Since opening ICT Muscle & Joint Clinic in 2016, Dr. Keith Sparks’ perspective surrounding health has evolved. Here are some of his thoughts regarding healthcare follies and what ICT Muscle & Joint Clinic is working toward addressing. This is not a normal biography. However, it is an honest reflection with an opportunity to hopefully understand the person sitting across the table from you - who is this person and what hill does he stand on?
Specialization is great and needed within healthcare; however, as a result, greater appreciation for pain has become worse and results of outcomes have followed.1 2 3 “Specifically, nearly half of American medical schools allow their students to graduate without having had any formal training — clinical or basic science — in musculoskeletal medicine.”4 “Many current studies have shown that recently graduated medical students and residents lack the clinical knowledge and confidence necessary to care for patients with MSK injuries.”5 This might seem trivial considering these last two studies are only in reference to musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions; however, 70% of primary care doctor related visits are MSK conditions. From this, we can extrapolate the primary healthcare provider treating MSK conditions understands very little concerning MSK and has little to no formal training with treating MSK conditions. Due to the collective problem with lack of training in medical school and the confidence with treating musculoskeletal conditions, we have built our website to help educate our local community of Wichita, and anyone who may stumble onto our website, in understanding pain and how we are working toward breaking the mold. In essence, this is our attempt in giving back to the people.
From reading through our website, you will find an emphasis on categorization of pain and how this should be the focus of all assessments. We pride ourselves heavily on this system to direct you on your journey in eliminating pain, restoring health, and hopefully optimizing your health. Statistically, regarding pain reduction, moving into this pain classification system will provide better long-term outcomes.6 7 8 Dr. Panko has a great line, “we are your traffic controllers on the way to your recovery and performance.”
Pockets within healthcare (personal trainers, yogis, social workers) are working to move beyond a pathoanatomical model - diagnosing a problem without knowing the cause. Believe it or not, this has been the staple of diagnosing and care for decades. I often find these individuals to be the healthcare workers who are attempting to move beyond the pathoanatomical model because insurance is not a large part of their reimbursement system, and they spend longer time conversing with individuals. Again, prioritizing pain categorization must occur before any intervention or specialty, and discussion must take place to understand the pain.
I do believe this is largely a byproduct from educational institutions. Even while I attended Cleveland College for Chiropractic in Overland Park, KS, much of our course work revolved around memorization of answers, not a deeper understanding and critical thinking. With education moving more online, I do fear this problem, emphasis on pathoanatomical model, will get worse. I do pray that it will get better. For us, constant education, as forever students, is vital to keep progressing healthcare forward as educators – to our customers.
This is a two-fold problem of curriculum standards and reimbursement structure.
Educational institutions are a business, and their game is to produce healthcare providers who can pass their board examinations. I once had a professor, after constant harassment from myself, tell me that the school and professors are not here to teach students how to be good at our craft - chiropractic; but to teach “red flags” of knowing when to refer and how not to kill someone. Yes, this is important but very limiting in producing quality healthcare providers. This is defensive medicine not productive medicine.
Lack of reimbursement to the healthcare provider has also caused lack of explanation or education to patients. Again, this is a multifactorial problem with everyone pointing fingers. Regardless, healthcare has become a numbers game of patient flow. Any business must follow a simple business statement, which does reign evident here, “money goes where it flows the easiest.” This is not a blame game or a quick answer but again a multifactorial problem. A healthcare business is not directly financially incentivized to provide better education, information, or referral to another healthcare provider, to the betterment of a patient.
We (myself and our team) do feel there must be a better balance surround reimbursement and time with patients to truly understand their problems, wants, fears, and desires of seeking care. After all, we chose healthcare to help people – and sometimes to our downfall. We have built this website to become a living extension of our education to help address health issues, improve customer and community understanding of pain, and why we integrate our skillset the way we do. Without clear understanding of the current pain, through customer-doctor communication, expectations will not be met.
