How to Find a Core Rehab Specialist: 10 Questions to Ask
The Tummy Team specializes in functional core rehabilitation – specifically the treatment of diastasis recti and related symptoms of low back pain, pelvic instability, pelvic floor weakness, sciatica, intestinal issues and more. Our approach is based on neurologically retraining the body in functional activities and balancing out in muscle imbalances to allow the bodies natural healing processes to be effective. Though our approach is very rare, we are dedicated to helping people and professionals everywhere have access to rehab that is effective and lasting.
The Tummy Team is comprised of highly specialized physical therapists that work with hundreds of clients every month at our clinic in Camas, WA. But due to the demand of what we do and the lack of specialists in this field, we also offer very effective online programs where we walk you step by step through the core restoration process. We are also working diligently to increase the professional training in this field by offering professional training courses and apprenticeship programs.
Due to modern technology, The Tummy Team can offer virtual appointments via Skype™ with our physical therapists. However, it is always best for clients to work with a specialist in person when possible. Unfortunately, not all practitioners have the training needed, and clients can end up frustrated trying to work with various professionals. To help avoid this, we have comprised a list of questions that we feel will help you find the right practitioner.
Prior to making an appointment with someone, take the time to ask friends or medical support for any recommendations. Then call the clinic and ask the following questions to help decide if this is the right practitioner for you. (By the way, you can download this list to print out here).
1. Do you specialize in diastasis recti rehabilitation?
How often do you work with this diagnosis? What percentages of your clients have this diagnosis?
It is important to understand what training they have had and if this is something they commonly address, or simply something they say they can address. Most PT’s have very basic, but outdated treatment information from PT school. That does not necessarily mean they have the focused training to effectively treat this condition.
2. Do you work with prenatal and postpartum clients regularly?
This is important because there are very unique considerations to take into account with expecting women and new moms so you want a clinician comfortable with these clients.
3. What are the most common diagnosis/issues you see in your clinic?
This helps you see if they focus on clients with similar goals or issues as you.
4. Do you have experience with (insert your specific concerns)?
Ex: diastasis recti, pelvic instability, pelvic floor issues, low back pain, weak core, stress incontinence, intestinal issues, etc.
Due to the extensiveness of PT training, many physical therapists have a general knowledge of a lot of conditions, but you will have the most success with someone who has experience and specialized training for the condition you need to address. Bottom line – find a specialist.
5. Is your facility set up for private assessments?
It is often emotional to work with a diastasis and the assessments can be vulnerable so privacy would be nice.
6. Do you use abdominal splinting in your approach?
Abdominal splinting can be controversial but we believe it can also be an important component to healing a diastasis. It is good to know their position on splinting prior to making your appointment. (You can read more about why we splint here).
7. Do you recommend exercises such as crunches, sit ups, planks or hands and knees exercises or similar in your treatment plan?
These exercises are contraindicated for healing a diastasis. If a clinician is using this approach for rehabilitation of the core, it is likely not the best resource for you.
8. Do you have success in treating clients with diastasis recti?
This is very important. We have heard from so many clients and professionals that even though they worked with a specialist, they were not hopeful they could heal. It is good to know if they have a successful approach. What you are trying to determine is: are they going to focus on symptom management or other issues and avoid the diastasis because they do not feel optimistic that they can heal it?
9. What would I be doing in a treatment session?
Our approach is filled with education and functional integration. We provide hands-on treatment but the goal should be for you to be able to be independent with your core work as much as possible so you can translate it into your real life.
10. How often would I be expected to see you and for how long?
This varies by treatment approach but is important for you to know for your scheduling, co-pays etc. For example, our clinic typically sees clients 3-5 times over 6-10 weeks for 1 hour each time and has tremendous success and lasting results. You can use that model to compare as you do your research.
The Tummy Team is passionate about providing effective functional core rehabilitation to clients everywhere! We are doing this by offering affordable online programs for clients and by offering professional continuing education to spread our successful approach to other practitioners worldwide. We want to make diastasis recti a preventable condition. We hope this list will help you make the best investment for your own health. And if you can’t find a practitioner equipped to help you, our online programs are very comprehensive.
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