In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez and Dr. Mario Ruja discuss how chiropractic care can help individuals who have been involved in automobile accidents and the various functional treatments that can help the body’s overall wellbeing.
How To Treat Auto Accidents?
[00:00:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Hey, Mario, you and I decided to call the podcast what Mario? Chiropractors exposed. The chiropractic exposé.
[00:00:14] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: We’re exposing the pain.
[00:00:16] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The differences between chiropractic and the design. And we’re going to be getting funky and deep with the technology and the knowledge.
[00:00:24] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It’s kind of scary. I’m just going to tell you right now if you don’t have your seatbelts on. Strap in.
[00:00:29] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Mario, today we decided to develop a significant component of our practice: personal injury. Personal injury is a type of practice where we deal with people who are injured from various issues, such as falls, slips, accidents, any nature, workers compensation, and auto accidents. A lot of things happen when you’re in personal injury dynamics. But being a doctor that deals with soft tissue issues, Mario and I have been doing this now for nearly, you know, for myself, almost thirty-two years. And Mario, you’ve been doing about 25, 26 years almost now. Yeah. So we’ve been doing it for a long time, and we have a lot to offer, and we do have a lot to say about the personal injury arena. In the beginning, when we first started understanding what happened, we didn’t ever really understand the complexities of an injury to the same level as what we do today because there is a tremendous amount of knowledge that has come about in the last two to three decades about injuries as well as injuries resulting in prolonged or chronic states that that affect people for their lives. But I also want to talk to Mario specifically more like an open forum today regarding the things that we have, we have seen when it comes to personal injury. How has that affected your practice per se in the last two decades?
The Dynamics Of Personal Injury
[00:01:58] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: The dynamics of personal injury are complex. But what I can say, Alex, with the outcomes and assessments and the goals of personal injury, it’s straightforward. Number one. There is a trauma, so there’s a date of damage, you know, whether it’s a mountain biking accident or a car accident? A football injury. Soccer. You know, a slip and fall, you try to put the Christmas lights on and wipe out. All of those things, what it comes down to is this event. You have to start with the event, and that is the intro to the story of recovery. And what I’ve noticed is that a majority of the people minimize that event because we’ve been trained to reduce injuries, period. You know, even if we do this consistently as little kids, people say you’re fine. Wipe it off. Run a lap. Be a big boy. It’s not a big deal. I mean, I see this with kids on playgrounds. I mean, they wipe out. I’m talking about they come off the slide, and the first thing that hits the ground is they’re their coccyx, their backs. That is like trauma, like severe trauma. And again, it’s overlooked. And those types of patterns, my quarter of a century-plus of taking care of personal injuries. And again, on another side, the word personal injuries have a negative connotation.
[00:04:07] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So that’s what it means.
[00:04:09] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, it’s like most people look at it, and it’s fake. You know, it’s not real. People are trying to make something out of nothing. You see, they’re trying to get paid and all that, that is not appropriate at all. And those types of conversations are conversations that show what in my mind, in my view, is no care. Like, you know, it doesn’t matter. You don’t count. Your health doesn’t matter. Wipe it off and quit whining about it. And you’re fine. Well, it begins at an early age like kids, and it goes to adolescents in sports. You know, I see so many personal injuries and in sports like between the ages of seven, 10, 12, 13, and they’re misdiagnosed. They’re undertreated, and they become very chronic. There’s chronicity, Alex, in that. And as they grow up, you have these issues that stem back. And even my patients tell me, “Oh, when I was 12 years old, I had this injury, and I twisted my ankle where I fell off of this. And since then, I’ve never been the same again.”
What Kind Of Symptoms Do You Get From An Auto Accident?
