Published on March 28th, 2018

Evidence-Based, Personalized Physical Therapy through St. Luke’s

When it comes to getting results, Tim Miller, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, CSCS, Regional Director, Physical Therapy at St. Luke’s, is a proponent of collaborating with the patient.

Bolstered by years of experience and continuing education, Miller understands that patients – from an accountant who lives down the street to high school and college athletes, and even world class ballerinas – benefit greatly through an evidence-based, personalized plan to deliver the best results.

“Using a cookie-cutter approach may work with some patients and not others,” says Miller, who is a board-certified orthopedic and sports physical therapist who has been with Physical Therapy at St. Luke’s for 13 years.

“Evidence-based means there is research that proves techniques are effective,” Miller says. “An individual plan based on a patient’s goals improves their commitment to the program and leads to better outcomes.”

Over the course of his career, Miller has continued to update his training, which has helped him hone his philosophy.

“I enjoy continuing to take a variety of education classes and learn new techniques that put more tools in the toolbox,” he says. “I learned things in school that, two or three years later, were actually shown through research to not be as effective as the best techniques taught in these courses.”

That continually updated, evidence-based approach is critical to making sure rehabilitation exercises, manual techniques and modalities are accomplishing their goals.

“I just think that’s good common sense,” he says of designing programs that patients will embrace. “If you individualize physical therapy to each patient’s specific needs, the patient gets more involved in their care. Selecting the best interventions help a patient return to their previous level of function as quickly, effectively and as cost efficiently as possible. You don’t just give a patient a list of exercises and say go do them. That’s not physical therapy.”

Miller takes care to find out the patient’s goals, whether it’s a return-to-play situation with an athlete, a return-to-work situation for a truck driver, or a return-to-normal daily functions.

“The best part of being a physical therapist is being able to help people get back to doing what they love,” says Miller. “Any time you get to see an athlete return to sports, a father walk down the aisle with his daughter, or a mom dance with her son at his wedding because you helped rehabilitate them, nothing beats it.”

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