Dr. Tim Maggs has been in practice for 27 years, and travels the country speaking on his Structural Management™ Program. He worked 4 years with the New York Giants, writes a sports medicine column for many running/triathlete magazines around the country, and also writes for many chiropractic magazines.
In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Maggs discusses The Structural Management™ Program, a system of sports biomechanics which specializes in treating musculoskeletal/soft tissue disorders.
TAC: Why did you develop The Structural Management™?
Maggs: In 27 years of practice, I’ve recognized the flaws and have worked toward a solution in musculoskeletal healthcare. Currently, doctors are encouraged to get the patient out of pain, and that’s what insurance will pay for. This is insane. My life is built around conditioning and enjoying wellness and the existing system is built around getting out of pain. Society wants and deserves better.
TAC: Explain your program.
Maggs: The Structural Management™ Program encourages the doctor to look at the patient biomechanically, or architecturally, not just pathologically. Most musculoskeletal pains and degenerations are due to imbalances, fixations and distortion patterns that have been ignored over a long period. Society is on an accelerated path of degeneration and doesn’t even know it. Our program begins with The Structural Fingerprint™ Exam, as recommendations should be based on structural, biomechanical findings, not symptoms. This program even encourages asymptomatic groups to learn the status of their structures, and then proactively begin to work on balancing, conditioning and preserving themselves.
TAC: What do you want to accomplish with your program?
Maggs: Industry is bleeding money due to musculoskeletal costs. Society is needlessly degenerating at an accelerated rate, only to meet the orthopedist who will replace a joint or the rheumatologist who will prescribe a lifetime drug. Athletes are retiring prematurely. We can do better than that, and the key is to get the person participating in a pro-active conditioning program, including chiropractic adjustments, to get in better shape. This reduces their risk for injury and slows down the degenerative process. It’s a lifetime issue.
I have people fly into my office from all around the country, and I answer emails globally, from people asking for doctors who provide this work. My goal is to develop a Network of doctors and put a structural management doctor in every community in this country. I’ve given myself 5-10 years to do this.
TAC: Why is your program controversial?
Maggs: I’ve spoken with practice management groups who have stated they know the schools aren’t truly preparing graduates for the real world, but they can’t politically say that in public. I’m saying it loud and clear; this is a tough time to be in practice. The climate is difficult if, you don’t know what you’re doing; and, unless we prepare our graduates with the proper tools for success, they will not be able to help chiropractic survive as well as they should. My program does just that.
TAC: What do you say to those who only wish to treat musculoskeletal/soft tissue problems?
Maggs: Chiropractic needs to develop a more defined role of who we are, what we do and how to accept and delineate our differences from one chiropractor to another. When I worked with the New York Giants, as with most professional teams, there were many professionals who fought for the turf they occupied. It is clearly my opinion that our profession is making a grave error by claiming we can be all things to all people, when no one is out there providing structural management. There is an entire market that is wide open and would take chiropractic from seeing 6-8% of the population to seeing 80-90%, yet we want to compete with the medics. I hope our profession can see the opportunity here. I encourage us to specialize in musculoskeletal/soft tissue in ways no one else is even thinking of, as in The Structural Management™ Program.
TAC: How does your program work with the many different techniques in chiropractic?
Maggs: The Structural Management™ Program is a framework for doctors to manage people from the very beginning—learning what unique structural issues each patient has—to a level of improvement biomechanically. The technique the doctor uses is personal,and he/she should be allowed to use whichever technique he or she wants. This program provides better outcome awareness, so doctors will learn more quickly if their technique is getting the job done or not.
TAC: Are there other instruments or materials needed for use with your technique?
Maggs: The only recommendations I would make would be for all doctors to use X-ray, which is very important in our program, and also a digital scanner of the feet with the patient standing (not moving), to determine weight-bearing imbalances that are found on the exam. We also recommend custom orthotics and The Stick® to every patient. The Stick® is a device I endorse which increases blood flow and removes harmful toxins from muscles.
TAC: Is this technique involved in a research project?
Maggs: The wonderful thing about our program is that it is axiomatic; it doesn’t require research to prove it. All we are saying is that balance is better than imbalance, and joint mobility is better than joint fixation. You can’t argue those facts. And, people love it and get better. With that being said, our Network of doctors is collecting many case histories to validate this approach.
TAC: What do you say to doctors interested in your program?
Maggs: We are on an aggressive campaign to build our Structural Management™ Network. Our program teaches doctors how to go into high schools, industry, professional sports teams, etc., and sell a product that is desperately needed: structural management. My goal is to build a Network of 5,000 doctors over the next 5-10 years, using this system, giving all of us a clearer identity and a whole bunch of new patients looking for a better life.