Life of

What’s wrong with our Medical System – Physical Therapy

Dear Readers,

This saddens me!  I have several body workers that I frequent when I have an injury, and those of you who know my story (and those of you that don’t, I’ll post a recap later in this blog) know how I feel about proper treatment for your body because “you only get one,” as I always say.  I’m learning, tragically, that the medical practitioners on Maui avoid prescribing physical therapy treatment for injuries. 

Now, let’s take case one:  (We’ll call her Rose) Rose, not a spring chicken, has tragically been in several car accidents, although living and not withholding any serious medical injuries, has had to endure pain in her neck, back, and hips for quite some time.  Rose, now dancing my version of THRILLER feels better, not worse!, than she did before hand.  Thriller is probably the hardest physically I offer to the community throughout the year, preparing the performers for quite a bit of physical discomfort.  Talking with Rose, she says, “my back feels better now while I’m moving and dancing Thriller better than resting.”  Most of the dancers feel sore and crabby, but she was feeling great.  The movement gave her more energy throughout the day and she had a better range of motion for longer periods of time AND less pain for longer periods of time.

Continuation of case one: Half way through a rehearsal she asks if I will adjust her leg because she can feel, dancing, that one of her hips is off, by about 2”, she estimates.  I have her lay on her stomach and look at her back (a wonderful practitioner, a Zen practitioner, taught me that no matter the age, you should never have wrinkles on your back.  If there are, something, muscularly, skeletally, or internally is in the wrong place).  Looking at the lines on her lower back, I said she was pretty close because I would have said 1 1/2”. 

After talking to her about adjustment history, she told me that her hips are off and keep just “falling” out.  Also, she had been getting massage therapy, but felt that over this amount of time there was little to no improvement.  “Rose,” I said, “have you asked for physical therapy?”  She said that it was discouraged, which wasn’t the first time, I’d heard that here.  “Alright, I’m not a doctor and all of my assessments and suggestions are pure conjecture.  Please go get a medical opinion after I tell you what I think.” And I listed off some doctors that I trust with my dancers.

“But I trust you.”

“Thanks, but go get a medical opinion.  If your back is better from physical activity, especially strenuous, and your hips feel week and keep falling out of socket, you need physical therapy to strengthen those ligaments and muscles.  It is that simple.  Chiropractic is for alignment, massage for healing and break down, PT for strengthening.  You don’t seem to need massage.  You don’t need to be looser, that’s precisely the problem.  Your back feels better with your body tighter and stronger from the exercise.  Make the doctors prescribe you PT.  Doctors work for you and its what you need.”  We proceeded to line her up with a physical therapist THAT NIGHT who knows how to work on dancers (one of our dancers’ husband). 

It is unfortunate that so many injured people are discouraged from PT more than any other treatment.  My theory, which has no basis for weight because I have nothing to back it with, is that the medical system doesn’t get a kick-back through insurance. 

Readers remember these two things:

R.I.C.E is old.  You do not rest an injury, you treat it.  If you allow an injury to go untreated by just ice, circulate, elevate, you will have a longer recover process and possible scar tissue.  You need to keep it moving or it will atrophy.

DOCTORS WORK FOR YOU.  You have one body and they have lots of patience.  ASK for chiropractic, massage, and PT for EVERY INJURY to be prescribed.  Even if you don’t use it, you at least have the option.  Get a second opinion by someone outside of their medical facility (even if you’ve been with them forever and you trust them) regarding surgery.  Look up EVERY drug you put in your body.  Drugs have a purpose, make sure they are used for the right purpose.  Ask for PT!

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