Integral Physical Therapy Erie, CO

Today's blog is another Collaborative Care Conversation with Integral Physical Therapy's Dr. Chris Edmundson!

Dr. Edmundson was one of the first local healthcare providers we had the privilege of meeting when opening up in August. Integral Physical Therapy is a healthcare clinic with locations in Erie, Firestone, and Thornton. They provide evidence-based treatment proven to help you decrease pain and return to function. 

We personally LOVED some of Dr. Edmundson's answers to these questions, and really appreciate his outlook on patient and collaborative care. 

First, let's give you a reminder of what collaborative care is and means to achieve.

Collaborative care is a system of a patient care delivery that focuses on the achievement of outcomes within effective and appropriate time frames and resources. It addresses the entire episode of illness, bridging all clinical settings in which the patient receives care. Through the collaborative efforts of multiple caregivers, a plan of medical care is mapped out that results in a clinical path. The clinical path can improve satisfaction levels for patients, nurses, rehabilitation staff, and physicians by establishing a method of reinforcement for everyone involved in efficient delivery of care. 

WC = Wurth Chiro

IPT = Integral Physical Therapy

WC: Who is Integral PT’s ideal patient? What cases do you guys see great results with?

IPT: We don’t really have an ideal patient. We started our company in 2016 with the intention of being one of the first physical therapy clinics in the area to accept Medicaid. It is important to us to serve our community and that means caring for those that the medicalsystem sometimes leaves behind. We work with anyone with neuromusculoskeletaldisorders. In other words, anyone with pain and movement dysfunction. We also workwith some people with cardiopulmonary conditions unless they are more appropriate fora formal cardiac rehabilitation program. Integral Physical Therapy has become known as the place to go if you have a complex condition. We are the physical therapy clinic where providers send their patients whohave failed other treatment. Naturally we treat all levels of patient complexity, but we take great pride in restoring function to people who have been written off by the medical

WC: Can a person see a chiro and a PT at the same time? What situations might you refer to a

IPT: Absolutely! Not only can a patient see a chiropractor at the same time as a physicaltherapist, I would argue that this is the best case scenario. In a healthcare system that isdominated by expensive, invasive and often high risk medical procedures, rehabilitation offers safe, effective alternatives that have been proven to reduce the likelihood that these medical procedures are required. Rehabilitation services should almost always be utilized prior to consideration of medicine or surgery for the management of pain and movement disorders. Like how physical therapists differ from occupational therapists, chiropractors offer another perspective on rehabilitation services.

This is like how two artists may both use a paint brush and view the same landscape. One painter may produce a beautiful impressionist painting and the other an impressive abstract painting. In the case of chiropractors vs physical therapists, we may use some of the same treatment techniques but each with a different understanding of how the body functions and with different philosophies on how to normalize function.

So all of this talk about art and philosophy may make you ask, “shouldn’t these treatments be guided by science”? Of course, all of the best health care providers use scientific research to guide their treatment. However, despite physical therapists being around since 1813 and chiropractors since 1895, we still have much to learn about the human body. Our knowledge grows every year and I expect that someday the physical therapy and chiropractic professions will appear indistinguishable. Both professions will be guided by research that tells us the single most appropriate treatment path for each individual. For the meantime, every patient is different and there is some art to providing the highest quality care available.

One of the best cues that we should refer one of our patients to a chiropractor is if they have a positive expectation of success. Someone who has previously seen a chiropractor with good results is likely to find a benefit again. This person also recognizes the value of chiropractic and is better able to understand why they should be paying for two different types of rehabilitation services. Generally speaking, I tend to recommend chiropractic services when someone is not progressing as expected with physical therapy. If their progress is slower than anticipated or when they have hit a roadblock in their recovery, chiropractic can complement physical therapy to keep the patient moving forward.

WC: Talk to us about the importance of collaborative care as you’ve seen in your office.

IPT: As mentioned above, physical therapists can not solve all problems independently. We rely on our physician and surgeon colleagues when someone does not progress as expected with conservative care. Some of these cases require medications to manage their condition and other times surgery is warranted. However, our first priority is to provide lower risk conservative care including rehabilitative services (chiropractic, physical, occupational and speech therapy) along with other therapies such as
psychotherapy, acupuncture, massage and nutrition services. We must look at the whole person when determining a course of treatment for a patient. If someone does not cope well with psychological stressors, our exercise and manual therapy interventions will be ineffective because we are not addressing one of the root causes of the problem. This person may indeed have physical stressors on their body that we can manage, but in this case, the problem will not be solved without a team approach involving a psychotherapist. Pain is always complex and has far more variables than most people know. Collaboration between health professionals is essential to uncover all of the influences on a patient’s condition. Ultimately, a breakdown of this conservative care collaboration may lead to unnecessary, higher risk medical interventions such as surgery
and medication.

We always enjoy our time chatting with Chris over at Integral Physical Therapy. Check out the contact information below to get ahold of Integral's Erie location!

Integral Physical Therapy

Dr. Chris Edmundson

671 Mitchell Way, Ste 208
Erie, CO 80516

Email: [email protected]
Call: 720-600-0370

Zach Wurth

Zach Wurth


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