[00:05:26] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It’s so crucial to early diagnosis issue. When we assess a person, the worst thing is someone not paying attention to a personal injury. A hip injury can lately hang around and lead to a degenerative hip. Twenty years later, it was a neck injury. A football injury could lead to arthritis as time goes on. It took a long time for the surgeon general to come up with a sentence that smoking is hazardous for your health. We had known for literally 40 years, but we had known about arthritis as a disorder. Recently, in the last two decades, the surgeon general has said that arthritis is a disorder of biomechanical imbalance. But where did this biomechanical imbalance begin? Typically an injury in the past, and that people ignored an injury, a football injury, or fall, which causes trauma that is not dealt with, we have to assess the situation and bring some protocol to the individual to allow them to heal and will enable the body to heal like it usually should. Personal injuries are critical. They have striking issues that affect the whole body dynamics, such as an ankle injury. An ankle issue will affect the knee, the hip, the low back, the mid-pack, and the neck, and people just don’t get it. When I’m saying people, insurance carriers, how a person who fell off a ladder and landed on a bum and hurt their lower back now has shoulder issues. You know, six months a year later or headaches?
[00:07:12] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Exactly. Headaches, I mean, they’re dealing with, you know, issues with chronic headaches, with dizziness. And, you know, the conversation you and I always have on a secondary level is like, Oh, this is not contributed to the injury. OK, so they fell, and somehow their whole body fell. But there’s only one injury, and that’s like the low back. And that’s it, you know, like none of the body, this is what’s so intriguing, and I laugh about it. I go, you know what, what colors the red bus? I don’t know; it’s pink today because we have more pink. No, you cannot have a whole body engaged in a traumatic acceleration, deceleration injury, or an impact. And someone can tell a patient or us that, by the way, the only part that you have injured is your low back or your neck. And that’s it.
[00:08:10] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And you know, you were mentioning right there when acceleration-deceleration that those are terms that are used primarily for describing someone coming from a high velocity to a sudden stop. And it’s a general physics term in a prevalent one in the legal realm. And I’m glad that you used it because we’re talking today about motor vehicle accidents, specifically auto accidents that cause injuries and leave people with problems many, many, many months later. You know, I know you know this, and from the time that I began my practice, the most common thing after a motor vehicle accident was someone that said, I don’t have anything that hurts. Right? Absolutely. And then how long does it take before the symptoms show up in your car?
[00:08:57] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Realistically, Alex, I would say anywhere between three to four weeks, sometimes even longer. I have patients that refuse treatment, and they tell me this, you know like I was hit by a car from the back. That’s like real common. You know, nowadays, people pay more attention to their cell phones than what’s in front of them or anywhere distractions, right? So for whatever reason, you know, you get hit from the back. I mean that that incident, I hear so many times patients come in, they’re dealing with headaches, migraines, severe migraines where they’re on heavy medications, have neck issues, chronic, and tell me I’ve never been the same. And it started two years ago when this happened. Well, what happened? That event was I got hit from the back. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then they even tell me I’ve never been the same again. I’ve been damaged. You know what? And they refuse. And I tell them, Well, did you get any care? No, I didn’t get any care because I was OK. I felt fine. And, you know, I didn’t need it.
Getting Evaluated After An Auto Accident
[00:10:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Patients need to get evaluated after an auto accident. They do because you never know what’s going on. And sometimes, the body has impressive capacities of hiding symptoms, literally. You can have a person who comes in your office that hurts my low back and says, I only have pain in my back and lower back. Then after a little quick assessment, we just kind of move the neck, and he goes, Oh, that my neck hurts. And I go, Well, did it hurt before? And they go, No. And it’s not that I’m stimulating. It’s that the pain in the low back camouflages other areas. It’s almost like you hit get hit by a hammer, and all of a sudden on your toe, you suddenly don’t have back pain.
[00:10:53] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s exactly it.
[00:10:55] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The brain can come out and late the symptoms. And then later, two days later, two weeks later, after the carrier called you and said, Are you OK? Then you start, have a presentation of symptoms, and say, Well, I didn’t have anything on that day. You didn’t want to get checked out, and suddenly you have symptoms that you didn’t know about, which happens more often and more commonly when you get older. As people get older, they have these symptoms present. We’ve done studies we can show and NCBI studies where people have issues years later, from a soft tissue cervical injury that leads to chronic headaches, migraines, and mental disorders resulting from poor sleep, just chronic pain is horrible when it affects individuals. Therefore, it’s essential, and our goal today was to have an open forum of whether you should get the care and should get evaluated and what kind of treatment options we have? I mean, we’ll have tons of podcasts where we can talk about the types of treatment protocols and their best efforts. But the bottom line is we have to start with people understanding that they need to be assessed. And it’s crucial that they do because if they don’t, guess what happens.
