Healthcare, physical therapy, chiropractic, doctors, osteopaths, surgeons; these are words that I am beginning to despise. While any one of these words does not compare to criminal, snake oil salesman, or fraud; there are many out there who would see a correlation. When we are in pain and need help there is no clear direction to turn. Once you have sucked it up and proceeded blindly into one of these "health care practitioner" offices you are met with your worst fear. SOMETHING IS WRONG. I am hurt, something is out of alignment, something is unstable, something is inflamed, or god for bid something is herniated! Honestly, healthcare is terrifying.
Then you get the "here is what we do about it" speech from someone who almost definitely does not practice what they preach. Their options involve them doing something to you, something only doctors know how to do, then sending you home for a few days before you return for the same "treatment". I hate to use all the quotations but honestly, what did anyone do 250 years ago, before the age of chiropractic spine adjustments and the amazing laser that is "great for osteoarthritis".
Apparently, at one point or another, we completely lost our ability to self regulate. Certainly our bowels still move, our skin regenerates, our hair continues to grow, but our spines, discs, and joints are all out of whack.
The truth is, this is nonsense.
As part of what we do as health care practitioners, we investigate our theories. You get a doctoral degree from a health sciences department, not the business school. It is our strict duty to first DO NO HARM and second improve the lives of those we treat. If we constantly berate our patients with "knowledge" of malalignments and other unfounded dysfunctions then we are overtly doing them harm.
The research that shows the prevalence of asymptomatic degenerative changes, aka non painful disc bulges, herniations, and arthritis in young population should be used to liberate those who have uncovered they have similar changes at a much greater age. Instead, doctors say, "see, you should have been in here sooner, how's your infant doing?". A normal aging process (osteoarthritis or disc bulge) in an area of pain is not the same as an injury. There are many factors that result in pain and the treatment is rarely reliant on someone doing something to you. You may NEED guidance on what to do for yourself, you may WANT someone to do something to you, but you almost definitely do not need something "done". What you need is the appropriate understanding for what is going on, and logical steps to address it.
Hence, the revolution.
Chiropractors, PT's, MD's, are all limited by one major thing. Nothing is free. Unless you are an insurance company, then you can state that someone's time is free, unless something is being "done". Do you see the issue here. An insurance company, which is clearly years behind on the current scientific understanding of how the body heals, will not reimburse your MD, PT, DO, DC, unless they can document what they are doing to you. They are prescribing you exercise, they are manipulating your body, they are rubbing you with an ultrasound stick, they are watching you on the bike. This results in unnecessary usage of time, treatment modalities, manual treatments, and even sometimes exercise treatments. Tell me, what is the difference between 4 and 8 minutes on a recumbent bike being peddled continuously at a HR below 40% of max. Nothing. Except time. Which is likely being spent billing a second person for the same treatment while you sit there on that bike. They don't pay for the logic that goes into an appropriately planned out, progressive program for rehabilitation. SO YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER DOESN'T DO IT!
The system is flawed in so many respects, what is being called treatment, who is providing that treatment, what is being reimbursed for that treatment, where that treatment is being done. There absolutely NEEDS to be a change.
Call me hard-headed or radical, but I won't continue to practice in an environment where patient values are placed below my company's. If you need 2 months of 4-5 days per week of an exercise program with appropriate progression, regression and biomechanical direction, time to express your frustrations without judgment, and an understanding of what you are doing and why, then you will get it from me. If you want to go to a doctor's appointment 3 times a week, perform a bunch of exercise without understanding why, get a rub down (so that 10 minutes you actually spend being treated is billable by the lofty manual therapy treatment code and you feel like you are getting to know your doctor) and then wait and see if you get better, go to the place up the street.
At Human Function and Performance you can expect to spend an hour each session with a Doctor of Physical Therapy. During this hour your questions will be answered honestly, but not in a manner that is intended to harm or instigate fear. You will be built up and empowered to take control over your physical well-being by understanding what your body needs to feel better. Then you will be provided with a logical and systematic plan to achieve your goals.
There is a revolution coming. In healthcare and in our daily lives. If you want to experience better service, see someone who knows what they are doing and has the business model to allow them to share it with you.