A Race For The Cure
A title such as this is usually associated with causes like cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s. But this one is different. This article is about sports injuries. I’m enjoying reading the new book by Jim Weber, the reigning CEO of Brooks Running and Brooks is committed to do something about injury prevention.
Jim was hired in 2002 to revive a near-bankrupt company, one that sat near the bottom of the list for running shoe companies. His new book, Running With Purpose; How Brooks Outpaced Goliath Competitors to Lead the Pack, is a great read telling his journey. It tells the behind-the-scenes story of what steps Jim and Brooks took to leapfrog everyone to get to the top.
I have a special place in my heart for Brooks Running because in 1994, when I brought 20 young Kenyan runners to this country while starting the first Kenyan training program in the U.S., Helen Rockey was CEO of Brooks, and Helen was incredibly gracious in sponsoring our team, Team Stick. We proudly wore Brooks clothing as Thomas Osano, Lazarus Nyakeraka, John Kagwe, Josphat Machuka and others made significant noise in races around the country.
But today, I again find myself appreciating Brooks Running. To get to the top, Jim Weber chose biomechanics as his bus ticket to an improved running shoe as well as a decrease in running injuries. As the self-proclaimed most experienced human on the planet regarding calf muscle pulls, I appreciate anyone willing to step to the plate and help find answers. My massive experience with calf pulls has more to do with me being the patient than it does with me being the Dr. When it’s you with a chronic injury and you’re unable to find meaningful answers, your emotions go from a recession to a depression quickly.
Brooks Running established biomechanical research by acquiring data on one hundred thousand runners. Shoe testers near and far, at great expense, provided significant and useful data. The conclusion, every runner has a “Run Signature”, kind of like a fingerprint. Every runner is 100% unique. Understanding this basic truth, Brooks elected to “not fix the runner’s flaws, but to work with the natural and highly individual motion paths of the joints”. So, in essence, no one to date has figured out how to “fix the flaws”, so rather than Brooks waiting another 50 years before that information becomes available, they chose to support the dysfunction. They call it “working with the natural and highly individual motion paths of joints”.
Clearly this approach proved successful. Brooks is on top, and deservedly so. But, in my opinion, this is just the beginning. The path they’ve chosen, helping to biomechanically support the runner, is the correct path. But the preferred answer to helping runners avoid injuries is not to patch up the dysfunction but help correct the dysfunction.
Modern Day Sports Medicine
Modern sports medicine is reactive. Physicians and therapists are trained to diagnose and treat injuries. Take a healthy, uninjured 12-year-old soccer player to your local orthopedist and ask if they can evaluate and determine how this athlete can prevent injuries as they grow. You’ll get a bizarre stare with nothing to follow. That’s not what they do.
Rewind back to 1987, after completing my 13th marathon, I began pulling calf muscles that prevented me from running more than 3 miles without pulling another one. I estimate over the next 8 years I suffered 60-70 pulls. Each one would take 2 to 8 weeks to heal. I didn’t know how to prevent the next pull, and after my 6th appointment with a specialist, I understood what George Sheehan wrote about in 1975 in his Book on Running. He wrote, “I had not gone high enough on the specialist ladder to find the wise man to help me. I soon discovered, there is no wise man”.
So, in my journey to get back to the love of my life, running, it took me 14 years of trial and effort. But I did it. And that became my Maggs’ Muscle Management™ Program. I ran the 2001 Vermont City Marathon and got my life back. I gave a clinic the day before and held up my medal from 1987 and told the group that with any luck, I will be holding up the medal to my 14th marathon within 24 hours. It was a surreal (and tearful) moment.
This experience started me on a journey, a journey to learn how to evaluate a 12-year-old never-before-injured soccer player and determine where his “biomechanical flaws” were and how to help him correct them. I’ve spent the last 25 years on this mission. That’s why today, I own BiomechanicalAnalytics.com as well as OrthopedicAnalytics.com. No one else in the industry has attempted to “find” the flaws, which ensures the fact that no one yet has learned how to “fix” the flaws. I admire Jim’s mission, but in my humble opinion, it falls short of the technology that is available today. He has taken Brooks to a billion dollar/year business with the hopes of taking it to a 10 billion dollar/year business by 2030.
