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.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons