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Get back to… Dr King’s fast track to fitness

Musculoskeletal disorders are the biggest cause of disability. Despite the billions spent, the problem is just getting worse. Latest medical guidelines strongly recommend exercise therapy as the first-line-treatment for musculoskeletal disorders instead of much more expensive surgeries.

He ministers medical care every day to others as a General Practitioner, but Dr Adam King confesses that he’s a ‘bad patient’ himself.

Two years ago, Dr King fractured two vertebrae in his cervical spine – the C1 vertebra, the C5 vertebra and also the base of the skull.

It was the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Always active, Dr King thought he would try something new – mountain bike riding. It didn’t turn out well. 

‘There was a jump that I didn’t know about,’ he recalls. ‘I went head first over the handlebars and then over a four metre drop to the other side of the jump.’

While admitting he ‘wasn’t in good shape for a while’, Dr King was lucky to avoid surgery. Instead, he was ordered to ‘stay still and quiet’ for six weeks with a neck brace on. 

After six weeks of inactivity, he was keen to get moving again. 

‘Being a doctor in a small town, I had great service from a couple of physios,’ Dr King says. ‘I slowly got back into work and I was back playing basketball after three months.’

But he was still feeling pain and realised he had lost confidence in his strength and movement. 

‘I was back doing things, but I wasn’t doing them well,’ he says. ‘I was recruiting the wrong muscles to compensate a lack of strength in my neck.’

One of the physios suggested Dr King look at the getback program at Wauchope Physiotherapy and Sport Rehab Centre to improve his neck strength and range of motion.

‘Nathan Lynch (Wauchope Director) called me and said ‘Come and check out our getback spinal rehabilitation devices.’

Dr Adam King says it was ‘great to actually see the results’ of his getback programme

Device based treatment was new to Dr King, but he quickly discovered it was the right intervention at the right time. 

‘The fact that the devices could isolate the neck muscles meant that I could increase strength in each movement direction,’ he explains.

‘It was great to actually see the results. I found out that my neck strength was 65 per cent below average and after eight or nine months of treatment, it’s 5 per cent below average.

‘So that’s a massive improvement.’

The results came on court as well, with Dr King’s basketball team winning a NSW 3-on-3 state championship.

‘And that wasn’t even for Masters, it was for normal people!’ Dr King jokes.

After completing his initial getback program, Dr King chose to continue to build strength on the devices. 

‘I’m probably their best client!’ he says. ‘I’ve gone through four or five cycles of treatment now, twice a week for the last eight or nine months.

‘Now I’m using the devices to strengthen everything up.’

Dr King is thankful that the collegiate environment among health professionals in Port Macquarie led him to discover the getback program. 

He now refers patients to the getback program where appropriate, along with the town’s other physiotherapy practices. 

‘Nathan has a really well run, happy team at Wauchope,’ he says. 

‘I refer to pretty much all the physiotherapists in town, but I’ve referred quite a few people with certain conditions to the getback exercise based program when it’s suitable.’