When a patient is told they need surgery, there aren’t many who look forward to the process. That’s why one orthopedic physical therapy clinic wants to change the way patients think about health care in general. Orthology, a specialized physical therapy clinic, wants to help patients avoid surgery and medications as much as possible.
“Orthology providers specialize in areas all over the body,” says Orthology representative Stacy Duke. The clinic covers physical therapy, sports medicine and chiropractic care. Duke adds that Orthology works to “restore and enhance movement for people of all ages who have…acute or chronic pain due to structural issues.”
In a lot of cases, these issues develop in athletes. Duke says that the clinic treats athletes of all kinds, “from high school players to professionals." Football players and ballet dancers alike can benefit from Orthology’s practice.
Orthology physical therapist David Rickheim primarily works with runners, as he is a runner himself. At Woodbury’s Orthology location, Rickheim works with individuals and running groups in the area, along with high school students in track and cross-country.
Rickheim explains that word of mouth is the way most of Orthology’s patients find out about the clinic. And the competition is real: there are hundreds of orthopedic physical therapy clinics in the metro, and the market is growing.
Rather than resorting to expensive procedures and medications, Orthology works to help its patients as naturally as possible. Rickheim explains that the clinic restores tissue, giving the patient the opportunity to get stronger without breaking the bank.
Orthology offers different options depending on what each patient needs. Patients can opt for a free 30-minute “mini tune-up,” as Rickheim describes them, where the physical therapist will check in and assess any pain the patient may be having.
If a patient decides to continue working with Orthology, there follows a one-hour evaluation, where the physical therapist and patient work out a plan of care.
Rickheim says most patients visit an additional six to eight times (the national average for most physical therapy clinics is 12 visits for any given problem). The first few appointments are hands-on, so the physical therapist will be doing most of the work. After that, patients hit the gym to work on strengthening their tissue.
Physical therapists look at things like changing a patient’s posture or helping them strengthen their core, which in turn strengthens and eases other muscle groups. Rickheim says that Orthology works to “empower you as an individual to help yourself.”
Orthology’s approach puts the patient first. Rickheim says that Orthology is “trying to disrupt health care” where people are getting surgeries they didn’t need. Rather than giving patients a temporary solution, Rickheim explains, Orthology wants them to get better once and for all. “We want to get you in and out the door as fast as possible,” he says.
And the clinic is always growing. In October, Woodbury’s Orthology clinic gained two more physical therapists who are “expert at treating athletes,” according to Rickheim. The clinic wants to expand its practice to include other therapies and offerings, giving patients more opportunities for personalized care close to home.