The following is part 2 of a transcript of Dr. Robert Rose interviewing Professor /Dr. Brian A Rothbart which originally aired on Blog Talk Radio at “Rewiring Your Brain“. Guests of Dr. Rose are people who are “change agents” that are changing themselves and empowering others.
In the interview, Professor Rothbart talks with Dr. Rose about the therapy he (Professor Rothbart) discovered which ‘rewires your brain’ and allows you to heal from chronic, debilitating muscle and joint pain.
Chronic knee, hip and back pain is a problem of epidemic proportions leaving millions of sufferers desperate to find relief. But after trying invasive surgery and countless therapies in an effort to try something – anything – to alleviate their chronic pain, why are so many still aching with indescribable pain?The answer is that a very common source of chronic musculoskeletal pain has – until now – remained unknown. For this reason, the best that people can do is merely manage their chronic pain. In Professor Rothbart’s groundbreaking book, Forever Free from Chronic Pain, he details his life’s work and discoveries about a previously unknown, yet very common source of chronic muscle and joint pain, and provides a full explanation on how you, too, can finally free yourself from the bonds of chronic pain captivity.
In this interview with Professor /Dr. Brian A. Rothbart on discovering the cause of chronic pain and how to heal it, you will discover:
- Why your current treatments for chronic muscle and joint pain don’t work.
- What is the solution to end your chronic musculoskeletal pain – permanently.How to quickly determine if Professor Rothbart’s therapy is for you.
- How you can take immediate action to rid yourself of your chronic pain.
- How, through advanced technology, your body will heal itself for good
Professor /Dr. Rothbart has spent the better part of 40 years in research and clinical practice in order to first find the source of chronic musculoskeletal pain and then how to permanently eliminate it. In his revolutionary approach, patients the world over have been treated successfully where all past therapies have failed.
Part 2 of the interview is below.
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: Well, that’s not the way we practice medicine here in Europe. A lot of patients, their first stop is typically arranged two or three hours. And they do a complete history with you and work through to discover exactly what the drivers are, the cause, determine what needs to be done. It’s intensive work. You can’t do good medicine in 15 minutes, it’s impossible. You’re just doing boilerplate, cookbook medicine. You don’t need a doctor for that, you can have a monkey sitting there, pushing the buttons, I’m being a little condescending, I’m sorry. But that’s not medicine, medicine is where you take the time to figure out what is wrong and what needs to be done. And that takes time, it just takes time.
DOCTOR ROSE: Okay, let’s go to your book here. Let’s go to Chapter Two where it says what is musculoskeletal pain?
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: Okay. Well, what I’m talking about and specifically the pain issues I deal with are people that have been struggling with muscle and joint pain for years. And the typical history is, they know when they start getting symptoms they’re young, maybe as young as 4 or 5, they even have leg cramps so they’re called growing pains or painful muscles, they go into their teens they start getting low-back pain, that will come and go. Then, in their twenties, they possibly had an injury they couldn’t get over, it’s an ankle or a knee. And then suddenly, they start having pains going in different parts of the body, different weight there in joints, different muscles, coming and going. And then again, in their thirties and forties, the pain becomes more and more consistent and appointing, it becomes disabling, and they start having to take pain medication, having a multiple surgeries, and then they’re told they’re going to end up in a wheelchair, by the time they’re sixty there’s nothing to be done.
That’s the type of patients I see, patients that are dealing with debilitating chronic muscle and joint pain. I’m not talking about the person that has a sore back once every six months or a flake ache in their hamstring or so. I’m talking about debilitating muscle and joint pain, pain to the point that it is destroying their lives or something if it’s not reversed, their quality of life will have ended. And it’s that multidimensional that’s suicidal because the pain has been so unrelenting for so many years, they have been to so many different practitioners and no one could answer the cause of the problem. They have been given so many different labels, sometimes psychoneurotic, and they’ve been treated with so many different drugs that are even making them sicker than they were before they started taking the drugs, they’ve had multiple surgeries and many times not even be able to get over the surgery, that they get depressed. And then they put them on… then they go on therapy, they start taking anti-depressant drugs. And it’s a downward, downward spiral.
