DO YOU Want to learn how to treat complex patients?

DO YOU Want to learn how to treat complex patients?DO YOU Want to learn how to treat complex patients?

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Be the first to know about the next episode and as a bonus we will send you a copy of Erica's "Clinical Pearls" with some real case examples of how to evaluate and treat the "tough to treat" patient. You will also receive a copy of Susan's "Sleep Tips" and how they play into persistent pain.

About Us


Welcome to Tough to Treat Podcast

Welcome to Tough to Treat: A Physiotherapists’ Guide to Managing Those Complex Patients! 

Podcasts are hosted by Erica Meloe, PT, OCS, COMT, MBA, MA and Susan Clinton, PT, DScPT, OCS, WCS, COMT, FAAOMPT, who discuss how they successfully treated patients that others could not.  


Meet Erica

I solved unique financial puzzles on Wall Street for a decade. Now I utilize those same strengths to help rid my patients of pain so that they can live their lives on their own terms.

The greatest victories in my physical therapy career are realized when I apply my natural problem-solving skills, honed even further on Wall Street, to help alleviate my patients’ pain; … pain that in many cases no one else has been able to resolve.

I work with my patients to uncover the true source of their pain, and together we work towards them becoming pain-free.

I’m so fortunate to have found my true calling and to be able to help people in the most important area of their lives – their health!


Meet Susan

I currently practice in Sewickley, Pennsylvania and am the co-owner and founder of Embody Physiotherapy and Wellness, LLC. 

I am  active in teaching and research as an adjunct instructor for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University, and Slippery Rock University. Additionally, I am an international instructor and presenter of post-professional education in women’s health and orthopedic manual therapy. My research activities include publications on chronic pelvic pain and clinical practice guidelines for the APTA Section on Women's Health and Orthopedic Section. 

I am active with the American Physical Therapy Association, serving in governance as a local delegate and alternate delegate, and as the Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines steering committee for the Section on Women’s Health.  I am also an inaugural BOD member of the non-profit Women’s Health Global Initiative. 

In my spare time, I enjoy walking / hiking, country line dance and ballroom, and I am an avid supporter of music, the arts, and international objectives for women’s health. 

#60: Changing symptoms

#59: Stress Urinary Incontinence

#59: Stress Urinary Incontinence


 We have all been through this-as providers or patients. One day your low back hurts on the right, the next day it's the left, and 2 days later it's your right hip and the saga goes on and on and on.  Why? Is it because there is a movement control problem and you are just running out of options? Or is there perhaps another systems impairment that is contributing to all of this?  Join us as we clinically reason through a male patient of Erica's who is experiencing these symptoms. Hormones are not just the domain of the female.  

#59: Stress Urinary Incontinence

#59: Stress Urinary Incontinence

#59: Stress Urinary Incontinence


  What flashes through your mind with a diagnosis of SUI - muscle weakness?  That is certainly one hypothesis!  Listen in on this episode where we explore another client with a "systems" problem that is much more involved than just simple pelvic floor muscle exercises.

#58: Questionable foot pain

#59: Stress Urinary Incontinence

#58: Questionable foot pain


Failed epidurals, back surgery and you still have buttock pain along with foot pain. Why? We all know back surgery is not always the answer, but why would someone's symptoms persist after all these interventions? Why would walking barefoot in the sand make this person feel better? Is the strategy different or is the nerve root still aggravated after all these interventions or both? 

#57: Elbow pain or cervical?

#55: Back pain or leg pain - why is it getting worse?

#58: Questionable foot pain


Join us on this podcast as we work through the differentials of this complex post-partum client with the onset of elbow joint pain.  Issues that have become so problematic, it's interfering with her sleep.  Is it the elbow or the cervical spine - or neural tension? 

#56: Is this patient tough to treat?

#55: Back pain or leg pain - why is it getting worse?

#55: Back pain or leg pain - why is it getting worse?


How does someone who has had 4 sessions of PT somewhere else become complex?  The answer: She got the wrong treatment. And what happened? It sensitized her nervous system to the point that she was afraid that she was never going to get better.  Ever hear of less is more? If you intervene at the right time with the right treatment, less is DEFINITELY more.  

#55: Back pain or leg pain - why is it getting worse?

#55: Back pain or leg pain - why is it getting worse?

#55: Back pain or leg pain - why is it getting worse?


 Explore the narrative of this client with persistent hip and leg pain for over 20 years. In this episode, we explore the behaviors and mitigating factors that have increased the symptoms and is slowly turning this person with confronter behavior into an avoider. Sometimes the small changes can have a huge impact.