EVOLVE Flagstaff Physical Therapy Manifesto

EVOLVE Flagstaff was created to help our community avoid injury and disease, and to do what they love, for life. Our team is driven to help you reach your potential, which is not possible if you are hurting, cannot move the way you want, or are not nourishing your body well with the proper foods and lifestyle habits.

To fully accomplish this mission, EVOLVE Flagstaff physical therapy operates differently than a standard physical therapy clinic. This manifesto outlines our standards of care and thought process. We will strive to provide this level of care to every patient, every time.

1. Get the whole picture

We want to understand you. You’re complicated, and that’s a GOOD thing! We have in-depth health history forms and will spend significant time listening to your story at the beginning of the first appointment. We do this to understand all of the factors that relate to you and your care. This helps us determine all of the services that you might need to improve, and leads to the best possible result.

2. Provide clarity

We understand that healthcare can be scary, convoluted, and filled with a lot of murky gray area. We will do our best to clear the air and provide you with clarity regarding your problem and solutions. At each initial physical therapy visit, we attempt to do the following:

  • Review your subjective and medical history

  • Ask what activities you are having difficulty doing

  • Perform a full examination of the injured area or areas

  • Provide a primary diagnosis along with any uncertainties or other possible differential diagnoses

  • Determine a treatment plan that first addresses your pain which we call “treating your pain generator”

  • Provide a trial treatment to your pain generator to help reduce pain on the first day, and confirm our diagnosis

  • Determine the underlying functional cause of your pain: what factors led to the pain generator over time?

  • Plan how to correct your underlying cause of pain with manual therapy, movement retraining, or exercise

  • Create a home plan that may include one or two things to do and one or two things to stop doing

  • Clearly outline your prognosis according to the best case scenario, worst case scenario, and what is typical for your problem

  • Outline your plan of care which will include an estimated time for when you will be pain free, when you can resume normal activity, and when physical therapy should finish

3. Focus on you

Our time with together will be 100% focused on you. We do not pass you onto uncertified aids for exercises. Any activity, exercise, or treatment will be with your Doctor of Physical Therapy. You will only be with one physical therapist to ensure consistency in your care.

4. Results driven and focused

We will not stay with a treatment approach if it is not working.  Our aim is to achieve 80% improvement in symptoms 3 physical therapy visits. While this is not always possible, it keeps us from being complacent and repeating a treatment process that is not working sufficiently. However, we do ask you commit to the plan of care that we outline, and communicate with us if it does not seem to be a feasible or appropriate plan, so that we can adjust according.

We will often use manual therapy to reduce pain and promote tissue healing. We typically do not use ice, heat, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation as we find that these simply mask pain rather than address the root cause of the problem.

Treatment sessions will only focus on activities that you cannot do on your own. We will not prescribe an endless amount of exercises or template programs; every aspect of treatment has a purpose. Home plans are efficient and effective to maximize healing outside of the clinic. This home plan is not just a bunch of exercises. Instead it is only the essential activities that you can use to reduce pain, improve strength, and normalize movement patterns. We believe in efficiency and efficacy, not an endless list of dreadful, time consuming activities. We know that compliance is key to recovery, so the home plan will be easy to follow while being effective.

5. Integrated thinking

We have an integrated thought process that considers both your injury and your overall health. For example, if we just treat a patient’s shoulder injury but ignore their high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, afternoon fatigue, and high stress levels, then we have done that patient a disservice. Nothing happens in a vacuum.

We are able to coordinate our physical therapy treatment with nutrition through our Registered Dietitian, Abby Chan, with our Performance Training Program, and with your life and the activities you love. We will discuss the need for other services based on your medical and health history, subjective report, diagnosis, and progress. If we think that you would get better results with additional services, we will recommend them and provide our rationale. However, we will not try to upsell you on packages or services that are not necessary.

6. Long term development

We focus on long term development in ourselves and in our patients. This means that we are not satisfied with short term improvement if that is followed by an immediate regression. We want long term progress and we direct our treatments according to this philosophy.

You will see that instead of booking 3 visits per week for 12 weeks many clinics, we usually do one per week. Instead of booking 12 weeks out, we may do 2 to 3 weeks and plan on check ups once every month until you are fully recovered. We do this because we understand that the body must have time to heal and that you need time to learn how to manage your body in the long term. We cannot correct an issue and create healing in a single visit, but our approach typically allows us for rapid symptom reduction followed by long term resolution.

7. Evidence-based guides, not gurus

There is a lot of pseudoscience that permeates healthcare and the treatment of pain and injuries. We strive to provide evidence-based treatments based on peer reviewed research, clinical reasoning, and your prior experiences. We will do our best to share our thought processes for every diagnosis and treatment intervention. We do this because see our role is that of a guide, not a mysterious guru. We will work hard for your trust, and to provide a clear plan and education about your condition, but we can’t “fix” you all on our own. Ultimately you will be responsible for carrying out your part of the plan and getting yourself back on track. However, we are not perfect, and want to make sure you feel comfortable in asking questions and provide honest feedback on how much you are or are not improving. This again helps to lead to long term resolution as you learn how to manage your own issues over time.

8. Transparency

We believe in transparency in the rehabilitation process. What does transparency mean? It means that we always try to provide as much clarity on what we are thinking and the possible competing diagnoses along with the different variables that can impact your healing. Healthcare is complicated, sometimes scary, and almost always reactive. There are unclear costs, lack of clarity in the plan of care, and lack of timeline for a full return to activity. We make every effort to minimize these uncertainties by being transparent and honest in our thought process, plan, and costs of care.

At EVOLVE Flagstaff, we want to provide you with the best healthcare experience that you’ve ever had. We want to do such a good job that you can’t help but refer us to others. We want to be on your team today and 10 years from now. With that understanding, we do not over-treat. We try to provide our services in a way that is affordable and as effective as possible. Our mutual goal is to get you to a point that you do not need our physical therapy services for your current injury and reduce the need for them in the future.

If you come to physical therapy at EVOLVE Flagstaff, we will strive to hold true to this manifesto.


Have more questions? Struggling with aches, pains, or an injury? We'd love to help. Click the button below to schedule to a FREE 15 minute consult with a Doctor of Physical Therapy. We'll develop a strategy together to help you get out of pain, and exceed your goals.