More than 30 years of experience

In 1987 I started with the musculoskeletal medicine and in 1989 the practice became independent at van Leeuwenhoekstraat 25 in Groningen in the Netherlands and later in Bellingwolde. All those years I saw many different people with complaints of the musculoskeletal system. Here are some anecdotes of my course through the profession and experiences with patients.

 

Beforehand

I would like to tell you something about the experiences with the many patients I have seen. This is not easy simply because anonymity is a requirement: no person may be recognizable in the picture. In fact, the people who have a story about it must not recognize themselves in it. The only way to do that is to change details. So: the stories are true and the characters are not. If there is a glimpse of recognition, it is because more people can have similar complaints and patterns.

 

A desperate lady

People come to me because they have complaints and want to get better. So I do my best to find something to make them better. I remember from the first years of my practice that a woman came in desperately with low back pain. She had already had them for a long time and she was very worried about it. In her story, everything seemed to point to so-called non-specific low back complaints, ie without any indications of serious medical conditions. But also without any indications of the cause. Then the physical examination came. Now there is always something to find (even in people without back problems). This time, no matter how I examined, there was nothing special to find. Normal mode, normal function, normal reflexes. At the evaluation meeting I had to say that I could not help her, because there were no starting points for a treatment to find (apart from what is standard in the GPs about low back complaints). Thus, I was told that I had found no evidence of medical trouble: nerve disease, fracture, hernia, cancer or anything else. And that the chance of this was not zero but very small. This lady then left the practice radiant and smiling.

 

The knee

He came with his wife, whom I treated for low back pain. At the end of her visit he said that he would soon be operated for his worn out knee. I became curious and asked if I could examine his knee. That was allowed. I found clear movement restrictions on his knee (very common in worn out joints). I asked if I could give a test treatment. He agreed, nothing could go wrong because the knee was replaced anyway. Within a minute of treatment I noticed improvement in the mobility of his knee. I advised him to use his knee normally. A few weeks later he came back with his wife. He had canceled the operation because he had no problems with his knee anymore.

 

The adolescent

I see adolescents coming more and more often and ever younger. Cause: the displays of mobile phones and game consoles. Then they sit slumped on the couch and do not get away from it anymore. They are so heavily absorbed by the brain-hand interaction and forget that they have a body that also needs attention. Ultimately, this leads to loss of condition and curved backs. A range of complaints can occur: from low back pain to headaches. It is a group that is developing its own will and identity and therefore difficult to accept advice from outside (including the parents: 'sit upright!'). Maybe good body building also does not fit into the culture of the teenagers. How to motivate people from this group to change attitudes? Fortunately, a number of teenagers have a weakness: attention to the appearance. By talking to them about it, it often works, at least during the treatment period, to improve the posture and reduce the symptoms. And what they do next ...

 

<To be continued>