The basis of Homeopathic treatments is to introduce the body to extremely small doses of the toxin that is believed to have caused the disease.
I learned the term “Physical Homeopathy” from Greg Leman and specifically got his permission to share it with other PTs.
The reason I love the term is that my patient care is pretty much all physical homeopathy. I ask patients, “What do you think is the cause of your back pain?” If they say, bending forward and heavy lifting, I expose them as soon as possible to small amounts of bending and lifting.
If their knee pain is due to running, I ask them to cut back on the running and walk instead, but introduce minute amounts of running everyday to gradually expose the symptomatic knee to tolerate running again.
Well, you get the point. Physical homeopathy or graded physical exposure goes against the traditional belief that we must fully avoid the activity that caused the symptoms or the injury until the symptoms have 100% resolved. Certainly that is what patients are sometimes made to believe.
Patient: Doc, it hurts when I do this.
Doctor: Well, stop doing that.
If you have pain with an activity, completely avoid it for as long as possible. Exposing your body to the activity or posture that is responsible for your pain will only delay recovery and further damage you. ……FALSE!
This widespread belief has kept thousands of Worker’s Compensation patients off work indefinitely.
I truly hope that the concept of “Graded Physical Exposure” will become the primary treatment approach to all musculoskeletal injuries in medicine, replacing the common cop-out solution of “Well, stop doing that” or “Stay off work”.
Reference: Greg Lehman, DC, PT at Reconciling Biomechanics course