“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

— Mark Twain

Our Patient Stories

Our Patient Stories


Jodi, a 45-year-old female

Jodi is a busy business owner who enjoys working out and was an avid tennis player until she was sidelined by debilitating pain. She presented with neck pain and also suffered from TMJ. She spent over 20 years seeking relief from various chiropractors, physical therapists and TMJ specialists. Unfortunately, she not only
continued to experience unrelenting pain, but also suffered from additional treatment-related problems that included receiving a fractured rib during a chiropractic adjustment, which was the final straw that drove her to Arizona Manual Therapy Centers for a fresh, customized approach to diagnose, treat and manage her pain and restore her quality of life.

Although three orthopedic specialists and two pain specialists insisted that Jodi’s pain emanated from her neck, her pain continued to worsen even after years of conventional therapy and procedures. Utilizing his broad-based experience, specialized orthopedic manual therapy certification and evaluation of Jodi’s response to a new treatment regimen, Richard re-evaluated the underlying causes for Jodi’s pain and lack of mobility and concluded that her shoulder—not her neck—was the culprit. After convincing an orthopedic surgeon to perform a “shoulder clean-up” procedure, Jodi was back in PT in three days and was annihilating opponents on the tennis court within six weeks and was enjoying life without pain for the first time in years.


“I’ve been to dozens of physical therapists and chiropractors over the years but AZMT is different
and truly the only place that provided long-term relief. You get personalized care with a hands-on
approach that accurately pinpoints the problem. It’s like magic! Richard has treated me for
my neck, shoulder, TMJ and even my ankle. I can now play tennis, work out, do yoga and enjoy
my life again. I can’t thank Richard enough for not listening to what the doctors said but for
identifying the underlying issues and fixing them! He’s the greatest!”

– Jodi




Jay, a 53-year-old male

Jay suffered from back pain for years! He had steroid injections, took Ibuprofen and Vicodin daily and even had the nerves in his upper and lower back burned. All his doctors said he needed back surgery.

After an initial evaluation at Arizona Manual Therapy Centers, Richard believed Jay’s hip was causing his pain–not his back–and suggested Jay get an MRI to confirm. The MRI showed a congenital condition called FAI and a month ago, Jay had hip replacement surgery and he is now pain free.


“After seven years of taking narcotics to manage pain, I was about to have back
surgery that I didn’t need. Thanks to Richard’s diagnosis, I am now pain free and am off
all meds. Richard and AZMT gave me a new lease on life. I will be forever grateful.”

– Jay




Louise, a 66-year-old female

Over the years Louise sought treatment from many “experts” for severe pain associated with motorcycle riding, a fall into an empty pool among other problems, but never achieved any long-term relief.  She was a very active, adventurous woman, but eventually was in so much pain that she could no longer drive or even stand and was forced to lie flat on her back for two months. This had a broad impact because Louise could no longer assist her husband who is a double amputee with tasks like pulling his chair up stairs. She finally started seeing Laurie after back surgery that inserted four titanium screws with minimal expectations based on her past physical therapy outcomes. Fortunately, she realized almost immediately that she was in for a life-changing experience and three years later she feels better and functions better than ever before.


“Laurie takes a holistic approach and knows my body better than I do. But she goes way beyond just treating the immediate problem. We discussed my lifestyle and she made sure I learned how to carry out activities safely without straining my body. For example, my husband and I love to travel and I now know the best way to lift our luggage off the carousel. She also made sure that I understood what I needed to do to maintain my body’s proper alignment and how to recognize when problems are beginning to surface so I can come in and address them at an early stage before they become a serious issue.
As in all professions there are people who are fabulous, good, OK and not-so-good. Laurie is one of the fabulous few who listens, provides a customized program, and educates and empowers her patients. I encourage everyone I know who needs physical therapy to ‘go see Laurie.”

