Thursday Thoughts: The Quick Fix | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Thursday Thoughts: The Quick Fix


It's a problem in our society that everyone wants a quick fix. I regularly tell patients that any quick improvement they see from some magic hands technique has also has a quick reversal.

I would say the average well meaning clinician wants to "fix" a patient, but this is looking at it the wrong way. We do not "fix" anyone, as any manual technique, corrective exercise, or repeated loading strategy we do in the clinic will have temporary effects. How you should view the encounter is by maximizing the patient's potential for healing, movement, and overall wellness in body and mind. I go about this by

  • using pain science education, stories, metaphors, and patient examples to decrease perceived threat
  • empowering them with their own self assessment and treatment strategies
  • using treatments that are non threatening
    • instructing that the improvements from these treatments are transient
    • the self treatments will keep the improvement going
  • having a very positive encounter with very selective choice of words
  • being transparent in terms of healing time frame
    • 2-4 visits for rapid responders
    • 3-6 months for slow responders (frozen shoulder, post surgery, etc)
    • may be over one year for true central sensitization, function improving over pain


Present it to every patient that you will help them achieve their full potential by enabling them to fix themselves. I have recently been blogging and teaching about the importance of variability. Other than various movement and hands on based treatments that are variable, the biggest variance from what the patient normally sees and hears is a positive encounter that gives them hope.

Keeping it Eclectic....

3 comments:

  1. Great stuff Erson. Have you found Painful Yarns, by Moseley to be the best resource regarding stories, metaphors, and the like for explaining pain science in relevant terms to patients or is there another resource you would recommend? Thanks for your time and the great blog.

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  2. It is one of my top recommended reads, but Therapeutic Neuroscience Education for clinicians is my number 1, along with Why Do I Hurt for patients.

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