In response to “The Perils of Toughing It Out”


Dear Jane,

I just finished reading your most recent article and was pleased to see that you mention the importance of physical therapy.  For the past 30 years I have really enjoyed reading your articles and found them informative. I have been a physical therapist for over 40 years and witnessed the growth and need for physical therapy in our society.  More and more people are suffering from chronic pains especially in the back, knees, shoulders and neck and are searching for answers to cure their pain.  Unfortunately, recently I have been experiencing less and less support for physical therapy from the medical establishment and insurance companies. For this reason Physical Therapy has become less and less effective, most of the attention is placed on saving money and restricting treatments from the number allotted to the length of the session. In my professional opinion the patient should come first, not the insurance company. So, I would like to ask you what insurance company would accept that a doctor of physical therapy focus their full attention on a patient for at least 45min if not longer?

For the first 20 years of my career I was convinced that having stronger muscles would alleviate pain in the body. After working for many years with professional athletes and dancers who had strong muscles, but complained constantly of joint pain, I realized that I needed to develop a unique physical therapy program specifically for the joints while the patient is in a passive and active state.  In my practice I work with a patient for at least 45min in a passive state. I manually maneuver the person’s joints, muscles and bones to realign and “tune” the body. I then teach the person a series of movements based on their specific ailments to improve their mobility and flexibility and alleviate their pain.  These movements should be comfortable and easy, at no point does the patient need to go to extremes or push themselves out of their comfort zone.

Also in the past 20 to 30 years within the Physical Therapy world there has been the incorporation of many new modalities based around equipment and technology, such as pulse magnetic therapy, laser therapy and SCENAR (Self Controlled Energo-Neuro-Adaptive Regulator). Personally, in my practice I am a big promoter of SCENAR,  a small portable powerful machine to treat chronic pain. SCENAR is a hand held scanning device that has a unique biofeedback self-regulated programming mechanism. Applied over the skin of the body it will pinpoint the area of greatest resistance in the skin in order to alleviate the pain and discomfort. I utilize the device on the musculoskeletal system in order to maximize health and minimize pain in the body.

In general I believe that it is crucial for people to research what kind of physical therapy techniques exists so that they can make an informed decision.  I offer the patient my full attention during their treatment with a hands-on-approach.

I hope that after all of your surgeries and physical therapy you are running and swimming like 30yrs ago, but if you are still not in perfect “tune” you are always welcome at my studio.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to reading more of your articles in the future.

All the best,

Shmuel Tatz

P.S. Better late than never…