[00:12:12] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Well Alex, let me interrupt you for a second and let me say this question number one, and I know, you know the answer, and I hear it all the time, but I want you to kind of like tackle that one as they say, OK, number one, how many patients have you had that walk-in in the past 20, 30 years of your practice that say, “Oh? Dr. Jimenez, you know what, I’ve already been checked out. I went to E.R. I got checked out. They did some X-rays, told me I was OK. Gave me a, you know what, 800 milligrams of ibuprofen. You know, and give me a muscle relaxant, some flex real or whatever. I’m fine. A lot, Mario. How many times? A lot. Or they go to their family practitioner, and it’s the same conversation. You’re fine. Come back in 30 days, and I ask them, and you ask them, and what else did you do? Nothing. What is your opinion? You know, we deal with sports injuries. We deal with football players getting hit for up from the back, tackled, and all of that. Those kids weigh no more than 200 pounds. OK? I mean, we’re talking about high school. Not not the pros. A car weighs a ton.
[00:13:38] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Ten thousand pounds traveling at 60 miles an hour as hundreds of thousands of pounds of machinery.
[00:13:44] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So now, how many times in your practice career have you heard? No, I already got checked out, and they said I was OK.
[00:13:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: A lot. Mario, I remember when I first met you, we had a clinical case. Remember the German? Yeah, I’m fine. I went to Vista Hills Hospital, right? And they told me I was OK. He had a compelling accent. The guy came in the briefcase.
[00:14:20] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: The guy came in to be a briefcase. How much do you weigh?
[00:14:21] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I think it was about 40 pounds? Yeah. All right. And what happened is he started to lean forward. And the first protocol we do if you’re in, and first of all, the clinical history was that he flipped the car and hit his head on the top of the vehicle. So as he flipped it, they took him to the hospital, and then they took an X-ray, and sure enough, they let him go. Right? Well, he said he couldn’t move around. And if you remember, he was saying, “I cannot move on this; I have these two briefcases holding me down,” and you could see that it was pulling him forward. And I remember we took the X-rays and looked at how it was broken; the neck was broken.
[00:15:01] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: What part of it was broken?
[00:15:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The cervical spine, the lower circle around the T-one, was hidden behind the shoulder on the X-ray right. And what we did was we did a swim shot, and we saw the neck. And I’ll never forget what happened. I go, “Mario, look at this,” and he goes, “Oh wow,” and I told Mr. So-and-so. I forgot his name, and we told him, “We got to talk to you about your X-rays, and you got a broken neck,” and then he goes, “What? They did not tell me.” All right. Well, what I did was I went, “This was too complex for even my practice.” My point being is, is that it was something that needed to be assessed. I sent him over to Dr. Thomas Al-Awsat, a great local surgeon, and I got to tell you, I think, the helicopter that landed by his office. He calls me back, saying, “Hey, man, why did you send that to me?” And I go, “Well, you’re the orthopedic surgeon.” Then he goes, “Dude, that is beyond my abilities.” He sent it over to Dr. Meissenhammer, the spinal practitioner, and he’s smarter than I am.
[00:16:03] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: And Dr. Al-Awsat is extremity.
[00:16:07] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I’m going like that was crazy. We sat him down and called the helicopters to airship them. To that point, my point is that there’s a lot of things that are missed many times. We have a lot of great doctors in the city that can come together, and we integrate our practices with neurologists. I know you work with neurologists, pain specialists, chronic pain specialist doctors, physical medicine doctors, which we are. We need to understand that after an injury, there is trauma. You know, sometimes the carriers defy you and say, that’s a garden of the mill injury. It’s not that way. We have to evaluate those things through our history. We’ve seen atrocities, wrongdoings that could have been avoided by a simple assessment, a simple orthopedic assessment, and a neurological evaluation with all the tools that we have in modern science today to be able to come up with a protocol to determine if there is a problem or there isn’t. It seems kind of crazy that we could leave a person, a young girl who’s at the age of 18 has a neck injury and then look at her later on a 50, and she’s got massive arthritis in her neck when we could have done something.
