Get better, faster. It might sound too good to be true, but it is Dr. Josh Sandell’s motto and way of life.
Sandell is a sports medicine specialist, licensed chiropractic physician, certified athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. He holds degrees in exercise physiology and human biology, and post-graduate professional certifications in sports medicine. And yet, Sandell stepped into the health care industry looking for something more.
“I was on a mission when I first started my practice 15 years ago and did a lot of research to find a better way to treat injuries and get at the root cause of why they were happening,” Sandell says. “That’s when I came up with Orthology.”
Orthology is a patent-pending, research-based methodology that aims for rapid recovery from injuries and chronic pain. Research in areas like orthopedic care, neurological rehabilitation and manual medicine has helped build this system into a successful practice.
In a more traditional setting, a typical patient might see only one specialist—or at best, several specialists who don’t necessarily communicate with each other. At Orthology, a collaborative care team of chiropractors, physical therapists and soft-tissue specialists work together. In assessing a patient, the team comes up with the proper treatments and exercises that will get that person better faster.
“When a patient walks in, we assess their injury and give them realistic milestones and what to expect after each visit,” Sandell says. “The goal is to get them healthy and back to their activities in the least amount of visits as possible. I had one person feel excellent after one visit, and some have taken longer. It all depends on the patient.”
A typical visit includes talking to collaborative care team, including a chiropractor and physical therapist. Each specialist works on loosening up muscles or adjusting joints. Next, the physical therapist takes the patient through appropriate exercises using an exercise ball, floor mat or light weights. On average and depending on the injury, a patient usually needs between five and eight return visits to Orthology per injury.
“Each treatment and treatment plan is very customized,” Sandell says. “I look for mobility and stability and if the joints are moving properly, if the nerves and muscles moving the joints are operating correctly and try to find out if anything is impeding the recovery time.”
Sandell’s practice has led him to work with world-class athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL and WNBA, and even some Olympians.
“I work with all types of people, but the professional athletes are my most challenging patients because their injuries are very difficult to manage,” he says. “Players can’t be sidelined for very long.”
“Dr. Josh has been a godsend for my career,” says Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. “Longevity and consistently playing at the highest level possible is what matters in this game. Dr. Josh has been committed over the years to helping me accomplish this. Dr. Josh puts his athletes first and goes way above and beyond to give everything he can.”
“If we can’t fix the patient, we will point them in the direction of someone who can,” Sandell says.
However, patients are not always healed the first time around. Sandell does see repeat patients from time to time. “I’ll get the weekend warrior who comes in after playing a game of touch football and fix them up,” he says. “Sometimes they come back with another injury, but we see the relapse to be significantly diminished from their first set of visits. We hardly ever see someone come back for the same injury and condition they originally came in for.”
The concept of healing more quickly seems to be working for Sandell and his practice. “I have the best job in the world,” he says. “I was the guy in school who always played with trial and error and I love to be innovative. Orthology allows me to help people and athletes maintain a competitive edge while getting them better faster.”