Sport Specific Exams & Treatment; Is Your Doctor/Therapist Stuck in the Old Paradigm?
Remember the old joke…. A man goes to his doctor and says “hey doc, it hurts when I do this”…. The doctor looks back at him and says “well, then don’t do that”…
While I’ve been involved in sports medicine for at least the past 18 years, I seem to be always fighting those non-sports medicine doctors who love to tell patients to rest. I’ve always told a patient to rest the injured part or the injured motion, but be active or exercise everything else. The sports physician-trainer-therapists’s mantra Never Take An Athlete Out Of Exercise. Which is why “cross-training” was developed. Injured athletes would be given exercises that would help them with other aspects of their primary sport while their injury was healing. Out of season athletes would take on an in season sport with skill sets that could help them with their primary sport until it was back in season.
In the “old days” open heart surgery patients would lay in their hospital beds for weeks following surgery, nowadays, they are up and walking within a few days. You see our bodies were meant to move. We were built for action and action is what we need.
So nowadays, instead of your doctor giving you the answer “well, don’t do that” the smart doctor, trainer or therapist should say “do that again and let me watch you”. The functional exam is all about examining the patient in the position of pain, the activity of pain and even providing some treatment while the patient goes through these dysfunctional or painful activities .
It’s not so much that your body part is hurt and injured, it’s more the function that involves that part and how the "system" functions (or not) that includes that injured body part. Because more and more we’re understanding how interrelated body structures are involved in functions were never new before, just addressing “fixing the part” isn’t good enough. Nowadays you should get a more active exam and more active treatment to go along with it. Yes, passive therapies have their place, but if you are going to your doctor and saying “Doc, it hurts when I do this…” The doctor should do more than prescribe some pills or apply a hot pack and some muscle stimulation. In our office you'll see us treating patients (although it looks more like we're playing around) while they's balancing on gym balls, wobble discs, holding weights, squatting, standing on one leg, standing on a vibration plate, making throwing motions and more. The exam and the treatment depend on their injury, what causes their pain and what sport (or job) they are trying to do that causes their pain.
Here's an example of me working on a goes foot while he's in a position of provokation and function. He's on a motorized wobble board while I'm using my Graston Technique® tools him. The techniques are FAKTR-PM
For those unfamiliar with this, one great system of evaluating and treating musculoskeletal pain is FAKTR-PM)Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehabilitation, Provocation and Motion). If your doctor doesn’t know about FAKTR-PM, you can either refer them to www.FAKTR-PM.com to learn more or send them to someone (like me) who has been trained in Graston Technique® and/or FAKTR-PM for a more functional and effective approach to treating those everyday aches and pains or those sports injuries that keep coming back season after season.
Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He testifies as an expert witness and does strategic personal injury and workers' compensation consults with law firms. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine, chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage, rehabilitation & nutrition