Asking for a Friend: Chiropractors Answer Your Questions About Musculoskeletal Health
UT Health Austin chiropractors answer your questions from social media
Video by: Emily Kinsolving and Alyssa Martin
Written by: Ashley Lawrence and Erich Pelletier
At UT Health Austin, what matters most to you matters most to us, too! We reached out through social media and asked you to share your questions for our chiropractors.
In this installment of our Asking for a Friend video series, Sylvia Deily, DC, Cert-MDT, and Devin Williams, DC, NP-C, from UT Health Austin’s Musculoskeletal Institute answer your questions about musculoskeletal health.
Devin Williams: “It’s different for every person. I would say that there’s not one thing I can say. ‘This is why your knees hurt when you’re running.’ Or, ‘This is why your back hurts when you sit.’ I can’t say that. But what I can say is usually, as a generalization, people hurt with certain exercises or activities if they’re not ready to do those yet. If they jump into them too fast or they go too far, they are couch potato and they get up and run five miles, that could be the cause of it. If they are an elite athlete, then that’s a different story because then it may be that they have a deficiency or they actually have a real injury we need to look into. But I would say, most commonly, people are not ready for the level of activity they’ve just tried to do, and they need to back it off and work up to it.”
Sylvia Deily: “This is a really long answer to this, but maybe what’s more important than where you’re working is the fact that you take frequent breaks, that you change your posture often. You want some decent ergonomics. Where your table is should land where your elbows bend. You should have a chair that gives good back support.”
Devin Williams: “We used to spend a lot of time talking about the specific ergonomics behind it, but the more important thing is having good support. Also, just getting up and changing positions and moving. It helps so much to relieve some of that tension, that pressure, and that pain.”
Devin Williams: “Primarily, their four years of schooling is focused around the musculoskeletal system. And so we have a lot of training around bones and joints and how they move. When you take that knowledge, but with a conservative approach, you can easily plug it into an orthopedic team because they can be a big part of the conservative management that happens prior to anything aggressive like surgeries, injections, or other treatments like that. I’ve found that it works really well when you have a team approach and everybody has their role in it.”
Sylvia Deily: “I think, specifically here at UT Health Austin, we’re one of the first providers to see patients, and our role is to try to help, with the patient, decide, ‘Hey, what of conservative care could be useful?’ And then, ‘What would be the threshold for a more advanced or aggressive approach?’ A lot of times, many things can be helped with conservative care. Here at UT Health Austin, we tend to focus on the things that the patient can do for themselves. So, a more active care approach. That way the patient has more power and agency in their recovery.”
Sylvia Deily: “This is where I think a team approach is really helpful. As a team, our first job is to make sure that something hasn’t been missed. If you’ve had pain for a long time, that can typically be done through hearing your story, hearing what you’ve tried, a good physical exam. And then we want to look at your life more broadly. So, pain that persists beyond natural tissue healing time usually has other factors involved. And so we may be asking you about the quality of your sleep. We may be asking about your activity, the things that you’re afraid to do, or what you’ve stopped doing because of your pain. Often, we think of it as, ‘Do you have a spine problem or a pain problem?’ Or, ‘If you were a computer, is your problem in your hardware, your structure, or in your software.’ How your nervous system affects how your structure works.”
Please remember that every patient is unique. You should consult with your own doctor to ensure you receive the best answers to your specific health questions.
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