Hypermobile Patients, Sports-Related Concussion, & Obesity’s Pain Connection

CF 187: Hypermobile Patients, Sports-Related Concussion, & Obesity’s Pain Connection

Today we’re going to talk about Hypermobile Patients, Sports-Related Concussion, & Obesity’s Pain Connection But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music

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  OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.  We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers. I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.   If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 

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You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #187 Now if you missed last week’s episode , we talked about the western diet and its effects and we talked about some pretty cool acupuncture research. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

On the personal end of things…..

Our nurse practitioner starts on August 2nd but we are having a hard time getting our malpractice person to respond to us and get that in place. We can’t get credentialing until that happens. Credentialing takes at least 2 months typically.  So, you see the issue. That was an unplanned obstacle.  We are in the process of changing our signage on the front of the building as well. We have one big sign out on the main street so that’s two inserts… for each side. 

Then we have two suites here so we have two doors. Which means we have two signs on the front of the building. So, added up, we get to order 4 inserts. Signs aren’t cheap if you’ve had to put one in lately.  Those are just some of the things that we’re messing with lately.  Clinic numbers, we are in week 3 with some good solid numbers. Not pre-COVID numbers but getting there. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not sure I want pre-COVID numbers. There were weeks I was at 220 appointments for the week. 25 new patients, re-exams running out my ears.  Now, that’s not bragging. I’m not there anymore. What I’m saying is that sometimes, it’s too much. In healthcare, you really can be too busy. Things start falling through the cracks.  My mom had a bone density test misread because her primary is simply too busy. He took responsibility and, other than putting her back surgery off longer than it should have, no harm was done. But the point is, we can get too busy.  I am extremely conservative in my finances. I don’t like taking big chances. I don’t like huge what-ifs. I like small, measured, and reasonable risks. You cannot eliminate risks. But we can mitigate them. We can make them minute instead of big gaping holes.  I should have hired an associate. And to be fair, we started to do that. It just simply fell through. And it was a blessing in disguise when you consider what COVID did to our practice. Now we get a chance to potentially say, “‘If I could go back and do that all over again…..” 

At this time, I’m at a point in my caseload that it’s all fairly easily manageable. We’re at probably 165-170 per week. That’s manageable for evidence-based, patient-centered practice. We are rehab-heavy. Rehab takes time and I have an excellent staff and ChiroUp to help me make it all happen.  However, if we get to the 190-200 appointments per week range, it’s time to start shopping for an associate. It’s too much and too many other things I’m trying to accomplish both personally and professionally suffer from that caseload.  And my brain space is just destroyed if I’m being honest. It’s not fun to go to work when you’re overwhelmed every day. It’s unpleasant. Even when the majority of your patients are amazing people. Nobody wants to go to doctors that are overwhelmed like that and I don’t want to be one of those doctors either.  So, just a little brain dump there and some free-flow thought for you. I have an intern coming in from Parker College in September. That’ll be my first intern to have onboard so who knows….maybe that ends up being a long-term thing.

Maybe not.

Time will tell.  On the horizon for me, real estate investing!! Regular listeners may have heard me talk about exit strategies. If you’re a thinker, you’re not only thinking about today but what you want out of tomorrow. I’ve been in business for over 23 years at this point and have never taken more than 5-7 days of vacation at a time. I’ve never been to Europe or anywhere outside of the Caribbean.  So, smart moves is what get us there. We are in a business where our presence is mandatory for a business to continue. In essence, our business owns us. Not the other way around. So how do we flip it? Well, we need people in place that fill the gap when we are out. We need to be the CEO instead of the hands-on worker. That’s part of the reason we are bringing in a nurse practitioner. That’s part of the reason we’ll be looking for an associate when the numbers truly rebound.

That’s the reason I started a voice-over side gig, which is going amazingly by the way. What a blessing that has been, y’all. I can’t even begin to tell you how well that’s going. I’ve voiced over 200 spots just since January. That’s over 33 per month. It’s been insane. That’s also the reason that real estate investing is my next mountain.  Mailbox money, y’all. Now, real estate investing takes effort and work so it’s not technically mailbox money but, when done right, is the fastest path to financial freedom. That’s the reason for the book I wrote and the speaking opportunities I’m getting involved in.  These are all potential paths toward early, comfortable, happy, partial retirement. Retirement to me doesn’t mean any work. It means control of my time. So in that context, retirement cannot come quite soon enough.  So, what’s your exit strategy? Are you going to work until you’re 88 and die at your desk in your office?