That is the type of patient I’m talking about in my book. They’re very, very ill. What’s startling that last year the Pain Foundation came out with statistics that the United States upwards of 25 to 30 percent of the population will fit into that, by the time they’re 70. It’s endemic. It’s endemic. It is more common than if we take all the people that have diabetes, all the people that have heart disease and cancer combined in the United States, that is less than the people that are headed in to chronic debilitating pain.
DOCTOR ROSE: I think part of it, Brian, is the fact that you said just a few minutes ago, that the best kind of way to do is, first you have to really take the time, and it goes right against everything we’re doing. Is there any way that paraprofessionals, somebody just trained by a doctor like yourself, could do some of the initial questioning and everything. So that your time could be spent more efficiently, or does it have to be done by a doctor?
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: Before I answer that, let me give you another statistic. In 2009, every person in the United States, $3400 per person in the United States were spent on pain management. $3400 per person per year. Now, not everyone is in pain, so approximately 40-50% of the population in the United States right now is in chronic pain. So, if you look at what is that each person in chronic pain each year, they’re spending up to $7000 per person in the United States on managing chronic pain problems. That’s horrific, what could you do with $7000 in correct therapy instead of managing the pain. That’s absurd they’re spending that much and that and only then.
The answer to your question – yes, paramedics could be trained to do the initial data gathering, history taking. They could be trained to do a lot of the work, however, I prefer not because when I treat patients I need to get to know them, I need to know what’s going on in their life, I need to know them not just as a sick person, but as a person. I need to know about how they are not just medically and physically, but psychologically, the structures, who they are, what’s going on in their lives, what they’re doing. You can’t treat people if you don’t know them, you need to know your patients to treat them because each one is unique. And the only way you get to know them is by spending time with them. So, yes, you could train paramedics to do it, but they will compromise the quality tier. The quality care comes between the doctor and the patient, it’s the doctor-patient relationship that’s established, is what allows the quality of care to improve.
DOCTOR ROSE: I work with some seniors for a month here in Southern California and one of the things I did is, I brought in something I found from the American Pain Foundation, was a really comprehensive questionnaire. And I said ‘Fill this thing in, bring it to your doctor.’ Because, I said ‘You guys are afraid to talk to your doctors.’ And they said the same things that I was saying, you get five minutes or ten minutes or fifteen maximum. And they said, when they brought that in, the doctors just said ‘What is this? You know, I don’t have time to go through all this.’
So, you’re fighting something, and like you see, despite all that you’ve written, I doubt that if you’re making much of an impact because you’re going against the mainstream era which is, you know, we’ve got to this efficiently. Of course, we know it’s not efficient, the same thing as we know the way we do in schools is inefficient, but it’s the way things are done and it’s going to be, the crisis is already here but some people still aren’t seeing it. And I wish more people could hear what you have to say.
Let’s go to the first step toward recovery, first footstep toward recovery. What’s… what do you want to say about that? Did we get cut off? Okay, you said this was going to happen. Okay, he got cut off. He should be coming back, let’s see if I can get him back.
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: The problem with medicine in the United States is in the delivery of it. You can’t stay ten minutes, fifteen minutes with the patient to treat them. You have to be allowed to spend time with them. The insurance companies, the way they’re directed, the pharmaceutical companies, how medicine is being practiced today in the United States, in my mind, is deplorable. It’s destroying what medicine is about, healthcare is about. When my dad was practicing medicine, when I was young, and they didn’t have insurance, patients paid the physician. The physician spent time with the patient. The patient admired that time, they were paying the doctor, not the insurance company. And if they’re going to pay them $10, $15… they wanted answers.