– Louise




Adele, a 60-year-old female

Adele is an active 60 year old that has always enjoyed an active, adventurous lifestyle. She horseback rides, swims, bikes, skydives – you name it! For the past 3 years however, Adele has been crippled with extreme low back pain. She sought answers from the top neurosurgeons and orthopedic specialists across the county. She stopped at nothing. She went to Chinese medicine doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists – even had wet cupping where they pulled blood out of her back. No one could help her. Doctors prescribed narcotics but she was still curled up in a ball every night with pain beyond belief. She even endured two foot surgeries, which may have been unnecessary, all in an effort to eliminate her back pain.

Adele finally came to Arizona Manual Therapy where she found hope, answers and was able to get on the road to recovery. Richard reviewed her MRI and gave her a complete evaluation and determined that it was her hips, not her back that was the cause of the problem. She had a pain injection in her back. No relief. She had a pain injection in her hip and finally felt better. It turns out that Adele suffered from Ischofemural a condition so rare that she is the only person in the U.S. who has received this diagnosis. She had hip surgery on the right side and six months later on the left side. Ninety days after surgery Adele went to Hawaii with her grandkids and went zip lining, played golf, went paddle boarding, swimming and biking. The cause of the mysterious rash on her chest and back that perplexed even dermatologists was identified as an inflammation, and it disappeared.


“Richard is like the doctor from the Marcus Welby days with a little black bag who will take the time to listen and research until he solves the problem. Out of dozens of doctors and healthcare professionals, he was the only one to diagnosis a hip impingement. He gave me my life back. I had no sleep and no quality of life. After 3 years of being inactive, I am back in the game and riding my motorcycle and am grateful beyond measure. Nothing can stop me now.”

– Adele




MB, a 16-year-old female

MB started dance classes at 2-years-old and by the time she was 12 had developed debilitating, sharp lower back pain, which caused her to seek treatment for the first time from Laurie. After a very thorough assessment which identified that MB’s extremely flexible hips were out of alignment, among other issues, Laurie performed lengthy hands-on manipulation and stretching as well as developed a customized program of exercises, stretches, ice, heat and other modalities that eliminated the pain within two months. Laurie also taught MB how to exercise and stretch at home to maintain alignment, recognize emerging problems and to speak up in class to avoid potentially harmful activities.

About two years ago, MB developed knee problems after starting to dance “en pointe” and Laurie created a program that strengthened her weaker muscles to keep the knee cap from being pulled to one side and later incorporated TENS therapy into a comprehensive care plan to address sharp ankle pain around the Achilles tendon.

MB and Laurie have become friends over the years and MB trusts and relates well to Laurie. She usually stops by before a new dance season begins for a quick assessment, which allowed Laurie to identify that a slight curvature of the spine (scoliosis) was occurring, which Laurie’s treatments along with sets of exercises have helped to straighten.


According to MB’s mother, “Laurie is adept at working with dancers, which is why we chose Laurie for PT. She devises exercises for strengthening and pain relief that MB sees results from. Plus, Laurie is really good at diagnosing, and is up-to-date on research to help her patients achieve peak performance. Laurie cares about her patients, and has become a real friend. She even comes to MB’s recitals and goes out of her way to accommodate her schedule. Laurie always lifts MB’s spirits, and reinforces MB’s confidence in her capabilities and limits.”
 





Kathleen, a 52-year-old female


“Richard’s expertise is unparalleled. He knows the right questions to ask and his hands-on approach immediately enabled him to identify the root cause of the problem before my MRI or my doctors figured it out. Amazing! I am so grateful, I can’t even describe it. I never went to another physical therapist but I am so glad that I went to AZMT.”

– Kathleen




Scott, a 61-year-old male

Scott, a former college football player with osteoarthritis, started working with Laurie 19 years ago after his first hip replacement surgery. Since then, Laurie has helped him recover 100% through two additional hip replacements; one knee replacement; three wrist surgeries, including a wrist fusion; and two shoulder surgeries. Not only has he always recovered 100% and done so quickly, within eight weeks after hip and knee surgeries he played 18 holes of golf, breaking 80, which was right around his handicap. Currently, they’re working on increasing mobility and eliminating neck pain so he can avoid fusion surgery–and it’s going well.

