Friday, February 8, 2008

Void in the system

I had a young high school athlete come into our office yesterday, his mother being an RN, and he was referred by another family we've worked with for years. He had a severe strain/sprain injury of his shoulder, and had been to his pediatrician just the day before. His season is down to 3 games, and he needs to get back asap.

No real tests had been done by the pediatrician, and the recommendations were "rest and ice". Not horrible recommendations, but not "cutting edge"either. After all, no x-rays or other biomechanical tests were performed. So the mom asked me, "What are you going to do?". I told her we'll start by taking some x-rays of his mid-back and neck, to see if there are any underlying causes.

She then wanted to tell me that the pediatricians wouldn't give her a referral to our office and said absolutely don't let her son be adjusted by a chiropractor.

The pediatricians have minimal knowledge of musculo-skeletal injuries, what influencing factors contribute to them, and what corrective therapies, treatments and recommendations are needed to accelerate this athlete back to "game ready" (proven by their exam and recommendations). Yet, they actually believe they're doing right for the patient to make proclamations as they do. And, so many patients accept this.

I'm now working with the Director of all Wellness Programs for the state of New York's state employees. She is an employee of the Department of Health. The DOH has no category for musculo-skeletal. It's not even considered on their list of diseases, conditions, etc. This possilby provides us with the reasons why traditional healthcare only recommends ice and rest. Surely, it doesn't take 12 years of higher education to learn that recommendation. This category has been neglected by main stream medicine, and we're now bringing it to the forefront.

The director and I are now in the process of developing a pilot program, using state employees and Structural Management®, to address this crisis that both industry and sports suffers with (the breakdown of the musculo-skeletal system with no intervening testing or care until after-the-fact). The interest level and acceptance level by all employees, so far, has been extraordinary. Everyone is excited with the possibilities. This void can be filled.

And, if it is filled with a program like Structural Management®, a newsletter will have to be sent out, Express Mail, to all parents of young kids who believe every word their pediatrician says, even if it has to do with conditions they know little about. Parents will need to know there are answers. Better than "ice and rest", which is actually no answer at all.

In 1975, Dr. George Sheehan, the deceased running cardiologist who was a guru in his time, said so eloquently in his Book on Running;

“The human body is a marvelous instrument. When in perfect alignment and balance, there is almost no feat of endurance the body cannot handle even on a regular basis. However, structural imbalance of even minor degrees can result in incapacitating injuries and persistent disabilities.

Prevention and treatment of musculo-skeletal injuries in the athlete, therefore, rests in the establishment of the structural balance and architectural integrity of the body-and its re-establishment should injury occur.

I cannot emphasize too strongly that most athletic injuries are structural, almost architectural, not medical. You would almost be better off in the hands of an engineer than a medical doctor when this type of injury occurs."

The mission continues.

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