And the physician spent time with the patient. Now, we have insurance. You go in to your doctor and you pay your $1500 a month for your insurance policy for your family. You don’t pay anything, you go in to the doctor and it’s paid, you don’t pay the doctor anything, it’s paid by your insurance company. But what you get back for your $1500 a month? You get your ten or fifteen minute office. You’re not paying the doctor, the insurance company’s paying the doctor. It’s destroying, in my mind, I admit I’m biased; it is what’s destroying the healthcare system in the United States. I’m sorry, I know people are going to criticize and they’ll probably get mad at me, I’m sure I’ll get some letters that won’t be too happy with what I’m saying, but that’s what I’ve been seeing.
DOCTOR ROSE: No, I agree, I agree with you 100%, but we don’t have a lot of time so, why don’t you give us one more thing here with that. Well… I’m not going to cut you off here because we need to talk more. Could you give us the first footstep toward recovery?
What Is The Real Cause Of Chronic Pain
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: Okay. The first step that needs to be answered is what is the cause of my chronic pain? I mean, you’ll go in and your issues will be talked about ‘Ah, my shoulder hurts, this hurts, that hurts, I’m having stomach problems, having these symptoms, I’m weak, I’m tired, I’m depressed.’ And you go through in order, all your symptoms.
But the question remains, is there a common cause or causes? What are they? They need to be identified. And thankfully now they can do it. We have the tests to run, there’s a way we can do it, we have identified common causes of chronic muscle and joint pain now. And by the way, it’s not aging, it’s not psychological – you just had a bad marriage, and it could be but that’s not the most common cause. There are definite structural changes you’re born with that put you in chronic pain. We know what they are, they can be identified. You spend the time, the 2-3 hours it takes to go through the diagnostic tests and determine exactly what is the cause.
Once you know the cause, the next question is how is it going to be eliminated? What is the therapy that’s going to be used to eliminate it? Once that’s assigned, you go in to the therapy and within a certain short period of time, you should be over it, it should be done, just like if you went in and you broke your knee, you went to the orthopedist and he said ‘We need to surgically repair it.’ You go in, you have the surgery to repair it, it heals, it’s over with, it’s done, it’s finished. You don’t have the rest of your life having knee pain, because it’s been fixed. That’s the way to deal with chronic pain. You identify the cause, you eliminate the cause with the proper therapy, you get better.
That’s the way it should be, not taking drugs, not being told you’re depressed, not being given anti-depressant drugs, not being told you have to have surgery on this joint because you’re breaking down the cartilage, not being told you have to take all these drugs that will make you sicker and sicker and sicker, no. Don’t treat the symptoms, don’t be in pain management, identify the cause, get rid of it. That’s what my book’s about, that’s my message.
Drugs Are Not An Effective Therapy For Chronic Pain
DOCTOR ROSE: Okay, I like your message. Chapter Three, I think, is really good here because you’re talking about chronic pain and the therapies that don’t work. So, let’s just go through them one at a time, starting with drugs. Why don’t drugs work?
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: You know the guy, Christianer, the MD, he’s retired now. He talked about it his book that all drugs are…
DOCTOR ROSE: He was on my program, I loved they guy.
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: Really? Well, he said it. All drugs are poison; it’s just never helpful, is it? I mean, how quickly they react. Let me give you just one example of why I’m against drugs. I have a prostate problem, I’m 68, okay? I have a prostate problem. Well, when you get to be 68, probably more than 50% of all the males in the United States are going to have prostate problems, when they’re 60. By the time they’re in their 80s, just like all of us have prostate problems, okay? Mine happens to be a benign hyperplasia type, which means it’s not tumor, it’s not cancer, it’s just that the walls of the bladder have been, you know, enlarged. I know why, it happened when I was younger.
So, what happened was, here I am and I know better, right? But I go in to my urologist, like, you know, and say I’m having these symptoms. He said ‘Okay, guess what, take this medicine.’ So, he gives me this medicine, okay? This is a beta blocker, this is what they give people that have heart problems, because what it does, it dilates the vessels if you have constriction of your arteries and prevents you from having a stroke or a heart attack, okay?