Although Scott lives in Cave Creek, a 45-minute drive to Arizona Manual Therapy Centers, he wouldn’t consider seeing any other physical therapist. He always recommends her to friends with similar complaints and without exception those that see her have the best recovery.


“Laurie has a unique ability to figure out what’s causing a person’s pain as well as each individual’s pain threshold so she can determine how deeply she can work. She understands how to achieve the best results in the quickest time. She’s an amazing communicator and her treatment plan and exercises evolve as your recovery progresses. She never takes a cookie-cutter approach—each patient receives a customized plan based on their unique circumstances—and this extends beyond just the immediate medical problem. Frankly, anybody with access to Laurie who doesn’t use her is out of their mind.”

– Scott




Jackie, a 13-year-old female

Growing up in the digital world of texting, social media, gaming and computers, Jackie, who is also a tennis player, suffered from neck, shoulder and jaw pain.

Jackie’s pediatrician sent her to Arizona Manual Therapy Centers to help alleviate her headaches and other pain. During four months of physical therapy Richard mobilized Jackie’s neck and back and taught her how to strengthen her muscles and use proper posture. The result: Jackie is now pain free and is playing tennis daily and enjoying her fast-paced life as a busy middle-schooler.


“Richard is the best! He helped me so much more than any chiropractor or Motrin did. Plus he made PT fun! If you are having pain, go see Richard — he will fix you – he is the BEST!”

– Jackie




Gloria, a 60-year-old  female

Gloria, a high-energy woman who likes to keep moving constantly, started limping because of foot discomfort, which eventually became so painful that she could barely walk. After unsuccessful attempts to treat the problem based on information she obtained online, she saw a podiatrist who referred her to a physical therapist, but the pain didn’t improve and even seemed to get worse. A fellow volunteer at The Boys and Girls Club Thrift Shop was so concerned that she insisted Gloria call Laurie. Gloria was amazed. Not only did Laurie talk to her personally and at length on the phone, but she could tell that Laurie was completely focused on the best way to address her individual needs and circumstances—she wasn’t trying to squeeze her into a one-size-fits-all treatment plan or to max out  her insurance benefit.

Gloria recounts that she actually started to feel better during that first phone call because for the first time in months she began to feel confident that someone was really listening to her, understood what she was trying to convey and had the skills and dedication to find solutions. After months of tormenting pain, she was astonished that in just two weeks of intense therapy that included ultrasound, hand-on manipulation and stretching, exercise, ice, and taping, she was almost pain free and able to resume normal activities without the use of orthotics or drugs. Gloria also credits Laurie with teaching her to trust her instincts and to listen to her body and take charge.


“Laurie has been a lifeline and a friend.  Looking back, I realize how scared I was before we connected since nothing was working. She’s never let me down and I’m confident that we can handle any new problems that might surface. Plus, I wear a size 4 shoe, which can be very challenging, and Laurie is constantly on the lookout for shoes for me. She’s the best and I am so grateful to her for giving me back my life. She’s the only physical therapist I’d ever trust.”

– Gloria




Kris


“How many ways can I say “Laurie Mackler is phenomenal”? When I began seeing her, my neck and upper back muscles were so tight I couldn’t even turn my head to either side. As you can imagine, this was not only quite painful- but dangerous while driving for example. She quickly identified the source of the problem and went right to work to fix it. Her extensive knowledge, professional physical therapy treatment and the training I’ve received as well have helped tremendously! I would recommend her to anyone. She’s a miracle worker!”

– Kris




Lilli


“I have been to several therapists in the past who I did not benefit from because of poor diagnosis or improper therapeutic activities. Richard is totally hands-on and manually works on my injured areas before I stretch and exercise. He is extremely knowledgeable about how I can improve and keep mobile. Other therapists did not take a dedicated, personal approach to working together. He is by far the best therapist I have ever worked with and highly recommend him.””

– Lilli



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