Q&A With Patient from Ivyland Physical Therapy David Desher
Unlike other physical therapy centers, St. George and his team are hyper-focused only on their patients’ well-being and recognize that not every injury or patient is the same.
One of St. George’s major success stories is David Desher who underwent two shoulder replacements in April of 2021. Now, Desher is back to lifting up his beloved grandchildren and spending quality time with his family, something that he says couldn’t have been possible without St. George at Ivyland PT.
St. George, the clinical director of Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy in Warminster, PA., has spent 10 years working with injured teen and adult athletes and non-athletes and helped them get their groove back.
St. George combines his extensive training, positive outlook, motivational techniques, upbeat personality, and continuing education to help his patients where ever they are in the process. The thrust is providing exceptional care and personalized treatment to get each patient on the path to a speedier and more complete recovery.
“The amateur and semi-pro athletes that put their money towards investing in their health and self-care have longevity in their careers,” says St. George.
“I believe in hands-on components, such as soft tissue work and hands-on cueing,” he explains. “You can’t just tell someone to activate their core or use this muscle; you have to re-teach them to re-use those muscle patterns.”
Typical physical therapy offered at clinics, therapy centers, and medical practices can often be outdated and primarily based on home exercises, basic equipment, or stretches, while St. George believes in a “more challenging and functional approach,” that leads to patients getting better faster and maintaining their health and wellness.
He frequently hears from new patients whose previous physical therapy clinic has “fallen into a rut” where it tends to focus on implementing the same techniques and symptom management, mostly due to the high volume of patients seen each day. This often prohibits the therapist from truly addressing the patient and their deficits.
Read on for how David Dresher sought help after his two shoulder replacements and how Physical Therapist Mike St. George has helped him heal and gave him a and helped him forge a new and more positive outlook.
What injuries did you face that brought you to Ivyland PT?
David Desher: I had two bad shoulders. Ivyland is in the gym that I was going to so I stopped in. They did a few preliminary checks and they said, “yeah your right shoulder is really bad, you know the therapy might not be what you need yet.” So that set off an alarm. I went to go see a surgeon about my shoulders.
The surgeon said I needed two shoulder replacements: the right and the left. So, I had the right one done on April 11, almost a year ago, and 4 months later they did the left one. After two months I went to see Mike (St. George) and he started physical therapy first on the right side. It got to a point where it was strong enough to have the other side operated on.
Physical Therapy can be daunting and scary for a lot of people. What reassured you about Ivyland?
David Desher: Yes, you’re right about that. About four or five years ago I had four fusions in my lower back and I went through therapy a different way and it never quite was right until I actually started going back to the gym and talking with coaches. I was actually talking with Mike a little about some of the things I was doing and it turns out the exercises I was doing were hindering the growth from my rehabs.
That’s what kind of intrigued me about him. He wasn’t the old school kind of rehab you know, do six stretches here six stretches there, no he was hands-on. He puts his hands on you so that he can actually feel the pain or feel the tightness and he comes up with alternative or new techniques that really seem to benefit you. As long as you listen to what they’re telling you to do and follow what they’re showing you to get better. It’s amazing!
Mike had a whole new way of looking at physical therapy which made it fun to go to actually because it was a challenge. It wasn’t just a standard stretch here, stretch there. He was going to make it a little bit of a challenge for me.
Talk about your time with Mike St. George. How was his approach to PT helpful?
David Desher: I think what really separated Mike [from other physical therapists] was he didn’t treat me like shoulder number 302. He treated me as Dave Desher, straight up, one-on-one. He found out about me and when I say hands-on, he pushed and prodded to try to find what was tight, what was still ailing, and what may be loosened up. He would loosen up muscles with a machine and massagers and he manipulated the muscles.
He actually brought them to life and that’s what started making them better. So, I think that was what was really cool about him. Some of the apparatuses that they had were new and they were different ways of getting your range of motion back in your muscles which was totally different from anything I had tried before
Where are you today in your recovery journey?
David Desher: Now I have a strengthening coach over at the new gym that sees me once a week which keeps my progress moving forward. To say that I almost have forgotten I had surgery, it’s true. I can go in the shower or get dressed and forget that I had surgery. The one thing that I’m working on is strength. I’m almost back to 100% normal.
What do you do differently or better since going to Ivyland for PT?
David Desher: Getting my range of motion back was so critical. I’m in my sixties and I have three grandchildren. Two of them are only 18 months old and picking them up is something you look forward to doing when you see them. Before I saw Mike and before I went through with the surgeries, I couldn’t do that.
Also, I hadn’t been able to throw a football in a long while, and I just threw one. It wasn’t far, nor a perfect spiral, but it felt good. Life is starting to go back to normal.
Why should others consider Ivyland PT if they are injured?
David Desher: The probability of success is gonna be higher than in your typical rehab. Mike has a way of individually coming up with a way to make it interesting, and challenging and to make it work.
One of my friends had back surgery and he’s now walking with a limp, so one of the things I said to him was, “How come you didn’t finish your physical therapy? Go see my friend Mike St. George over at Ivyland and he’ll fix that if you give him a chance.”
For additional information please contact, Michael St. George PT, DPT at Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy: