Nov 4, 2014

Once a Student - Always a Student

So if you have ever read my blog before you probably know that I am a big fan of The Manual Therapist and Dr. Erson Religioso, III, DPT. Its true and I have learned a lot from him, his blog and his videos. One of his mainstays is the ability to be dynamic, open-minded, and ever evolving and that is why he calls the way he practices The Eclectic Approach.

These are great qualities for clinicians and I have tried to adopt this style of practice myself. I learned about basic resets and repeated movement exams/treatments from Dr. E's material. I thought I had a pretty good handle on the basics. However, ask any expert in anything...The basics are basic but they are not basic. What? I mean that even if you try or practice sometime a hundred times...there is still something new to be learned or nuance to be perfected over time. So what is the point?

Well I have been struggling with some neck pain and muscle spasm for the last week as a result of my brazilian jiu jitsu training. I hadn't really done much for it because most clinicians suck at self-assessment and treatment. I at least made sure that I didn't have any fractures or other major red flags which thankfully I do not. So instead I set up a consultation with Dr. E and I was able to learn a few things even though we technically didn't do anything that I didn't already know! Check it out!

So what did I learn about using repeated-motions that I didn't know before?

  • I wasn't aware that I was compensating out of fear-avoidance when attempting to treat myself using repeated-motions (specifically on repeated cervical extension with retraction)
  • I didn't realize how profound of an impact there would be by correcting this
  • A little bit of resistance while performing the repeated-motion like an active PNF can be immensely helpful for getting to end-range.
  • I was not aware of how quickly I was going with my repeated-motions. Slowing down the pace of movement seemed to help lower the perceived threat and opened up my range of motion.
  • I didn't think this had much an impact previously, I used to let my patients go to town doing their repeated motions as quickly as possible. There were some cases where the repeated-motions didn't net the effect that I was looking for and this could be why.
So what is the moral of today's post? Don't be afraid to get a second opinion or second set of eyes when trying to treat yourself as a clinician. Doing so doesn't make you a bad clinician, dumb, or incompetent...It just means you are currently a patient and not a clinician. Secondly and more importantly, ALWAYS keep an open mind and be prepared to learn something new every day, every hour, every minute. Lifelong learning = lifelong enjoyment.

This isn't quite what I had in mind.


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