As Jim mentions in his book on page 85, “Each runner has his or her own personal stride, like a fingerprint”. He’s so correct. Go to any race and look at the difference in running styles. What Jim doesn’t know is that 25 years ago, I started the development of The Structural Fingerprint® Exam and have now performed this biomechanical exam on over 20,000 people. My Concerned Parents of Young Athletes™ Program has taught hundreds of families why it’s important for me (and others) to biomechanically evaluate their middle and high school athletes, regardless of whether they’re injured or not, because so many pro-active things can be done at this age to change the outcomes. This means delayed degeneration and fewer injuries. It also means less expense and higher quality of life.
My conclusion is that Jim Weber is a genius. He’s doing what no one else has done and the market is rewarding him and Brooks with a positive response. But, if Jim and Brooks could embrace utilize the available research and development in the biomechanics world, the face of sports medicine could change forever.
Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian pathologist, went up against the NFL and won, proving that continued traumas to the head produces cellular damage. We now have Concussion Protocols in every organization, school, and team in the country. The level of concern shown to the brain needs to also be shown to the rest of the body, from the neck down, and that’s what this new technology does. We cannot support the dysfunctions; we need to find and fix them. The technology is here. Once Brooks (or Nike or Adidas) is made aware of the new technology and they help bring it to market, we can all celebrate. Someone will be doing more than 10 billion dollars/year.
For today’s goal, let’s not just Run Happy, let’s run forever. With Brooks shoes, of course.
Which Crooked Man is Mike Trout?
The baseball world is abuzz over the recent diagnosis of Mike Trout’s back injury. According to renowned spine surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins, Trout has a rare back condition known as a costovertebral dysfunction. This condition produces pain, inflammation and an inability to perform.
While Dr. Watkins may be a world-renowned spine surgeon, this “Non-Surgical” case should be examined by someone who’s capable of diagnosing and treating without surgery. In addition, this diagnosis is merely a descriptive diagnosis of the localized injury, but a far incompetent diagnosis for Trout’s actual injury. In other words, Dr. Watkins isn’t the correct person to have the final say.
Structural Fingerprint® Plus Banana Peels Equals Injuries
Every human has a unique biomechanical make-up they are born with. When combined with their “banana peels of life”, all the slips, falls, repetitive activity and traumas, at some point, somewhere on the body becomes over-loaded. Pain and inflammation will appear. The likelihood of Mike Trout ever having a biomechanical exam to detect his Structural Fingerprint® is probably quite low. The fact that I own BiomechanicalAnalytics.com and I own OrthopedicAnalytics.com would suggest that biomechanical evaluations are not readily available in pro locker rooms.
Unfortunately, the diagnosis is given as though it was in Mike Trout’s DNA, like multiple sclerosis or cancer, and it was inevitable he was going to get this. Nothing could be further from the truth. As we showed in our research study of 351 random people (DrTimMaggs.com), every human has one of 5 distorted biomechanical structures. This is before they ever take the field or weight room. Now, combine this with the repetitive activity and stresses that Trout has put his body through in his lifetime, and at some point there will be an area of distress. Like all athletes, I’m sure he’s had many. But now, it happens to be more severe and it happens to be at the rib/spine junction at T5.
This problem is not just a localized problem. This problem originates in his feet. As demonstrated in one of our later research studies, every human has some degree of collapse in their feet that produces a domino-like effect up their structure. We also showed that 62% of the population have one femoral head at least 3mm higher than the other when standing and barefoot. Unless these imbalances are detected and corrected, it’s just a matter of time before injuries like Trout’s rear there ugly head.
“It’s probably going to last his entire career”, Los Angeles Angel’s head trainer Mike Frostad said. He feels Trout will need to manage it for the rest of his life. Although that is a correct statement for every human, as we all have biomechanical faults and imbalances that should have lifetime management, it’s unfortunate for Mike that he doesn’t know how to correct this condition to it’s highest level. He’s just received a steroid injection, which is a high concentration of anti-inflammatory medication. This may help temporarily, but without structural correction, he will need something for the rest of his life if his goal is to continue playing baseball.