[00:17:20] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: And what I would say is we need to honor each patient as though they are our children or our parents. You know, if we have those standards of care. We would care more, do more, be a little more patient and not as fast to judge or tell the patient you’re fine. And I understand many traumas, many other issues are more pressing, and often that’s the case. And we all do our best. You know, Alex, I always tell people everyone does their best when they are, you know, and for myself, I look at those cases, the injuries as very, very important cases because they delineate the rest of your life. So the better you take care of that car accident. And the reason we’re talking about cars is that the impact is enormous. And some of these cars, you may not see the effect. And that’s another conversation that I think is important because people think, oh, it’s a scratch, you know, and then the older the car, this is one thing that I’ve noticed, the older the vehicle. I mean, we’re talking about bumpers that are made out of steel. Yeah, I mean, that thing is not going to bend. But I’ll tell you what, that force will vibrate through the whole car to impact you more.
[00:19:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, as you mentioned that we learned in physics plastic deformation. That’s what it is plastic. It absorbs the energy. Today’s cars are designed to absorb energy, and the old cars were more complex. So that energy, it’s almost like when people know I can imagine driving your car on and no tires, no rubber. You feel the impact when you’re on an older car, pre the 60s and 70s. That thing hurt, man. That thing was not an energy-absorbing kind of structure. There are cars out there that absorb energy better. But what we’ve learned is that position the impact, velocity, angles, and vectors all come into place, and it’s essential to understand the individual’s age.
[00:19:54] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: The preexisting. I can tell you someone, someone that’s in their 20s and someone who is in their 60s. Same situation, same impact. Different care, totally other symptoms, totally different outcome. Why preexisting issues, secondary morbidities, you know, all of those things are considered, and those patients have had other problems before. But the point that I always reflect and share with the patient wherever you are. The particular impact escalated and amplified the concerns you had prior, which is vital to clarify again. Often, you know, those issues are not created, and the verbiage that’s used is it’s preexisting because, you know, you have arthritis. Yeah, I understand that. But the question is, did that impact make my arthritis and the situation better or worse? I’m sorry but let’s be straightforward.
Does The Impact Affect Me?
[00:21:02] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Is it their fault that they are 60? Is it their fault that they have arthritis? Is it their fault that they have a back prior existing issue with rods in their spine from a previous situation? No, it’s not. When the impact happens, it lights those things. Yeah, whatever you have predisposed, it lights it up, and it makes it worse. You’re right.
[00:21:20] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Preexisting and those are conversations that need to be clarified and answered for the patients, mainly because it’s not their fault, you know, they’re the ones that didn’t wake up in the morning and go, You know what? Let me see if I can hit a tree today. Yeah, so I can, you know, just kind of stimulate my neck so I can move better? No, that’s the point. The point is that we need to meet each patient where they are. The fact is we need to meet them where they are. And if you are at that point in your life where you have high blood pressure diabetes, I mean, we’re talking about a conversation that we had a week ago was metabolic syndrome where you have type two diabetes. Now, Alex, tell me about your experience; I’ll let you answer this. How does a patient with diabetes differ in their recovery? The speed, the time of their recovery? With one who doesn’t have diabetes?
[00:22:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Using that example, you can first of all, when you have diabetes, by definition, it’s the sugar imbalance issues the body’s more inflammatory. It just basically cuts down to inflammation. It affects the kidneys. And if they’re pre-diabetic, they may be through growing metabolic disorder, where inflammation and blood sugar issues are going haywire. Well, it’s inflamed. It’s a predisposed inflammatory structure dynamic being. Now you get that person, and you hit him with a shovel that weighs one hundred thousand pounds in the back, right? Right. You light up the whole body, and you’ve taken someone who had a kind of a silent form of inflammation. You put that body through an inflammatory state that cascades to the point where the person literally their blood sugar. How many times after that did you have an accident where the people just complained their blood sugars off? Everything. Their diabetes has gone haywire. They weren’t the same. Did it take months even to stabilize the blood sugar?
[00:23:24] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: The recovery again, as you, as you mentioned, because of all these secondary issues is much longer and again due to the cascade effect of an injury, amplifying not only the symptoms but amplifying and putting so much talk on the metabolic process that that that person is already in. They’re already in a high state of inflammation. Now we just lit the whole body into the second phase of that. And actually, and that’s where I would like everyone to understand that there needs to be a higher level of care for those cases. And many times, it’s a more extended level. So this is not just one month, you know, we’re done thank you very much and have a nice day. Now, this is something that needs to be very well managed. The word is managed, very well cared for. So this is not like a little drive-through, you know, program, and therefore, we minimize those types of secondary issues and become even more chronic and impact the functional aspect of their long-term life.
[00:24:49] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, the word today that didn’t exist 20 years ago was functional medicine. A person who’s in a car accident isn’t just hurt on their knee. Is it just hurt on their neck? Their whole bodies have gone through a slamming potentiation, or an energy field has gone through their body. It affects every organ. It involves the mind, the brain, the skull, brain matter, the intestinal organs. It affects everything and puts everything into chaos. If someone has a susceptibility and gets hit in an auto accident, it brings out a lot of the disorders that were just silent. Now they’re present, and we have to hit a functional approach. When we assess someone, we have to evaluate how it’s affected their mind. When I started practicing Mario, you know, PTSD wasn’t even though it was considered part of the DSM three-book; even the veterans didn’t qualify it as a diagnosis. It was in our tenure over the last 20 years that people understand the impact of the mind, how it gets altered in a motor vehicle accident, the mind, the way the cognition, the what they call cognitive dissidence the brain has in effect as a result of an impact. And how many times do you get a patient that says, You know what? I got hit in a car accident, and I’m afraid, I’m scared. I don’t know what to to do when I cross an intersection; they’re hurting mind-wise. So not only is the mind affected but the physiology of their whole bodies are affected.
[00:26:35] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Talking about mind, let me do this. This is the word that is very important for all of us. Concussions. So now, after all these years, even in the game of football. After a very well-documented movie called Concussion. It was almost like a documentary. This is real. So from multiple impacts in football, people are getting depressed. Suicide is connected with it. Anger management, addiction, Alex.
[00:27:27] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Wait for a second, Mario? Addiction? Tell me all about that. Let’s talk about that because this is a whole thing.
[00:27:33] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: No, that’s I don’t. Oh, it’s the only accident. No. It’s not connected. It’s only just the low back and neck. And let’s leave it alone. No, you’re exactly right. We’ve got to address this. We need to put it up front and direct to everyone. Because let me tell you, if a football injury can cause concussions, which has a cascade effect towards depression, suicide addiction patterns, then let me ask you this. Is it too crazy to say that maybe car accidents have a similar effect?
[00:28:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Oh, absolutely. It’s crazy. You know what? First of all, our awareness of concussions was very different. You know, 20, 30 years ago, it was the stinger.
[00:28:24] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, rub it out.
[00:28:27] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The legs going the wrong way to sting or walk it off. You got knocked down on their back, you know, a stinger. We now know the complications of the inflammatory cascade resulting from a football impact, that these things affect people’s brains. When they start affecting their brains, it affects their emotions. You’re right, and suicide is a complication of concussion. And when people get involved in motor vehicle accidents, they often do get subconcussive, pre concussive, and real concussive situations.
Is Ignorance Bliss?
[00:28:58] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: And are they OK? Let’s talk about this. Are they assessed? Are they addressed?
[00:29:07] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: No, not all the time. An excellent qualified doctor will do an orthopedic, neurological assessment, and all of the other tools and canons that they use to figure out what’s wrong with this individual. As you said, when that patient equals one, each person has its dynamics. You cannot state that everyone involved in a 30 mile an hour impact has a two-week injury. This is ridiculous. You know, doctors would laugh at that, but this is the standard. The guideline says a sprain strain of the neck. And let’s classify that. But there are different levels. There are complications. We need to make sure we diagnose, treat, and put together a team of individuals supporting wrap ourselves around this patient to give them the treatment protocols they need. This is very important because if we don’t Mario, that person 20 years from now will be affected. And we all know that if it involves an individual in their 20s and 20 years later, he’s 40, it has affected the whole family.
