How to Stay Well

A lecture for NY Chamber of Commerce 6/25/03

     How to stay well?

     A simple answer is:

  • Maintain Ideal Body Weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Adopt reasonable preventive precautions

     Another simple answer to the question "How to stay well?" is:

  • "Don't grow old"

     This exposes one of the core contradictions in our medical system. The question implies that we are well to begin with. Yet, the average age for Americans is increasing and with it an accumulation of chronic medical problems and a lengthening list of prescription medications. A recent pharmaceutical publication looked forward to the average Medicare participant's expenditure on drugs to increase from $600/yr to $3,000/yr in the next five years. I would love to spend the next two hours telling you how and why a coherent preventive approach is the only way to maintain acute care quality in the U.S., but I only have two more minutes - so I'm going to tell you how I can help with an epidemic problem in the U.S. today, which is Low Back Pain.

     My name is John Juhl and I am thrilled to be here today. I am thrilled because I know I can help you or someone you know who is suffering from LBP. I am an Osteopathic physician, and like M.D.s we are licenced to practice medicine in all 50 states. In addition, unlike MDs, Osteopathic physicians get extra training in how to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal problems like LBP.

     Our tremendous success with lower back pain patients is due to the fact that we individualize and personalize their care. By that I mean we don't give the same diagnosis to all patients with LBP. In fact, what we have found is that the majority of our patients have several contributing factors to their LBP. Treatable cofacors may include osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, obesity, ligamentous laxity, and postural decompensation.

     Since many of our patients have multiple causes for LBP, we need to have a comprehensive approach to their treatment. Therefore, I along with my collegues have developed the following treatments for LBP. For muscle spasms and trigger points we will often utilize trigger point injections with local anesthetic and saline. This will tend to facilitate the healing process by decreasing spasms and the pain generated from trigger points. If the problem is one of sprains/strains of ligaments which have been overstretched, then I utilize a technique which has helped thousands of patients called prolotherapy. With this technique, a hypertonic substance is injected into the weakened ligaments which leads to proliferation of new, thicker, tighter ligamentous tissue.

     To address the problem of joint malalignment and impaired disk mechanics, I utilize the many forms of Osteopathic Manual treatment. This lies at the core of every treatment plan and ranges from very subtle indirect techniques to stronger , more active techniques.

     To address the underlying problems with posture, muscle imbalance and impaired joint motion, we utilize many different forms of massage therapy, evolving into exercise rehab done in our state of the art gym. Patients then have the option of maintaining themselves by doing their exercises at home.

     Nutrition plays an important part in all of our treatment plans, and medications when appropriate are used judiciously to enhance quality of sleep and reduce pain.

     Because we provide this multi modality approach to diagnosis and treatment. I get good to excellent results the vast majority of the time. What my patients also like is that when we find medical conditions that contribute of LBP, my office has the experience and expertise to treat these as well.

     When it comes to LBP, my office offers a comprehensive approach, quality staff and services, and most importantly — NO MORE PAIN!