This scenario is a microscopic reflection of our opioid crisis. Opioids have been a treatment for back pain over the past couple of decades. While very helpful symptomatically, it is necessary to continue increasing the dosage to get the same symptomatic benefits, and at some point, the dosage is fatal. Mike will have to balance playing and these artificial treatments for the rest of his career. It’s unfortunate that these pro athletes are unaware of their biomechanical faults and will therefore never reach the level of correction that is possible. These underlying faults cost the sports world, from owners to players to fans, billions and billions of dollars each year. Think of the Golden State Warriors leading in the NBA finals and ultimately losing due to the injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. These injuries were caused by the same scenario as Mike Trout’s injury. As I state clearly on my website, the wrong Drs. are in charge.
In the optimal world, Mike would go through a Structural Fingerprint® Exam, learn which of the 5 Crooked Men he is, make appropriate corrections and then begin a series of treatments to fix the “costovertebral dysfunction”. He should not only have standing x-rays, but also an MRI of the area of involvement to rule out disc injury, foraminal stenosis and bone marrow edema.
We would fit him with CPOYA orthotics and begin him on a series of regular treatments consisting of cervical/thoracic spinal decompression, cold laser therapy and chiropractic adjustments of the ribs and spine. This anti-inflammatory and corrective approach would be done for one month with the expectation of significantly reduced symptoms. Depending on the degree of injury, the length of correction could vary. However, the human body is a healing machine, and when more good than bad is done, the body will heal.
We wish Mike and all other chronically injured athletes good luck, but being realists, we know their stories are far from over.
If you’ve ever watched people walking while sitting at an airport, you’re amazed at the diversity of motion. Some limping, some bent forward, some tipping to one side, some taking baby steps, and every now and then, someone looks normal. Many have braces, some have canes, but everyone is totally unique.
Walking is a combination of movements that allows a person to propel themselves forward. In order to do that, one has to recruit many body parts to act in unison for any success at all. Today’s biomechanics specialists, running store workers and therapists attempt to do gait analysis to determine what’s not working correctly.
Weak “this” and overworking “that” is usually the conclusion. Work on your flexibility and strengthen certain muscles is usually the recommendation. Unfortunately, all of these recommendations are insignificant at best and outright wrong at worst. Let me explain.
When a gait analysis is done, the evaluation of an individual in motion, generally walking or running and evaluated from behind, the assumption is that all people are symmetrical. Left and right are perfectly balanced. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one is symmetrical. Research has shown all people have mild to severe asymmetries in their musculoskeletal systems, abnormalities that no one in our healthcare system ever looks for using the appropriate technology. So, with these asymmetries (mild to severe), gait analyses are still done in an effort to identify imbalances and reduce injuries. Unfortunately, they fail hugely in their effort because they don’t identify the true asymmetry(s).
The conclusions that are drawn on gait analyses are actually the results of the adaptation of the musculoskeletal system to the underlying biomechanical faults that no one has ever found. Some muscles restrict more compared to their counterparts due to the imbalance in weight distribution and I describe gait analyses as a bag of biomechanical sins in motion. It is totally impossible to draw meaningful conclusions if a gait analysis is done prior to having a Structural Fingerprint® Exam performed and making corrections to these imbalances.
Therefore, without a static biomechanical exam (and The Structural Fingerprint® Exam is the only one available today), it is impossible to assess gait imbalances. And static biomechanical evaluations are the only way to truly identify these imbalances.
The word Analytics is the most economically valuable word in sports today. The New York Mets have 14 people on their payroll with the word analytics in their job title. With the average Major League Baseball salary at $4.41 Million Dollars this year, you would think the most important “Analytics” category would be biomechanical. If not biomechanical, then maybe Orthopedic Analytics. One of the two should be on top.
But it’s not.
If it was at the top of their list, the domain names biomechanicalanalytics.com or orthopedicanalytics.com would not have been available when I did my search. The phrase Biomechanical Analytics would not have been available to trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when I applied for it.
