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Looking to find out if anyone knows of any case studies in which an individual was being seen in physical therapy for an orthopedic condition, such as, low back pain, that was not improving until the underlying affects from their ACE’s was addressed by other healthcare professionals? The thinking is once the affects from ACE’s were being addressed, one would be better able to benefit from physical therapy and improve their outcomes.


I am looking to develop an educational session for our outpatient rehab PT/OT and SLP regarding how ACE’s affect ones neurophysiology which impacts individuals from fully benefitting and achieving what brought them into rehab. Not to just right them off as non-compliant or just referring them back to referring MD because we do not know what else to do. To me this just keeps an individual in a re-traumatizing state.


Thank you.


Fred Murphy MPT, MPH,GCS, DCS




Original Post

Hi Fred,

While I don't know of any "case-studies," as a physician I've seen many patients in whom pain is not well controlled, and muscles are stiff in a setting of unaddressed ACEs. Take a look at what the sympathetic nervous system does to muscle tone and how activities that decrease this (and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system) like deep breathing, yoga and relaxing stretches (nothing too aggressive). If patients (and practitioners) understand WHY the body is doing what it is, they may be more likely inclined to follow the required steps to get the body back into balance.

Let me know if you have further questions or thoughts

Hi Fred, Sounds like the missing link here might be their understanding of  somatization-- how to diagnose when that is the problem, (using metaphor language is one way,) and what to do about it. I taught a 1/2 day workshop for PTs a few years ago and as per a show of hands, NONE of them knew when unresolved emotional trauma was holding the patient's physical pain or dysfunction in place. The healing component that I taught the PT class and which is also in a 90-minute video of a CE class on my website, ("Beyond Reason") is EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, aka "tapping" which in my experience (20 years) is the safest, simplest, non-drug, non-retraumatizing trauma healing technique on the planet.  


Hi Neville, 

That video was retained by the PT who sponsored the class, but there are others. Go to my YouTube channel (Sue Hannibal) and click on "Reboot the Brain Without Pain." That was a continuing education class I taught for Sovereign  Health, an international dual-diagnosis company. We also have the International Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology and I know there are colleagues in South Africa. (See "find a practitioner")


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