Monday, May 07, 2007

The Perfect Storm of Collaboration

Imagine, if you will, a place where insurance companies don't control your health care.....

Racer X decides to go for it and pursue dreams of elite track racing. But she knows she needs to do some remedial work and get rid of the nagging back issues that have been around for many years, or they will limit her chances to succeed.

Racer X seeks out advice from Racer C, who refers her to an extremely talented massage therapist and two physical therapists who know a little about cycling. Racer X begins seeing Massage Therapist C, who evaluates her in supine and standing--watches Racer X move--and then begins to literally, unwind and deconstruct the compensatory muscular tension and fascial issues that have contributed to Racer X's pain.

Physical Therapist S carefully evaluates Racer X on and off the trainer, noting significant core stability issues. A plan, starting from square one, is given to Racer X. Physical therapist S and massage therapist C communicate findings. Racer X sees them periodically over 8 weeks or so and reports training and racing improvement.

Racer X then receives a weight training plan from her track coach. Physical therapist T, who has experience with advanced weight training planning, is then contacted to help translate and modify the desired training program to meld with Racer X's current abilities and needs--and with "ok" of Physical Therapist S.

Physical Therapists T and S both meet with Racer X to evaluate Racer X's progress and formulate a short and long term plan of how Racer X can effectively build upon the progress she is making off/on the bike, first adding bodyweight resistance exercises only to her torso stability work. Racer X must first master these prior to adding external resistance.

Evaluation sessions go as long as necessary. Bikes, trainers and rollers are used to evaluate progress. There is no insurance to worry about; no limitations in what can be done or how the evaluation sessions go. Professionals communicate with each other. Racer X is honest about how she is doing (how consistent she is with her plan, whether or not she has a setback) and really works on teaching her body new movement/stability patterns. Racer X sees progress in her function; Physical Therapists S and T see progress in Racer X's ability to move under control, and thoughtfully work together to modify and evolve the plan of attack.

Pretty "twilight zone" stuff if you are at all familiar with how the current health care system works. Funny how things can change when the almighty dollar isn't in charge and people have the time to actually work with each other.

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