And, when you google Biomechanical Analytics, you would never think you’d find……..me.
What you’ll find is…………
Why is it that I’m at the top of this topic when there is so much money in the field of sports analytics? It’s because the entire industry is unaware of the fact that every human is Crooked Man.
We’ve done the research and we have the data, and we’ve proven that every human being is blessed (or cursed) with biomechanical imbalances, or asymmetries. It all starts with the feet, then the alignment of the knees, then leg length, then centers of gravity of the pelvis, and on and on from there. The technology is available today to learn each person’s (athlete’s) biomechanical faults, but that’s not what the 14 jobs with the New York Mets do. That’s not what the orthopedic or physical therapy departments do. Their jobs are primarily reactive once a player is hurt.
In 2017, I had a unique experience with a high school soccer player. We scanned his feet, put him in orthotics, and over the next 8 months he developed a stress fracture in the front pelvic crest. His pain worsened over that time and we took an x-ray to see why he was complaining. Not only did he have a stress fracture, but his femoral head height difference (height of his hips) worsened with orthotics in his shoes. No one had ever suggested this was a possibility.
Over the next 4 years, I collected data on 351 patients and published the results in a medical peer reviewed journal. In short, we learned not only that every human has biomechanical imbalances, but there are 5 distinct biomechanically flawed patterns, and every human is one of the 5.
The Maggs’ Leg Length Test™ will tell which pattern a person is, and proactive measures can then be taken to improve the balance, alignment and weight distribution, prior to the player ever taking the field, court or entering the weight room.
In conclusion, I believe I deserve the top spot when googling Biomechanical Analytics, I just think those spending millions and billions should want to be there.
Our musculoskeletal and sports medicine specialists are trained to use the medical model of care. They “react” to injuries. This requires little “biomechanical” knowledge. They know anatomy, injury diagnosis, pharmaceuticals, surgery, and localized therapy. What they don’t know is static structural biomechanics. The human being is an architectural structure, with or without injury and should be looked at from that perspective to prevent injuries. Our specialists of today are not trained to physically examine an uninjured athlete and identify predictable underlying future injuries.
The current definition of the word “biomechanics” is the study of a human being in motion. This sounds romantic and wonderful, but the irony is, no human being is symmetrical, therefore, motion will be nothing more than a moving bag of biomechanical imbalances. It would be virtually impossible to accurately determine what the underlying imbalances are with this analysis.
For optimal understanding of a human’s architecture, a static examination must occur first to determine the structural asymmetries before motion can become part of the analysis. Collapse of the arches of the feet, alignment of the knees, leg length, femoral head height and centers of gravity are but a few of the measurements that should be done. Body weight distribution, left vs. right, is another.
Research has shown that 99.5% of all people have moderate to severe pronation of the feet. 68% have asymmetrical collapse of the arches of the feet. When examined while standing barefoot, 64% of people have >3mm difference in femoral head height (hip height). 42% are >5mm. With these imbalances, the science of biomechanics would improve if it was the study of the static human structure, and the current definition of biomechanics, which includes motion, would be better served to be called “motion biomechanics”.
Finally, this gait, or motion analysis should only be considered once the static biomechanics are examined and improved to the highest level. This can be accomplished by undergoing a Structural Fingerprint® Exam, the leading biomechanical exam available today.
Click here to learn how to perform the Structural Fingerprint® Exam.
I'm comfortably sitting in an Air BnB in beautiful Lake Placid with my wonderful wife on this gorgeous, serene snowy morning. A slice of heaven.
As enjoyable as it is, I can't leave it all behind. So, while looking at email yesterday and today, I tend to keep updated on the ACA blog site. They send me emails daily, most likely due to the fact that I am a member.
Yesterday, someone challenged everyone to vote for the "best" chiropractor. Not the one making the most money, not a public speaker or most popular, but the one who gets people better the quickest. And this morning the first vote came in. From Dr. Simone of Florida. Interestingly enough, he voted for himself. Which I liked because he did it with certainty. He really likes himself and his numbers and may actually be the "best" chiropractor. At least according to the criteria of the challenge.
