Medical Professionals

Thank you for considering referring your patient to Optimum DPT, PLC the Osteopractic Physiotherapy Specialists of Michigan. We value our relationships with referring professionals, and understand that you want what is best for your patients.  We believe you can refer to us with confidence.  Here’s why:



Education & Training

The State of Michigan did not require physical therapists to complete continuing education for licensure renewal until 2017.  Sadly, this has led to decades of professional stagnation for some within the state— said another way, a clinician with 20 years of experience may, in reality, only have 1 year of experience 20 times over. 

This is not the case at Optimum DPT.  Our physiotherapists have earned their clinical doctorates, have relentlessly pursued thousands of hours of continuing education, have graduated from accredited residency and/or fellowship programs, and completed advanced practice certifications.  We have extensive experience in neuromusculoskeletal physiotherapy, handling everything from providing simple education and a little comforting reassurance to managing complex & difficult cases.

Evidence-Based & -influenced Care

Adhering to science while respecting the needs of our patients.  The foundations of the care we provide rest upon our professional practice guidelines and meta-analyses and systematic reviews of rehabilitative & medical literature.  While evidence-based care is our bedrock, in order to provide the most relevant & optimal care we also believe in judicially exploring the most promising evidence-influenced interventions (e.g: blood flow restriction rehabilitation, pain science interventions, etc).  We try to avoid the trends and unproven treatments that plague the rehabilitation professions or have been found to be of little or no therapeutic benefit (craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, thermal ultrasound, sub-optimal loading, etc.).

For those patients in a persistent pain state we work from a biopsychosocial model, focusing on therapeutic pain neuroscience education designed to decrease fear and dispel notions of fragility; breathing and mindfulness exercises; a spectrum of graded exposure activities, and stressing self-efficacy to help address the psychological and social elements commonly associated with persistent pain.  As often as not we will need to work closely with both you and our behavioral health colleagues for the best possible care in this population.

For those patients with a more "traditional" presentations our treatment paradigm consists of modulating pain, optimizing the natural, time-dependent healing process (if needed), and then methodically increasing the patient's tissue capacity, mobility, strength and endurance, so they can return to their desired activities as quickly and safely as possible.  While we are the most highly trained manual physical therapists in the region, our principle focus is on making the patient more resilient and confident in their abilities-- e.g. restoring their independence. 

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As little as Necessary, as much as needed

We understand that majority of musculoskeletal complaints will ultimately "regress to the mean" with time and general activity.  Accordingly, some patients require only a few appointments—the correct dose of education and reassurance, some general advice & encouragement to stay active, a little manual therapy, and an exercise or two for a home program is all they need. 

For patients requiring further intervention, the frequency of care will be tailored to (and likely fluctuate depending upon) their specific needs.  Some will benefit most from an acute bout of therapy to initiate their rehabilitation process and then taper to only the occasional follow-up session in order to track and reinforce their progress.  Other patients may initially need only a couple of visits during their acute phase following a trauma or surgical intervention, and then "ramp up" care later when their nervous system has settled and their tissue capacity has improved better permit load / exercise.

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Direct Physical Therapy

Optimum DPT is about exceptionally educated and trained physiotherapists committed to delivering the very best evidence-based & influenced neuromusculoskeletal care with compassion for an exceptional health care experience.  We strongly believe that in order to deliver the very best health care the relationship between the patient and doctor must be uncompromised, unfettered. 

In short, we are a direct care practice. 

We believe that for basic health care, which a physiotherapist’s care certainly constitutes, insurance hurts more than it helps.  Just as it does not make sense to have your car insurance cover gasoline and oil changes, so, too, do we think that basic health care such as physical therapy can be made less expensive and better independent of a 3rd party.   

Indeed, you may have an initial aversion to referring a patient to a direct care office due to a concern for their financial wellbeing.  However, by-in-large, patients save significantly by receiving care at our office.  The vast majority of patients elect either silver or bronze metal-tiered health care policies that have average deductibles ranging from $3,500-$6,100.  An annual adult membership at Optimum DPT averages $1,500 and grants the patient-members unlimited access to a physiotherapist for musculoskeletal care.  To put it into perspective, insurance-based clinics bill approximately $200 per visit for an hour of care.  The patient would pay out-of-pocket about same amount for only 7 treatments, and still fall short of their deductible (and insurance benefits) by thousands of dollars. Conversely, patients who have already met their deductible but are paying $20-50 dollar co-payments for continued care at insurance-based clinics will also find incredible savings after transitioning to a direct care practice. 

When to Refer, and when not

A common misconception by the general public (and perhaps the medical community) is that "a physical therapist is a physical therapist".  However, this is not true.  Just as you would not refer a geriatric patient to a pediatrician or someone with a skin condition to a cardiologist, so should you be as selective with your referrals to physical therapists.

At Optimum DPT our focus is on neuromusculoskeletal care for orthopaedic & sports injuries and conditions. We specialize in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches and spinal conditions.  We also address vestibular/balance conditions and persistent pain states.  For the appropriate patient we are the best provider in all of Northern Michigan.

However, due to facility limitations and the specialization of our practice we would advise against referring patients with significant neurological conditions, pediatric patients (downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, etc.), patients requiring wound care, or patients with pelvic floor dysfunction / incontinence.  At this time, these patients would be better served at another practice.

As we expand in both location and with therapists we may be able to provide optimal care for patients with those conditions and will update this page accordingly.


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Communication and an open Invitation

We are happy to communicate with all members of the patient’s medical team-- from physicians & surgeons to strength & wellness coaches.  We strive to speak plainly-- delivering a direct impression(s) of the patient’s condition and status-- but also provide a comprehensive picture of your patient's condition through the neuromusculoskeletal rehabilitative lens. All patients complete valid & reliable, self-reported outcomes measures specific to their condition at the start of their care and on a periodic basis during their course of care.  Results are communicated in every report to their physician.

Similarly, we strive to optimize communication with our patients. We focus on the “Es” of communication:  Engage, Empathize, Educate & Enlist.  We find that the "soft" practice skills of truly listening, empathizing and being compassionate to often be as important as (if not more so) than any hard technical skill in providing rehabilitative care.

We are always happy to chat on the phone or sit down and talk at your office our ours.  Please let us know if you would either like a quick tour of our office, or if you would like to sit in on an evaluation or treatment.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.