Welcome to Healthcare Extreme, a blog about what may seem extreme, with tools and ideas that will make you feel Extremely healthy, stronger and faster. This all started in medical school and residency when our coursework focused on treating patients with the best possible treatments (known as evidence-based medicine). Unfortunately, this was not helpful during my fellowship in complex orthopedic pain and sports medicine in the Department of Orthopedics at Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. I became an expert in in complex spine procedures such as epidural steroid injections, discography, and spinal cord stimulators, but there was not enough good evidence to support many of the things that we did. I had to question whether the medical evidence really mattered at all. Many patients did well but not all of them and not permanently. After this I became an attending at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center practicing complex orthopedic pain and sports medicine and I saw many patients for months to years and found that these treatments did not work well in the long run. I was honored to be the founding co-director of the Spine Center at Cornell and this brought an even larger group of patients who had seen every doctor in their community and were in search of something new. Most patients had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, often had diabetes and where really unhealthy and weak. Sometimes I had great success in rehabilitating them, but sometimes nothing helped, not even surgery. These patients could have been very frustrating to manage, but it was time to find a new way.
I spent every available afternoon and evening in the Cornell Medical Library, reading journals and books that often had dust on them. As I searched for good ideas, I began to come across treatments which did not have great medical evidence, but by following the protocols select patients would see great results. I added great new tools to my arsenal Most people thought pain and sports injuries were often due to a specific injury, but I noticed that they really were due to an underlying series of problems that worsened. These problems included bad eating habits, bad ergonomics, bad training and stress. Over time this resulted in problems which if they presented with pain would make patient’s seek pain management physicians. My goal was to find those patients with the medical history and physical examination that I could really help, but I noticed that I could help most people if they could understand what I was doing and had patience and the willingness to change.
In the meantime, I became certified in medical acupuncture in New York State, and I enrolled in several courses which included osteopathic medicine, functional medicine, musculoskeletal interventional ultrasound, prolotherapy, neural prolotherapy and regenerative treatments such as stem cell treatments. Several years have passed and after completing several research articles, publishing a book and opening up a new medical office, and I am ready to share what I have learned from my research and from my patients. No guarantees are made, but with enough inquiry and understanding I now tell my patient’s that I can “rebuild them” if they have patience and persistence.