Maintaining Your Musculoskeletal Health
With Dr. Jay Greenstein
Musculoskeletal conditions are currently the most common cause of chronic disability. Globally, the number of people suffering from musculoskeletal conditions has increased by 25 percent over the past decade. This is expected to continue increasing with the aging of our populations.
As busy “jet setting” and “on-the-go” entrepreneurs, the last thing we want is for something like an ‘ol back pain to slow us down. I recently had the privilege of interviewing our resident Chiropractor Extraordinaire Dr. Jay Greenstein about preventative health in the chiropractic world. Check out what he had to say below…
1. Recent studies say that globally, the number of people suffering from musculoskeletal conditions has increased by 25 percent over the past decade and is expected to keep increasing. What is the reason behind this increase?
The main reason is the aging population. However, there are other factors as well. One of the biggest issues related to the growing burden of musculoskeletal diseases is that the garden variety conditions that present at the doctors’ offices across the country are not being managed appropriately. For decades now, the go to solution has been medication. Medication is a grouping of chemicals. Chemicals cannot fix mechanical conditions. Patients need a functional solution to their problems and those solutions exist and are grounded in the evidence. The problem is that according to the evidence, few providers follow the evidence-based guidelines. They treat based on habit, not based on the evolving science base. In a 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the authors’ concluded: “Despite numerous published clinical guidelines, management of back pain has relied increasingly on guideline discordant care. Improvements in the management of spine-related disease represent an area of potential cost savings for the health care system with the potential for improving the quality of care”.
So, when patients go to the doctor and have an ache, a pain, a tendonitis or sciatica, or any other painful musculoskeletal condition, the key question they should ask is, “What’s the evidence base for your recommendation and what can I expect from that recommendation in terms of outcome and time to heal?”
2. In your practice, have you noticed any commonalities in musculoskeletal injuries of people who work from home/for themselves?
I don’t think the commonalities exist among just entrepreneurs or those who work from home. The commonalities are that people manage symptoms, not function, and the chronic poor postures create the multitude of conditions that patients suffer from. If I were to say, “do this” if you want to prevent these conditions, I would say, “Exercise/stretch/foam roll with good posture, work with good posture and live your activities of daily living with good posture.” That will get most folks a very long way if they are consistent with that credo.
3. What type of preventative action can one take against developing a musculoskeletal condition? What about for someone who is busy and constantly on the road?
Ensuring good posture throughout all your activities, exercise/stretching/foam rolling, periodic massages, periodic adjustments, good nutrition, stress management, appropriate sleep can all be ways to reduce the probability of having a musculoskeletal condition. Functional movement screens and selective functional movement assessments can be helpful (and we use all the time) are great ways to identify functional deficits in the people we care for. Inevitably though, at some point in one’s life, it will happen. When it does, get it cared for early, and appropriately, to maximize function and not just reducing symptoms and your likelihood of a longer, more positive outcome is greatly increased.
4. Is there anything else important we should know about this subject?
Pain is a warning signal. Don’t wait. The evidence suggests that if a patient presents to a healthcare provider greater than 8 days after the onset of symptoms, treatment time can be 1.5x to 2x longer. Not the kind of Maverick Multiplier we’re looking for!