Not One Profession Can Do It Alone. Team Approach for Prevention.

Hey, folks!

     Welcome back to a traditional blog post! It has been some time since I posted one of these. Most of my writing lately has been dedicated to our Wellness Wednesday tips and #WellfieWednesday initiative. This is a topic that has undoubtedly been touched on a number of times, but I felt it necessary to bring it up again. 

     We cannot do it alone. We cannot change population health with the unique skill set of a physical therapist or any single healthcare professional for that matter. We need a more collaborative team approach when it comes to preventing chronic disease. If you’re a PT trying to offer preventative wellness services but have no RDN (registered dietitian nutritionist) on speed dial, or vice versa, you’re doing it wrong; you’re not offering your patient or client a well-rounded approach to their care.

     Physical therapists may have the skills to help prevent, from the standpoint of exercise benefits and quality movement, but lack extensive dietary knowledge and the ability to offer nutritional counseling. Dietitians possess the nutritional component to educate healthy eating but lack the skills of promoting appropriate movement patterns and exercise prescription. Hell, even I, the one trying to juggle both of these amazingly beneficial professions, will not have everything needed to prevent. No one person has it all unless of course, you have MD, PT, OT, RDN, PhD, etc. after your name. And if that is the case, props to you, please share how you keep up with all those licenses and what your con-ed looks like. 

     We need a preventative model with multiple disciplines on board, making an array of services available to an individual if they need them. Now remember every person lives in a world of different circumstances. One person may be eating healthy but not moving enough, while another is getting adequate exercise but eats like crap, and a third requiring extensive behavioral change due to struggles with both. Specialties specialize for a reason, so take advantage. Now I’m not saying everyone needs a team of six to prevent the onset of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, but they should have the option if their health disparities call for it. 

     However, on the flip side. If education was done right and done early, we wouldn’t need a huge team of people trying to play catch up. And that is where change needs to occur. Just something else to chew on and indeed requires a post in itself. 

Thanks for reading and enjoy your week!

-    Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

Preventative Programs Help Reduce ACL Injury

     Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee is a very common occurrence, especially for younger adolescent females. The majority of injuries occur during sports that require running, jumping, and cutting. They occur at an estimated annual rate of 250,000, with females being 2-8 times more likely than males.(1) Females are said to have increased risk due to anatomical and hormonal differences.(2)

     The results of a meta-analysis and a systematic review, high-quality research, conclude that preventative programs are beneficial for the reduction of ACL injury. The meta-analysis found that when these programs included neuromuscular and proprioceptive training, ACL injuries were reduced by 50.7%.(1) This type of training involves increasing the awareness one has over their extremities. The systematic review concluded that preventative programs were successful when they included strength training with plyometric, balance and proprioception, and education on proper body mechanics.(2)

     The components of these preventative programs are well within the scope of practice of a physical therapist. In addition to that stated above, programs should include specific training that may be required for a particular sport, such as increased plyometrics for sports with increased jumping. Seek a licensed physical therapist for the development of an ACL preventative program.

-Patrick Berner, SPT



1. Donnell-Fink L, Klara K, Losina E, et al. Effectiveness of Knee Injury and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear Prevention Programs: A Meta-Analysis. Plos ONE. December 4, 2015;10(12).

2. Michaelidis M, Koumantakis G. Effects of knee injury primary prevention programs on anterior cruciate ligament injury rates in female athletes in different sports: A systematic review. Physical Therapy In Sport. August 2014;15(3):200-210.