So, for people like me that are totally healthy start taking this drug, within one year of taking this drug, I started having symptoms where I thought I had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or what’s commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. I was getting weak, all my muscles, up to a point where I could hardly walk. I started having memory problems, I started having speech problems, I mean I was emulating Lou Gehrig’s disease. I thought my life was over, I thought this is it, this is an untreatable disease, might as well make up your will. That’s one case where there’s nothing you’ve done, it was coming from this medication, this beta blocker that he gave me for a benign prostate problem. So, when you’re talking to me about drugs for managing symptoms, it’s like putting a red flag in front of a bull. I mean, you get me irate, I could go, I could become a raving maniac over the phone. You know exactly why I’m so strong against this. So, let me just say when it comes to drugs for chronic pain, do not take drugs. Period. End of story. No ifs, ands or buts. Do not take drugs for chronic pain. Period.
DOCTOR ROSE: So, actually, what you’re saying that what the drugs do is just mass the pain and don’t deal with the symptoms. Okay, let’s go to physical therapy now.
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: Physical therapy manages symptoms. You have a tight muscle – you stretch it out, so you feel better. But you leave the physical therapist office the pain returns again. Why? They treat symptoms. You’re not getting a cause. You know, if you don’t know the cause, we can treat symptoms, yes, it makes you feel better, but it doesn’t get out the cause. So, physical therapy does not eliminate the pain, the muscle or joint pain, it simply manages it controls it. So, physical therapy is not the answer to get rid of chronic pain.
DOCTOR ROSE: So, cortisone is even worse because cortisone…
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: Oh, god. When I was a surgeon I would go in and look at ankle joints that they had put cortisone in. And do you know what cortisone does to connective tissues like tendons? It shreds it. It shreds the tissue, it destroys it. And, you know, when you put a shot of cortisone in the joint, you know, if you don’t have fantastic technique just where that medication goes at the time, not in the joint but into the tendon. It destroys connective tissues, it is the worst thing you can put in you.
DOCTOR ROSE: You don’t want to stretch a tendon, right?
PROFESSOR ROTHBART: You don’t want to shred it, it will tear and you’ll get even worse problems. Cortisone mass symptoms, for six months if it’s put in the right place, you’ll feel like you’re fifty years younger. I mean, you can be sixty years old, hardly, with a knee problem, they put the cortisone in the knee, you feel like you’re twenty, you go out and play football. For only six months, until it comes back. And the trouble is, most of the times, cortisone shots don’t go into the joint space, they go everywhere else. Because it’s very difficult, especially with small joints, to get in the joint space, very, very difficult. So, cortisone – forget it, don’t use it.
DOCTOR ROSE: When I was 16 I was a top-notch sprinter and I hurt my knee, naturally, as all the sprinters do. And we were going to the major event of the year and I was going to, you know, good for almost 20 points, which practically won the meet by itself. So, when I hurt my knee, the coach got panicky, you know, so they sent me to the team doctor. He said he was going to put a miracle drug in my knee, I was 16, I didn’t know, didn’t phone my dad or anything. They took me over there and the guy just butchered my knee because… I actually chewed up a quarter of my shirt that I was wearing, while he was trying to get the needle in the right place. And actually when he put the needle in, my knee felt great and I went back to the track and started running and of course I passed out, from the pain, because, you know, it just aggravated again. And I think this has happened so much, you know, the same kind of thing. Okay, enough. How about orthopedic surgery?
Part 3 of this interview will be published next week.
If you suffer form chronic musculoskeletal pain, which we define as Chronic knee, hip and back pain that never goes away and has not responded to any other type of therapy, you may be a candidate for Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy.
To find out if you may have one of two common inherited, abnormal foot structures that Professor /dr. Rothbart treats, take the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire.
As you learn more about this innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting knee, hip and back pain.
If you have questions about what’s involved in being treated with Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy, see our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page.
If you would like to contact me regarding an appointment to resolve your pain, click here.
Professor/Dr Brian A Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of the International Academy RPT
Author of Forever Free From Chronic Pain and The Foots Connection to Chronic Pain