Treating the Root of the Problem
If you walk into most doctor’s offices complaining of tennis elbow, they’ll tell you to give up the game. No playing, no pain. Or, they might suggest painkillers, a few Advils to take your mind off the pain and get back on the court. That’s never been my approach.
I don’t tell my patients to stop playing the sports they love; I teach them how to use therapeutic movement to resolve the injury, and how to move differently to prevent it from happening again. I also don’t treat musculoskeletal injuries only with painkillers. This isn’t because painkillers are bad. Far from it. But painkillers only treat the symptom of the injury; they don’t treat the injury itself. Think of it like this: if you break your arm, a couple of Tylenol 3’s might make you feel better, but it’s not going to help remodel your broken bone. Instead of just addressing the symptom, I focus on fixing the structural imbalance in the body, and doing so without surgery whenever possible.
Helping the Body Heal Itself
Helping the body heal itself may sound like some folksy or new-agey approach, but it’s actually standard medical practice. When a doctor stitches up a wound, she’s really just connecting the skin together—it’s the body that does the actual healing. And when a doctor puts a broken arm in a cast, she’s really just immobilizing it so it can heal properly on its own.
Even in those rare instances in which the injury cannot be fixed, the body can still find ways to adapt. I’ve helped countless patients deal with significant structural abnormalities, including ruptured tendons and arthritic joints, get back to the activities and sports they love.