[00:30:14] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Absolutely. It affects everybody. It does, Alex. I will say this from personal experience. It affects everyone because we all go through it; the rule is that when one goes through it, we all go through it. Because the dynamics of that family changes immediately, the energy changes in the house, everything change. Yeah, the weekly routine changes. Now we have to take mom or dad, or we have to do this, or we can’t do these other things. We can’t go to football practice imaginable because now we have to go to therapy and some other things. And the other question that I want to throw out is very sensitive, like I don’t want to throw it out at you and make sure you don’t fumble this one, right? So let me tell you why it is so easy to get your car fixed but not your body? Now I want to throw it to you quickly. This isn’t a fastball, all right. Why is it that we take care of these things? We don’t go; that’s not it. You know that scratch was there before. Now we’re not fixing your car. Why is it that it’s so easy to fix material things? Right? And we never look at we never say this. This car was like three years old or four years old, you know, and we’re not going to pay for it. We’re just going to spend like like maybe half because it’s already old. Why is it that car material things are paid for in full, Alex, and people are not? Why is it? You know, I’m really curious.
[00:32:09] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I’ll answer it.
[00:32:10] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, please.
[00:32:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It is called ignorance, Mario. It is ignorance of the fact of what will happen to that individual, and I cannot tell you that I have treated a lot of patients in my life, some of them were adjusters, that terrorized my patients in the early 90s that stated, you don’t have a problem. X-Y-Z. Every time they say the person was involved in an accident, they don’t have a problem. They are just blanket statements. They don’t have any issues and would create devastation with the patient and the treatments they need. Guess what? I had one that I remember our first one, and let’s call her Karen Peoples, and she worked for an insurance company with a P on it. And she remembers. And I remember her voice, she had a unique voice, and one day I had that voice in my office. And that same Karen from that insurance company says I was involved in an accident with my daughter and I go with you that Karen from that insurance a long time ago. And she goes, Yes, I was the head adjuster. And I say to her, “You know, you created a lot of devastation for a lot of my patients, not understanding what was going on with them.” She goes, “I never knew. I never knew that an impact with such little force of 20 to 30 miles an hour could leave my daughter in such devastating pain and me because I didn’t know and I didn’t know,” and I go, “But you continuously created havoc for these patients,” and she goes, “I live with that every day. I live with the bitterness of getting divorced. I had the protocols that were in place.” I don’t know what it was, but you know, she led me to believe that it was her job. But the bottom line was that she realized then that an injury that now was a small relative that she would have brushed off and made someone feel worth nothing or had no value for care has now affected her life and her daughter. It affected them that they were always being treated in the office for about a good three to four months, and they appreciated it for the first time. So to answer your question Mario, it’s just ignorance to understanding. Because we live in a culture, I don’t have time to take care of my body. I don’t have time to give myself the care that I do. We treat nurses. You and I treat nurses. These are the top echelon nurse practitioners, the top end. By the time they retired, they’re broken. These are the people that took care of themselves but didn’t take care of themselves. They took care of other people, but not themselves. All right. So the whole idea of why just people tend to believe that it’ll be gone tomorrow? They still think they’re 15. But once you cross 25, 30 years old, the body takes longer to heal. The body dynamics are altered. And as that happens, things take a much more logical approach to consider what we need to do to recover a person. So as we do these things, the answer is we believe that cars, though they are more important in terms of the present to get me here and there, they don’t see the distance and the how long and how it affects them when they’re seventy years old and can’t walk because of an old injury back in the day. So we need to establish norms, and N equals one patient-doctor equals one. We understand we assess; we determine what’s going on with the patient. And when we do that, you and I do a great service to our patients and their families and for the future generation. I cannot tell you that anxiety stays with you. No anxiety. If you’re a very anxious and irritable person, I can ask you who’s there? Was the irritable person anxious in your family? Well, there’s my mom, and who was that behind? That was my grandmother. Right? So if we give chronic pain to an individual? Have you ever seen children of an individual who has chronic pain not affect the children in some capacity? It does. So when we kind of blow-off pain and that it doesn’t need to be, you know, whatever. Here is a couple of hundred dollars here. Take Motrin out the door. You take some flexible risk of yourself becoming addicted to certain medications because it happens. And there’s a place for things. And when there’s a need for medication, you and I are very aware we’re open to that. But when the consequence leads to a lifetime and not only a lifetime, but a legacy of perpetual issues for a future generation? Oh, it was just because we didn’t know Mario. We didn’t know they didn’t know the distant consequences of trauma. I have people that I hate to say this, but it’s ridiculous. But the anxious anxiety that is so deeply embedded in some of my patients leads back to the Civil War. I mean, back to their families when they were trying to survive during the depression and that that that same mental state follows them through. Well, an auto accident can do the same. I mean, if it traumatizes them, it gives them an injury, and they can’t walk around, and now their neck doesn’t move. And they used to be a car mechanic, and now they don’t have a job. And all of a sudden, they can’t bring the bacon home. What happens?
