Our blog series “Doctors of Active Health” gives you a unique perspective into our business and the people who are integral to our patient’s success. This month we sat down with Christopher Brown, DPT, to learn about his background and experience.
Q. Tell us about your education and previous experience in physical therapy?
I completed my undergraduate studies at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Exercise and Rehabilitative Science. I went onto complete my graduate studies at SRU in obtaining my Doctorate of Physical Therapy. I graduated Summa Cum Laude and completed a graduate assistantship, teaching gross anatomy with a cadaver dissection emphasis.
Within my last year of graduate school, I completed my longest rotation clinical internship at UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh, PA. This clinic was a neurologic and orthopedic outpatient center where I evaluated and treated patients presenting to physical therapy with a full spectrum of diagnoses, from spinal cord injury to neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis. I also worked with post-operative cases such as rotator cuff tears, spinal procedures, and repetitive stress injuries involving surgery. It gave me a good bit of experience before starting with Dr. Lipp in understanding how the rehabilitative process is constructed and executed in helping patients achieve their goals.
Q. When did your interest in physical therapy begin?
In high school I was a three sport athlete. Being involved in both contact and non-contact sports I experienced some aches and pains along the way and wondered, “How does an injury occur?” and “How can we go about fixing it?” These experiences led me to become interested in physical therapy in understanding how the body can recover in re-establishing pre-injury form.
During my physical therapy experience as a patient myself, I didn’t receive much, if any, manual hands-on care. I was simply instructed to complete a select of number of exercises, utilize ice or heat, and at the most received a light massage at the affected region where I was experiencing pain. Throughout this experience, I knew that there had to be more than what we were doing in order to help improve my injury.
Here, at Active Health we take a reverse approach in evaluating and treating each patient. In a meticulous manner we work with our hands to assess and treat the injury we are rehabilitating. There is no “cover all” method and each patient is treated as an individualized case. Above all, I’ve always had a passion for helping people and I am honored to have this privilege every day I come to work.
Q. What’s the most challenging injury you’ve helped a patient overcome?
I had a patient who came in with an issue of foot drop – an issue with a nerve not sliding through the soft tissue causing her foot to drop and slap the floor when she was walking. She went through conventional physical therapy which didn’t help. She also went through conventional chiropractic care which also didn’t help. Her next step was to get surgery.
We treated her in the clinic with the use of our methodologies and manual treatment techniques, gave her a comprehensive therapeutic exercise program. After 6 or 7 visits, she regained the ability to control her foot again. We got her to the point where she didn’t need surgery. She was back to about 95% and thrilled that her primary care physician referred her to our clinic and trying a new approach to physical therapy.
Q. What’s your favorite part about your job?
I would say seeing the rehabilitation process from start to finish. Whether we are treating a patient coming in with a serious injury or an injury that’s simply creating a nuisance in their everyday functioning. It’s very rewarding to see our patients happy and excited about feeling better.
Taking an interest in each patient’s life is also very important to me. There is a story behind each patient I work with, not only their injury, but who they are as a person. I want every person who walks into our clinic to feel cared for, comfortable, and excited about getting better. I like to tell my patients, “once a patient, always a friend.”
Q. What do you think sets Active Health apart from the competition?
Everything! We provide one-on-one care for each patient we see. We have an entirely different way of going about how we diagnose. The hands-on techniques we utilize are completely unique and highly effective. Coming from my prior experience working in a conventional therapy setting, it is not uncommon to treat three or four patients at one time, making it extremely difficult and essentially impossible to render the highest quality of care to each patient when you’re bouncing around from patient to patient. It’s the one-on-one care, our diagnostic and treatment process that sets Active Health apart from anywhere else.
Q. What do you enjoy about working with Dr. Lipp’s unique methodologies?
This methodology that Dr. Lipp created is something totally different that I’ve never experienced before. We go outside of the box. We don’t limit ourselves in how we can better help our patients. Often, we’ll treat an area that’s unrelated to the main pain region in evaluating root cause and effect of the pain they are experiencing. If you limit yourself in how you view an injury, you’re missing the boat, being a great health care provider means having a firm grasp of critical thinking skills and bringing these ideas into motion.
Q. What do you see changing in the next few years in your industry? How do you seen yourself being a part of that change?
I believe the industry, in terms of physical therapy and chiropractic care, is going to look a lot like what we’re doing now. We’re actually way ahead of the game in terms of the vital one-on-one care patients need. I think a lot of the industry is going to say, “Let’s not worry about the amount of patients we see today. Let’s worry about the number of patients we get better in that day.”
We already do this here. I believe that the healthcare industry is also going to be looking toward hiring and utilizing practitioners who can use their hands effectively. That’s our primary focus here at Active Health, manual hands-on treatment for each patient. Yes, our hands get tired at the end of the day, but it is sure a terrific feeling to know how much influence you can have in helping to restore quality of life with each patient we treat.
Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brown or to learn more about Active Health team members, give us a call at 904-296-0202.