Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A MUST read for anyone concerned with their health!

This is too important not to get the word out. This is from Dr. Jeff Spencer's blog. He reviewed the following paper:

Mechanobiology and Diseases of Mechanotransduction
Donald Ingber, Phd, MD Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Annals of Medicine of Medicine 2003; 35 (8), pp. 564-77
This is exactly what I have been writing about in previous blogs with respect to needing to remove scar tissue from the body not too mention the removal of toxins and I understand why. This is nothing short of HUGE in terms of health care. Enjoy the reading.

What does the title of Inger’s study, Mechanobiology and Diseases of Mechanotransduction have to do with musculoskeletal care? Absolutely everything. And, here’s why.
Our current health care system focuses on disease but ignores the fact that many of the phenomena leading to pain and disease are secondary to changes in tissue structure and mechanics. Pretty interesting I’d say as this implies that as a person loses physical capacity, posture, and control of movement their risk of disease increases.
As clinicians this means that everything we do to restore a patients physical capacity increases their chances of having a more productive and gratifying life with less risk of organic disease. Giving a patient those benefits is about as high you can go on the scale of doing good for a better world as far as I’m concerned.
Let’s look at several important points made by Ingber in his publication:
1. “The global shape of the cell determines it’s behavior (eg growth versus differentiation or apoptosis), and these effect are mediated through tension-dependent changes in cyctoskeletal structure and mechanics.”
This statement is profound as the take home is that anything that changes the shape of the cell needs to be removed so the body can function as it’s designed to.
So, what are those things that could change the shape of cells that fall into our domain as practitioners? Well, just thinking off the tope of my head, here’s a short list of items: tight muscles, scar tissue, hypertonic muscles, fascial tension, inflammatory pockets, muscle incoordination, skeletal asymmetry, handedness, movement pattern distortion, emotions, toxicity, metabolic debris,… and the list goes on.
Considering this list and what it means in terms of cell behavior and illness, not to mention loss of energy and stress on structure from cell distortion, it’s obvious that we need to have clinical strategies for removing all of these interferences to normal cell function so the body can get and keep itself well.
2. “Local changes in tissue structure also may explain why genetic diseases, including cancer, often present locally.”
One of my mentors, Harold Kristal, DDS, was one of the most incredible humans I’ve ever met. Harold was a passionate tennis player. One day while playing tennis he was hit on the anterior surface of his lower leg and developed a large hematoma. The hematoma went away and a few years later he developed osteosarcoma at the original site of injury and died. I always wondered about the connection between previous trauma and subsequent vulnerability to health complications. Having read Ingber’s article I now understand the why: the shape of the cell determines its behavior. And, why, we as clinicians, must do everything possible to unwind our patients bodies to remove as much cell distortion as possible.
It’s important, as mentioned in other parts of my blog, that distortions have numerous origins and can reside, often silently, as locations distant from symptomatic complaints.
3. “When the shape of the a molecule is altered, it’s biophysical properties change, and hence biochemistry (eg chemical reaction rates) will be altered.”
This statement appears to say that biochemistry is subservient to tissue structure. If that’s true it further reinforces the important role that body posture and movement symmetry play in how well a person performs in daily life, how fast they age, and the quality of life they will have.
It’s obvious from this statement by Ingber that a patients willingness to do the correct restorative and wellness exercise is paramount in creating a vital and productive life. And, if purposeful movement isn’t done in sufficient quantity and quality a certain percentage of life quality will be compromised.
4. “Understanding of the relation between structure and function in living tissues and of fundamental mechanisms of cellular mechotransduction may therefore lead to entirely new modes of therapeutic intervention.”
This is music to my ears as it validates everything we do as practitioners dedicated to restoring and maintain the physical body’s form and, therefore, function. Just think about that. This means that every time we help restore form back to the body its function improves and life becomes just a little bit better. Now, this is a concept we can hang our professional hat on with confidence. And, we should feel a true sense of empowerment from this as puts our practice purpose at a much higher level than just chasing symptoms and hoping something positive with happen with the patients health. In essence, it’s helping give them there life back.
5. “Because our bodies are hierarchical structures, mechanical deformation of any tissues results in structural rearrangements in many tissues.”
There it is folks; just as we’ve discussed. When anything is changed in the body the whole body is affected. That’s why when you address a patient’s symptomatic complaint condition the body must be evaluated as a holistic single entity, not just a collection of random cells floating around in salt water (which happens not to be the case which we’ll discuss at another time).
This all’s begs the question of treating a diagnosis. If all we do is address our treatment towards the diagnostic complaint we most often miss critical “causes” of why the complaint is there because the important key factors are most often elsewhere in the body a locations that may no rational reason for being there other than they’re part of the single system body. And, if these key factors in complaint generation aren’t addressed and their interference removed then it makes complete resolution of a patients condition less likely, and in my experience impossible.
To me Ingber’s paper gives me incredible optimism because it creates a level of cause and effect that allows us to create a clinical model that addresses a known cause and major contributing factor to increased morbidity, disease, and life compromise.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dr. Jeff Spencer