[00:37:49] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s an excellent point. That’s a very valid point, Alex. And I see this with athletes when an event happens to where it alters their function because their function is their identity. You follow me. So all of a sudden, it’s like, here’s a wrestler with an injury he can’t wrestle more. Here’s a football player. He has to retire early. Here, here is a, let’s say, mechanic. He cannot do his job anymore. So again, in our culture, our function is our identity. Would you say that? So, that’s where it’s so important that we honor functional medicine.
It’s Okay To Say “I’m Not Fine.”
[00:38:45] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, let me kind of mention something because you said, we aren’t we are the thing that we do. In Spanish, there is a word that rides on insult. It is inutile. You’re not worthy of something. If you break apart the word you notice, like when someone calls with someone inutile, it’s like you’re insulting me. Like, I’m not helpful. Well, the word is in without utility. Without utility function, without function, you hurt yourself; you become inutile. So the answer to it is when you’re hurt. What’s the big bravo thing? You don’t want to tell people you’re hurt because you don’t want to be inutile.
[00:39:27] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s psychological. I love that. I love that connection because here is the 360, which is where it all comes around. Identity function, chronicity. And this is where we disconnect. When we disconnect, we say, no, I’m fine. How many times do you hear people say I’m fine.
[00:39:49] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I’m fine. Busted leg. I’m fine.
[00:39:53] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: And you look at him, you go, “Dude, you’re not fine.”
[00:39:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You’re not fine. No, we got to check you out, and we got to figure out and come up with a plan.
[00:40:01] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I see so many people that instead of, you know, again, the conversation is in car accidents and all that. Oh, they’re amplifying it there. You know what? That’s very rare. OK. You know what most working, society, a working force like in El Paso, we love to work. That’s our identity. We don’t want to stop working. I have so many people to say, no, I need to go back to work. I want to.
[00:40:29] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I got to tell you, I grew up in a world where people walked around with neck braces, and we knew it. Now, today we don’t use one’s neck braces as much or belts everywhere. You know what? People do not come to my office faking it; they don’t. I mean, it doesn’t happen. It’s not like they are hurting their jobs. I am a very fair guy in terms of, look, this is something real. And as soon as we treat and we’re done with them and be on your way and be happy, but if you’re not given the opportunity, then the healing and repair process or what we call the fibrosis of repair or scar tissue doesn’t allow itself to heal appropriately, let alone that’s the physical component. But as we talked about and people don’t understand the consequence of these things’ emotional effect. You know, a girl gets raped, a man watches his best friend, gets his head blown off in a war, right? A person drops in an elevator, 40 floors. They make it. They survive. Each one of these people looks normal to you. They look normal. But are they different now? They have been altered. They have been changed. These things happen even though they look present and say, You know, there’s nothing wrong with you. You know, do you know she was raped? Do you know that he saw a friend? Do you know that he was in an accident where nobody survived? And I’ve seen accidents. Ridiculously, everyone dies except one person. Yes, right. One person survives, and how did that happen? Well, the forces are such that, you know, it clipped when a certain energy force and it took out a certain group of people and some people are fine. Sometimes you have eight or nine people in the car, and no one gets hurt, and one person gets paralyzed. How does that happen?
