Monday, June 27, 2011

Is it a Misconception To Think The Pros Get The Best In Sports Medicine???

by Miami Beach Chiropractic Sports Physician, Dr. Todd M. Narson

2008 AVP - "South Beach" Miami Beach, FL
I came across an article this morning about The Minnesota Vikings and their athletic training staff.  It's a nice article - building up their athletic training staff with all their accolades and experience. But something both bothered me and pleased me at the same time; It was this paragraph:
"The entire athletic training staff are Performance Enhancement Specialists through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. During the 2010 off-season, the Vikings staff was trained in Graston technique, a patented form of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization that works to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial    restrictions"

Realistically, there's nothing wrong with that paragraph. It's absolutely 100% accurate. They took the courses, did the training and yes, Graston Technique(r) does all those things (and more)... It makes me happy to hear about people advancing their education and skill-set, especially when it comes to improving the health of other people. 

So what's my problem???

Well, what bothered me is here we have a group of medical professionals that have been behind the curve for quite a while, especially for being at the ultimate level in sports competition - The Pro's.

Working on a chronic post surgical knee using FAKTR technique (2006)
I've been certified in IASTM (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization) and specifically Graston Technique since 2002...both M1 & M2 certification levels as well as the more advanced IASTM concepts of FAKTR.  Most of the public sits back, watches the games and when their player suddenly gets hurt they rest assured that their getting the best of the latest and greatest technology out there when it comes to sports medicine.  Now it seems that may or may not be true.

Why am I being so harsh on them?

Graston Technique Represented a quantum leap in the technology of treating pain related soft tissue  injuries - a paradigm shift in the way we treat soft tissue injuries.  But this paradigm shift started back in 1994, not 2010.  I first found out about Graston Technique(r) when at a continuing education convention in 2001 and was walking around some of the vendor booths during a break with my friend and sports medicine mentor Dr. Tom Hyde.  This was the first time we encountered it.  Within a year I was sitting in a Graston Technique(r) course. Tom had taken the first course he could find and was already certified and preparing to teach it.  But if you know Tom, well, that's Tom.  He's a walking talking functional sports medicine encyclopedia. If there anything effective and worth while, he dives in head first..learns everything there is to know and ends up teaching the rest of us.

Same thing, just a close up (still 2006)
It took some time to become proficient in the technique and after mastering it, it eventually it became one of my main tools when treating various pain syndromes - especially long term chronic ones.  Conditions like chronic hamstrings strains, I.T. band syndrome & plantar fasciitis in runners and triathletes, rotator cuff injuries in swimmers and "throwing" athletes, bicipital tenosynovitis (what most people call bicipital tendonitis), Post surgical adhesion pain as well as other pesky aches and pains that don't seem to respond to typical physiotherapy, stretching, exercise, pain/anti-inflammatory meds or chiropractic care.  With Graston Technique as a base and FAKTR I was helping conditions that were extremely difficult to treat that took months and months of treatment previously. Now in as little as a few treatment sessions or only a few weeks. 

So why am I explaining this to you? Why does this "press release" erk me so much?  Because I use to think just because they work with the Pro's they were automatically the best. However it turns out you can often find (at least) the same quality physicians, trainers and therapists as the professionals use, right in your neighborhood.  And... you don't have to be a pro athlete to be treated like one.  It's taken over a decade for the Vikings to adopt this wildly successful technique, but I bet there's an advanced IASTM provider right in your neighborhood who is more experienced and more proficient.  

Team Jamaica's Orthopedic Surgeon Assisting Me With IASTM
Want to find a great chiropractic sports medicine physician right in your neighborhood?  Click here to begin your search 

'nuff said
Dr. T

Below are some great resources to find physicians and therapist with advanced degrees and certifications in sports medicine and/or advanced soft tissue treatment techniques like Graston Technique and FAKTR:

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 practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

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