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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Take control of your pain

Take control of your pain

Pain is normal. Living in pain is not. 

At Olmsted Medical Center, their highly-skilled and certified team of therapists can work with you to get to the root cause of your pain and put you on a path toward relief. Whether you have general aches, persistent pain, a sports-specific injury or are coming out of surgery, they take a holistic approach — allowing them to look at the entire picture before diving deep into the details around where your pain is coming from.

"When we meet with patients for the first time, we attempt to create expectations of how physical therapy can help them," explains physical therapist Jarrod Brian. "Many people have never been to physical therapy before and are not sure what to expect. At the conclusion of our first session I hope to share a few things with each person and answer the following questions: Number one, why you hurt and the reason for the problem. Number two, what you can do as the patient to help. Number three, what we can do in therapy to help. And number four, provide answers for about how long it will take to get better."

Jarrod is part of a team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and other professionals at OMC focused on helping patients expand their mobility and reestablish everyday movements.

"We pride ourselves on taking the time to sit down and understand each individual's specific physical therapy goals," explains Jarrod. "It is from these goals that we can then help a patient move forward and beyond their current state."

Oftentimes, that means examining what’s failed in the past before exploring solutions you may not have considered before. From there, the team at OMC can put you on a treatment plan with personalized goals to help you restore functionality to the highest degree possible.

“When I sit down with patients to ask them what in their eyes we do for them, it is predominantly, ‘they have been able to make me better in areas I didn’t even know I had a problem in,’” says Teresa Erickson, manager of rehabilitation services at OMC.

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As Jarrod explains, sometimes patients are not fully prepared to address the causes of their pain.

"We try to help them get there, though especially with persistent pain, there is an overwhelming frustration that the problem is still present and may never get better. The time needed to lessen pain and restore function is often hampered by the busyness of life and work to pursue the treatment needed."

That is why he and his colleagues place an emphasis on providing education and building trust.

"You realize you are planting seeds and that in time they can no doubt have less pain and better function," explains Jarrod. "You try to create a therapeutic alliance with each patient, so hopefully they will come back to physical therapy when they're ready to take it on."

When they do come back and stay with their treatment, Jarrod adds, there is no better experience than helping a patient address their pain and, in turn, improve their quality of life.

“You can see it in their face. You can see it in the way they move. You can see it the way they start to act, and the words they start to use. And you realize that they have moved beyond their problem, or their pain, or their functional limitation, and ready to take on life like they used to.”

OMC’s rehabilitation services help patients recover from physical injuries, medical conditions, disabilities or the effects of surgery. Their team also works with athletes to prevent injuries and improve performance. You can visit their website for a full list of services offered. 

This article is part of a series sponsored by Olmsted Medical Center.

Photography by William Forsman

Better health outcomes: For OMC nurses, it starts with improving the process

Better health outcomes: For OMC nurses, it starts with improving the process