By: Mark St. Peter

I have been working in the physical rehabilitation world for over 30 years. But my introduction to physiotherapy started well before that when I had to undergo my own recovery following a motor vehicle accident which resulted in 70+ surgeries. My surgeons told me I’d never walk again. But after two years of physical therapy, I graduated from a wheelchair to crutches. However, this is the point at which my physical therapy services ended. Overall, my experience was much better than most but it was still not enough.

Through my professional experience, I have come to see that physical therapy doesn’t cover the full breadth and depth of what is possible, and more importantly, what is required for complete recovery. It became clear that there are two ends of the physical services world – physical therapy and fitness, with a very wide gap between them. 

Physical therapy is about getting people back to basic function from a significant disadvantage –  basic personal hygiene, brushing your teeth, caring for yourself, tying your shoes, walking, etc. While the fitness industry has been traditionally associated with looks, longevity, fun, and striving for the supraphysiological.

What if you need ongoing care for a chronic condition? What if you want to run a half marathon after a joint replacement? What if you want to play with your kids after a motor vehicle accident? Or have sex after an injury? These activities are beyond what is considered “basic function” and therefore don’t fit the regular parameters of physical therapy or the fitness industry. There’s a gap!

Millions are suffering from chronic pain and craving more care while their doctors and therapists shrug their shoulders. Oftentimes this is because providers are limited on what they can provide by third parties such as an administration hierarchy and insurance companies. Length of care is also often dictated by these third parties which limits the fullest level of care a chronic pain sufferer can receive. Advanced recovery is possible for the overwhelming majority of people. There are rare exceptions, but I have yet to encounter someone so physically limited that they could not benefit from advanced recovery beyond what the system has to offer.

So for those of you in this gap, like I was, what is the solution?

Well, I’ve been working in this space for years. I call it Therapeutic Physical Care (TPC). It is the discipline of working with a client until you get them to a level of function and ability that is as close to normal as possible. In TPC, there are no external limitations to your recovery. If you are willing to do the work, I am too. If you reply to this post with your problem, I’ll answer and help you out in whatever way I can.