[00:42:17] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: And this is where you know the statements and the examples. These are like very high-end statements, you know, right? Yeah. Now the majority of them, let’s say 80 percent of them exactly fit into that conversation. Because why? You look at them, and they look fine. There are no contusions, no broken bones, and nothing like that, so they look fine. And a lot of them, even in my practice, they come in, they’re like, “No, I’m fine, you know, it’s not that bad. I, you know, came in because so-and-so, one of my family members told me to go in” or, “You know what? Oh, I have just a little like, you know, just a little quick in my neck and, you know, when I wake up, and that’s it.” So they like point one thing. But it’s how we evaluate by the time we do a spinal surface EMG electrical monograph. I mean, this is data. This is pre and post. You look at muscle balance. You look at vectors. By the time we do that, we say, by the way, what about these areas? “Oh yeah. You know what? I do have that. And all of a sudden, after 30 minutes to 45 minutes of digging in and looking into it, then they say, “You know what? I’m so glad that you looked into it because I didn’t think it was that bad.”
[00:43:39] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Mario, you and I, that’s where we realized that we’re at that we’re so comfortable with ourselves that we bring in other talents. We have top radiologists that work with us. Top MRI specialist CAT scans, ultrasounds…
[00:43:56] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Top orthopedics. Again, that’s the problem.
[00:44:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We will find the problem if there is one, and we will determine, and we will be fair, and we do not want to abuse any system. But what we’re trying to do is to let people know that they should get evaluated, they should be treated, they should be. If they need it, they should get it. If they don’t, well, then we send them in the same way. Many of my patients that come in; they’re not hurt. I’ve many times eight or nine people come in, and they’re all in the same car, and I only treat two people right. That’s fine because you only treat that, which has issues. And we have to assess the problem correctly. And that is what many of those who have the power do not think they should have those benefits for free and available. That’s just it’s ludicrous. And when we present that stuff, you know what, you and I go to court all the time. We go in depositions. We stand up for our patients. We represent. We are their voice to bring a clinical point of view to a physiological change. And when we do that, many times people understand, and I’ve got to tell you, when you’re talking to 12 people in a jury, there is most likely three or four of those people that have been jacked up in a car accident at one time, and the chronic chronicity result after something like that could occur, if not them, they’ve seen it in their family. So today’s day is not to turn our back on people we have to assess, and that’s what we plan on doing, you and me. With our expertise, we have a lot of a book to learn how to ride bicycles. But until you get on a bike, you will never, ever learn how to ride a bike. You and I have been in clinical practice literally for over 50 years combined. We have ridden the bicycle, understand the truth, know the dynamics, and willingly tell everybody about an issue with one of our patients. And we’re proud of that. And I know that you’ve been very accurate, and I have been very faithful to our patients, and we call it like it is. And I look forward to talking to more about this because it is an area, though it’s general talk right now, we can go into any route of these for days and hours and get into the nitty-gritty and get nasty with the science more. You and I, what are we going to do? We’re going to expose what we do. We’re going to uncover the stories. And as we do that kind of stuff and tell people about that, we’re going to bring awareness that has never been in, at least in the forums, to develop without a time or saying you’ve got four minutes to say something. It takes a long time to kind of set an idea.
[00:47:02] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah. And I also want to share the word is results, OK. In all of the environments and the places and ecosystems that I work with and am part of. It’s about results, Alex. It’s about results. Before and after, what are the results? Am I better? Am I stronger? Can I move better? Am I able to get back to the function that I was before? And you know what, Alex? It’s called functional medicine. It’s called results. It’s called chiropractic. It’s called integrative care. What that means is that that we are a team. I am not all to everyone and all my patients, and neither are you. And we realize and honor that it takes a village to raise a child, but also it takes many professionals to take care and give the best care and the best results to a patient in need of the results that they deserve.
[00:48:19] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC:* The care and N-equals one, guys. We’re going to bring it, and we’re going to stop it there. We’re going to continue these conversations. And Mario, thank you for being the voice you have always been because we have a lot to say about what is going on. And we’re going to try to bring out the awareness to our community and teach about what we do and let people know what their options are and have the result, as you said. So we’ll leave it there. And God bless.
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