Again, this comes back down to clear communication and education amongst all parties – customer, provider, and insurance company. Expectations are everything for any transaction between entity or person to entity or person. With a lack of clear expectations between parties, frustration more than likely will manifest. This again, is due to a lack of understanding the problem at hand and clear communication. This requires physical time and reimbursement to the healthcare provider is often structured as such. This leads to fast treatment times with a healthcare provider working to “keep the doors open.” Without being able to keep the doors open we, as healthcare providers, cannot help anyone. As a result of fast treatment times, cross party expectations are not met, and positive outcomes surrounding resolution of pain are not met.
Setting standards with clear expectations, community education, and overall becoming Wichita’s primary resource regarding pain education while guiding customers throughout their healthcare journey are our focus. It’s been a fun journey evolving this style of healthcare here in Wichita since opening in 2016. We did not know what to expect. Over the past several years, like any new business, we kept honing in on who we really are, how we want to help people, and how best to help people. This new “launch” is the accumulation of this identity. Who we are and who we want to become. What hill we will die on. We only have one life to live, and, for us, to help serve those by giving them more life to their years is our main objective. We want to help people eliminate the pain, restore their health, and hopefully optimize their health moving into the future.
BHS – Bachelor of Health Science
Buteyko Breathing Instructor
DC – Doctorate of Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College-Kansas City
NBCE – National Board of Chiropractic Examiners Part I-IV & PT
ART – Active Release Technique – Full Body Certified, Former Elite Provider Network
Blood Flow Restriction Rehab – Owens Recovery Science
Buteyko Instructor – Breathing Practitioner
DNS – Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization – Part A, B, C, Advanced Skills
DNS – Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization – Certified Exercise Trainer
FAKTR – Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehabilitation
FMS – Functional Movement Systems
FMS – Full Movement Screen Certified
YBT – Y Balance Test Certified
SFMA – Selective Functional Movement Assessment Certified
FTMI – Functional Taping for Musculoskeletal Injuries Certified
MDT – McKenzie Methods / Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy – Part A, B
MPI – Motion Palpation Institute Referral List Certified
Rethinking Running Rehab – Part B Gait Analysis and Rehab of Runners
RCP – Root Cause Protocol Consultant
TPDN – Trigger Point Dry Needling – Level 1&2
Intern of the Year 2014-2015: Cleveland Chiropractic College
Dr. Glenn L. McElroy Award 2009-2010: University of Missouri
Lords Dinner Volunteer
Running/Race Scene Volunteer/Participant
Former Business Networking International (BNI Treasurer)
Fitness/Health Workshops at Local Gyms and Studios
1 Martin BI, Turner ja, Mirza SK, Lee MJ, J Comstock BA, Deyo RA. Trends in healthcare expenditures, utilization, and health status among US adults with spine problems, 1997-2006. Spine. 2009; 34:2077-2084.
2 Deyo RA, Mirza SK. The case for restraint in spinal surgery: Does quality management have a role to play? Eur Spine J. 2009;18(suppl 3):331-337.
3 Weinstein JN, Lurie JD, Olson PR, Bronner KK, Fisher ES. United States’ trends and regional variations in problems. JAMA. 2008; 299:656-664
4 DiCaprio M., Covey A., Curricular Requirements for Musculoskeletal Medicine in American Medical Schools The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery , Volume 85-a · number 3 · March 2003
5 Truntzer J., Lynch A., Musculoskeletal education: An Assessment of The Clinical Confidence of Medical Students, Perspectives on Medical Education, 2014 June;3 (3), 238-244.
6 May S, Littlewood C, Bishop A. Reliability of procedures used in the physical examination of non-specific low back pain: A systematic review. Aust J Physiother. 2006;52:91-102
7 Seffinger MA, Najm WI, Mishra SI, et al. Reliability of spinal palpation for diagnsosis of back and neck pain: A systematic review of the literature. Spine. 2004;29:E413-E425.
8 Fersum, KV, Dankaerts W, O’Sullivan PB, et al. Integration of subclassification strategies in randomized controlled clinical trials evaluation manual therapy treatment and exercise therapy for non-specific chronic low back pain: A systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 2010;44:1054-1062.
Ready to schedule an appointment with Dr. Keith Sparks in our east Wichita chiropractic clinic? We’re excited to meet you and to assist in your road to improved health and performance! Getting started is extremely easy!
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7829 E Rockhill St #303
Wichita, KS 67206
7330 W Maple St #120
Wichita, KS 67209
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