Orthopedic & Sports Medicine

Mature Man on Kyake 3In the allopathic pharmacosurgical model of medicine, the goal of musculoskeletal (MSK) or orthopedic treatment is to address the patient’s injury or disorder by alleviating pain with: 1.) rest and “watchful waiting”, 2.) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), cyclooxygenase-2-inhibitors (COX- inhibitors), opioid analgesic, and muscle relaxants, and 3.) surgery. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that these commonly prescribed drugs have any long-term benefit for chronic pain in conditions like arthritis. In fact, long-term use of these analgesic drugs is known to block normal cartilage formation which can lead to further joint deterioration and can eventually lead to irreversible damage to the kidneys, liver, or gastrointestinal tract. Allopathic medical schools have a very poor track record of education for MSK conditions.

But don’t just take my word for it, here is what the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons has to say about the state of education of primary care physicians regarding musculoskeletal conditions:

  • MSK-related complaints are the most common reason patients visit primary care physicians and emergency departments in the United States, accounting for 10 percent to 28 percent of all primary care visits. Despite this high frequency of MSK disorders, significant evidence indicates that most primary care physicians do not feel adequately prepared to address such patient complaints.
  • A survey of family practice physicians found 51 percent of respondents felt that they had insufficient training in orthopaedics. Furthermore, 56 percent of those surveyed claimed that medical school was their only source for formal MSK training.
  • Graduating family practice residents felt significantly more confident in performing physical exams, evaluating radiographs, and diagnosing and treating non-MSK disorders than they did for MSK conditions.
  • Despite this clear link between training and performance, only 51 of 122 US medical schools have a dedicated preclinical MSK course, and only 25 schools require a clinical course in MSK medicine (rheumatology, orthopaedics, or physical medicine and rehabilitation); 57 schools require neither a preclinical nor a clinical MSK course.
    American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons

The integrative orthopedic approach to musculoskeletal disorders emphasizes alleviation of pain with natural, non-invasive, low-cost, and low-risk treatments while simultaneously addressing the overall health of the individual. Clinical research has clearly indicated that musculoskeletal disorders can manifest from multiple sources like hormone imbalances, gastrointestinal problems, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, and food sensitivities, just to name a few. So MSK disorders need to be given the attention they deserve by focusing on the wellbeing of the entire body.

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