This month I would like to give a little background about myself as well as provide some context for what I do.
Originally from St. Albert, I completed my Bachelor’s of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. While completing my undergraduate studies, I also swam for the University of Alberta varsity team. I have an extensive athletic background, including more than fifteen years as a competitive swimmer with the University of Alberta, Team Alberta, Junior Team Canada and the Olympian Swim Club. I then went to Palmer College of Chiropractic, located in Davenport, IA to complete my Doctor of Chiropractic graduate degree.
While completing my graduate studies, I quickly became frustrated with the standard of care in conservative health. We were being taught a laundry list of wonderful treatment methods and had to learn a thousand different tests to help establish a diagnosis. Unfortunately, there was no guidance on how to bridge this knowledge. As a result, you get a group of doctors attempting to use whatever treatment options make the patient feel better (treat the symptoms) and then you slap on a fancy label for the pain location as a diagnosis. Some examples of diagnoses that you may be familiar with include tendonitis (tendon pain), IT band syndrome (tight IT bands), knee tracking disorder (knee pain), sciatica (nerve pain), sprains/strains, etc. This is just re-labeling the problem the patient already knows they have. It doesn’t tell us anything about why the problem is happening. If you don’t know why something is happening you can’t safely and effectively fix the problem. The best you can do is try a variety of different treatments on the painful area and hope the person feels better. You end up with a scenario where someone gets injured and does their rounds with their chiropractor, physiotherapist and massage therapist (all of whom have a different reason for why you’re in pain) and decides on what makes them feel the best. It’s no surprise the person on the receiving end of this system ends up having to constantly come back for more and more treatments when the symptoms return.
This was when I stumbled upon Integrative Diagnosis. Integrative Diagnosis is a complete system for diagnosis and conservative care of muscle, nerve and joint problems. It was with this education that I learned how to make an effective diagnosis and give my patients a full understanding of their problem. It was also through this system that I learned about adhesion. Adhesion is the most common condition affecting muscles, nerves and joints in the human body. It makes your muscles tight and weak, and prevents your body from moving properly. This will cause your joints to degenerate at a faster pace than normal (degeneration is the next most common reason for pain, and we all degenerate with age). If you’re suffering from pain or are always tight, it’s a big deal if you have adhesion. Nothing, except for expert treatment will cause this problem to go away and fortunately the problem is completely fixable. It’s also the most under-diagnosed condition in the human body. Imagine – there’s a problem that virtually everyone has, and almost nobody is diagnosing or fixing it. This is a black hole in conservative healthcare.
To give an example of it’s importance, I’ll share a recent success story. An elderly gentleman came in to see me with chronic knee pain he’s been having for 3 years. He was on the waiting list for surgery and figured he’d see if I could do anything for him in the meantime. He’d seen chiropractors and physio’s in the past and although it helped with the pain it didn’t stop his problem from getting worse as time went on. I did a history and exam, and discovered his knee was bending 50% of what it should be. The reason for this was that the capsule that surrounds his knee was loaded with adhesion. All the stretching, strengthening and adjustments in the world won’t remove the adhesion that’s blocking his mobility, and if you can’t bend your knee, you can’t have a healthy knee. The cartilage in his joint was getting crushed by his bad mobility which was causing it to tear and degenerate. I gradually removed the adhesion over 4 visits and got his knee bending at 95% of what it should (The degeneration was preventing it from getting to 100%). This drastically got rid of his pain and it now rarely bothers him, and accurately diagnosing and treating his problem avoided unnecessary surgery.
My goal is to find the root cause to your problem. Fix what’s fixable with conservative care, and make you aware of everything that isn’t. With degeneration present I also help you make good choices going forward so that your problem will stay small. Your body needs to last you your entire life.