In his e-book, Orthopedics 2.0, regenerative medicine and orthopedic stem-cell doctor Christopher Centeno, M.D. talks about the importance of posture and alignment. To him, repairing joints and helping them regenerate is about more than just injecting stem cells and hoping that the soft tissues simply regrow and heal.
He talks about the necessity of restoring proper alignment to restore joint health. This is where, in his opinion (and in mine), physical therapy misses the boat. He even has a special note for those who’ve suffered the frustration of physical therapy when dealing with chronic joint pain:
…while some physical therapists have spent years learning advanced biomechanics, they are few and far between. The standard course of physical therapy education contains very little about how to identify and address common alignment problems…So if you’ve tried and failed physical therapy, it’s unlikely that you actually saw a physical therapist with proper training in the art of biomechanical and alignment analysis and treatment…
He goes on, however, to highlight a few therapies that DO address alignment:
The good news is that there are many therapists and practitioners who specialize in alignment. These concepts really began shortly after the turn of the century, when traditional allopathic medicine was in its infancy and unable to address what seemed like obvious problems to non-physicians. The pioneers were Moshe Feldenkrais, Ida Rolf, and Matthias Alexander. I was introduced to these geniuses when I realized that by the early 1990’s (just out of residency) these issues were still not being addressed. The concepts I’ve discussed here were not part of my training in physical medicine and rehabilitation (emphasis added). To remedy this deficit, I took to reading the old works of these masters to try and learn what I have never been taught as a physician. Newer systems such as Pilates, Muscle Activation Technique, Myofascial Release, and Egoscue have added to the diversity of treatment methodologies that address various aspects of posture and alignment.
While I haven’t yet had a chance to read through all of Orthopedics 2.0, what I have read so far has been illuminating and definitely worth reading. He provides extraordinary insight into the level of evidence behind joint and back surgeries and how they compare to other non-invasive interventions. If you’d like to download your own free copy, click on Orthopedics 2.0.
If you don’t have the time to read through the entire book, at least now you know that the medical system is coming around to the value of posture and alignment when dealing with joint pain.