To Prevent Injury, Do What The Pros Do

To Prevent Injury, Do What The Pros Do

Chiropractic Thousand Oaks CA Injury Prevention

One of my earliest experiences as a doctor of chiropractic was observing alongside my mentor, the team chiropractor for the San Francisco 49ers: Dr. Mark Eastland. Most of the football players I personally witnessed getting stretched out had flexibility like ballerinas. It was the kind of “Eureka!” experience that has shaped my entire career.

As professional athletes are the team’s greatest asset, injuries can take a substantial toll on the success of the team. It should not be a surprise that injury prevention is taken very seriously in professional sports. To prevent injury, the physical capacity of professional athletes is constantly evaluated for signs of deficiency. Knowing where deficiencies exist, gives the coaches, trainers and support staff the insight necessary to help their athletes perform to their maximal capacity.

The inherent nature of athletics in of themselves increase the risk of injury what to speak of playing the game with deficiencies in strength, endurance, flexibility, alignment and other measurable and modifiable physical characterizes. The key concept here is knowing where modifiable inefficiencies exist in the physical capacity of the athletes that can lead to injury and correcting them preventatively. This approach is not a new concept in professional sports; but when it comes to the prevention of injuries and musculoskeletal conditions in the general public, it is sorely lacking. So, the question is why?

Musculoskeletal conditions, particularly low-back injuries, are one of the leading drivers of health care costs. Yet, I would challenge any reader to remember the last time their primary treating physician measured their hamstring flexibility or quantified their back strength. In all other areas of medicine, we have made great strides in preventative screens. Regular mammograms, for example, have significantly improved our ability to detect early and successfully treat breast cancer.

An annual blood panel gives your primary treating physician (PTP) the ability to detect and treat, for additional example, increased cholesterol levels which reduces the risk of heart attacks. Prostate checks in males over the age of 50 reduces the chances of developing prostate cancer and so on. Yet, no meaningful preventative battery of tests, let’s call it a musculoskeletal physical, is administered to the general public even though the professional athletic world has documented the benefits for decades and despite the fact that musculoskeletal injuries remain one of the leading drivers of healthcare cost.

The reason I believe this is the case is because musculoskeletal conditions do not significantly contribute to early mortality. So, of no fault of their own, PTPs are not trained to look for inefficiencies in the musculoskeletal system nor does the reduction in insurance reimbursement provide the opportunity to even consider the possibility.   Yet, the significance to society, especially in older populations and in light of the financial problems faced by the Medicare system, is significant.

Assuming for a moment a cost-effective musculoskeletal physical could be administered regularly who could do it and what should be included in it?  In a future blog, I return to the question of detecting signs physical deficiencies of in the pursuit of prevention and ultimately in the improvement of our quality of life.

OFFICE HOURS


Monday
7:00am - 6:00pm


Tuesday
7:30am - 6:00pm


Wednesday
7:00am - 6:00pm


Thursday
7:30am - 6:00pm


Friday
7:00am - 6:00pm


Saturday
9:00am - 12:00pm

Omega Rehab & Sport
325 Rolling Oaks Drive #250
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
(805) 230-1199