I am a family physician, practicing in Calgary for the past four and a half years. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting a 75 year old woman who had unfortunately been in a rollover motor vehicle accident two and a half weeks prior. The truck was estimated to have been going at 60km/h and she was the passenger and was wearing a seatbelt. The car rolled three times, and this patient was trapped between the vehicle door and the ground for 45 minutes to an hour before being extricated. There was a brief loss of consciousness. She was subsequently was transported by ambulance to a regional hospital, and then to a Calgary hospital. She was found to have multiple injuries, including four fractured ribs, a laceration to her hand that required suturing, a laceration to the ear, and a probable lung contusion. She also had pain in her neck and shoulders consistent with a whiplash injury, which was noted by the emergency doctor who saw her. She was briefly hospitalized because of her injuries. The car was “written off”.
By the time I saw this patient she had already begun Myo-Postural therapy at Lochend Clinique. I was immediately impressed by the level of improvement this patient reported at such an early stage in therapy. Given the nature of the accident ( a roll-over at a reasonable speed), the fact that the car was “written off”, and the fact the she had multiple injuries including fractured ribs, I would have anticipated a severed whiplash injury with a prolonged recovery. However, her pain was already improving by this first visit, and I classified her at that point as having moderate to severe whiplash.
Her next visit was three weeks later. My notes for this visit begin “Dramatic improvement! Pain much decreased with Myo-Postural therapy”. She was functioning well in daily life and found the pain to be very manageable. I was particularly surprised given her age. Often older people have significant pre-existing muscle weakness and underlying arthritic changes, both of which slow recovery from significant soft tissue trauma such as a whiplash injury. This patient really appeared to in very little discomfort and had no tenderness on examination, although her range of motion was still somewhat limited.
I saw her again one month later and she was continuing to improve with therapy. She did not report any significant pain or impairment of function. Her range of motion was improving, and she had a very slight tenderness at the back of her head, but no other tenderness.
She was seen one more time, three weeks later, by a colleague while I was away, and was noted to be completely asymptomatic. Her pain was gone.
This 75 year old woman was my first patient to undergo Myo-Postural therapy. I was impressed with her rapid recovery for a number of reasons: the severity of the accident; the extent of her initial injuries, which included fractures and lacerations which frequently correlate with severe soft tissue injuries; and her advanced age, which often makes recovery slower because of pre-existing muscle weakness and arthritis.
I plan to recommend Myo-Postural therapy to patients with soft tissue injuries in the future. Although I have only seen one patient undergo Myo-Postural therapy, it is an innovative approach that makes physiologic sense, and it may well be more effective than conventional therapy.
J. C, MD, CCFP