When it comes to pitchmen, none are much bigger than Shaquille O’Neal.
Literally and figuratively.
So when the 7-foot-1, 325-pound Shaq was traded by the Miami Heat to the Phoenix Suns in February 2008, he brought with him a great piece of technology that would really help his new athletic training staff.
“Shaq had been using a PER 2000 from Pulsed Energy Technologies’,” well-respected Suns Head Athletic Trainer Aaron Nelson said. “I looked at it, didn’t really know much about it and found it interesting.”
Not that Shaq had a great grasp on the technology he was using.
“He’ll tell you he had no clue how it worked or exactly what it was supposed to do, but he felt better when he used it,” Nelson said of the first-ballot Hall of Famer. “So we said, ‘Well, we’ll give it a try and take a look at it.’”
When Nelson and the Suns finally got their hands on their own PER 2000, they began to understand the benefits of the technology.
“We used it on everyone,” said Nelson, whose Suns became the first professional basketball team in the four major sports to purchase one of the machines. “Coaching staff, my staff, anybody that we could try absolutely anything on. Shoulder, back, knee, ankle, whatever (type of ailment), we were just looking for anything just to use it.”
While Nelson uses other methods to determine primary treatment, the PER 2000 is a part of the Suns’ regular routine.
“We don’t use a lot of modalities, we use more of our hands,” Nelson said, “but we do use Pulsed Energy and it is something we use daily, we use on something every day with somebody.”
“Pain, swelling, fractures,” Nelson said of some of the types of injuries he uses the technology on. “You can use Pulsed Energy on a lot of injuries, acute and chronic. Almost everybody who has used it, from staff to players, has felt better after they get off of it.”
“You feel it pretty much go wherever the pain is. That is one of the more unique things about it,” Nelson said. “It will identify and isolate right where that pain is. You can move the applicator around and find the exact spot and they’ll go, ‘Yeah, that’s where I’m sore.’ It works well that way.”
“I don’t want to say that’s the only thing because we’re doing so many other things from a manual standpoint, but there is no question that whatever the combination is (with the PER 2000), I feel we are able to get players on the court faster than maybe with standard modalities. I think there is definitely a decrease in time lost by using it.”
Dr. Doug Miller, former Baltimore Ravens Team Chiropractor
“I had an interest in the technology,” said Miller, who first learned of the method when he was the team chiropractor for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Miller, who lives and has his own practice in the Baltimore, said it was a scientist from the nearby NASA Goddard Space Flight Center who first exposed him to the benefits of PEMF therapy. “In my mind, we’re intervening a chronic, inflammatory response on an energetic and cellular level and the results can be fairly instantaneous. Subjective pain responses are decreased and mobility is increased immediately after a therapy, which is kind of interesting because you don’t always see that with other modalities.”
“You are going to see many degenerative disorders in practice and having a tool that can impact the inflammatory cycle is necessary. But if you can lower the inflammatory threshold — which means they’re not perceiving pain — you have a patient for life. We have many patients who depend on the therapy to manage their chronic disorder. They understand the need to control their inflammation and pain without the need for medications.”
“You are probably going to find more interest in sports medicine due to the driving need to get athletes back on the field. I think sports medicine practitioners are willing to look outside of the existing conventional therapeutic protocols and consider modalities that interact energetically with the healing process.”
“In my experience, it could potentially reduce the injury time by a third if used appropriately with other therapies. Which is impressive. This therapy makes our other existing therapies more effective and adds to the tools we have to treat pain and inflammation.”
“Is it a tool we should have in our bag? Absolutely.”
NATA Past President Jim Thornton, MA, ATC, PES
“We named (the machine) Zeus because he throws bolts of lightning, and the Pulsed Energy machine is almost like a shot of energy” Thornton said.
“Zeus is one of the treatments that we use,” he said, stressing that corrective exercise is still often used in therapeutic recovery. “It is just one of our modalities, but we probably use it more than other modalities. We use manual therapy typically to correct movement dysfunction. When you set up patients with a new technology, they want to know what it is, how it works, why you are using it, the whole bit,” said Thornton, who said the patients/athletes often quickly hit their smartphones or tablets to get info about pulsed energy. “So you have to talk about energizing the bloodstream and knocking down inflammation, the different stages and levels of healing, how soft tissue and how bony tissue heals. Once you do that, they look at you and go, ‘OK.’ We’ve used Zeus to either drive down inflammation on the bone or help heal fractures and it’s been wonderful. We use it with everything that has to do with the bone — fractures, pariostitis, medial tibial stress syndrome, etc. It works. The stuff works. It just does.”