When Physical Rehab Doesn’t Do As It is Expected – Better Diagnosis Yields More Effective Treatments
Being in practice for over 25 years, I have seen a great amount of progress in the understanding of methods to rehabilitate someone in pain. I have also seen many businesses developed that advertise pain control or relief that at best offer short term relief and at worst, leave people worse off, poorer and more frustrated because the promised benefits never materialized, that being true relief of the problem.
A great example of this are the many people who are being sold the idea that for their back pain, since nothing else is working, and before we do surgery on a disc that may or may not be the cause, you should have a series of three injections under anesthesia with an epidural block. Since most problems people experience are mechanical in nature, I cannot wrap my head around how this is worth the thousands of dollars that is charged for the procedure. Most people see little or no benefit, then going through surgeries that may or may not benefit them as well.
Yesterday, a great example of this came into our office complaining of neck pain. A year ago, she had a stiff neck. She visited her doctor who sent her for physical therapy. She was afforded some relief and the problem came back prompting her to visit our office. While talking to this patient, I could visually see her right shoulder leaned forward, and I said to her that the problem was below her neck just by looking at her. She of course asked how I could see that just by looking at her. I had her stand up and showed her how her pelvis was torqued, which would make her shoulder lean forward. Her right foot turned out, which was causing the problem. She then volunteered after denying any lower back involvement she saw another local chiropractor for back problems 10 years ago that resolved. I showed her why this was a foot problem and worked on her lower back and tight legs. Her neck felt better and I never touched her neck.
The other day, I met the mayor of our town of North Brunswick at Chili’s as I ate lunch. He was with a friend who he explained was a local police officer who was in an auto accident two years ago while at work and has not been able to work since. According to the officer, he had been through two years of hell with rehab. When I told him I was a chiropractor, he said he was advised by his neurosurgeon that he never should see a chiropractor and have someone mess with his neck. I could tell his problems were below the neck, and told him that. He of course asked me how I knew. I explained that a great deal of neck motion occurs below the neck and for his neck to be so locked up, which the neurosurgeon offered different excuses for with medical names, the lower back and legs had to be involved. So much for intelligent advice and ethics of his neurosurgeon. I did not offer any more information but I hope I got him to think outside the box for his own benefit.
Recently, I have introduced Treadmill Diagnosis and Treatment to our office. This unique service allows us to see things that our standard methods of active evaluation may not see. Anyone with a chronic problem would want to have this done. For a nominal fee, we place you on a treadmill and have you walk or run. I videotape you with the iphone. I can then show you any problems with symmetry and gait I see, work on the problem and get you back on the treadmill. I thin re video you and show you the difference. We can repeat the process over and over until you get the long term relief you deserve. It is scientific, accurate and as it should be, curative for more people. For anyone who believes rehab does not work, it is because they had, as often occurs in healthcare, people trained to only look inside the box and not understand what they are treating. This can only yield mediocre outcomes, frustration and wasted money and cost. Some of these problems do take time to figure out. Of course, insurance does not cover a service like this but it is money well spent to get it right on diagnosis which leads to the right treatment.
Treadmill diagnosis and treatment, a unique way to diagnose and properly resolve problems related to our skeletal system.