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How to Increase Longevity for Athletes and Patients

I am a very strong proponent of manual therapy and improving patients' lives, health and wellbeing by the manual work we do. This newsletter I wanted to address a very hot topic lately, LONGEVITY or health optimization. This is highlighted by the popularity of Dr. Peter Atia, Dr. Huberman, and even Tony Robbins' recent book titled “Life Force”.


Early in my career, like many, I had to build my practice. I had to get patients through the door AND keep them. All therapists often go through flows where they receive a massive influx of new patients... and then... nothing. All their current patients get better and now they are no longer busy and have to focus on bringing in new clients.


This flow of patients is very hard to control and will always come and go. It is a good way of practicing, but can also be limiting. You will get into a flow of doing your “regular” or routine treatments, however, personally I like to “specialize” in Performance Care. This is something I have been doing for quite some time, and even before all these new interests in longevity. I personally believe helping people live active pain free lives is the best for longevity, and this is actually confirmed in the research as exercise and activity is the first line of defense to aging. 


People with exceptional longevity all have a good BMI and get regular physical activity. The biggest associated factor with longevity is muscle mass. But, an aging population can't exercise if they are in pain. Even worse, they can't keep their muscle mass high if every time they train they hurt themselves. This is where we come in.


Performance Care or preventative treatments are very rewarding,  you get to know your patient's body at a different level. Treating injuries is like putting out a fire, performance care is like rebuilding or renovating and improving a structure. As you learn a lot of the intricacies of the human body, you see what is possible. How many times have you heard your patients say “I have to live with it”, “it is what it is”. Well the answer to that is NO.


The continuum of care for people in pain or with injuries is wide but when do you see your patients on this continuum? Before surgery, after surgery, after injury, during chronic state, preventatively, or for performance in the case of athletes. NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF THERAPIST YOU ARE, if your answer was not ALL OF THESE, then your wrong.


Yes, some people may be better suited than others for certain points in care, but it does not mean you don't have any value to provide, and it definitely does not depend on profession. Expand your toolbox and become useful in any scenario, this way your practice can grow beyond what previously thought capable.

care flowchart

The above slide is a flow chart illustrating the course of care/injury rehab. We fall everywhere on this path and truthfully can spend almost 80% of our time in performance care, ESPECIALLY WITH ATHLETES. This ensures a stable practice. In reality this chart is not linear, it is continuous! Some people may not even have an injury but, they can benefit from care. They WILL have dysfunction and adaptation to previous injury or just from daily habits (skating, running, cycling, sitting, etc.). 


Now the question is how to treat people without pain, how do we find areas of hidden adaptability to improve their neuro-biomechanics. If this is a field you are interested in exploring and don’t have a methodology to progress your patients into a highly rewarding performance care plan this is precisely why I created Foundations in Neuro-Functional Assessment. 


The way to establish yourself in this continuum of care is through practice, learning, taking courses, getting BETTER! 


- Dr. Mike Prebeg 



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