Who gets someone better for the least amount of money? Who discharges the quickest? And, who shows they care in the midst of it all? Well, at 3.7 visits, charging for nothing else and giving exercises and cell phone number, I would say it's easily Dr. Simone. Dr. Simone proudly states that these are the criteria of an evidence based practice.
My only question is, is this the criteria that will ultimately fix the musculoskeletal crisis? I think not. Imagine the cancer industry using the quickest, cheapest and friendliest as the criteria for who's the best cancer doc. Comical.
Congrats to Dr. Simone, but his operating system is thoroughly inadequate to fix this crisis. We need advanced technology, better trained chiropractors and an understanding that people need to do a whole lot more musculoskeletally in their lifetimes if joint replacement surgeries, opioid deaths and a reduced quality of life are to be improved. There's a lot of work ahead, and I'll concede this trophy to Dr. Simone, but I don't want him leading our profession into the future. Have a great day.
Boston PX and Seminar
Just starting our Monday morning in the office, coming off 3 days in Boston. Dinner Thursday night at a great Italian restaurant, 4 hours Friday morning with Dawn Galbraith and about 20 great docs, then 8 hours Saturday with another group of wonderful chiropractors.
These gatherings are invigorating because we talk about the future of our role in health care and musculoskeletal, and I show beyond a doubt that chiropractors CAN become the super specialist if they're willing to introduce the latest technology into their practices and begin looking at the patient more proactively than reactively.
We introduced the 5 Crooked Men, that everyone is a reflection of one of them, and how to detect which one a person is and what to do when you identify it.
So, one person at a time, we're changing the world for the better. Thanks to all who participated and I'm excited at the thought of how many more people will be helped because all of these docs took time out this past weekend to join us.
The Structural Fingerprint Exam
This exam is the only biomechanical exam available in the country today.
Sounds simple, and actually is, but is hugely powerful in the marketplace. Powerful because it's based on the use of the most advanced diagnostic technology available today. While all other providers are applying different treatments from pills, to rest, to physical therapy, to chiropractic adjustments, (without actually knowing the cause of their problem) you and I will be providing lifetime information and creating the ability to be much more accurate and successful with our recommendations. It will be based on the underlying cause and the patient's needs, not what the provider is good at or gets paid for. The exam tells you where the patient's been and where they're heading.
My vision is, this group will become the Super Specialists in musculoskeletal care and will become the solution the world has been looking for forever. Please join me.
Looking Forward to 2019
On this final day of 2018, we enter the New Year with more vital information. First of all, we are a week or so away from the launch of our exciting Structural Management Certification Program. We had hoped to have it ready by January 1st, but the volume of information plus the technology in making it all available requires a little bit more time. We're looking between January 7th and January 15th.
Secondly, we've identified our young Kenyan runner who will run for Team CPOYA at the 2019 Boston Marathon. His name is NJOROGE ELIUD KARIUKI and he has run just over 1:00 for the half marathon. This should be a very exciting event for all those involved in the CPOYA mission. We will also be unveiling our newest Team CPOYA logo within the next few days.
So, a huge thanks to all who have been a part of this mission, and a huge invitation and thanks to all those who will become a part of this mission. Our biggest days lie ahead. Happy New Year, and may 2019 bring you much health, happiness and success.
New Year's Message
As we leave 2018 and begin the new year, there's always a strong desire to check the score of the prior year and the hopes and dreams of the coming year.
2018 was a positive year in many ways. Professionally, I think some of us made a positive difference in the direction chiropractic is going. And when I say chiropractic, I really mean the field of musculoskeletal care. So many in our profession are mis-guided with their core beliefs as to what chiropractic is and how we best care for the public.
Simply put, the medical model of care is the cause of our crisis, and the Structural Management biomechanical model of care is the cure. But, we've got a good fight ahead of us. I've tried to plant seeds of high quality projects that will show the public the logic behind the biomechanical approach, the cost savings, the quality of life enhancers and the model that fits the full scope of chiropractic best.
The new year. Lot's of excitement. A great mission. A solid game plan. And a desire to change the system. What could be more exciting?