provider’s fault! They work in a system that is prioritizing quantity over quality. They work in a system that forces them to be more effective at time management than high quality diagnosis and getting to the root of people’s problems. IF they had more time to afford you and their other patient’s, they would be thrilled – AND THEY WOULD BE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE AT HELPING YOU! Alas, sadly for them, this is not the system they get to operate within. They are constrained by a system that chokes each interaction, stifling the opportunity to build relationships and solve the deep problems that many patients are facing.

At WPT, we are trying like hell to change this narrative. Each and every one of our clinicians have been on the other side of the scenario described above. We’ve been limited, frustrated, and stressed that we’re not able to provide the care we know we could, only if we had more TIME to give. For this is the reason that WPT exists, and the reason each and every one of us has chosen to be on this side of healthcare history.

We’ve chosen a different path. Have you been frustrated by a scenario like the one described above? Our guess is you have. If you’re ready for someone to give you the time to listen, get to the bottom of your problems, and solve things for good, call us. We’re here for you.

Hop Test Variations

Return to sport tests are common at WPT and taking patients through tests that are validated by evidence is really important. Today we want to talk about a few tests that we use. Lower extremity injuries typically consist of two sides, the involved and uninvolved side. The difference between these two is simple. The involved side is the side that is injured and the uninvolved side is the side that is not injured. The rule of thumb here is that the outcome of your return to sport testing needs to be within 10% of your uninvolved side to safely return to athletics. Below are four validated tests commonly used at WPT as a gauge for return to sport.

Single Hop Test
This test is simple. The patient stands at the end of the measuring tape on one leg, and hops as far as they can using the uninvolved leg. Next we have the patient do the same but using the involved side. We test on both sides to see if the patient has comparable distances within 10%. For example, to meet the 10% threshold, if an individual can hope 30 inches on their non-injured side, they should be able to hop at least 27 inches on their injured side. Of the four listed tests, this is the only one time maximal effort power test.

Triple Hop Test
The principle for this test is the same as the single hop test, however this time there are three hops instead of one. Athletics most always require multiple bursts of dynamic activity, and this test reflects that aspect better than a single hop test.

Crossover Hop
This third test is is similar to the three hop test but instead of hoping straight, the patient hops in a zig-zag pattern over the ruler. The lateral movement aspect of this test requires additional levels of lower extremity stability and power.

6 Meter Timed Hop Test
The fourth and final test is a timed test to determine how quickly you can unilaterally hop in a six meter distance. If you are uncertain you’re ready to return to your sport after an injury, seeking out a physical who’s capable of determining your readiness is crucial to your recovery. The worst thing that can happen is getting back to your sport prematurely and suffer a re-injury!

If you have any question about return to sport tests or injuries, please feel free to reach out to us. We are always here to help!

4 Tips for Runners

Spring has sprung and this means the weather is getting warmer, which we can all agree is amazing! With warmer weather comes an uptick in outdoor sports — running being one of our favorites at WPT. So, if you find yourself running in this beautiful weather we wanted to give you some tips to help reduce your risk of injury and keep you going!

1. Warm-up!

It is important to prime your body for movement before starting to run in order to allow your body to move through the complete range of motion necessary and prepare the muscles to activate properly with every stride. Warm-ups should be dynamic allowing the body to move through various motions to allow the muscles and joints to move appropriately. Here’s an example of a pre-running warm-up: air squats, butt kicks, high knees, jumping jacks, vertical jumps, & walking lunges. Simply complete each of these for 1-2 minutes continuously before tying up those laces and going for a jog!

2. Progress Distance Gradually

If you are just beginning to run for the first time of the season after the long winter, then it is key to make sure you start small then build up your mileage over several weeks and months. In running, there is something called the ‘Ten Percent Rule’ this means that per week the mileage you are running should increase by no more than 10% from one week to the next! This rule is a quick and easy way to reduce your risk for injury when increasing your mileage.

3. Hydrate Properly

When you begin running, you will undoubtedly sweat — with this loss of fluid you need to make sure you are replacing this fluid through drinking plenty of water. Generally, it is recommended to drink 8 glasses of water per day, however knowing that both exercises (sweating) and the outdoor heat can cause fluid loss make sure you up this intake by a glass or two when upping your mileage to prevent dehydration!

4. Cross Train

Running is an awesome form of exercise for our cardiovascular fitness, however ensuring that we are training out muscle for strength and control is also important. So, for runners it is key that we integrate a handful of resistance exercises several times a week. Key muscle groups to strengthen for runners include the gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps and the core.

If you have any questions about how to safely start a running program or how to reduce your injury risk with running come see us at WPT!