Clinic Spotlight — Boise State Street


Therapeutic Associates

Physical therapy in Boise, on State Street.

No matter what prompts you to schedule your first physical therapy appointment, when your PT sits down with you to talk about why you’re there, they aren’t just asking you to describe your pain or injury.

“Patients come in for their injury, but what is the big why? What can’t you do that you really want to be able to do? We often have to dig a little bit to help patients find their why,” physical therapist Rob Barnes said. As the clinic director at Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy – Boise State Street, Rob fosters an upbeat environment of healing where every patient feels supported and listened to, where everyone on the care team – from the front desk staff to the PTs to the physical therapist assistants and exercise specialists – is invested in their patients’ goals. “If you get too focused on pain, you lose sight of that why.”

PT Rob Barnes consults with a patient at the Boise physical therapy clinic

Bringing patients back to what they are passionate about sometimes requires a bit of a pivot in thinking, Rob said. The questions the therapists ask don’t always align with a typical inquiry from a healthcare provider.

“When you first come in, we’re not going to focus on the injury or the pain,” he explained. “We’re going to ask about your family, about what you like to do – your hobbies and other things that let us get to know who you are.”

Listening to patients is always a priority, physical therapist Kala Whitworth emphasized.

“We want people to feel at home here. We want them to feel heard, to know that their concerns are listened to and that they have a part in the decision-making process,” she explained. “We want them to understand their plan of care well and can help to take a little bit of ownership or control over their therapy as well.”

Beyond getting to know a patient, the first appointment includes capturing a complete medical history and a thorough discussion about the specific issue that prompted the visit. Once the PT has a solid understanding of the patient’s situation, they conduct a hands-on physical examination.

From there, explained physical therapist Collin Reed, a diagnosis is made, and an individualized plan is created to address the injury, pain or limitation.

“We find a frequency and a plan that is going to work for the patient and help them get to their goals as fast as possible,” Collin said. “We set expectations early and make them as clear as possible so that both patient and PT are satisfied, and the plan will be successful.”

Often the plan of care can be put into action during the first visit, with some hands-on therapy and home exercise planning and instructions. Follow-up visits are more streamlined, as the focus is on treatment and executing the program that has been established.

“With follow-up visits, we really want to make sure that we are on track with your initial plan of care and then continue to customize those treatments to your goals,” Rob explained. “We may include some manual therapy techniques, we will have you do exercises in the clinic utilizing our equipment, we might progress your home program, and then, at the end of the appointment, you’re walking out with an updated plan.”

PT Rob Barnes offers personalized physical therapy in Boise.

Additionally, Collin added, patients can expect regular reassessments, which allows the physical therapist to ensure things are progressing as expected and to make adjustments if they are not. Patients are encouraged, he continued, to ask any questions they may have at any time, whether they are about a certain exercise, something they are struggling with in their daily life, or even their financial journey. The clinic’s focus on utilizing a complete care team means there is always someone suited to help them find the answers they need.

This aligns with what Rob said he believes is the most important thing PTs do — educate patients.

“I believe that so much of what we see comes from chronic postures, overtraining, undertraining … and that is really fixed by education. It is the foundation of what we do,” Rob shared. “A big part of what we do is educate patients on how they can help themselves. That includes posture, ergonomics, exercise programs they do at home or in the gym, or as a cyclist or a runner … education is a big piece of it.”

The population that calls the Treasure Valley and Boise home includes many active people who spend a lot of time recreating in the outdoors.

“People here love to run, bike, ski, and I think a lot of us who become therapists also enjoy those activities and so it is fun for us to be able to help people get back to the things that give them a good quality of life,” Kala said.

man on mountain bike pauses at top of a downhill trail with tree roots and rocks
skiing on a sunny day
man and woman walk together outside in a park as a form of exercise

Since 2003, the Boise State Street physical therapy clinic team has worked to empower patients on their recovery, rehabilitation and health and wellness journeys.

“Our community culture is wonderful. We’ve been here for 20 years in this location and I really feel like we’re part of the community,” Rob said. “I also think we have a great culture of fun; we really try to keep the clinic fun — being in pain is not fun, going to medical appointments is not fun, and so we try to make this as enjoyable of an experience as possible.”

The fun they have along the way can make completing therapy a little bittersweet for patients, even as they celebrate reaching their goals.

“I think if I could put it in one word, what I want people to leave with at the end of therapy, it’s empowerment,” Collin said.

“When a patient finishes their plan of care, we really want them to feel like they have hit their goals and then that they have the knowledge and the tools to exceed those goals and to manage their discomfort or their injury,” Rob emphasized. “Big picture – we really like our patients not to just be focused on what their problem was, but on a holistic approach to their health and wellbeing.

“Also, we want them to know that we are their PT for life, so they can reach out to us with questions anytime.”

a young girl raises her arms in triumph at the end of the Girls on the Run 5K

Get moving with physical therapy.

At Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy – Boise State Street, we are committed to providing effective, efficient, and compassionate care to help patients of all ages and abilities live a pain-free, active life. 

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