I spent Saturday at a seminar put on by Erchonia (the laser company) and Dr. Jeff Spencer. He taught us more gems on using the laser and gave us some insight into what he did to keep Lance Armstrong and the rest of the team healthy during LA's 7 wins and then Alberto Contador's win (In 8 TDFs the team only lost a total of 3 riders...that I imagine is unprecedented). I left with a greater understanding of how the body works. Dr. Spencer is at the forefront of the profession and it was great to be able to get some of that knowledge. For me, since using the laser my way of treating has been flipped upside down as the "old model" of adjusting and some soft tissue treatment and giving exercises seems like a lifetime ago. The "new model" focuses a great deal in getting the nervous system "turned on" and getting the organs reset nutritionally. Thanks Dr. Spencer for sharing your insight and for your passion for the profession. Never stop learning and applying!

WWU Cycling Team

A week overdue. I was out in Ft. Collins, CO a week ago with the WWU Cycling Team for the Collegiate National Cycling Championships. I have been working with the team for 3 seasons now and it has been nothing but a pleasure to watch the riders grow as cyclists not too mention as people. The team this year consisted of Daisy Phillips and Kristen Stouder for the women's team and for the men's team we had Phil Elsasser, Steve Fisher, Ben Ranthkamp, and Tim Woods. The road race saw Ben get into a break early on and stayed out there for 40-50 miles before he was finished. As a team neither the women nor the men saw a good result in the road race. The following was a completely different story. Daisy Phillips turned in an outstanding performance pulling off a 2nd place in the criterium. The men's race saw us climb a step higher as Phil Elsasser put a great show by winning the men's race thus becoming National Criterium Champion! It still gives me chills thinking of him coming across the finish line with arms raised and a smile from ear to ear. Congrats to both Daisy and Phil and their teammates for supporting them. Without a women's team time trial team WWU still managed to finish 3rd in the Team Omnium for the weekend. Again, congrats to the team for a great showing at Nationals!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A case of scar tissue release at the knee resulting in decrease shoulder pain

Tuesday this past week I had a patient come in complaining of shoulder pain with cramping occurring to the pectoralis minor. A brief assessment his shoulder indicated some tight muscles but nothing more. I followed up with the question, "have you had any surgeries?" His reply was "yes, 10 years ago on my right knee." The same side as his shoulder pain. After muscle testing to determine the scars were still active I started with the percussor on each of five scars. After percussing I muscle tested to determine if they were cleared or not and none of them were but each were testing stronger than prior to percussor. Using the laser I released three scars in the first treatment and the other two in a follow up treatment. After the first treatment the patient had no shoulder pain. I performed no treatment to his shoulder or neck and only treated the knee. Once the myofascia was released from the knee it allowed the shoulder to attain full range of motion by allowing the myofascia to flow freer.

I have seen this repeatedly now. I predicted before treating the scars that after treatment he would have a dramatic increase in range of motion in his shoulder not to mention his hips which was exactly the outcome. Untreated surgical scars can be career ending injuries of athletes and can limit the non-athlete in simple activities of daily living. These need to be cleared if a patient is to attain health.