The New York Times's Gina Kolata writes about insurance companies that are refusing to pay for physical therapy and physicians who report that some of it doesn't work for the injuries for which it's prescribed. What's going on? Says one expert she interviewed,
It depends....“There is a growing body of evidence that supports what physical therapists do, but there is a lot of voodoo out there, too,” Dr. Irrgang said. “You can waste a lot of time and money on things that aren’t very helpful.”
Sometimes, manual stretching by a physical therapist can actually eliminate a sports injury, he said. His two examples are manual stretching of the shoulder for shoulder impingement syndromes, in which the shoulder blade rubs on a major tendon, the rotator cuff, and manual stretching of the ankle for ankle sprains.
They are the exceptions. More common are the “voodoo” treatments, he said. And what might those be? None other than ice and heat and ultrasound, Dr. Irrgang said. Also, he said, there is no evidence showing laser and release — a massage technique — to be effective in helping injuries heal. (Links omitted).
Read the rest of Ms. Kolata's article here.