Every Friday at Pack Health we bring in experts for brown bag lunch-and-learns. Typically we gather round to hear about their work, then discuss its applications to our members’ needs. When Kendell Jno Finn PT, DPT came in to speak with us, his training was a bit more hands on.

Between correcting our posture, teaching us simple movements to relieve back pain, and leading us in a group yoga session, Kenny got us excited about the power of movement. We’re eager to share his story and (in our experience, contagious) passion for movement with you!

This is part 2 of our Q&A with Kenny!

Q: What does “motion therapy” mean, and how is that reflected in the services you offer and the events or programs you support at EW Motion Therapy?

A: Motion Therapy goes back to the fact that the reflection of your health status, your fitness, or your wellness, is really how you move. If I see you at the grocery store, I can get a good sense of where you’re at from looking at how you move, which is a direct reflection of your health. So from a programming perspective, we focus on how you move.

As apart of our Motion Therapy, we also provide services to improve the way you move beyond the recovery and rehabilitation context. This came in part from customer feedback: we had folks we were treating that were “better” asking “where do I go from here,” so we started to add things like yoga, pilates, deep tissue massage. This is so important: it’s not just about injury and rehabilitation, it’s also the maintenance and prevention of future injury.

Q: That’s such an important point. So often we think about healthcare as a way to fix what is broken, but health shouldn’t just be something that you just deal with when things get too bad to function – it’s ongoing! Do you also help many individuals with chronic conditions, for example, arthritis?

A: We do work with people who have arthritis and it runs the spectrum – you know from juvenile arthritis to rheumatoid arthritis to osteoarthritis. With chronic conditions, because they have a biological basis that is ongoing, it’s important that Motion Therapy also be ongoing – whether that means seeing a physical therapist regularly or creating a plan of therapeutic activity that the patient can and will do at home.

We look first at “what kind of activities does this person enjoy doing and then how can we find avenues for activities that won’t aggravate the symptoms they already have. So if someone once liked mountain climbing or running and now that’s hurting, can they try a bike?

Now sometimes there’s a more specific symptom that can be addressed with movement: like if you’re having knee pain and your hip is weak, it’s likely that your calf and hamstring are tight so every time you walk you’re exacerbating the situation. Then we need to do specific exercises that increase the range of motion of the hip and the stability of the ankle so that the knee is more supported.

Q: That makes a lot of sense. Do you ever find folks come in for one thing and you end up treating them for another?

A: Yeah, for example, I had a guy referred for a groin strain who we’d seen a few times, and he was doing better, but after his third or fourth visit he decided he wanted to do some jogging and when he came back after jogging he was like “this is killing me”. We quickly realized, this is not simply a groin strain, so we referred him back to his physician to get some imaging done – first of his groin and then of his spine. Turned out he had a disc bulge in his lumbar spine that was putting pressure on his groin and causing this pain, and once they figured out – it required surgery – but he got it done and we continued working with him to achieve a good outcome.

Q. Do you frequently refer patients to clinicians?

A: It’s not unheard of. Physical therapy used to be more physician-driven, but today we’re finding more and more of our clients are referred by friends. You know, they’ve been in pain for a long time, they talk to someone who’s been in physical therapy, and they decide to give it a try. There’s actually some policy driving this as well. As of a few years ago, we now have direct access in Alabama, which means individuals can get physical therapy without necessarily having a physician referral.

I’m a part of their care team, so if I see someone with markers of rheumatoid arthritis who’s not been diagnosed I can call up their primary care physician or even go directly to a rheumatologist and coordinate a consult.

Having a relationship with their primary care physician, their rheumatologist, pharmacist, OB, endocrinologist – whoever they’re going to on the clinical side – that helps to create the synergies to meet people’s needs. That said, the most important part of their care team is them. They are the ones that will empower me to help them to the best of my abilities. It has to be a collaborative approach.

Awesome! Well, that’s all we have time for today. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us!


Dr. Kendell Jno-Finn PT, DPT practices at EW Motion Therapy, at their Trussville location.

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