baseball injuries

When Should You Call 911?

A patient called my office asking for an appointment for sharp chest pain. He left a message saying that I helped a friend of his who had similar symptoms. I recalled that in the case of his friend I discovered upon examination that one of his ribs on the left side of his ribcage was subluxated (misaligned slightly - as opposed to a dislocated or broken rib). Through a precise chiropractic adjustment I was able to get the rib moving properly and the sharp pain was immediately relieved. Unlike his friend, who is a long time patient of mine, I had no idea why this man was having sharp left sided chest pain and I recommended he immediately go to the Emergency Room to rule out a heart attack or other potentially serious condition. I related that if it is a rib not moving properly, like I diagnosed on his friend (my patient) then yes, he might have wasted his time going to the ER. However, if it was not a rib problem and something more serious...then NOT going to the ER could kill him!

He angrily hung up and we never heard from him again.

Unknown-1.jpegYou breathe about 20,000 times a day so a subluxated rib is incredibly painful and can mimic a heart attack; however, since DEATH is a lot harder to fix than a rib problem... common sense dictates that he should go to the ER and make sure he is not experiencing a more ominous condition - then we can move on to the more easily fixable rib problem.

Incidentally, the same rib deep breathing exercise that is so helpful for Hiatal Hernias (GERD, acid reflux) is also great for rib problems. Do 3 repetitions 3 times a day for excellent posture and rib health. Remember, your heart and lungs sit in the rib cage. See the exercise here:

Let me share with you a story that illustrates the urgency of this point. The father of one of my closest friends (a renown physicist) was lecturing in Europe. He complained about chest pain and his wife said,"Go to sleep and we will go the hospital in the morning." There was no morning... he died in his sleep. I want you to have a morning and not a mourning. When in doubt... always error on the side of caution. Call 911 when you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, blurry vision or any symptoms that you have never had before.

For more information about when to call 911 - WebMD has a great slide show you can look at  -

To a healthy and long life,

Dr. Eugene Charles


Matt Harvey does NOT need surgery!

I see Matt Harvey is diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). I had a case of TOS (also called brachial neuritis) that led to arm paralysis in a mountain climber. Fortunately, I successfully treated him non-surgically and he went on to a full recovery and is mountain climbing again. This case was published in a Medical Journal. I believe Mr Harvey has a similar condition to this patient with the full right arm paralysis who went on to a full recovery without surgery. (Actually he had nerve entrapment surgery before coming to our office and the patient said it worsened the condition)

Likewise, I feel Mr. Harvey does not need surgery! He does not need the rib REMOVED… he simply needs it MOVED! From what I have read in the news, it looks to me that the rib has become misaligned and it just needs to have its position adjusted slightly…not ripped out.  To reiterate, common sense dictates that if the rib needed to be removed it would have ALWAYS been a problem!

In all likelihood, without examining him, this probably occurred this year because of Mr. Harvey's emotional stress from last year which physiologically caused his pectoralis minor muscle to become hypertonic as a defense mechanism (fight or flight response). This, in conjunction with the fact that he is such an emotionally charged individual to start with, is what I believe predisposed this condition to happen now. In other words...he is physiologically tightening up his chest, ribs, and shoulders. (This is why he complained to his agent, Mr. Scott Boras that he felt like he had a "dead arm" earlier in the season)

The rib in question cannot in and of itself BE the problem otherwise it would have ALWAYS bothered him. Therefore, logic dictates the rib itself is not the problem…the rib’s newly developed lack of proper movement is the problem; and this is due to a physiological and biomechanical problem with the ribcage, not an anatomical problem. I.e. he was not born with an overgrown rib.

Last year, Harvard had its 4th International Fascial Symposium to "To advance our understanding of structure and function, educate scientists and clinical professionals" about the importance of fascia.

In my practice I focus on Maximizing Human Performance and I guarantee that if I am right, a simple realignment of the rib(s) and a releasing of the tight fascia around the pectoralis minor muscle would have Mr. Harvey as good, if not better than ever, in 10 days!

You cannot put a rib back once you take it out! I have been doing this for 30 years and I don’t flippantly make guarantees; however, I mean what I said above with all my heart.

I pray the surgery is a success and I wish Matt Harvey all the luck in the world. Sincerely,

Dr. Eugene Charles The Applied Kinesiology Center of New York 36 East 36th Street New York, NY 10016 (212) 683 -9328