In episode 249 I'm joined by Mrs. Lynn Grimm of New Orleans, Louisiana USA. She shares her lengthy journey from first hearing about McKenzie "extension exercises" to her time out of practice, then back in and with renewed excitement and passion. It's a great personal story of this "addiction" or "disease" as she puts it. This week on MCF!
Lynn Grimm lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she owns a cash based private practice.
She became a Cert. MDT in 2012, went on to open her cash based practice in a CrossFit gym in 2013 and received her Dip. MDT in 2016. She was also a member of the inaugural Mechanical Care Everywhere trip to Peru.
Lynn graduated in 1981 in New Orleans and after graduation she was working two jobs. She was involved with the swimming and diving teams in the athletic dept and also worked in restaurants. Realizing that restaurant life in New Orleans was different and she will have to keep odd hours, made her reconsider things and she volunteered in a hospital. She was placed in the therapy department and that is when she realized what career she wanted for herself. She went back to school, got the per-requisites and enrolled in physical therapy school, graduating in 1986.
Initial Years of Practice
After graduation, Lynn wanted to be a burn therapist but soon realized that she did not have the stomach for it. She moved over to Orthopedics and in those initial years, physical therapy practice consisted of strictly following physician orders. She remembers having very limited knowledge in treating the spine and coincidentally, on her first day at work those patients is all she encountered.
The hospital she worked for wanted to start a work hardening unit and she was one of the five physical therapists working with other health care members. Since she did not have much knowledge, she and her colleagues enrolled themselves in various continuing education classes.
Introduction to MDT
In the early 1990s, her supervisor asked her to attend a presentation on MDT, which Lynn reluctantly attended. She was very impressed with Dr. Aprill and Robert Medcalf presentation, where a physical therapist was able to project disc problems just with his physical assessment which were co-relating to expensive MRIs and discograms. During her McKenzie courses, Lynn was impressed with live patient sessions and the quick improvement in their symptoms.
Improving Awareness among Physicians
She further talks about her work and how since it was a state funded hospital, and billing insurances did not exist in her practice, she basically had no knowledge about it for a long time. She was in-charge of building the physical therapy program and hence it gave her the opportunity to interact with physicians and improve their understanding of what physical therapy entailed. In the Orthopedic department she was able to use her MDT knowledge to manage the abundant low back pain patients. At that juncture, she knew she wasn’t proficient with MDT but she was able to take a proactive role as a physical therapist with her basic MDT knowledge.
Thoughts on MDT
Lynn gives a humorous analogy about MDT being a disease process and an addiction. She describes that with repeated exposures are necessary for the disease to completely manifest itself and that it is a long process. The side effects of improved patient success, makes you want to feed your disease more. She further elaborates how, once you are addicted, you get others to enroll in the addiction so you have more of the kind to be around.
Lynn talks about her personal life journey; husband going through medical school, and her having to quit her job to look after kids. Despite quitting her job, Lynn continued to practice MDT by assessing and treating physicians and their families through home visits with her husband. She talks about returning to full time work in her husband’s department after 12 years and how unprepared she was to return to an organized setting. She took over seeing all the low back pain patients and with her basic MDT knowledge she was still able to produce quick positive changes in her patients symptoms. That is when she realized that she had to continue her training in MDT, and attended courses in quick succession. She later talks about getting into Cross Fit and how she eventually combined both and opened up her cash based practice in the Cross Fit gym.