Let’s talk about basketball, my favorite topic, and even more so now that the Lakers are playing in the NBA Western Conference Finals. But, in this series of blogs I’ll keep my focus on injuries, how they’re being treated and my thoughts on that. Where better to start than with Kobe Bryant?
Kobe has an avulsion fracture in the index finger of his right hand. He’s had the injury nearly the whole season and it is actually now getting better despite his playing ball regularly at the highest possible level. So what’s going on? Basically Kobe is getting about 1 hour per day therapy on his finger with a woman who just does fingers.
What amazes me is that Kobe has the money and means to do whatever’s possible yet he’s choosing to have someone come and work on his finger, massage it and gently manipulate it for an hour each day. He barely has an hour to be with his family during the playoffs. So, in a way this is shocking. And it directly parallels my approach. I know exactly what this means to work on a finger for an hour. That’s what sets massage therapists apart – we’re doing manual work and the AMA does not have an answer for this. All they have is the knife. And when you need it you’re stoked to have it. Here’s Andrew Bynum with an injured knee (the focus of my next blog) and I think he should have had surgery days ago and Kobe may never have surgery for his broken finger.
One of the things athletes should understand is that with a chronic injury like Kobe’s you want to maneuver and manipulate it. You don’t want to immobilize it and allow a stiff joint to get stiffer. You need to encourage simple range of motion, back and forth.
In the past 10-12 years there’s been a large shift in the AMA to immobilize injuries; ankle injuries, foot injuries, sprains and finger injuries, and wrists, yet this will always led towards calcification, decreased range of movement and change of orientation of the nervous system in terms of what it’s comfortable with. The nervous system will actually recalibrate the normal range of motion because it’s been immobilized for so long.
If any of you out there have a chronic injury that just won’t quit come see me in San Diego or at my office on the California Central Coast. Or just send an email to get it rolling. I’m looking forward to giving you the same treatment the pros get.