Which some want…and there’s not a thing in the world wrong with that. Or, do you have other things in your life to accomplish and need to start planning for that? Some say you need to start with the ending in mind. If you want to sell your business someday, shouldn’t you plan for that from the start? How do you build a business that’s ready to sell when it’s your time? Something to think about. I’m not sure I have all of those answers because they continue to unfold as I progress but I’m getting closer to solid ideas and strategies on it.  Alright….on to the research. 

Item #1

Let’s get it started this week talking about hyper mobility, Ehlers-Danlos, and all that good stuff. If you don’t really consider hypermobility in your daily treatment…..please….for the love of everything holy, please listen up and pay attention. This is where so many chiropractors are getting it wrong.  It’s becoming more and more clear every year that a good chiropractor should know when to mobilize and when to stabilize. Some of you are no doubt asking yourselves, what the hell does that mean? Sometimes the spine doesn’t want to be adjusted. There is already a plethora of movement there. Adjusting only increases the motion in an area that the increased motion is what is actually causing the complaint. In these cases, when in the hands of a vitalistic, subluxation, philosophy, doctor-centered chiropractor, this patient is going to get adjustment after adjustment for weeks and weeks.  I’m sure you can predict the eventual outcome here. And it’s not corrections of a subluxation. It’s spinal instability that compounds the issue.  The condition and patient population that is at increased risk here would be self-adjusters but mostly, those suffering from Ehlers-Danlos, which if you are unfamiliar, is a connective tissue disorder that allows these folks to behave a bit like an elastic rubber band. 

A hint of whether someone is EDS is the Beighton Scale. If I stand a new patient up and have them touch their toes and they put their hands flat on the floor, they’re getting put through the Beighton Scale to test for hypermobility. We need to know if they have too much movement in their joints. Because instead of more adjustments and more movement in the segments of the spine, they typically respond better to weight training, supportive activities and strengthening. 

This paper is called “Physical therapy treatment of hypermobile Ehlers–Danlos syndrome: A systematic review” by Gregory Reychler and Maya-Mafalda De Backer et. al. (Reychler 2021) and published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics on June 19, 2021…. My glasses….they’re steamed’s hot.  Why They Did It The objective of this systematic review was to investigate the effect of the different physiotherapy techniques related to the children and adult patients with hEDS How They Did It

  • PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Cochrane Library, PEDro, Scopus, and Embase databases were analyzed from inception to April 2020.
  • Characteristics of the studies (authors), patients (sample size, sex, age, Beighton score), and non-pharmacological treatment (length of the program, number of sessions, duration of the session, and type of intervention), and the results with the dropout rate were extracted. 
  • From the 1045 retrieved references, 6 randomized controlled trials with a sample size ranging from 20 to 57 patients were included in the systematic review
  • There was a huge heterogeneity in the interventions. The duration of the program were from 4 to 8 weeks

What They Found

  • Pain or proprioception demonstrated significant improvements in the intervention group regardless of the type of intervention. 
  • A benefit of the inspiratory muscle training was observed on functional exercise capacity.
  • The quality of life was systematically improved.

Wrap It Up

Physiotherapy benefits on proprioception and pain in patients with hEDS even if robust randomized control studies are missing. Now, the full paper isn’t available for me to ingest so who the hell knows what all interventions these patients underwent. We don’t know. But, physiotherapy is Europe and Canada and Australia’s term for physical therapy. We know what PT is and in these patients, I’m assuming it is exercise and building strength and proprioception and balance.  All of that also helps clear up the joint and movement map in the brains of chronic pain patients. Which leads to more accurate sensorimotor function, less aberrant movement in the joints, more confidence in abilities and future capabilities, and less pain as an overall result.  And yes, I just tossed a bucket of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Diplomate on top of all of your heads. And didn’t it feel warm and fuzzy??

