5 questions, 5 answers with Dr. John Campione
This month we are excited to feature Dr. John Campione to understand how a neurological approach can improve treatment outcomes.
Dr. John Campione is a Chiropractic Physician from Warrenville, IL. He is a graduate of the National University of Health Sciences receiving his Doctor of Chiropractic degree in 2010. Dr. Campione received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from the West Virginia University School of Medicine. Dr. Campione is board certiﬁed in Physiotherapy in the state of Illinois specializing in physical rehabilitation using a blend of chiropractic manipulative therapy, soft tissue manipulation and corrective exercises to treat ailments of the human neuromusculoskeletel system. He has post-graduate education in acupuncture, strength and conditioning with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, corrective exercise with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, RockTape, Functional Movement Systems, Applied Movement Neurology, Active Release Technique, and kettlebell training with the World Kettlebell Club. He is also an instructor for RockTape teaching kinesiology taping and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation.
WebExercises: How has your treatment approach changed since you started focusing on a neurological approach?
John Campione: I used to be very mechanical in my treatment model. I was trained in the traditional sense of “where there is pain there is weakness.” I remember my assessment would really only focus on the site of pain. I was really guessing more than anything. As I started to learn more and practice more I began using the mantra from Ida Rolf “Where you think it is, it ain’t.” That really helped me understand I really had to look at the whole body to find the answers. With that I realized there was a very obvious common denominator with everything. The nervous system is running the show. The nervous system senses and provides information to the brain so the brain can decide the appropriate response. Studying the nervous system changed my assessment model and helped me get better patient outcomes. I stopped guessing and I started asking the body via the nervous system. Eighty-six billion neurons can’t be wrong.
WebExercises: How did you get started with this new approach?
John Campione: It was RockTape that really began it all. When I took the taping courses it was the first time that I was studying a modality from a neurological perspective. I had learned some taping in school that was explained in a very strict, complicated way that was focused on the structural model. The RockTape courses focused on neurology because tape on the skin is going to influence neurology more than it will structure. That really resonated with me. So much so that I became a RockTape instructor. Through learning and teaching this approach I really have completely changed my perspective and I focus more on how my hands, tape, a tool, etc will influence the nervous system when I put them on my patient’s skin.
WebExercises: How is this approach different from the ‘traditional’, i.e. the one you used before?
John Campione: The traditional approach was, if it hurts it’s weak so let’s strengthen it with exercises; if it’s tight just stretch it to make it looser. That approach works in a small percentage of cases and even then, it’s guesswork. What I had found was that in the cases where that approach didn’t apply I actually was making things worse. Patient’s pain and dysfunction is very specific to their own anatomy and physiology. Why are we guessing? It is so important to find out why a patient has pain and why they have dysfunction. Which means looking deeper into the feedback loops of the nervous system and understanding where and when sensation or motor output isn’t quite up to par.
WebExercises: What exercise strategies are supporting your approach?
John Campione: All exercise influences the nervous system. It feeds on movement so exercise is essential. I can stimulate receptors and get better muscle firing during a muscle test, but without reinforcing the system with a redundant signal, the patient will revert back to their dysfunction. From a neurological perspective we should be incorporating more exercise that stimulates our cerebellum. The cerebellum coordinates our movements and it loves feeding on novel stimuli like rolling, hanging and crawling. A lot of things we don’t do anymore. Sitting and lifting weights isn’t going to do it.
WebExercises: Do you prescribe exercises for patients to do at home? How important is that to achieve your desired outcomes?
John Campione: All my patients get exercises. The prescription really depends on what the assessment tells me. Most patients begin with foam rolling of some kind specific to their assessment. Meaning if I need up regulation the foam roller is used one way, if I need down regulation the foam roller is used another way. Patient progress to different movements depending on their conditions. Many knee complaints are prescribed ankle and hip mobility drills whereas low back pain often gets prescribed crawling and rolling to influence the cerebellum and reflexively train the trunk. Everything depends on the patient’s neurology.
Interested in joining the discussion? Do you have an approach to share or a story to tell? Email us your opinion to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear from you! #WhyExerciseMatters