How to Have Health Avengers That Will Heal Your Back

How to Have Health Avengers That Will Heal Your Back

How  to have health avengers that will  heal your back isn’t some promo for a new Avengers movie.

 It’s simply recognizing, with a little tribute to a fun movie, that older adults often seek help from multiply providers  who may not coordinate  their  treatments. 

Tips on Avengers as a team

Avengers as a team

This often lengthens  recovery time, but when the opposite is true older patients heal faster and better.

How is massage integrated into chiropractic treatment to help you heal your back?

Let’s take the example of chiropractic and massage therapies. They are not only compatible, but they are actually complementary.

 For example, “massage is often recommended before spinal adjustment because it relieves muscle tension that may be pulling joints out of alignment, and makes it easier for the chiropractor to move them back into place.

Tips on using massage for back pain

Using Massage for Back Pain

 Alternatively, many patients who seek pain relief from massage therapists but find that their discomfort persists experience more lasting relief by adding chiropractic care to their health regimen.”[1]

Using Chiropractor for back pain

Alternative Therapy

Linking providers and patients for better back health

In short, the chiropractor works to relieve the structural problems and the massage therapist works to resolve the soft tissue problems. The end result is speeding up recovery and making it a lot easier to heal one’s back.

What we can learn from the Avengers about team work that will help you heal

 Before proceeding, let’s expand our conversation  about The Avengers.  Strength comes in numbers, so when Earth faces a supersize threat, a sextet of superheroes teams up to save the planet. That’s the premise of Avengers Assemble. 

 A big takeaway from the movie, after all the adrenaline rush antics are over, is that “When you’re part of a team–a truly cohesive unit that functions with a single purpose–you can accomplish wonders. A single team can do more in a few days than one person can do in a month, or a bunch of individuals can do in a week.” [2]

A call to action for your own team to ensure better healing

Just as one can imagine a team of super heroes coming together  to save mind kind from destruction, then one can also imagine a team of medical providers, from different disciplines, working as ONE for the benefit of a patient.

What the team looks like as it carries out its mission to help you heal better

  An example of such case management is from an osteopathic physician and a chiropractor who commented on their shared treatment with a mutual patient who had a personal goal to stop smoking, a known risk factor for back pain:

“There was one case that comes to mind…our participant was involved in smoking cessation and the medical physician and I worked together on that with different approaches, so I think we enhanced each other.” [3]

The challenges of super heroes to become a collective

One of the many successes of the movie is showing how reticent our heroes are to in fact become a team. 

“Tony  Stark (Iron Man) has his bristling ego, Thor just wants to collect his brother  Loki and deal with him back on their planet, and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce  Banner (The Hulk) wants to hide away in peace and quiet… Only  Steve Rogers…is willing to buckle down and follow orders.” [4]

Part of the fun of watching the movie is seeing how this collection of diverse personalities come together as  ONE.

The challenge of health providers to coordinate their treatments so you will heal better

let’s go back to our earlier discussion about medical providers who work together  and how that benefits their patient. In contrast, “clinicians who had not participated in interprofessional education reported they would likely not refer older patients for spinal manipulation because they had not developed a working relationship with a chiropractor.

 Another practice challenge was that the providers worked in different settings:

Normally, people that are working together are in the same building, and even in the same wing…trying to get each other on the phone has been impossible. “[5]

The trick to letting the health providers become a team that will help you heal better

The first thing that has to happen is that all the clinicians have to understand a common problem  that needs to be solved. The Avengers came to understand that  there was a threat to Earth and put together  a plan of action.

 

The clinicians  have to recognize older adults often prefer multidisciplinary approaches to complex conditions such as back pain. “The most prominent request was for a multi-disciplinary approach. [Patients] wanted both practitioners to be working at the same time, they didn’t want just one or the other. They felt the combination had an added benefit to them.” [6]

Respecting each other’s ability to help heal better

Just as each super hero has individual capabilities that make the team stronger, so too must the health providers respect each other’s ability to help their patient.

 For example, the family doctor must acknowledge that there is evidenced based support for spinal manipulation  in the treatment of low back pain. On the other hand, the chiropractor  and massager therapist need to acknowledge the evidenced based support for medications in treatment of low back pain.

On with the mission of healing

Once that is done they can all go on with the mission of using medications, exercise, and spinal manipulation to help  older adults who suffer from low back pain.

Working from the same location to better complete the mission

Avengers Tower is a high-rise building towering over New York City  and is currently the base of operations for the Avengers.

tips on Avengers Tower

Avengers Tower

This makes it a lot easier for the Avengers to interact with one another. [7]

So one of the things that has to be done, and that the patient has no control over, is the  sharing of office space for medical and chiropractic providers to support collaboration.

Conclusion

The Earth may not face a super size threat that threatens  to wipe out the planet, but it is clear that older adults are increasingly demanding that a multi-disciplinary approach be used to treat their low back pain. Medical providers and community health organizations could learn a valuable lesson from The Avengers on how this could be done.

