Dr. Neil Boecking (aka Dr. B) is the founder and President of Pro-Care Medical Center, an avid ski junkie and a busy dad to three kiddos. Starting with his first clinic in Central Austin in 2004, Dr. B has always been an early adopter to help his patients receive the best combination of care and treatment. He was one of the first doctors to offer spinal decompression in Austin and developed the SMART Session treatment protocol to help accelerate recovery and improve patient outcomes.
We sat down for a quick Q&A to learn more about SMART Sessions with Dr. B...
1. What are SMART Sessions?
Well, here's a nice video featuring our very own, Dr. Casey Hays, that'll give ya a great overview.
2. What makes SMART Sessions unique?
We called them SMART - Skeletal Muscular Assistive and Rehabilitative Therapy - because they really are a smarter treatment option than what's generally offered to patients seeking relief from pain and/or recovery from an injury. They're a blend of manual therapy utilizing specialized instruments, exercises, therapy and post-treatment protocols with our team of chiropractors. Each SMART Session is customized to your needs while the treatment protocols we use are consistent from patient to patient since we've seen so much success with our unique mixture of manipulation, manual therapy and chiropractic treatment. We treat the entire area that may restrict your ability to heal...from muscles and ligaments to the connective tissue around your joints.
3. If I've tried chiropractic before, what makes a SMART Session different?
We've never been a clinic that's focused on adjusting your spine 2-3 times a week in perpetuity. We focus on results and positive patient outcomes. We're not just adjusting you and it's not just manual therapy. It's a blend of years of experience with modern technology, myofascial work, adjustments, exercises and one-on-one personal care with your doctor.
4. What can I expect during a typical SMART Session treatment? How many treatments would I typically need?
A typical SMART Session is going to last about an hour. You need to wear comfortable clothing. They're so incredibly specialized for you. That’s the awesome thing about them... the typical patient needs 2 to 5 treatments. Usually we will do one or two treatments a week depending on how the body responds.
5. There's a bunch of fancy terms and tools being used like McKenzie, ART, and Graston? What are they for?
Over the years, we've used many treatment techniques to help our patients. As we've seen through 1000s of positive patient outcomes, we've certified our doctors with the tools and techniques that are going to deliver the fastest and most sustained relief. While Active Release Therapy and Graston specifically focus on soft tissue manual therapy (with or without instruments), McKenzie exercises are for addressing "hot" or herniated discs. In addition, we use cold laser therapy, kinesiology tape and a series of at-home exercises to accelerate healing.
6. Cold laser? What's that for?
Cold laser is basically fuel for your cells. Cold lasers get the mitochondria to produce more Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) than it would normally. There are over 1000 double blinded studies that show that this works. For me personally, I used cold laser on my shoulder after SLAP tear surgery. With consistent use, it greatly reduced my pain and increased my range of motion while expediting the healing process.
7. I see a lot of athletes getting taped. What is it? Does it really work?
Yes, the tape absolutely works. I like to tell patients is this is what holds all the work in place that we did for the day. It decompresses and helps reduce inflammation in the area being treated, it provides structure for an area that's fatigued or inflamed, and it helps distribute physical stress across the treated area. It's great for athletes, weekend warriors and non-athletes too.
8. How soon will I feel better?
The main purpose of SMART Sessions is for expedited care. You should feel better from the very first session. We do a pain assessment before and after each treatment to determine relief and progress.
9. Do SMART Sessions hurt?
The word "hurt" is very relative from person to person. There is typically a little discomfort associated with a SMART session. You'll work together with your doctor to keep that at bay to reach a common goal, which is you feeling better and more functional fast.
10. How much does it cost?
We're very competitive when looking at alternative treatments...especially if you're facing surgery. While we work with your insurance, SMART Sessions include customized treatment, one-on-one care with our doctors and at-home exercises. Most patients will have an out-of-pocket cost anywhere between $65-150 per session. If you compare it for a second...I just spent 800 bucks at the dentist for my kiddo to get one tooth treated. So, it's all relative, but what I can say is that it's an investment for your health to get you relief and keep it that way.