ON Chiropractic Spring/Summer 2013 - Page 11

ON Chiropractic Clockwise from left: Dr. Carole Smith and Robert Buren conferring, RMT Leah Karges, Buren receives a foot adjustment. in concert to help him stay healthy and meet his athletic goals. In particular, his shoulders are a concern. His family physician, Dr. Victoria Chen, is very focussed on his shoulders. “We can’t replace shoulders like we replace hips,” Robert recounts being told. So, in partnership with his entire team, his shoulders get a lot of attention. When she heard that Robert had mentioned her comment, she added fingers and joints to the list of irreplaceable items that require special attention. “We only have so many miles on our joints,” Dr. Chen said. As a family physician, she cannot provide all of the care Robert requires. No one practitioner can. When asked for her perspective on the team of care supporting Robert, Dr. Chen stated “I am not a specialist in the treatment of para-athletes,” referring to her role as his family physician. “Rob needs the whole circle of care,” she added. One of the complex and challenging components of Robert’s case is neuropathic pain. And as Dr. Chen suggested it requires the support of a full team of care. Robert and his team have worked together to find a few treatments that help lessen the pain to a small degree. They have tried Reiki, TENS, acupuncture and massage therapy. And while meditation and mindfulness ease the pain, what Robert finds to be the most helpful at distracting him from the pain and increasing the chances of him having a ‘good pain day’ is exercise. When asked if seeing the team at Your Health Wellness Centre plays a role in his ability to keep setting new and loftier goals, Robert answers with his signature matter of factness. “Undoubtedly. Carole gets it.” To Robert that means seeing the complete picture of his health and his athleticism. Dr. Smith, along with Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) Leah Karges and others, focus on helping him attain his competition goals as well as living a healthy lifestyle. This balance is part of the concern about worsening his disability. Robert’s team works together to provide his care. Communication is a big part of that work. Athletes have an expert understanding of their sports and their bodies. This can provide a window into how best to go about treating athletic patients. Their health care team then takes that information and uses it to inform treatment plans. Athletes’ ability to pinpoint a