I have an immense respect for doctors and their knowledge base. They go through rigorous training in medical school to learn how the body works, how to fix it when it is broken and how to keep it alive when it is dying. On a daily basis doctors help their patients with a wide variety of medical issues from diabetes to cancer and from pregnancy to Parkinson’s. We need them in our lives because our society just cannot function properly without them. That being said, I would like to share my experience and stories in dealing with doctors from the perspective of a physiotherapist that has:
- 10 years’ experience working with injured clients (including many doctors) that have battled through public and private medical systems, specialists, tests, etc
- 5 years’ experience working as a physiotherapist within a large family practice doctors’ office in a building with the UBC Medical School and every different medical specialty available in British Columbia
- 2 opportunities to help teach 4th year UBC medical students how to do proper back assessments
- A personal history of numerous injuries, trips to the doctor and hospital
The purpose of this post is not to make doctors look bad, it is to help the general public understand what they should and should not expect from their doctors and the medical system as a whole. Doctors are very smart people, but they don’t know everything, and most of the time they work in a model that doesn’t allow them to help you in a thorough or timely manner; we should not be mad at doctors for this, we should just adjust our expectations and understand that a doctor might not always be the one with the best advice or treatment for your ailment.
When something hurts and doesn’t go away after a couple of days or weeks most people will search the internet for their symptoms and then likely visit their doctor to try and figure out what is going on. Read More
Posted in Blog
Tagged with: chiropractors
, chronic pain
, physical therapy
, preventative health
This video is a TED talk by Atul Gawande, an American Surgeon and author of The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. He discusses the challenges of today’s medical system from both financial and practical stand points. He pushes the idea of pulling specialists back from their loan cowboy position atop an expensive and ineffective medical system and preaches the idea of teamwork, systems and efficiency. He is an engaging speaker in a 20 minute video that is worth your time.
Click here to read my article on Building a Model of Preventative Healthcare
IMS stands for intramuscular stimulation and is an anatomy specific form of acupuncture performed by specially trained physiotherapists and some doctors. It has its roots in traditional Chinese acupuncture, but is fundamentally different in many ways. IMS uses Western medicine’s understanding of the neurophysiology of pain and Dr Chan Gunn’s assessment techniques of identifying underlying nerve irritations to treat chronic pain issues. The technique does use acupuncture needles, but not in the way someone practicing traditional acupuncture would. Traditional acupuncture focuses on pre-mapped out points in the body that relate to different organs and meridians of energy running through the body. Fine acupuncture needles are then inserted into a number of these points and the person rests with them in for 10-20 minutes. It can be very useful for the right condition, but it is not as specific or as purposeful as IMS.
To understand why IMS is performed the way it is you should have a basic understanding of how your body experiences pain. If you haven’t already, please read the article titled Why Things Hurt: Explain Pain.
When a physiotherapist performs IMS he will first assess your basic posture and movement patterns to look for some common signs of underlying nerve irritation. The most common one is to palpate for tender bands or knots in particular muscle groups. He will look for restriction of movement in major joints such as your hips and shoulders and note the appearance of the skin and muscle tissue on either side of your spine. When there is an underlying nerve irritation in an area, the skin can start to look like the rind of an orange peel, feel thickened and respond differently to light touch. A person may develop goose bumps easily and/or have areas of coolness or hair loss. The therapist will take all these things into account when determining where to treat you. Read More
Posted in Blog
, Low Backs
Tagged with: acupuncture
, dr chan gunn
, dry needling
, ims acupuncture