Daniel Sosnoski : Hi, I’m Daniel Sosnoski , Editor-In-Chief of Chiropractic Economics Magazine. We’re here at the Florida Chiropractic Association 2016 Annual convention, The National. And I’m here with Dr. Tim Maggs, You are launching a new program, I understand, called “Concerned Parents of Young Athletes.” Could you tell us a little bit about why you decided to form that program?
Dr. Maggs: Yes, Dan. Absolutely. I’ve always been in the sports world. I’ve been in practice thirty-eight years. I had four years with the New York Giants. I really got to witness how it’s handled at the highest level, and I started to develop a biomechanics program; but in 2004 I gave a talk to a large school, about 800 parents. About a year later a mother called me, desperate. Her son had three months of high school left, he had a severe back injury, and he had a chance for a division one scholarship; and if he didn’t get back on the track, he wasn’t going to be able to get that, the clock would have ticked. So, we got him back, he got his division one scholarship, but I said “That’s way too close.” And the more I looked at it, the absence of quality care for the middle school and high school athlete is enormous. And that really was the beginning of this program.
Daniel Sosnoski : All right. I understand that injuries and the severity of them are on the increase among young athletes. Are there some reasons why that is so?
Dr. Maggs: Well, it goes beyond that. We have what I call a “negligent sports medicine industry.” We’re provide…This is a void. There’s a gap. The middle school/high school athlete I call an “ignored market”, and the reason is this: First of all, the parents are trained improperly. “Does my insurance cover it?” Okay, and that’s a bad question to ask because that’s a shrinking reimbursement program that is getting worse every year, and when you govern the decisions you make on your kid’s future based on what insurance covers, that’s a problem. Secondly, parents are trained: Where do they go? They wait until their kid is injured, and that’s what they’ve been trained to do. Then who do they call? They call the pediatrician, who has no knowledge of musculoskeletal. Or they go to the emergency room which, again, is not the best place to go. And then the pediatrician makes the decision: two weeks off, or do I send him to the orthopedist? So now the orthopedist, we think the orthopedist is on top of the intelligence chain dealing with this market, but it’s not true. The orthopedist does not read biomechanics. They look for a fracture, or bone disease. Then when it comes to treatment, all they do is either surgery or cortisone shots, and although that’s valuable in our society in certain areas; it should not be the primary care menu for this age group. Then, when the orthopedist realizes they can’t help these injuries, they refer to the physical therapist. Now physical therapy in and of itself is fantastic, but a physical therapist should never be the primary care giver. They don’t take x-rays. They don’t read x-rays. So they can’t do a thorough biomechanical evaluation, and typically my experience: they’ll provide the level of care that fits under the terms of the insurance, and then discharge the patient. Thoroughly inadequate because when the young athlete leaves that office, biomechanically they’re 100% the same as what led them into the injury. So we need to revamp, how do we take care of these kids.
Daniel Sosnoski : All right. I understand that part of how this program works is that DC’s will look to work at the high school level. I understand that you were appointed Director of Sports Injuries and Sports Biomechanics for Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, NY. How did you secure that position for yourself to give some suggestions on how other DC’s can prepare themselves to enter this unique market?
Dr. Maggs: It’s a great question, and I wish we had a lot of time to hear the background. But they didn’t contact me, I contacted them because I knew this was…it’s a higher caliber school, affluent school. And I approached the athletic director, and the principal of the school; and I explained to them, “your kids, your athletes, are being examined prior to the season with a medical exam. Eyes, ears, nose, and throat. No one is looking at the musculoskeletal system, which is the most involved system in sports.” I said, “secondly, they don’t do anything until there’s a reactive, they’re reactive once they’re injured. And thirdly, they’re going to doctors that don’t understand the injuries. What I want to do is I want to have the opportunity to come into your school, we’ll design a title, which is Director of Sports Injuries and Sports Biomechanics. Three times a year I’ll be in front of the parents to educate the parents on “how do you keep a musculoskeletal system healthy” because it will change the life of that student. We’ve had so many of them come in now with major issues that their life would certainly, the quality of life would be horrible. They’re on medication every day. Headaches every day, and no one knowing what to do for them. So this program that we’ve developed, it allows us to educate the parents. Invite them into the office. Put the kids through what we call our structural fingerprint exam, which is a full biomechanical exam. it uncovers all of the imbalances, the weaknesses, the faults. I compare it in the medical community with their blood tests, their annual blood tests. Try to tell them that they shouldn’t do blood tests on patients and they wouldn’t be able to function. The same thing applies. Once you start doing biomechanical exams you recognize everyone as a totally unique situation. There’s many injuries within that body and we need to start looking at them. So for the other chiropractors I want to work with them to show them how you approach a school. How do you develop the protocols, the exams, the reports, the educational programs; so people will come into your office and you can do the quality work on the high school athletes when they come in.
Daniel Sosnoski: So doctors who join the CPOYA network get training in how to approach the schools. They get training in the kind of testing and the kind of evaluation that they would need to do to help the young athletes.
Dr. Maggs: Exactly. What I’ve done is: it’s no charge because we need chiropractors. They’re the most qualified docs to provide quality biomechanical care. We want them to sign up at no charge. It gives them a password into the library which teaches them. There’s many modules: training modules, power point presentations to be able to take out to your community to educate the parents. And then it teaches the protocols to come in, when they come in with an acute injury what do you do, when they come in and there’s no injury. We have a lot of kids come in. A twelve year old boy who plays soccer that’s never been injured, I guarantee you the majority of docs out there wouldn’t know what to do with him. They have a very specific evaluation. We know predictably what problems that kid is going to have if the parents don’t take action. So it’s a full training program, but then with Foot Levelers we have many seminars we’re doing, webinars we’re doing. If they have an interest there’s a ton of ways that they can learn more about getting into the high school and doing a great job with these kids.
Daniel Sosnoski : Okay, well, if doctors would like to learn more, and to study the background of the program, to apply online; where do they go?
Dr. Maggs: CPOYA.com or Concerned Parents of Young Athletes. com. All of the registering information is there. It’s a big red button, and again we are encouraging docs to come on board. My incentive here, Dan, is not based on any other goal other than I have four sons. I know the love a parent has for their child. It’s palpable, it’s huge. And I have parents bring their little kid in. Two professionals taking time off from work to bring them in. It’s very important, and these kids are not being cared for out there. So my incentive is: those kids and those parents, because I understand that bond, and this is a great program. Any doc in the field would beg to have these types of relationships in their practice. So we’re hoping a lot of chiropractors come on board. And again I thank Foot Levelers immensely for supporting this whole mission.
Daniel Sosnoski : Well, it’s all about relationships, and bringing athletes to health. Thank you, very much, Dr. Maggs.
Dr. Maggs: Thank you, Dan.