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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

 

Reference 

1

https://martinfamilychiropractic.com/blogs/articles/why-are-chiropractic-and-massage-therapy-often-used-together

2

http://romanfitnesssystems.com/articles/3-lessons-from-the-avengers/

3

https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/58/2/376/2894401?searchresult=1#116551899

4

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/05/avengers-teamwork-pays/328536/

5

https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/58/2/376/2894401?searchresult=1#116551899

6

Ibid

7

http://avengersassemble.wikia.com/wiki/Avengers_Tower

10 Comments

  1. Hello
    I am happy to read your motivating post for back pain, I myself have been suffering from lower back pain and lately even leg pain especially one side. Sure would be nice to have someone to give me one of those massages, I was wondering do you think my leg pain and my low back pain could be connected?

    I know you are not a doctor, I was just wondering for my own peace of mind
    Jeff

    • Hello Jeff,

      I can’t say for sure, but I do think there’s a very good chance that your leg pain and back pain are connected. There are cases where leg pain originates from the leg, but most of the time the problem starts in the lower back. Unfortunately, eight out of ten adults suffer leg pain or discomfort caused by back problems. I hope this helps.

  2. Great article! It would be so wonderful if medical doctors and chiropractors could team up as I think that would make a good combination. I know last year I had an issue with one of my arms and I went to the chiropractor to try to get the pain down as I knew the medical doctor would just give me pain pills or worse talk surgery. The chiropractor called it a frozen shoulder in my terms that I could understand and worked diligently through manipulation and deep muscle massage to give me relief from the pain and the ability to use my arm again. I feel that it my chiropractor and my doctor would have been able to work together I would have been able to get on the road to recovery much quicker.

    • Hello Dena,
      Your story of how the chiropractor treated your frozen shoulder, unfortunately becoming more and more of a common problem, exemplifies why the collaborative approach between conventional medicine and alternative therapy is the ideal approach for pain sufferers to recover faster. In an ideal situation the chiropractor would have made your doctor understand the value of manipulation and deep muscle massage over pain pills. The doctor would also have understood the benefit of not using medical jargon but instead explaining one’s condition in everyday easy to understand language. On the other hand, the chiropractor would better understand the limits of manipulation. There are situations, not yours, when the body is not strong enough to withstand the stress of manipulation and manipulation would actually make things worse. Thanks for checking in.

  3. I like your analogy to the Avenger’s movie – that is a nice twist!
    As for the the complimentary treatments of a chiropractor and a massage therapist – you are so right!
    They both are needed to restore full balance to the spine, and I truly believe that conventional medicine SHOULD go hand in hand with alternative medicine as they compliment each other naturally, and not only in this instance of back remedies, but in many more body ailments.
    Enjoyed reading your article.

    • Hello Orion,
      I think more people, especially the elderly, are demanding that all the players that are involved in their care communicate with each other. So, I think going forward conventional medicine will go hand in hand with alternative medicine. As you say, they compliment each other naturally not only in instances of back remedies, but also in many other ailments. I am glad you enjoyed reading the post. Thanks for checking in.

  4. Hello Thabo,

    I like the analogy to the Avengers very much. Getting a health team together to help people who suffer from pain, that´s an awesome idea. Having experts in different health fields checking your health issues would definitively help to find out how to cure the pain. Often it isn´t just enough to do just one kind of treatment. A holistic approach is always better, that´s my opinion.

    I really wish that the conventional medicine would be combined with alternative medicine/treatments in general in any ailments, just like you mentioned in the comment above. If more and more people demand this, then I believe it will come to a change of thought patterns within the medical world.

    Thank you, Thabo, you are helping to change the world with your refreshing articles.

    Pernilla

    • Hello Pernilla,

      I agree with you that if conventional medicine was combined with alternative medicine/treatments in general and in any ailments most people would have an easier time maintaining good health. The good news is that a collaborative approach between conventional medicine and alternative therapy is becoming more accepted as the best way to treat pain. I am glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for checking in.

  5. I could not agree more with your article. I am fortunate enough to have a doctor specializing in both Eastern and Western medicine. My collaboration begins and ends with one doctor. I also see specialists for other things but my primary physician is the one I rely on the most. She communicates with my rheumatologist, neurologist and etc efficiently and I also appreciate that! From her office, I can also get acupuncture, massage, therapy and lab x-ray work. Not having to go elsewhere for most of my care is a huge bonus and keeps everything “in-house”. It took me a long time to find a team (doctor) that was willing to be on “my side”. Having a health avenger team is awesome! I appreciate this wonderfully written article. Thank you.

    • Hello Christina,

      You are welcome!

      Thanks for sharing your story. I think it is fantastic that you have a doctor that specializes in both Eastern and Western medicine, and keeping everything “in-house” is indeed a huge bonus. The second best option if one can’t get a doctor that practices both traditional and alternative medicine is to collaborate with others. However, the problem is that in most instances the collaborators don’t share the same building. This often means it takes time for the “team” to interact and sometimes it’s difficult for the patient to get a consistent plan of action for getting well. I do hope that your doctor represents the future because It would be a lot easier and most likely result in faster recovery if the patient’s collaboration begins and ends with one doctor. Thanks for checking in.

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