This is a photo of Lindsay Haugen, PA-CLindsay Haugen, P.A.-C, one of our providers at Physicians Diagnostics & Rehabilitation Clinics (PDR), was recently interviewed on her experience in moving from a surgery-based practice to a rehabilitation practice that emphasizes intensive, non-surgical management of spinal disorders. She received her P.A. degree from the University of St. Francis. Lindsay Haugen joined PDR Clinics in February, 2012.

Question: What type of practice were you in prior to joining PDR?

Answer: Orthopedic Spine Surgical Specialty.

Question: Approximately how many surgical cases were you involved in per week?

Answer: I would assist in approximately 8 to 15 cases per week.

Question: Has your philosophy/scope of management of spinal conditions broadened since joining PDR? If so, how?

Answer: The patients that I see at PDR come in with similar spinal conditions that we would direct toward scheduling for surgery. After surgery these patients would then be potential candidates for non-MedX physical therapy. I would typically send patients for MedX therapy if they needed to return to work without restrictions. I often thought MedX therapy was too aggressive for my post-operative patients. After working with PDR and the MedX rehabilitation program with specialized protocols, I am finding patients can start therapy prior to surgical intervention and sometimes avoid surgery altogether. I am also finding patients can regain function, return to work and life activities whether they had a surgical procedure or not.

Question: Can you explain what MedX therapy is and how it is used in PDR’s rehabilitation program?

Answer: MedX therapy uses specific MedX equipment which is designed to isolate and strengthen the supporting spinal muscles and discourages the typical compensatory movement patterns. Using MedX exercise allows for improvement of mobility, stability, and strength of the spine and surrounding support structures. MedX therapy is the core of the PDR program in addition to a home exercise program to maximize a patient’s recovery potential.

Question: So, even if a patient had a surgical procedure, you are now finding they can still benefit from intensive spinal rehabilitation?

Answer: Yes. I’m finding that many patients can avoid surgery all together and if a procedure has been done, a patient can benefit from intensive rehabilitation by returning to previous home, work and leisure activities earlier and more successfully. In addition, I’m finding that even if a patient goes on to require surgery, prior spinal strengthening can help patients recover from surgery more quickly. These post-operative patients tolerate MedX therapy well. They demonstrate a greater reduction of post surgical pain symptoms compared to patients that do not attend therapy after the recovery phase as determined by their surgeon. I am finding patients can improve their quality of life.

Question: Based on your broad experience treating patients with neck and back pain, what do you see as the future of spine care?

Answer: The trend is toward multidisciplinary spine care, with the exhaustion of conservative care, including intensive spinal rehabilitation, before resorting to more invasive options. Good medical oversight and continuity of care will be an important aspect management of spinal conditions.


Lindsay Haugen, P.A.-C, currently treats patients at Physicians’ Diagnostics & Rehabilitation. If you’re interested in setting up an appointment with Lindsay, speak to our excellent front desk staff at +1 (952) 908-2700.