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Item #2 This second one is called “Lose Pain, Lose Weight, and Lose Both: A Cohort Study of Patients with Chronic Pain and Obesity Using a National Quality Registry” by Dong et. al. (Dong HJ 2021) and published in the Journal of Pain Research in February of 2021 and that’s holy mother of Hades hot. 

Why They Did It It is known that chronic pain makes it difficult to lose weight, but it is unknown whether obese patients (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) who experience significant pain relief after interdisciplinary multimodal pain rehabilitation (IMMPR) lose weight. This study investigated whether obese patients with chronic pain lost weight after completing interdisciplinary multimodal pain rehabilitation in specialist pain units. The association of pain relief and weight change over time was also examined.

How They Did It

  • Data from obese patients included in the Swedish Quality Registry for Pain Rehabilitation for specialized pain units were used, including baseline and 12-month follow-up after IMMPR from 2016 to 2018
  • Patients reported body weight and height, pain aspects (eg, pain intensity), physical activity behaviors, psychological distress, and health-related quality of life
  • A reduction of at least 5% of initial weight indicates clinically significant weight loss. 

What They Found

  • A significant reduction of pain intensity was found after interdisciplinary multimodal pain rehabilitation 
  • A similar proportion of patients in the three groups with different pain relief levels had clinically significant weight loss 
  • Significant improvements were reported regarding physical activity behavior, psychological distress, and health-related quality of life, but weight change was not associated with changes of pain intensity.

Wrap It Up

“About one-fifth of obese patients achieved significant weight reduction after interdisciplinary multimodal pain rehabilitation. Obese patients need a tailored pain rehabilitation program incorporating a targeted approach for weight management.”

Item #3

The last on his called “Injury Reduction Programs for Reducing the Incidence of Sport-Related Head and Neck Injuries Including Concussion: A Systematic Review” by Eliott, et. al. (Elliott 2021) and published in Sports Medicine on June 18, 2021. It’s a big ol’ pot of hot. 

Why They Did It To systematically review the literature to investigate: (1) the relationship between neck strength and sport-related head and neck injuries (including sport-related concussion (SRC); and (2) whether neck exercise programs can reduce the incidence of (a) sport-related head and neck injuries; and (b) sport-related concussion.

How They Did It

  • Five databases and research lists of included studies were searched
  • From an initial search of 593 studies, six were included in this review

What They Found

  • The results of two observational studies reported that higher neck strength, but not deep neck flexor endurance, is associated with a lower risk of sustaining a sports-related concussion. 
  • Four intervention studies demonstrated that injury reduction programs that included neck exercises can reduce the incidence of sport-related head and neck injuries including sports-related concussion.

Wrap It Up

Consideration should be given towards incorporating neck exercises into injury reduction exercise programs to reduce the incidence of sport-related head and neck injuries, including sports-related concussion. Alright, that’s it. Y’all be safe. Keep changing our profession from your little corner of the world. Keep taking care of yourselves and everyone around you. Tough times are upon us but, the sun will shine again. Trust it, believe it, count on it. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week.  Store Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at       

Purchase Dr. Williams’s book, a perfect educational tool and chiropractic research reference for the daily practitioner, from the Amazon store TODAY!

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots. When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few. It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. And, if the patient treats preventatively after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health!

Key Point: At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints…. That’s Chiropractic!

Contact Send us an email at dr dot williams at and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes.  Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms.  We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference. 

Connect We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.


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About the Author & Host Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger


  • Dong HJ, D. E., Rivano Fischer M, Gerdle B, (2021). “Lose Pain, Lose Weight, and Lose Both: A Cohort Study of Patients with Chronic Pain and Obesity Using a National Quality Registry.” J Pain Res 14(1863-1873).  
  • Elliott, J., Heron, N., Versteegh, T, (2021). “Injury Reduction Programs for Reducing the Incidence of Sport-Related Head and Neck Injuries Including Concussion: A Systematic Review.” Sports Med.  
  • Reychler, G., De Backer, M.-M., Piraux, E., Poncin, W., & Caty, G, (2021). “Physical therapy treatment of hypermobile Ehlers–Danlos syndrome: A systematic review.” American Journal of Medical Genetics: 1-9.